Friday, September 06, 2013

What Cancer Is Not...

And that is stupid. As far as mine goes anyway. Apparently the one I have is a Harvard graduate! Lucky me ;o)

Let me back up a bit so that you will be caught up in my 'life's little drama'. In my A Much Needed Rant post I had mentioned that I was going to have a CT Scan. I got my blood work done beforehand but because my creatinine levels (has to do with kidney function) were so high, they could not use the dye during the scan and therefore, the scan was not as detailed as we would have liked :o(

What the scan did reveal was that I had a mass pressing against my left ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) :o( Sound familiar? They brought me in on Sunday, August 18 for what I expected to be a routine procedure; they were going to replace my right stint and put in a stint on my left side...again.

All was not right with the world when I woke up :o( When the doctor was attempting to put in the left stint, there was too much blood so it was aborted. The next day I went in for another procedure where they go in through your back. The stint was put in but the doctor also 'installed' a Nephrostomy Tube so that my kidney could drain properly (the mass even tightened the stint too much for my kidney to work properly). To make a long story short, I was on the table a third time to stop an arterial bleed and the doctors also put in a larger Nephrostomy tube. So after five days in the hospital, I was finally home with a pretty battered body and an annoying drainage sack in tow. Sigh!

This past Wednesday, DH and I drove into the 'big city' and met with my Oncologist, Radiologist and Urologist. I have quite the entourage now! See how special I am? ;o) We got down to the nitty gritty this time, asking some of those difficult questions, and this is where I stand as of today...

I had mentioned before that my right leg was swollen and that we were looking at the possibility of radiation; that is not going to happen because it won't fix the problem. Now my left leg is as swollen as my right and I have very limited mobility :o( I'm now carrying and extra 20 pounds of liquid around with me. Imagine attaching a ten pound weight to each leg and trying to go about your normal day. That's basically what it's like for me. The doctor explained that Chemo would be the only way I would get rid of this swelling. That's if the Chemo worked...

The cancer lesions on my chest are...horrific. I won't candy coat it. It is spreading at a fast rate and new spots have appeared on my back. It's like someone has taken a bandage and tightened it as tight as they can around my chest. Add in a third degree burn sensation and you might have a 'slight' idea of what I see, feel and deal with each day. Chemo will be the only way that this would get better. And that's if the Chemo worked...

Today I will try another new Chemo, Gemcitabine. This is my fourth or fifth Chemo and the last attempt to prolong my life. Yup, we're at the bottom of the barrel as my Oncologist says :o( If this doesn't work, I'll be taken off Chemo altogether and left to wait. I'm told that this cancer won't kill me through some major organ but that it will slowly suck the life out of me. How come I didn't get that cancer that never made it passed Grade 6? Why did I get the Harvard graduate?

The new Chemo will be one day a week for three weeks with one week off. It doesn't filter through the kidneys so we're hoping that it will give my guys a much needed rest and therefore, my creatinine levels will continue to stay low. Unfortunately right now I'm battling with my hemoglobin. I'm down to 85 and if that goes any lower I may be looking at another blood transfusion :o(

To say that I'm frustrated, tired and angry is an understatement. DH and I have been having some much needed conversations and there's plenty more to look after but I need my body to cooperate with me! I may be in bed a lot but my spirit is still high and my fight is as strong as ever. I want to kick this MOFO's ass!!!! I know my cancer will never be cured but I will fight for more time, whether it be a month, six months or a year. I don't like it when something or someone else tries to take over. This is MY LIFE and I will decide how things go, right up to the end.

I'm going to stop now because this post is getting way too long. One more thing before I go...I want to thank you so much for your comments, emails and cards. I can't explain how much they have meant to me. Just knowing that I have so many people backing me makes me feel that much stronger. Please continue your good thoughts and prayers because I do truly appreciate them :o) I've been trying to respond to each of you but there are times when I do get behind. I know you understand. I also want to welcome my new Stalkers! I'm glad you've stopped by and I hope you will continue to do so. ((((HUGS)))) to all of you!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Ninth & Tenth Finish For 2012

Yes, I'm still trying to catch up on showing you my finishes from last year! Hopefully I'll be done soon so you can see what I have stitched in 2013. Maybe someone can light that fire so I can back my butt into it. Otherwise, at this rate, it will be 2014 before you see anything that I have done this year ;o) LOL!

Finish nine is called Humble Gratitude by 4 My Boys -

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This chart was handed down to me by Sharon after she finished it herself and I want to thank her for her kindness. I love this pattern and why wouldn't I seeing as there is a pumpkin in it ;o)

In honor of Sharon, I would like to do a RAK and send this pattern off to someone else that would like to stitch it. If you are interested, please say so in your comment and I'll pick a name (if more than one person would like it) and let you know in a few days. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you are the lucky person.

My tenth finish is Peep by Lizzie Kate -

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This is just cuteness. The pattern came with the fabric and I used the recommended threads. I see this one finished as a cube. When will that get done? HA! I doubt anytime soon... A girl can dream though ;o)

There are six more projects left to show so expect pictures very soon! I also have my appointment with the Oncologist tomorrow so I will be posting an update after we know more as to what is going on with me. I'll be honest, your thoughts and prayers are certainly needed at this time :o(

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Much Needed Rant!

I'm not sure just how much more I can take... A journey is one thing but when it turns into a rollercoaster ride, that's another. You can't get off those as easily and the constant ups and downs are enough to drive you crazy. I want to scream, curse, cry, shout and literally curl up in a ball; never to re-immerge. I want to yell that life isn't fair but that doesn't change a thing. One day cancer is going to kill me and I have no control :o( Nada.

Awhile ago DH and I thought that things were looking positive. It seemed like the Calyx was working and the spots on my chest looked as if they were getting better. I made the mistake of letting my guard down. I was beginning to think that this could be the right drug and maybe remission was possible but how wrong I was. This past weekend I found a group of spots on my back, very similar to the early stages of the ones on my chest. It does not look good :o( This Friday I'll have another CT Scan to see what's going on. I doubt it will be good news.

To add insult to injury, it looks like my Chemo will be put off. Right now I have a swollen lymph node in my right leg that's causing it to swell big time. In order to reduce it, the doctors are talking radiation. Okay, I can handle that. The problem I have is that I will have to be away from Junior and my Chemo is put on the back burner; both for an unknown amount of time. Due to the type of Chemo I'm taking, it cannot be given at the same time as radiation. So basically I'm gambling; fix the leg but risk being unprotected or continue on with my Chemo and live with the disability the swelling is causing. How do we know if we've made the right choices?

I can't explain to you how hard it is to watch your life go by, only to know how it's going to end. I suppose only people in this situation know what I'm talking about. I look at Junior every day and wonder how much of his life I'm going to miss. Will I make it to his fifth or twelfth birthday? Will he remember his mother and know how much she loved him? Will he resent me for dying and leaving him alone without a mother?

I know my little man will be in good hands :o) This is not easy for DH either and I think he's terrified of the idea of being a single parent. My parents just bought a house here and will continue to live here as long as they are needed (they still have their home in NB). I've totally changed their lives even though I'm being reassured that this is what they want to do. I'm very blessed and grateful that they are here for us but it's still not easy for me to see what I've done to them. What's it like for them knowing that their only child has cancer and that they might outlive me?

Oh how I want to just break down and have a temper tantrum! To kick my legs and flail my arms about, all the while screaming "Why?" Why did this have to happen to me? Why did I end up with cancer? Why do I deserve this? Why do I have to be taken away from my DH and DS? Why can't I have another ten years to watch my child grow?

At least my suffering will end someday. What I worry about most are those that are left behind :o( How are they going to cope? Will I be able to watch over them? I'd like to think so but that's a whole other conversation for another time. Thanks for listening if you've gotten this far ;o)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sweet 1-6

Can you believe that Junior turned 16 months old today? My little baby is now a toddler and I have no idea where the time has gone. My little bundle of joy is much bigger than when he was first born but at least I can still hold him in my arms :o)

It's been awhile since I've posted about Junior so I figured I'd give you a fix and you can see just how much he has grown.

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This child is so smart. I have no idea where he gets it from! One day it was raining and he brought his shoes to DH because he wanted to go out. DH told him that it wasn't nice out and 'if' he were to go out, he would have to wear his boots (of course DH didn't think that our little man would understand any of this). The next thing DH sees is Junior standing in front of him with his rain boots in hand! LOL! At this point, he couldn't deny the child ;o)

Junior LOVES bubbles! It's one of the words he can say too :o)

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He also loves eating them... We have no idea why he's driven to do this. We have no idea why he won't eat a perfectly good vegetable but then he turns around and eats a handful of rocks, no questions asked. Sigh! LOL! He is one complex little man. But he makes us laugh and it warms our hearts so that's all that matters.

Thank you for all the lovely comments you left about Roses :o) I enjoyed reading every comment. I want to welcome some new Stalkers and I hope you'll continue to come by for a visit. I've made some time to visit some Blogs so you may see me out and about the Blogging world. I can't tell you how much I have missed reading what everyone has been up to :o)

Monday, August 05, 2013

Long Overdue Stitchy Post

It's been SO long since I've posted anything remotely related to stitching that I hang my head in shame. LOL! Do not fear though because this Pumpkin still has a needle in hand and has been working on a number of different projects :o) Now to just light that fire under my a$$ and take some pictures...

For awhile I have been promising you an updated picture (sorry it's so dreadful) of Roses Of Provence by Mirabilia so here she is -

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Her dress has expanded since my last update. I've also done more since this picture was taken but I've also taken a break from her. Not to worry, I'm not getting sick of her! I just find that in the heat of the summer, I stick to smaller projects and she's not as portable either. My hands are itching to get back to her though and I'm sure it won't be long before they do. I miss her :o)

So, has everyone gotten their JCS Halloween special edition magazine yet? There are some beautiful projects in there but I was a bit disappointed though because there didn't seem to be a lot of ornament sized pieces. Am I the only one that thought this? I can tell you one thing though, I absolutely LOVE Ghoul Tidings by Plum Street Samplers! BTW, there is an error on the chart for this design. Now to patiently wait for the Christmas ornament issue...

I want to thank everyone for sharing your tricks on how to keep on top of Blog reading now that Google Reader is gone. I've checked out the other sites that were mentioned and I'm still not sure what I'm going to use yet. For right now I'm going to stick with Bloglovin' but it doesn't mean that I'm happy with it ;o)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I see that everyone is changing over to Bloglovin because Google Reader was done earlier this month. Why? Why mess with a good thing???? Anyway, I have joined the bandwagon and added a button for Bloglovin on the right side of my Blog (just scroll down a bit). If you're not following me on it already, please add me now :o) I already moved things over myself but I see there are a few Blogs that were missed so I'm slowly getting them all back.

Today while I was browsing Bloglovin, I noticed there are now adds on there >:o( This does NOT make me happy. Why? Again, why did they have to go and mess with a good thing???? Has anyone found an easier way to keep track of their favorite Blogs? I see that there is an option to Follow By Mail. I wonder how well that works. Has anyone tried it? I'm going to put a poll on the right side of my Blog and I would appreciate if you would put your two cents worth in and lmk what you think :o) Thanks!

PS - Don't forget to follow my Pumpkin Patch & Co Graveyard Blog as well!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Junior & The Flatulent Monkey

If that didn't get your attention, I don't know what would! LOL!

As promised, here's a recent picture of Junior -

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The monkey belongs to his cousin and it's got to be THE MOST hilarious thing I have ever seen! Aside from the fact that it looks like a completely psychotic toy, turn it on and it gets even better. The monkey starts laughing hysterically; then the next thing you know, he's letting out a ripper of a fart :o) Very contagious although Junior was a bit skeptical about the whole thing.

It came from the UK so I'm not sure if it's available in North America or not. I did find an online listing for it here :o) If you want to see him in action, he's on You Tube as well -

Now not to be outdone by that little devilish monkey, I'll leave you with another picture of Junior -

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This was taken at my birthday and we had ice cream cake this time. As you can see, he didn't hold back with the mess quite as much ;o)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my birthday. What did I get this year? A snotty cold from darling Junior and a new Chemo drug from my Oncologist :o) Aren't I a lucky girl? LOL!

Yes, you heard me right, I'm going to be going on 'another' Chemo drug :o( The last one wasn't showing results and in fact, the tumors on my chest have been getting worse. I know that usually the third time is the charm but maybe in this case it will be the fourth. Fingers crossed because my playing field is narrowing even faster. Sigh!

That's pretty much where we are at this point. I start my new Chemo (Caelyx) tomorrow and it will be once every four weeks. Oh how I pray that this will be the one to kick this cancer's ass! The tumors under the skin are very uncomfortable, not to mention ugly looking (but that's the least of my worries). The doctor is also going to send me back to the Radiologist for another consult so maybe we can fry some more of these 'things' off.

Since my last post, life has been full of ups and downs. My red count level went WAY down and I ended up with a blood transfusion :o( Not the first thing on my wish list but the doctors were worried that I wouldn't bounce back so easily as time went on. I was SO tired too! At least now I have a little oomph to my step. I have blood work again tomorrow so hopefully things will look much better.

I'm sorry that my last post was really dark but I needed somewhere to open up. After I posted it and talked to the Oncologist again, I realized I knew all along that there would be no cure. Nope, I have this thing for the long run :o( The only thing we can hope for are in-between periods were cancer doesn't rear its ugly head and I can try to live as close to a normal human being as I can.

It sure does put a new perspective on life. Now my thoughts are mostly about getting my affairs in order, how to teach DH my banking system, leave Junior something so that he'll remember his mother and learn new things about her, figure out where or if I want to be buried but most of all, how can I ease the pain I'm going to inflict on my family and friends when that day comes.

WHOA! Okay, we're getting way too dark and way too serious and I can't end this post like that. I promise I'll post some pictures soon :o) I have a new one of Roses Of Provence and I'm sure you all need your Junior fix since he's not in the monthly spotlight anymore. LOL!

To those of you who have emailed me or sent me birthday wishes, I want to thank you so much for thinking about me :o) My email is just too backed up right now so I apologize for acknowledging your thoughtfulness in a group. ((((HUGS))))

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Waiting For A Cure Or Buying More Time?

This is the million dollar question it seems! Twice in one week, I had two professionals on my team ask me whether I knew if my Chemo was to cure my cancer or buy me some more time. Hmmm...well, I guess I 'thought' it was for a cure but when I really think about it; it was just an assumption on my part. No one has really told me what my outlook looks like.

In the beginning, I think the Oncologist thought it was going to be a fairly open and shut case. Yes, I will always have a chronic health condition and yes I'm at Stage 4 breast cancer but I think their thinking was radiate that bone, rip out those ovaries, put her on some meds and she'll be good to go! I don't think they figured, and neither did we, that we'd have all kinds of other surprises popping up along the way.

I guess I figured, and so did DH, that if I was 'terminal' the Oncologist would have told me. Now, I'm not so sure. It took a long time for them to tell me that I was Stage 4 so I have to wonder if information is being held back. Don't get me wrong, I have a responsibility to ask questions and keep up to date on what's going on with me and my treatment but after much thought, I know why I never brought this question up before anyone else did...

I'm afraid to know. I'm afraid that if it's really bad news, it will obliterate every single piece of hope that I'm hanging onto at this very moment and then things will only get worse. I'll completely shut down and there will be no bringing me back from that dark space that I'll have crawled into. I know it. DH knows it. And that's probably the reason why he's never asked the question himself. He's just as afraid as I am.

I mentioned in my previous post that I had another CT Scan coming up. Well, I had it and we have another glitch :o( Everything remained the same except the lymph node under my left arm. It has only enlarged because of the lumps on my skin (which are not getting any better btw). So, there was no discussion, the Oncologist put me on a different kind of Chemo, hoping that these lumps won't be as tolerable to the new poison.

Yes, that means a change in our defense. Now my schedule is Day 1, Day 8 and then a week off. That's considered a cycle and I've completed one so far. Three cycles are done before another CT Scan is ordered again. Thankfully I tolerated the other Chemo quite well because this one is not as kind :o( I have some new sides effects, none of which are fun, and I've lost quite a bit of weight. The Pumpkin trucks on though!

So that's where things stand here. Fatigue is still my biggest enemy so again, emails are very few. Your comments do keep my spirits up though and I always look forward to reading them :o) I truly appreciate them. I promise I will keep up the fight though. Hey, maybe this should be my new slogan -

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Where Or Where Has Pumpkin Been?

I know I promised you an update awhile back and I apologize it's taken me this long to do so. When I 'do' get computer time, I'm either answering emails (only a few), updating my Blog (rarely), checking in on other Blogs (not a lot) or keeping up to date as to what's going on in the cross stitching world. Hey, at least I still have that craving from time to time ;o)

Four weeks ago I ended up sick after my Chemo treatment (I think it was a bug) and it took a HUGE chunk out of me. My mood drastically darkened because of this and I had a hard time digging myself out of that hole. When Junior's birthday rolled around, it was like "I've been living with this crap for a year now! When will it ever end?" The last thing I want to do is think about cancer on my son's big day. Another reason to hate this disease so much >:o(

I had hinted in a post awhile ago that I had some positive news and I do! Back in February I had a new CT Scan and when they compared it to the ones I had in October and December, it showed that my tumors had either disappeared or shrunk in size :o) This was super news but it was darkened by 'another' setback...

Since January, I had been developing these lumps on my skin around my left breast. I had a biopsy done and it was concluded that they were cancerous. D'uh! I knew that. What they didn't do was examine to see if they were the same kind of cancer we're dealing with or if it's something new. Whatever the outcome, the lumps didn't seem to be responding to the Chemo and kept spreading and growing larger :o(

We met with my Oncologist and he felt that because the tumors on the inside were responding well to this Chemo that we would continue on with it. That means it is a wait and see game with the lumps on my skin. They are very painful and I have one that is quite large to the side of my breast. This coming week I'll get that sucker radiated so hopefully that will help. DH and I have noticed that some of the lumps have shrunken and they haven't spread in the past month so we're hoping that's good news.

Also this coming week, I'm going to have a new CT Scan. We're hoping things will look even better and then maybe we'll get an end date for my Chemo. That would be so nice! Even though I seem to be tolerating it pretty well, I'm SO tired! I sleep a lot. I could sleep even more but I don't want life just passing me by.

Every day it seems like I'm living on a fine line; one where I have to balance things just right or else everything just comes tumbling down on me. Yes, I am getting tired of this whole thing; mentally AND physically. I want cancer out of my life. I know it won't be gone completely (it will always be on my mind) but even if I didn't have to have Chemo treatments anymore would be a vast improvement ;o)

I want to thank everyone again for their wonderful emails and comments, even if I don't get back to you straight away. My Blogging Buddies are never far from my mind and I'm always wondering what you're up to. I miss you all and I'm glad that you've stuck around to keep me coming back :o) A HUGE ((((HUG)))) goes out to you all!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Junior!

I know I'm 'very' late again with my updates but it's been a grueling three weeks to say the least and my mind hasn't been in the best of places :o( Aside from that, I wanted to share the most recent news from our home because it was a huge event. Plus, I see there must be quite a few of you checking up to see if I have updated my Blog recently ;o) How I keep holding onto all my Stalkers, I don't know... you see by the title, Junior had an official birthday and turned ONE YEAR OLD on April 10!!!! It was quite the event because he had not one but TWO parties! LOL!

The night of his actual birthday we had both sets of grandparents over and Junior got to open his larger gifts. He got an All Season Wagon and a Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Trike :o) He had his very own birthday cake and it was so funny to see how reserved he was with it. Most kids would have had it smeared from head to toe but not our little guy; face and fingers were just fine :o)

Then on Saturday, April 13, we had an open house from 2-4pm as I mentioned in my last post. It worked out stupendously! We had 24 people in all and somehow our little house managed to squeeze them all in. Junior had a ball and made sure he mingled with everyone now that he is WALKING! He had another piece of cake and opened his presents for everyone to see (all without any fuss!). We put out peanut butter and jam sandwiches (crusts cut off), Kool-Aid, fruit and veggie trays along with a half of slab of cake (part vanilla, part chocolate). Btw, thank you Christina and Harmien for the books you sent! Junior just LOVES them! A note will be in the mail soon :o)

So here's the final picture of the year for the big man -

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I keep saying he looks all grown up but he does. He really does.

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As of today, Junior has another two teeth. His two (first) lower molars broke through so now we're up to ten teeth in that little mouth of his. He's still a chomping machine. It looks like his two upper eye teeth might be coming in next. Ugh! The drool is just crazy. And the snot! We've realized that when his teeth come in, his sinuses go crazy. What we thought were colds were just teeth coming in.

I've already let slip that Junior is now walking ;o) He started when he was eleven and a half months old. It's funny to watch him because he's so proud of himself. This has now led to climbing the stairs and now he's trying to climb the furniture. Sigh! DH and I keep putting things higher and higher but eventually we'll have nowhere else to go. LOL!

Little man has a few words under his belt but he's trying to copy whatever words you're saying. He's also associating words with objects so that's quite neat! It never gets dull watching him learn and grow.

I know I promised you an update about me and I will try my best in the next few days. It's been one of the hardest months for me but I'm trying to crawl out of my hole. I miss you all! Until then...I hope everyone is keeping well :o)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We're Less Than One Month Away!

Sigh!  I'm late posting a picture of the little man...again.  Unfortunately his monthly birth date landed right after a Chemo treatment and then the poor guy picked up a bug from somewhere :o(  He sounds horrible but at least his spirits are still good.

DH and I 'settled' for this picture -

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Junior looks so grown up!  He looks like a miniature man :o)  I can't believe we're in the final countdown to his one year birthday.  Thank God I'm still here to see it.

Speaking of birthdays...DH and I are planning the big day!  We've decided to have an open house so that people can come without feeling they have to and I don't have to send out invitations and leave someone out by mistake.  Sounds like a good plan right?  LOL!  I'll let you know how it turns out.  It's too bad you all didn't live closer because you could come and celebrate with us!  I think we'll have a decent crowd.  DH and I picked up Junior's present last week and I think he's going to like it...

Junior now has eight teeth and is SO close to walking it's not even funny.  He took his first solo steps the other day but I was in the other room and missed the whole thing :o(  DH keeps saying he's going to trash the house and I think I have to agree with him.  Junior is definitely all boy and loves to play hard.  He roughhouses with Daddy all the time and all you hear is fits of giggles :o)

I've never seen a child his age so involved with books though!  He just LOVES them and wants you to read each one to him again and again and again AND again.  He follows each page and has now gotten into turning the pages by himself.  His favorite is called Baby, BOO! and if he could talk, I'm sure he'd have the whole thing memorized by now.  I know we all do ;o)  LOL!  Let's just hope he continues to love books as he grows older!

Stay tuned - I have an update about myself :o)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Taking Shape + Winners!

It's been almost two months since I started Roses Of Provence. How time flies when you're having fun ;o) LOL! I know I gave you a little taste of her beginning but I've got a lot more stitched and thought you might like to see -

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She's got color! I really wanted to get the beading done on and around her head but so far I haven't had any childless opportunities ;o) Maybe soon. I'm anxious to see some of that bling.

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Her dress is gorgeous! There's no real pattern to it so after the white has been stitched in, it takes me awhile to stitch in the other colors. It's surprising how many colors Nora used; I think it's around ten.

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I may not get a lot of time with her but I'm quite amazed at how much I've gotten done so far.

I have to apologize because awhile back I offered a pattern to whoever was interested and said I would draw a name if more than one person wanted it. Well, there were four interested parties so I drew a name and the winner was MOUSE! Congrats :o) I have your address and will be getting that out to you soon.

I also had another contest but it was a secret one. Just another way to show my thanks :o) I took all the names of those who commented on my January 28 post and got to pick a stalker. The winner was ANNE! Congrats to you too :o) Anne, you have won a complete kit and I'll be getting that in the mail soon as well.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Am I Doing?

I just realized that I haven't written an update about myself since the end of January so shame on me! It's been awhile since I started with my Chemo so you must be wondering how I'm doing and what I've been doing with my time. At least I think you must be wondering ;o) LOL!

As of last Thursday, I've made it through my third Chemo treatment. It comes once every three weeks and I get my Pamidronate while I'm there so there's no extra travelling. We didn't go to Halifax this time but we were there on January 30 to see the Oncologist. This appointment was MUCH more positive than the last and it was nice to see a smile on my doctor's face again. I knew when we went in on January 9 that things were not good and it showed in his face.

DH and I are being 'cautiously optimistic' because the inflammation on my left breast has gone down significantly :o) The swelling in my groin remains but the swelling in my right leg is much better. Just last week, some of the numbers from my blood work came back with positive results. All this combined; it has raised my spirits but my guard is still up as well.

We do have one thing that is worrying us at the moment and that's why I'm still hesitant about the good outlook. I have developed a number of bumps around my left breast and on my sternum. They are just under the skin and very hard. And they hurt :o( There is no doubt in my mind that it's cancer but I'm waiting for a biopsy. Why they have developed and why they aren't getting better with the Chemo, we don't know.

I have to say that I'm doing fairly well with the Chemo. I've gotten nauseated but haven't thrown up. My appetite has been affected somewhat but at least my weight is remaining steady. I am TIRED but I've got help and thank goodness because I'd never be able to do this on my own! My parents have moved down here for a few months :o) They have a place of their own and they come over three days a week to look after Junior. On the other two days, I have a friend who helps out. So far this system works wonderfully and it allows me to put my feet up and rest but still be around for Junior if he needs me.

If I'm not looking after Junior or sleeping, I'm probably doing a bit of stitching and keeping up to date on The Walking Dead series :o) O-M-G! I'm sad to say but Prison Break has lost its role in first place for favorite television series! Okay, put aside the really is an excellent show. Really! Trust me ;o)

Other than that, I don't have time for much else (as you can see by my Blog and my emails!). I'm getting cabin fever but I'd rather be squirreled away than risk getting that awful bug that's going around :o( That's the last thing I need. People have been so good too about not coming around if they think they are getting sick.

Finally, I am embracing my bald head :o) Two very thoughtful Blogging friends sent me pumpkin hats so I'm good to go. LOL! I even have a wig! I haven't worn it out in public yet. Do you know what my darling son did the other day? He took off my hat that I was wearing and kissed my bald head :o) How can I not feel confident when I have such a special supporter on my side?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

In The Beginning...

She looked like this -

 photo RosesOfProvenceProgress1.jpg

This is my start to Roses Of Provence by Mirabilia :o) Not a lot done yet but more than I expected! I think it's been about a month now since I started her. I'm averaging about an hour a night with her so the going is slow but I'm REALLY enjoying her. I love watching her take shape right before my eyes. Once her skin is complete, I'll move on to her hair. I can't wait to start on her dress!

Again, I have three amazing ladies to thank. If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't be stitching ROP at the moment. It all started with Carolyn who sent me the pattern and bead package :o) My eyes popped when I saw all those beautiful beads! I wonder how all that beading is going to get done with a toddler in the house. LOL!

Next it was Gabi who bought me the fabric :o) I stayed with the recommended fabric and I'm happy I did. It does remind me of white chocolate but it won't take away from ROP's beauty in the end.

Last, but certainly not least, was Melanie who sent me ALL the DMC required along with the spool of Kreinik :o) There is just something about seeing all those skeins of floss together that gets my heart racing and my mouth drooling! LOL!

Thank you ladies! Your generosity has touched my heart and I hope you'll enjoy watching ROP come to life as much as I will. Please know that I will always remember your gifts and it will be a fun story to tell people when they see her hanging up on my wall :o)

There is one more person I would like to thank as well; although I don't know who I'm thanking. I had a certain Secret Santa send me a $20 gift certificate to Down Sunshine Lane around the same time. I just got around to making a purchase and I'm looking forward to getting my order. I wish I knew who you were so I could thank you in writing but I hope this will do...thank you :o)


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Big 1-0!

My boy hit the two digit mark on Sunday when he turned 10 months old! I can't believe how fast he's growing.

 photo TenMonthsOld.jpg

Couldn't you just kiss those cheeks? Not the greatest picture because it's been cloudy here lately and the light hasn't been very good. I had to tweak the picture a bit. Little man was good though and cooperated for Mommy :o)

This morning, Junior had another tooth pop out so we're at number seven. Eight shouldn't be too far behind. At least I hope not because he's been extra crabby lately but who can blame him. It's like we're living with a rodent though. He chews everything he can get his teeth on! The side of his crib looks like a beaver took to it >:o(

I suspect we'll have a walker on our hands pretty soon. Junior LOVES to be on his feet! At every opportunity, he'll grab hold of your fingers and walk around the house. That little behind of his is so cute. LOL!

Would you believe that he received his first Valentine's Day card???? From a 4-year-old no less! I'm going to be swinging the broom in order to get all the girls off my doorstep. Who could resist that handsome devil though? ;o)


Monday, January 28, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Yup, literally!

DH, Junior and I went down to Lunenburg on Saturday and I was all spiffed up; looking good with my new bob hairstyle and feeling great because the swelling had been keeping itself down for almost a week. There was hair coming out when I styled it that morning but not enough to panic over and the stuff remaining on my head was pretty solid.

Come Sunday, the dam let loose! I was noticing lots of hair here and there so I went to the bathroom tub to shake it out. One graze of my hand brought out a small handful of brown, and then another, and another. So much had come out that I looked like someone had stuck a hair piece on the top of my balding head! It just kept coming and coming so finally I just told DH to buzz it. It was time...

Okay, I 'thought' I was prepared for it but when I took one look at myself in the mirror after DH was finished, my heart just sank :o( The only way I can describe it is that I looked like an old sick woman. The top of my head still had about a half an inch of hair but the back and the sides where all patchy. Why couldn't I just go straight to the bald point? Would it make it any better? I don't know. Sigh!

Now I sport a hat around the house. I have yet to face the world... I look tired, sad and deflated. My self esteem has taken a HUGE beating, which will certainly affect my confidence. My little boy looks at me and laughs because he thinks Mommy is clowning around with things on her head. If he only knew the truth.

And it hurts. Yes, losing your hair like this does hurt and I'm not sure why. Have you even woken up from a good sleep and had your hair messed up the wrong way so that it's very tender to touch? That's exactly what it feels like, but all over. Well...where I have hair left that is ;o)

I haven't cried yet. I haven't really had much of a reaction at all and that worries me. I feel like someone has driven over me with a truck but that might be from all the walking I did on Saturday. But maybe not. I think this has taken quite a toll on me mentally. I just don't know how to react. I thought for sure I would cry but what I feel is more like numbness.

If you look at the positive side of things (and I believe you have to in order to make it through something like this), my showers will be A LOT faster! LOL! No more shampoo, conditioner, brushes, hair dryers, flat irons, hairspray, elastics, haircuts...I could go on :o) What a weird feeling.

I also get to wear hats and lots of them! So far I have about half a dozen. I'm trying to track down a pumpkin hat and something a little outrageous. Hell, I might as well have fun with this while I can! I have to have the ability to laugh at myself otherwise the seriousness of our situation would kill me.

We meet with the Oncologist on Wednesday and as long as my blood work comes back okay, I'll have my second chemo treatment on Thursday. I doubt I'll have any news for you. He wants me to have at least 2-3 treatments before they do another scan. We can only continue to hope that this all works. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me or have kept me in your thoughts. There's definitely enough of you so maybe the cancer will be scared away ;o)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finishes Seven & Eight For 2012

Continuing on with my finishes from last year, here are two more to share with you :o)

Finish seven is called Flower Motif Pin Kit by La-D-Da -

 photo FlowerMotifPin_zpsf5f3ce57.jpg

I received this kit in a grab bag that I ordered from Stitches N Things. It came with everything so that's what I used; 35 count linen and Dinky Dyes silk. I'm not crazy about it. If I remember correctly, I just wanted something quick to do. LOL! If anyone is interested in the pattern, I'll be more than happy to pass it along. Just let me know in your comment (please include a way to get a hold of you) and if there is more than one person that wants it, I'll put the names in a hat :o)

Finish eight is a favorite of mine and one I've had on my To Do List for y-e-a-r-s! It's by The Cricket Collection and it's called Shepherd Bunny -

 photo BunnyShepherd_zps0bf604c6.jpg

Now you understand why ;o) This little girl (at least I think she is) was stitched on 28 count Mint Green linen with the suggested threads. The camera really didn't take a great picture; the color of the fabric is a bit off.

Again, thank you for all your great comments! I'm only halfway through my 2012 Finishes list so there's more to come :o)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Finishes Five & Six For 2012

I've got a few moments while Junior is passed out in his crib. The kid is exhausted! From the sounds of it last night, I thought he was having a party in his room. Maybe he was... LOL!

I thought I should start posting pictures of my finishes from last year before 2014 rolled around ;o) I have lots to show you as it seems I was very bad at keeping up with my show & tell.

Finish five is called Quilt Patch Heart by Handblessings -


This was a freebie and I stitched it last February when I was in my Valentine's Day kick :o) Unfortunately it has not been made into a pillow as I was hoping but maybe someday soon. I changed the colors on this one but I can't remember to what. D'oh! I know I used DMC. HA!

Finish six is by The MonkeyWorks and it's called Be My Sweet Heart -


I used the colors that were called for and at first I thought they were horrible! That was until I found some fabric that was a perfect match. Again, my intentions were to sew this into a little pillow... I stitched this one on 36 count linen.

Sorry the pictures are so bad! We finally had some snow last night and it's overcast today. I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my stitching and I promise I'll be back soon with some more :o)


Monday, January 14, 2013

Goodbye My Locks

Sigh...this is going to be another hard post for me to write but I thought you should be aware what is going on around here at the Pumpkin Patch.

I know my last update was kind of positive even though I was quite tired. Unfortunately, the further we got into December, the worse things got :o( Yes, I did finish my Cycle 2 even though I was quite ill the very last day of my treatment. Yes, we did go back to NB for the Christmas holidays and it was great! It will be listed as one of the best Christmases in my books :o)

But on Boxing Day evening I found myself in the Saint John hospital getting another stint put in, this time on my left side. This was THE worst hospital experience I've ever had! DH and I only got to talk to the doctor before the surgery and we were told that the tube was inflamed and not blocked. Other than that, we have no idea what he saw when he put the stint in. I was discharged without consultation >:o( And my doctors here STILL don't have that report!

It seems that my cancer does not like me at the moment because it was not responding well with the first Chemo treatment like we had thought. Towards the middle of December it started attacking my lymphatic system, causing fluid to build up in my groin area and my right thigh. This makes things very uncomfortable and debilitating unless I stay off my feet but how easy is that with a nine month old????

Like that wasn't enough, around the same time I developed Inflammatory Breast Cancer :o( It started on my left breast and has spread across my chest even though Righty is just an implant. Apparently there is still 'some' breast tissue left on that side. I thought I had written about IBC on my Blog years ago but I cannot find the post. For me, it started innocently enough with a bruise-like appearance on the underside of my left breast but it quickly developed into a red rash. But the real telltale sign of IBC is when the skin turns to an orange peel appearance and feel. It's very tender and sore and unfortunately there is nothing they can do about it. My only hope is that the Chemo will work and the inflammation will go down with time.

Speaking of Chemo, since my first one didn't work I am now on a new one that I have to get by IV every three weeks. It only takes about a half an hour to administer and I can get it the same time I get my Pamidronate so there are no extra trips to the 'little city'. The only unfortunate part is that I will lose my hair :o( Sniff! I love my hair but I am preparing myself. I'm getting it cut shorter on Wednesday so hopefully when it does come out; it won't be as much of a shock. DH has already bought me three hats for my wardrobe :o)

Needless to say, my spirits have been quite low. I mean, how much more can one person take???? But I won't be beaten and I'm ready to fight again. If only this Chemo would work and take away some of the symptoms, I would be SO happy! I'm tired of the pain and the fact that it's taking even more time away from doing things with Junior. 

I hate the fact that my Blog has become such an unhappy place :o( I have considered closing it down but I love Blogging and I love keeping in touch with my Blogging friends. I'll keep it going for now. I'm doing a bit more stitching so if I can just get some time to take some pictures, maybe I can get this Blog back on track.  I want to thank everyone for sticking with me through this adventure :o)


Friday, January 11, 2013

We Begin With The Good :o)

Since I have both good news and bad news to tell you, I thought I had better start out with the good. Seems much better than way; to me anyway :o)

As you may have guessed, it's that time of month again! Yes, Junior is another month older and yesterday he turned NINE months old :o)


LOL! It didn't take much to get a good picture this time. He's really getting used to the camera.

Our little man is so full of his own personality now and he's such a happy guy. He's not walking yet but his legs continue to get stronger and steadier every day. He's definitely mastered his crawling though because it doesn't take him long to get from room to room, especially if I'm opening the freezer door. Yeah, I don't know why :oS

DH and I are still expanding his food pallet but for some reason, he cannot eat straight banana. Ask Grandma ;o) Junior has one awesome gag reflex. We figure it must be the texture because he'll eat banana if we disguise it. We're still trying to get him used to solid food like Cheerios or his biscuit cookies. But if he's left with them too long, the gag reflex kicks in and then DH and I are forced to be the cleanup crew. Ewwww! Thankfully my gag reflex has gotten better over the years. LOL!

The fact that he gags doesn't interfere with his chewing, that's for sure. DH keeps saying that out of all the pets we've had in the past, none of them chewed as much as Junior does! Skin, clothes, furniture, wood, they're all free game to him. He still only has six teeth but that's enough at this point. I'm almost to the point where I want to give him some rawhide to chew on ;o)

I can happily say that Junior has learned how to clap now. It was a problem for DH because Junior was behind the other children his age in what he could do. Yes, the man is a bit competitive ;o)


Sunday, January 06, 2013

Congratulations To...

The winner of the $100 gift certificate from Anita's Little Stitches goes to -

I hope you enjoy shopping Cath and have fun going through all that new stash. Don't forget to share a picture or two of what you bought ;o)

I want to thank everyone who left their name for the giveaway. Again, I wish I could send something out to each of you. Keep your eyes out for more fun in the future :o)