Tuesday, December 29, 2009
So sorry I got you excited for me~but at least I'm Half way through!!!
Thanks to you all for caring so much about me. You can never know how it feels to have people you've never met praying and thinking about you. I can feel your love every day, my friends.
My mom and I were just talking about how this whole cancer experience has turned into a spiritual event for the both of us. Everything has some significant meaning to it now, however small. Never take anything for granted.....live each day like it's your last......make today count....treat people like you would like to be treated......they're all true. Now, if everyone would just practice what I preach!!!
Have a great day and sorry about my confusing writing.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I’ve wanted one for years. And my brother-in-law has been saving wine bottles for me for years.
On the day of my last chemo I took a picture of the dead cedar tree that Mickey had finally drug home from the lake. The perfect tree. (Kind of like Charley Brown’s tree)
Notice the worm holes in the bark where it has laid up on the shore. He searched for the perfect tree for months before finally bringing this one home! So the day of chemo it was laying in the yard and I thought I would take some pics of it. I was sooo proud!
Mickey came home for lunch and wished me good luck at the treatment.
When I pulled in the driveway I immediately saw it. The bottle tree was “planted” and “growing” some beautiful cobalt blue bottles! Mickey had done this on his lunch hour for me!!! Of course I couldn’t even see it for the tears. How sweet is that? He knew how much I wanted it.
It may seem silly to you guys, but this is, and will always be the greatest gift I have ever or will ever get!!!
Ever since, he has been searching Pier One and numerous other stores in search of the perfect cobalt blue bottle. Found a few at Hobby Lobby too. Knowing how much he HATES to shop makes it even better!
Over the summer I was at a garage sale and the people had a whole box of the old Milk of Magnesia bottles. They told me I could have all the bottles for a nickle a piece!!! I think I got a dozen or so. And there is a Kosher water that comes in the most beautiful bottles!
That was the beginning of December. This was Christmas day…
A Coopers hawk has found my tree and stayed for hours sunning himself on his beautiful new perch.
I Love it. Not so sure about the neighbors. Paula said, “it’s so you, Sheri” I’ll take that as a good thing!!!
Have a great week.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
First I want to share with you the gifts I have received from the two swaps I entered. The first one was Deena’s Jingle for the cure. It came from my new friend Lea from Arkansas. Here was just inside the box. Mind you, this is supposed to be an ornament swap. Not to her!
She mailed me two handmade ornies~both beautiful.
Everyone's favorite, chocolate!
Some warm fuzzy socks. Two pair, so my little tootsies don’t get cold.
And my favorite. A shabby sheep she made from the last piece of an antique wool blanket she had been keeping in an antique trunk in the basement. Lea said she had been saving it for something, just didn’t know what! Until she saw that I was Shabby Sheep! then she says she knew! Isn’t that the sweetest sentiment? I have her on my mantle with all of my old Santa's. Thank you again, Lea. Like I said, they were all good tears!
Then Laura from Got Three Bags Wool, got my name in the Wool Snippets swap. She also totally went overboard with her giving!!!
First, this darling hooked pin. (I’ve always loved black sheep for some reason)
This great hooking/ditty bag.
Another pin, this one wooden! And adorable.
And the greatest for last! This BEAUTIFUL hooked angel mat! I cried when I opened her. It’s just so special. Ever since this cancer diagnosis, my mom and I have been collecting all things angelic. And this fits on the box on my coffee table like it was made to go there! Thank you so much, Laura.
We had a hooking~Christmas party at Dulcy’s house last night. I’ll show you the picks from that tomorrow! We had a great time, eating, drinking and hooking!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I think they look just like linen! These are cotton painters dropcloths. Measuring five feet by nine feet. I purchased each "panel" at Lowe's. About $10.00 each. Then I machine washed and dried them on hot and ironed the "valance". I did this by folding over 13 inches on all of the panels. (with the pretty hemmed side facing front). For the hem, I merely snipped a piece and tore it across!
Clip them onto your drapery rings and VOILA, LINEN DRAPERIES!!! OK some of you with linen draperies are saying I need to get my eyes checked, but I can still have my wallet checked too! I did the living room ~ 2 windows and dining room ~ 1 window, for $30.00!!! I think I'll still add one more to the dining room for fullness.
Been doing a few crafty things. I got out my Fimo clay. (Which my friends knowingly told me to take out of my garage sale stuff to sell) and whipped up some breast cancer jewelry. Ford has a new campaign with "WARRIOR" as the theme for the pink fight. I like it. Sounds tough. Then I made a necklace, the same clay minus the white highlighted letters that says F%@K CANCER! Blazing crude and vulgar~but I like it! You'll just have to use your imagination to see it!
And later this morning I'm going to load up all the scarves and hats and take them to the St. Johns Chub O'Reilly Cancer Center, here in Springfield, MO. The nurses have already told me they'll have to set up a new place to display and distribute them! I'll call them first and let them know I'm coming! That makes me so proud! Proud of YOU!!! Thank you. We have a very nice start!!! (Maybe I should go to work for PBS or somewhere like that!)
I'm also thinking of extending my challenge to Wanda Kerr's THE WELCOME MAT. I think you may need an invitation to join the group, but let me know and I'll gladly "get you in". It's a huge group of rug hookers and fiber artists from all over the world! You probably recognize Wanda's name from Rug Hooking Magazine and the great dyeing recipes she contributes each issue.
And in closing, here's a picture of the progress I'm making on my Antique Star rug.
I'm moving right along~between the nausea and extreme arm fatigue. So Glad I have something to escape to, though. I can't imagine just Sitting here staring at that black box you call a TV. It seems like such a waste of LIFE!
Have a great week!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Last Friday night at around 10:00 p.m. I was in my craft room watching some girl TV and my step-son stopped by to bring us some WalMart supplies. He came and left without me even knowing he was here. But Mickey came to my room with this huge box in his hands. He said Jason had found it on the front porch. (We always use the back door and the mailman had, of course already been here that day.) So it was great he had stopped by. Anyway.....I couldn't imagine what it could be. I sure didn't remember ordering anything! I opened the pretty wrapped package and immediately burst into tears! I couldn't even read the letter that was inside. I did though, read who it was from. One of my wool customers, who has become a great friend. And it was a BEAUTIFUL knitted blanket to take with me to my chemo appointments. I guess everyone but me knew it was cold in those places. Her name is Martie and she is on my blog list on the right as Taos Sunflower. She lives in New Mexico and just recently closed her yard and fiber shop. While it was open she and her customers made it a habit to knit squares, or blocks (as in quilt blocks) and stashed them around the shop. Then whenever anyone needed one she put them together. She knitted the blocks together. She said in her letter that she was sorry about the color, knowing I like pink. But take a look at this!!!! It looks as though they had made it to match my home exactly. Just look at how it matches my Sunflower rug. She also told me about her friend Vadan who had battled breast cancer for fourteen years and finally lost her battle just this year. She had knitted some of the blocks on my blanket! I just got goose bumps all over my body just typing those words. Her friend took her blanket to every treatment, just as I will do and she called it her "cosmic" blanket. Of course that's what I'm calling it to. I can honestly feel the love knitted into it when I drape it over my lap and shoulders. Thank you again, Martie.
Then yesterday another package arrived. I did recognize this address. It was from my great niece Zoie and her mother (my niece) Angie. Inside was my owl from the Build a Bear Workshop. Zoie had wanted to make me one since she found out I was sick. They are coming home for Christmas (from Indiana), but she thought they better mail it so I could take it with me to chemo too! I chose the owl from their website because it was a get well soon owl. Sooo cute. She bought me an extra outfit and a gift card for some accessories too. She is only eight years old and saved her own money to buy it for me. She recorded her own voice too. She says, "I love you, Aunt Sheri and I miss you sooo much." Again made me cry. But good cries! Oh, by the way I named her Zhootie, for Zoie and Hootie! And I bought her a black wig so we both could have wigs on. This is my new blonde one. Looks like my hair! Thank you Zoie and Ang!
Then today~NO~another package! This from Kim from Millies Mats. (Also on my side bar in fav blogs) She has knitted me a hat to keep my little head warm! She mailed it before I sent out my wishes for hats to donate so I get to keep this one! She really made it for me...not cheating, really! It is so soft. She made it from 100% cotton and it feels so good. I did get a picture, but not on my head. Mickey had already gone back from lunch so I didn't get a picture of it on my head, but it fits great and looks great, if I do say so myself! Thank you so much, Kim.
I've had such a beautiful response to my challenge for the hats and scarves for cancer patients. I really do feel like that's my calling. I don't know yet, Exactly what I'm supposed to do, but I'm sure I will get my clues in the right time.
I made some draperies out of painters cotton drop cloths too! I'll show you those tomorrow. Still tire out easily.
Thanks for everything again,
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Lots of you have been saying you'll do anything you can to help me~Betcha' didn't think I'd take you up on it did you?
Here's the dilemna.
Lots of women with breast cancer.
Almost all of us will lose our hair from the treatment.
Remember I told you about the blue wigs at the American Cancer Society? Well, their hats aren't much better.
I DO NOT WISH TO INSULT ANYONE, however who may have donated a hand made hat!!!! It's just that they're a little "old" looking!!! And cold looking! I'm guessing the ones in the picture are crocheted because of the holes!?!?! (You can tell what an accomplished knitter and crocheter I am!)
So my challenge is this.
Please knit or crochet a stylish hat or scarf for me to donate! You know with bright colorful cool new yarns and beads and baubles!
But then again, do keep in mind they will need to match coats and other women who's style isn't,let's say, as "eclectic" as mine!
I even saw a pattern on Etsy for a hat with wool yarn dreadlocks on the top!
Talk about cute!!! Here's where to buy the pattern! Her shop name is www.janicerosema.etsy.com. (in case the link doesn't work!) She has wonderful patterns and Great prices!!!
And there were absolutely NO scarves in the boxes! The nursing director told me that certain types of chemo make it unbearable to breath in the cold air!
And fingerless gloves? All the rage!
If it isn't asking too much, could you make up a scarf/hat whatever you feel comfortable making, and mail it to me to take to the breast cancer support group? The December meeting will be Monday December 21st. I sure could take them before AND after that date too though!
There are donation boxes where we get our chemo and in the ACS office right in the door of the Cancer Center.
I don't want to leave out the men either!!! I saw NO men's stuff!!! Their heads get cold too!!! So how about a man's hat or scarf?
And here are the scrub hats I saw before going into surgery. Remember I told you about Ruby, the lady who makes them in sports teams for all of surgery staff? Well she brought me a pattern to my house!!! So I could make some of these to donate to cancer patients too. I liked these 'cause I'm always so hot and they are lightweight cotton. However.....I decided to try one out of fleece. More my style! What do you think?
so funny, but soooo me!
Come on girls......
I know you can do it!
And I guarantee you will feel better after you do!
Peace and love,
please email me and I'll give you my mailing address!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I hope I can help all of us find some humor in dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment! Now this might be funny.....IF it didn't happen to you!!!
Last Monday morning was the first day of chemotherapy for me and three other people at St. John's Cancer Center. We each had to sit in a recliner right in front of the nurses' station, so they could watch us. (Like maybe we were going to run away!?!?) I was the first one to really get going with the meds. Everything was going fine until THEY sat down. I knew from looking at these two they were going to be trouble! You know the loud, pushy, we're the only ones here, type? I immediately asked my nurse to close the partition curtain between us. Didn't care if they thought I was rude! But of course they didn't even notice because THEY were the only ones there! LOL So It's going on 11:00. (I started at 9:00) My nurse is the greatest little thing~carefully explaining and letting me journal each word and medicine she is giving me. She literally spelled each one for me so I could get it right in my book/journal/thing. Then I heard it. "What do you want for lunch? How 'bout Quiznos!!! OOOHHHH YES~Grilled Pastrami with EXTRA ONIONS!"
Holy Crap. Monica had just told me that the drug I was now receiving was the one that, if it was going to....would be the one to make me sick at my stomach!
A short 15 minutes later here came the f)*^3#@&* ONION SANDWICH!!! Oh My God. And I had been soooo proud of myself for being so tough.
I could feel myself actually turn green. I screamed for the nurse to get me a mask!!!! Help! There's no oxygen in here! Only onion air! They practically ran at me with the mask and I had to cover up my nose and mouth with my hand too! Then the lady two more chairs down said, "OOOHHH Your lunch smells good!" Of course, me......being the mild mannered lady I am blurted out NOT IF YOU'RE GETTING CHEMO, IT DOESN'T! Still they didn't get it!!! The eating lady, as I will call her from now on, asked her friend what I said. So again, little angel Sheri snapped the curtain back and said PLEASE, after you eat that onion sandwich, take all the wrappers and trash completely outside this room. Maybe outside the building! Her friend whispered, "it's making her sick!"
(Now remember this lady is a little behind my schedule with the meds....tee hee hee) Oh.... they are s l o w l y starting her D R I P now. tee hee hee.
My BFF in the universe!!!
Please make your appearance be known now!
(I am laying back now, just resting. With my hand still covering my nose, but feeling Much better) The whole department is whirling with nurses! Eating lady is sick~Get her some 7-up and crackers! The poor man whose wife thinks lunch smells good is sick~crackers ASAP. And Sprite, not 7-up. He doesn't really like 7-up!
How does it go again? What goes around comes around? I LOVE LIFE!!!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Those are the words I heard on Monday October the 12th at 12:05 p.m. I had felt a lump in my right breast two weekends before and had been to my MD to check it out. He sent me to the Breast Cancer Center at St. Johns Hospital for a diagnostic mammogram. The same day they did an ultrasound and that doctor told me she wouldn't believe it if the results came back negative. What? Me? No one in my family has ever had breast cancer. In fact nobody that I know of has had Any kind of cancer, except for my sister with melanoma.
Then on that Monday my doctor called and gave me the news. I really already knew what he was going to say, from the ultrasound doctor. But I didn't really expect to hear this news ON THE PHONE! I had left a message with the nurse earlier in the day saying that my husband and I would come over to discuss the results. My doctor told me he had never had to do that before! That's because it Shouldn't be done on the phone!!!
From there he scheduled me an appointment with an oncologist. Dr. Raju, a woman. I liked the fact that she was a woman. She actually has breasts. (Not that men don't. But you know what I mean.) Mickey, and my mom and dad went to this appointment. The nurse seated us all in a tiny examination room. Again... I expected to meet with her in her office, with her sitting behind her desk and explaining everything to us. NOT....
She put my chart up on her laptop and began reading the test results. She said, "You have advanced ductal carcinoma and it's bad". Then she just looked at the floor and shook her head. I can't count the times she did this. Talk about freaking you out!?!?! Hadn't I felt anything before now? Why didn't I know about this sooner? How could this be at least a stage three cancer and me not know it? I thought I was the one who was supposed to be asking the questions. She did an exam and then immediately called the surgeon, who is just a few buildings down. He was in surgery at the time, but agreed to meet us in 15 minutes. Can you believe what I was thinking by this time? I talked my parents into going home before we went to meet with him. They looked so pale and fragile. I assured them we would call the minute we left.
This guy was all of 30 years old~if that... I like that too. I think young doctors are so much more informed than the older ones. Sorry, doctors. But anyway he said the same thing. This cancer is bad and at least a stage three. He said I must first do chemo and then he would see me in the spring for surgery. A mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time. This new procedure is called a something flap. It involves taking fat from your lower abdomen and making a breast out of it. I thought he was kidding when he said you get a tummy tuck too. He scheduled a CT and PET scan to see if the cancer had spread to my bones or other organs. Those tests were on Thursday the 22nd also at the hospital.
And on Friday the 23rd I met the surgeon again. This time in the "holding cell" awaiting the surgery to put the chemo port in.
My life has been in S L O W motion since all of this happened. It honestly feels like the diagnosis was a month ago. I have to keep looking at the calendar to have it all make sense. Actually it was only 16 days from diagnosis to putting the port in.
Tomorrow Mickey and I go to "chemo class" at 4:00 and they will schedule the first treatment then. It's not really a class as I would have assumed, it's a one on one with us and a nurse. Explaining what to expect, etc.
In just these few short days I have bought two wigs. One blond, the other red. And yesterday evening I had my hair cut short. Razor cut at the nape of my neck and then coming down longer to my chin in the front. Again....it's like slow motion, but has happened so quickly.
I started keeping a journal on that Monday. And I am seriously thinking about writing a book and maybe titling it, "You have breast cancer. Take two aspirin and don't call me, I'll call you." Do you know that I didn't receive as much as a pamphlet at the oncologists office and I have had Several times where the doctors offices haven't even returned my phone calls! It is absurd. I thought that maybe I could write a sort of instructional manual for breast cancer.
So that's what I've been doing and why you haven't heard from me in so long.
And THANK YOU to all of my friends and family who have sent cards, flowers and well wishes my way. I'm astonished to know the number of people all over the country who are praying for me and my family. Again Thank You.
I'll write again soon.
Say a little prayer please. And please go get your mammograms.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
It was quite a wreck when we rented it. The back wall was brick but painted yellow. The floor is concrete, but painted hunter green and sponge painted with white blobs. So we went to work.
We hung burlap on the back walls and white fabric on the sides (to cover the dusty chicken wire!) Then painted the floor a clean white and I stamped these fleur-de-lis on it! Yesterday I filled it up with HALLOWEEN decorations and dress-up supplies!
The painted floor
Hung some shutters
And Voila! Yesterday at about 2:30!
Wish us luck. We chose the STD flea market that's close to the MSU campus~ Hopefully the kids will find some costumes for Halloween!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
OK, I admit it. I’ve been suckered into the Halloween hype. Brought on by the brilliant advertising marketers. Isn’t the Halloween stuff in the stores adorable? Of course it is. They KNOW that we can’t possibly pass on something adorable! At the end of the season last year I even bought a black Halloween tree~Looks suspiciously like a Christmas tree….but it’s black. (Although I did see some black, pink and lime green Christmas trees at Hobby Lobby yesterday) I even saw black and orange tree ornaments for Christmas trees!?!?! YUK.
Here’s what I’ve done so far as far as crafting goes. I will post all of this on my Etsy shop after it’s all finished. www.shabbysheepwool.etsy.com This started about Wednesday. No dinners this week~needless to say!
Then it progressed to this~
I switched gears for a while and painted some ornies for the tree. These were the clear glass balls you squirt paint into and swirl around. It’s harder than it looks! I like them OK. Not in love though.
When I was leaving Hobby Lobby yesterday, I happened to look down the aisle where the fake fruit is. I saw these little oranges and they looked like pumpkins to me! After a little imagination and paint, that is. They are now Jack-O-Lanterns! And at half price. Those of you who know me know I NEVER buy anything full price! But I’ll buy it on sale whether I need it or not. I hot glued some raffia on top for hangers.
I got the paper mache’ things finished this evening. The tall glittery things with witch’s pictures are candles in glass jars!
Enough about me. I have got to share with you this picture of THE UGLIEST SOFA AND LOVESEAT I have ever seen! This is for sale at a flea market/antique store by me. I asked the owner if I could go home and get my camera to take the pic. He laughed and said sure. (He thinks it will sell since we’re just down the street from Bass Pro Shops and it’s almost deer season) I sure feel sorry if the guy who gets this is married. Another man saw me taking the picture and said, “I guess it would look good in a hunting cabin”. I think he thought I was taking the picture ‘cause I liked it! I quickly told him otherwise and he seemed relieved!
Have a great rest of the weekend. And think twice before marrying a deer hunter! The tag says this was custom made!