Thursday, November 7, 2013


The past few weeks have definitely been the worst so far.  I can safely say that I am feeling very close to "human" again.  To be brutally honest, there were many days where I felt that I couldn't take anymore.  In August I was told by one of the residents at the Odette Cancer Centre (Sunnybrook) that I was terminal.  At that point I chose to start taking pain killers, Oxicodin to be exact and so I found myself in a drugged stupor for a good portion of September.  My primary Oncologist, Dr. Osborne, then suggested that I go for radiation treatment to help the pain.  He made arrangements for me to see the head Radiologist, Dr. Ackerman.  After being examined and set up for the radiation tatoos, she told me that the cancer could very possibly be lymphoma which, not only is curable but is usually eradicated by radiation.  Virtually a new lease on life!  I immediately stopped taking the Oxicodin (I hate pills!) and soon began the radiation treatments - 10 treatments over 10 days.  When they tell you there are no side effects, remember, "they" don't get side effects, you do!  I found myself in excrutiating pain, nauseous all the time and extremely weak.  I was tired all the time and was bed-ridden for most of the last 6 weeks. In addition, I developed a bladder infection.  For the first time since I was originally diagnosed in February 2011, I felt defeated!  However, the worst appears to be over and I am beginning to feel almost normal again.  I am still having a few stomach issues but after being flat on my back for weeks, this is nothing!!!  My "get up and go" is beginning to come back and I can actually sit in front of the computer and even get some cleaning and other important things done.....Glad to be back in the fight!

To bring everyone up to date - before I fell prey to the side effects of this illness, I had one of the best and truly productive days at Studio C with all the wonderful ladies from the Etobicoke Quilters Guild at the Neilson Park Creative Centre.  I managed to get quite a bit done on one of my flannel projects with the help of Sylvia who was kind enough to be my "pressing princess" as well as helping me do a fair bit of "unstitching".  Thank you ladies for a lovely day.  I hope to take advantage of Studio C in the near future, now that I am feeling quite a bit better.

Since the last time I blogged (September 23rd) I have managed to complete, although I'm not sure how, 10 of my Farmer's Wife Blocks.  Most were done before I fell ill and then in the last few days I have finally gotten back to them.  I have 76 of 111 blocks done which is more than two-thirds of the blocks.  Only 35 blocks to go!  Here are the blocks I've completed......
 Block #103 - Whirlwind - 21 pieces
Block #90 - Single Wedding Ring - 29 pieces 
Block #91 - Strawberry Basket - 28 pieces 
 Block #87 - Star Gardener - 57 pieces

After these 4 blocks were completed I began working on Row #7 which consists of 13 blocks.  I have been working on these blocks with an alternating method.  I choose them in groups of 5.  I choose my fabrics for the 5 blocks and them mark and cut and stitch. One group is chosen in order as they appear in the rows that I am working on and then the next group is chosen in numerical order and stored in my Farmer's Wife binder.  I'm finding this method is really working for me.  I also have been marking and cutting sashing strips in between each set of 5 blocks and have now completed the 252 sashing strips required for the Queen Size quilt.

 Block #61 - Northern Light - 12 pieces
 Block #60 - Noon & Light - 28 pieces
 Block #59 - Night & Day - 24 pieces
 Block #58 - Mother's Dream - 17 pieces

There are only 4 blocks in the above group and there is a perfectly good explanation for that.  I made a mistake!  I actually needed one of the 5 blocks to complete Row 6 and I didn't want to wait until I got to this group to complete the row.  They are now stored in my binder.
 Block #65 - Peaceful Hours - 37 pieces
Block #20 - Storm Signal - 20 pieces

The last two blocks will go to completing Row #7 and once I complete the 5 blocks in this group, Row #7 will be completed along with some of the stored blocks in my binder. Once I complete Row #7 I will have 8 more rows to complete, 2 more rows of 13 blocks, 1 of 11 blocks, 1 of 9 blocks, 1 of 7 blocks, 1 of 5 blocks, 1 of 3 blocks and the last row of 1 block.
I'm glad I chose to begin assembling the quilt as I was stitching the blocks, this seems to be going faster.  It is encouraging to see the quilt top coming together and since I am stitching the whole quilt top by hand it is nice to work on different parts of the project as I go.

Hopefully I will also get back to doing some machine work as well.  I really do miss that but unfortunately I have not really been able to get back to it since my wonderful day at Studio C.  As a matter of fact, I haven't even unpacked my machine since that day.

The house is a complete disaster!  Although Jonathan tries (not extremely hard), he does work very hard and very long hours.  Now that I'm feeling better, I am slowly tackling one room at a time.  So far - the bathroom is done!!!!  I have started on the kitchen but it's no where near done....slow and steady wins the race!  Off to get stuff done......

Have a great day everyone!



  1. Joanne

    So glad to hear you are feeling better. Oh my - I am trying to work on Farm'ers Wife as well. Have 40 blocks done - another 40 cut out and ready to sew and another 31 to cut . aCK - those blocks are a lot of work!!!!! Good luck

    1. By hand or by machine? I'm really enjoying it but would still like to get back to my step at a time!

  2. sending you prayers and strength...your positive attitude and ability to accomplish stuff is amazing...
    shannon olden