Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Pie, More Beads

First I want to thank all the commenters and readers for their kind thoughts.  They must have worked, since I am feeling better than I have in six months.  I am just about back to normal as far as flexibility (you have no idea how hard simply sitting up can be with dozens of staples in your abdomen).  But I still have a bit to go in the strength department and get tired too easily.  I even survived a car trip to southern California last Monday to meet with an oncologist from USC Norris Cancer Center.  She was very encouraging, claiming that my cancer was not as dire as I previously had been told.  She also said that I should have chemo and radiation in Las Vegas and stay close to home.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a local oncologist and should be starting chemo early in May.  I will probably have chemo for six months (with a break at the end of August and the beginning of September to go to Australia).  I will know a lot more after tomorrow's doctor's appointment.  But on to stitching!

It may not be much, but I did finish all of the gray in the pie plate and started the green band under the pie.  I was stitching in my favorite stitching chair rather than at the dining room table as I often do when beading, but only lost one bead to the chair cushion.  I still am not stitching every day, but I did stitch some yesterday and started to fill in all the red on the right side of the pie.  I am going to finish this before I go on to other projects.  I checked my list of 2010 Goals -- oh, my, I was rather ambitious.  I doubt I will get half of these projects finished, but I hope to start up again on one or two UFOs.  I really want to get a few UFOs finished before starting on a new project.  Some of these UFOs are so old that I am sure they will feel like a new project.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This Is IT.

This is where I stopped stitching on March 10.  For some time now I have been having digestive problems, but that week it came to a sharp (and unpleasant) pain, so I made an appointment to see a doctor.  On Friday, after a few blood tests she confirmed that I was dehydrated, anemic and running a raging infection.  To find out what was going on, I went into the hospital for a CT scan . . . and didn't leave for six days.  During that time they filled me up with blood transfusions and IV antibiotics.  They also continued scanning and testing, but the results were inconclusive.  Unlike the television medical shows where the doctors love to dive right in to exploratory surgery, no one wanted to open me up unless they knew exactly what they would find.  Eventually they scheduled surgery with two surgeons (general and ob/gyn) for Tuesday, March 23.  I went home for the weekend and came back Tuesday morning. 

The surgery went well, but they did find colorectal cancer.  It was not the cancer that was making me ill, but the fact that it perforated my bowel which resulted in peritonitis (infection).  After another six days in the hospital with more IV antibiotics and TPN (nutrition from a tube) I was released; wobbly, groggy, and with painful staples that made my abdomen look like something attacked by an axe murderer.  I would never have made it through without the constant care of my beloved husband, who certainly went beyond the traditional marriage vows of love and cherish.  Two and a half weeks after surgery, I am walking around and starting to resume some of my family duties, especially tech support.  I installed a new color printer/scanner and fixed the wonky DSL.  Now I just have to setup the new computer I ordered before all this happened.

I thought that all this hospital time would make for plenty of stitching, but when you have IVs in both arms/hands attached to a seven foot tall silver pole with four drip monitors, holding the needle, Q-snap, and chart was a little beyond me.  I did stitch one thread of gray on the pie plate for Easy As Pie, but that was it.  Mostly I watched bad television or slept.  I couldn't even concentrate on reading.  I am starting to THINK about stitching.  Maybe not today, but maybe tomorrow.