Before we get into Boobie Tuesday and Rachel's latest update...
I bought a new vacuum and it sucks! I love it. We won't, however, discuss how much stuff it picked up that was left behind by my old, suckless vacuum. EEEEwwwww!!!!!!
And now on to today's update...
HELPING THE TEAM
After our training walk today, Deborah our team captain showed me the stitch markers that Donna made to help Knitters for Knockers raise money for the Avon Walk. They’re fabulous! And so nicely packaged. They’re going to be in the booth at Stitches West (Santa Clara Convention Center, Feb. 23-25) and then at Yarndogs in Los Gatos. Check ‘em out. Thanks Donna! I’m going to be working in the Yarndogs booth at Stitches from 2-5 on Saturday – I’ll be winding yarn. I’m pretty pleased about that – not only do I get to help the team raise money, I get to vicariously enjoy yarn that other people have bought as I wind it for them. Maybe that’ll help me curb my own spending. Or not. Heh…
So my little beagle Trouble had to go to the vet today – she seemed to be in pain. Long story short, it seems she has dislocated her tail, and with the help of painkillers she should feel better in about a week. I’ll tell you, I was scared though – I was convinced they were going to find a tumor in her tail and that they’d be telling us she wouldn’t be around much longer. I know it sounds alarmist, but let me give you a little history.
Until the late 1990’s, Cancer almost literally had never touched my life. My stepmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the late 70’s, had surgery, and has been clear ever since. That was it. Then my oldest brother Peter called me one day to tell me he’d been diagnosed with Lymphoma (Cancer of the lymph nodes) – Non-Hodgkin’s, to be exact. Well even though it had never been in our family before, it did make a little sense – not only did he smoke, but he was also a chemist by profession, so the chances of him being exposed to all sorts of nasty things were pretty high. He went through chemo, and the Cancer disappeared, though he still had ongoing autoimmune issues, which slowed him down a lot.
Fast forward 5 years. Newly divorced and escaped from an abusive marriage, I was thrilled to finally have some peace in my life, but found myself lacking energy to do the things I usually did – walking, gardening, snowboarding, etc. Then I started itching. Then wheezing. My doctor thought I had allergies and sent me to an allergist. Who couldn’t find a thing. Finally she told me I had no allergies, and had better start considering other possibilities – like maybe mono. She told me to get some tests, including an x-ray, which I did that day. That afternoon she called me. There was a soft-ball-sized tumor in my chest, and I needed to get a CT scan. In the meantime she pulled some strings so I wouldn’t have to wait for the hospital to schedule me for a biopsy weeks or months in the future. The day after the CT scan, I had my first visit with an Oncologist, and 2 days later, a biopsy. End result – Lymphoma. The kind I had was Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin’s Disease. The doctor was thrilled to tell me that it was highly curable, and that I’d be fine. But between now and the cure, life was going to suck. The next 3 weeks were the worst – test after test, needle after needle, and a lot of it hurt like hell. All I wanted to do was get started on chemo so I could get better, but of course they needed to find out everything about the situation before they could map out the treatment. Not fun for an impatient person like me! Starting chemo almost came as a relief – at least I was doing something about it.
Nine months of chemo, and month of radiation, and I was done. Tired, pale and pretty weak, but hey, I was here. And I had managed to keep working full-time during the whole thing. I also met and married my husband in the same time period! My last radiation treatment was in November, 2003. I thought from there on out, it would be easier. Apparently not so much. That Fall, 2 of my friends died from cancer. Then my brother’s Lymphoma returned, with a vengeance. In his mouth. They removed his tongue, and in a 23-hour operation, replaced it with some muscle from his stomach. After a month in the hospital, he went home to start radiation. Which for him was agony, and did no good anyway. Within a few months the cancer came back, and he died in July of 2004. A year later, my sweet little hound dog, Shirley, was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and died shortly thereafter. Fucking Cancer.
So I guess that’s why this walk has come to mean so much to me. If I can help anyone deal with this sucky disease, if I can help contribute in any way to a cure or prevention, then I want to do that. My personal experience having Cancer wasn’t so bad. But people close to me went through hell and a bunch didn’t make it. This is for them, and in hopes that as a result, there will be fewer and fewer people like them. If they have to go through it at all, I want everyone to have the same happy outcome that I was lucky enough to have. I may still be tired, I may have gained over 30 pounds from treatment and my metabolism is blown to hell, but damnit, I’m here and awfully happy to be able to say that!
Ok. Enough depressing stuff. I’m fine, my dog is fine (and hogging more than her share of the couch). Tonight she’ll hog more than her share of the bed, and I’m okay with that. I’m so happy she’s alright!
Next week – I don’t know what but it’ll be more cheerful, I promise. If you’re at Stitches, please stop by the Yarndogs booth and say Hi – I’d love to meet you. Have a good week!
WOW. Cancer sucks too (in a bad way) - and we're glad you're better and able to make a difference because of the money you are raising for the Walk. Thanks for doing it! (Glad you're Beagle is doing ok too. My Mom has Beagle. His name is Dexter.) I'm honoured to help you and the K4Kers. If I can't walk the walk, I will do what I can to help those who are walking meet their fundraising goals.
And now for some "Fresh off the Holiday off" eye candy...
Picked up this little number in the "Treasure Spot" under the stairs at the apartments (therefore it was free.
Don't you just love free?).
It's fabulous. I think I'll use it for a knitting bag...
...it holds quite a bit.
Hope everyone had a great weekend and those of you who had the Holiday off had a great 3-day weekend! Much bargain hunting (and capturing) went on in my neck of the woods these past three days. I'd share, but:
1. You wouldn't believe me when I tell you how much I didn't pay.
2. You'd all be totally jealous.
You'll eventually see it all as I will slip it in every now and then and it will be worked up and put out on my Etsy site.
OH YEAH! Spencer and I saw Jaime and Adam from the Mythbusters TV show this Saturday. Spence got their autographs and even shook hands with Adam. He was so psyched, he was speechless! Now that's star struck...more on that later in the week.