Wednesday, July 24, 2013


For some reason I thought I had posted a blog after the 12th.  Of course I could have been dilerious and come to think of it I would have had to be! It appears I blogged on the Friday after my chemo (day 2 post chemo) and that would be about the time I went comatose for close to a week.  The side effects are, to say the least, not pleasant.  I have been up and down for the past week as well, dizziness, tired, just trying to make the best of each day.  Whatever I accomplish is a huge accomplishment.  At this point in between treatments I can set minor goals for myself and try to get them done.  Some days it's fun, some days I bite off a little more than I can chew, but whatever I manage to accomplish I consider a bonus.

My oldest and dearest friend, Mucie (my sister from another mother) came by yesterday bearing bagels and cream cheese for lunch and enough energy to do two sink loads of dishes for me.  I was having an extremely dizzy day so that really helped me out.  I was then able to roast a chicken and make two banana breads!  I also managed to clean the bathtub and put down the non-skid strips Gillian kindly dropped off for me on Sunday while I was sleeping.  (Linda - did you finish the office reorganization yet?)
Mucie hamming it up for the camera in my kitchen

I have also managed to get some hand quilting done.  I continue to work on my Farmer's Wife because so far (luckily) the neuropathy is only affecting my feet.  Since chemo and despite my side effects I have managed to get 4 more blocks done - here they are....

 Block 43 - Garden Path
 Block 51 - Hovering Birds
 Block 37 - Flower Pot
Block 40 - Friendship Block

I managed to get a little done at a time and before I knew it I had 4 blocks done.  I also managed to add on another row to my "rapidly" growing quilt.  I don't have a picture as I haven't set up my "design wall" yet (the bed). 

I am really hoping to get some machine piecing done in the near future (before my next treatment, July 31).  I'm not sure which project I'm going to tackle so I'm holding back setting any goals here but there is still a load of paper work that has to be done and on the "good" days (hoping I have one tomorrow), I need to be concentrating on that.  I'm still busy going through boxes, etc.  Today I managed to sort out a large bag of plastic containers.  I know, sounds kind of dumb, but I always ask myself why I should keep the bottoms that have no tops and the tops that have no bottoms.  So I set out to remedy the situation, matched them all up and threw out the ones that are orphans.  Believe it or not, for me, this was a big job.  I have no storage space in the kitchen so this freed up a big piece of the floor!  I still have to find a place to store this stuff....

Slowly but surely I will get this place organized, one plastic container at a time if need be!

I got dressed today!  Again, a bid deal!  Rich came by to install a "grab" bar in the bathtub for me.  I can now safely take a shower without worrying about slipping and falling.  I decided to make a big deal out of it and actually get dressed!  It feels good and I think that, even if I have no plans to go anywhere or receive guests I should probably do it anyway....although some days I really just don't feel like it!  I do believe that it inspires and motivates....

That's about all the news I have to report for now since you all already know about the "Royal Baby"!!! 

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, July 12, 2013

DAYS 9 & 10 - New beginnings!

Day 9 - Wednesday - was Chemo Day!  Liz picked me up at 8 a.m. and off we went to the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook!   We took the scenic route along Eglinton and got there around 9:15.  First stop, bloodwork - that was a breeze!  My veins do not usually comply but when you have experts working on you - there are no worries....  Then off to see Dr. O (Dr. Ray Osborne), the absolute greatest oncologist (gyny-oncologist) ever.....I adore this man!  Really, but he is so good that he is always running late so that took awhile - got out around 11:45.  Checked in at the chemo desk and then we went off to have some lunch at Druxie's downstairs with the pager on hand in case I got called for chemo.

Halfway through chemo they paged us so off we went, only to find out that they wanted my height and weight!  Seriously!?!?!  You have to understand I have been there 7 times since March with a previous attempt at chemo on 2 occasions which ended in a Code Blue the second time because I had an allergic reaction to the CarboPlatin (the first chemo they tried).  What exactly could have changed - did I shrink - not likely!  So I made my usual comments and she weighed me only to find out I had not gained or lost an ounce! Rocket science!  So again, the waiting game!  At about 1:30 they finally called me in to start chemo - this time it's the heavy duty one - Taxil!  This takes about 3 hours normally but they were a little wary because of my previous allergic reaction so they slowed it down a bit and with this chemo there are also pre-meds to fight off infection, steroids, and benedryl (my restless leg syndrome - oh yeah!) by the time we left it was 6:30 p.m. I told Liz that the cleaners would be taking out the IV and I was not far off, there were only two nurses left and they both had their purses on their shoulders as they were removing the IV..... We closed the Odette, literally last to leave!  It was a very long day.

What did we get done you ask!?!?!

Liz got 3/4's of the binding done on her wedding quilt for her nephew's wedding on Saturday.  I got some binding done and managed to cut out 4 of my Farmer's Wife blocks. The restless leg syndrome really does a number on me so I was kind of doing the dance for a while until it got bearable....but still I did make some progress!  Unfortunately I haven't done anything since!

Liz and I decided we deserved a treat so off we went to the Swiss Chocolatier at Bayview and York Mills only to find they were closed.  Baskin & Robbins is right next door so I had a double scoop of Chocolate Mint Chip on a sugar cone (they've changed their sugar cones - not as good as they used to be) It was heavenly.....then home!

I had a pretty rough evening, running to the washroom a few times but all in all it went pretty good!

Yesterday - Day 10 - was a breeze!  I played computer games all day - wasted day but still I was able to enjoy my day and then in the evening while watching TV I did a bit of sorting and organizing in the living room.  Got rid of two unsightly boxes that had been there since we moved in (January 2012).  I also managed to sort through one of the bags from the store because I made that little space available.  The day after chemo (from memory of the previous chemo two years ago) was always a good one!  Because of the steroids there is no pain so I can usually get quite a bit done.

Today is the day the side effects should begin to kick in!  Joint and muscle pain, constipation, no feelings in feet and hands and I should start to lose my hair in about two weeks.  If things go according to plan I will be "comatose" until Monday and then life should start getting back to normal except for the neuropathy (sp.) (tingling and no feelings in hands and feet) and the hair loss.

You may not hear from me for a few days so have a great weekend everyone and I'll be back soon!!!!!


P.S. All comments are welcome!  I'd love to hear what everyone is up to too!  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Oops! DAY 5, 6, 7 and 8!

You got me - I missed a few days.....Day 5 (Saturday), relatively the same as the ones that came before.  I had a surprise visitor in the evening, Liz dropped by with my favorite Iced Coffee and we hung out on the patio for a bit, then she was kind enough to take me with her to Metro where we both did a bit of shopping.  It was my first outing and to be honest, knocked me out.

Day 6 (Sunday) I took this picture so you can see what I'm up against - the monster behind the door......
Believe it or not, I'd already dealt with 3 boxes before I took the picture.  This is going to be a long, tedious process but it really has to be done.  I'm going to arrange for a locker to store all the boxes, etc. once I've got them sorted and under control.  My desk is now filled with papers that have to be dealt with, ugh!  I am slowly doing just that.

Day 7 (Monday) - I was really getting a start on all the paperwork along with deciding what to prepare for my trip to Sunnybrook on Wednesday for chemo.....when, well I'm sure most of you know exactly what happened, the lights went out.  They came back on briefly for about 20 minutes but then BLACK!!!!  I did play a little on the laptop because I had shut it down to save the battery power.  Poor Jonathan was working yesterday and today.  He came home around 8:00 P.M. to change clothes, he was soaked to the bone and then had to go out on a call almost immediately.  Today he's been taking each call while two wait in line - it's been crazy!  Most of the cars had been submerged so they weren't actually battery calls.....

I made it my business, once the power came back on to get back to the paperwork as well as prepare for tomorrow.  You would think I was going on a 4 day retreat.....I have every kind of hand work possible.

First - the binding....

Second - my Farmer's Wife - the ready row!

Third - more Farmer's Wife blocks - to sew, to cut.....there are 5 in the package and one still on my table in the bedroom.
Fourth and last - my 9 Patch Exchange project - the applique, machine button hole stitched.  I need to bring the threads to the back and finish them off.....
The colouring is really off on this - it is really gorgeous!  Of course it has to do with the makeshift "design wall" (white sheet on bed) and the lighting in the room!  I really, really miss the design wall......

So, I have loads to choose from and hopefully will get a little of everything done.  We'll see.  As long as I pack all the right stuff - I should be fine.

Okay, I'm expecting a friend momentarily so I gotta go!

Have a great day everyone!


Friday, July 5, 2013

DAY 4 - Finally some work done.....

So the quasi-office is all set up and ready to go.......
....and work has begun!  Started on the first box this evening.  Of course I haven't been able to hook up the internet yet and the printer won't work, but that's more work for another day.  I have to figure out how to fool the computer into doing what I want it to do.....should be fun!  In the meantime I have a lot to do paper wise before I worry about the other stuff.

I also got 5 loads of laundry done - ugh!  I know there's more but for now I am ignoring it!
Maybe I will do some more next week (Monday or Tuesday)!  

I used to quilt but I can't seem to get back to that right now.  The machines are still set up and my Farmer's Wife is accessible but the seem to be under all the other stuff I have to do.....I need to start thinking about what I will take with me on Wednesday for chemo day!  I think I have a quilt I can throw a binding on so that will give me something to do.  

I may run over to the library and see if I can find a decent book to read as well.  Need to keep's a really long day.  Luckily I have a fabulous support network and Liz will be coming with me (After the last time I learned, I can't go alone).

That's it for me tonight - I'm actually planning on going to bed - oh wait, I have to make the bed first!!!!  (bedding got washed too!)

Have a great day everyone!


Day 3 - Little by Little.....

Had to take one of my "knock out" pills last night to bypass the pain so today was what I would call a dozy day.....

Got the desk cleared off, got everything I wanted on the "old" computer downloaded onto the key and that's about all.  I did go through a load of papers and get rid of a lot of junk so at least that's done.

I am still thinking about doing some more but it would probably serve me better to head for bed and do it tomorrow.  I'm finding it very weird not to need to go anywhere or do anything (well that's not completely true - I do have a lot to do) but you know what I mean - not be on a set schedule.....

The one thing and really the most important thing I need to get done tomorrow is laundry! Even if I wanted to go somewhere I have nothing to wear!!!!  So that has become a priority.

Taking it slow and steady - one day at a time.  I guess that's the way it has to be, but, I really want to get a shot at those boxes - there's about 20 in my living room (warehouse) right now and I really have to get them sorted.  I am going to break down and get a storage locker early next week so some of this stuff can be moved out of here.  Just keep what I need to do what I have to do.  At the moment it's a bit overwhelming but hopefully that will change once I get it moving....

I do dream about the day when my only project on the agenda has to do with quilting!!!!

Have a great day everyone!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 2 - Where do I begin?

So, the clean-up begins!  I need to make room on the desk to transfer all the files from the old computer (seen behind the laptop) to the one of the other two computers brought from the store.  This is definitely taking way too long for my liking but unfortunately I am again held back by my physical limitations.  Today was one of my more painful days, mostly abdominal, and when I am like that - sleep is the only remedy.  So I managed to sleep quite a bit today but now I am wide awake (still some pain) so I have begun.....
The laptop, which gets internet, sits in front of the PC
which is older than dirt but still works.
The important info will be transferred to a newer
version of dirt.....

There were two more stacks of papers off to the side which I dealt with earlier today.  So far that is about all I have done.  Once it's all cleared and the printer has been moved I can get down to the "nitty gritty" of copying all the info.

I thought I would bring you up to date on the Farmer's Wife.  This was the last photo taken on the design wall at the store the night before the doors were locked!  I have to say I am extremely pleased to have this back - 16 blocks......done.....
This is the right hand top of the Farmer's Wife
Almost lost in the store "lockout"!

I think I may have given up making this quilt if I had lost all those blocks!  I now have more than half of the 111 blocks done - 57 to be precise!  Here are the latest completed and they are for the next row over.....

 Block #63 - Ozark Maple Leaf
 Block #39 - Friendship
Block #102 - Whirlpool

The next row is already together and I will add it to the 16 blocks and then figure out how to take a photo or where to take a photo.....

So off I go to do some more organizing!  Wait until you see what my little "warehouse" really looks like - Jonathan is truly not impressed, but in all honesty, it's true payback for the mess that I lived in because of him for many years.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DAY 1 - A.C. (after Cock A Doodle!)

Today is officially Day 1!  I figure since I would have been off on Sunday and then Monday for the holiday today is really Day 1 - right!

Am I sad - a little, but I know that this was the right thing for me to do.  I really have to get my health on the first priority list or Cock A Doodle will not be the only thing that closes.  Having done pretty much nothing except sleep since Saturday night I can safely say that the last two weeks has taken a toll on me.

(Took a bit of a break just now - went out for a quick coffee with Liz)

The great part of the "big sleep" is that I can actually walk with very little pain and no cane.  It appears I needed rest and after two weeks of constant movement and not feeling up to par - this is great!  I was actually able to go out with Liz for a quick coffee tonight and really enjoyed the novelty of it.  I don't remember the last time I was able to do that - a late evening trip to the coffee shop.

I have done a little work on my Farmer's Wife over the last couple of days which I will figure out how to photograph (I do miss that amazing design wall!).  The house currently looks like a warehouse "Cock A Doodle Quilts West".  I have enough thread to supply about 3,000 quilters and still not use it all!  There are baskets of it!  Of course, there are boxes filled with masses of paperwork which as of tomorrow I really have to get at!!!!  Gotta get the books in order finally and put all that behind me.  Not sure how long that will take but I have a week until I'm back in chemo and will be under the schedule of "how I feel" day to day.

I am looking forward to the time when that is all behind me - the chemo as well as the paperwork because I really have to unpack all the projects and get them sorted and into priority order so I can get some quilting done.  I will certainly be trying to get some quilting done each day as well.

Today I managed to complete a good portion of my kitchen - Gillian made me take quite a lot of stuff I had no intention of taking so I had to find places for everything.  I did manage to snag and fit in one of those great white cupboards I had in the kitchen at the store thanks to Cathie and Daniel (and Jonathan) and Gail helped too......

Okay - I'm off to have a quick snack before bed and then back to the prone position.

Have a great day everyone!