Search This Blog

Loading...

Followers

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A second trip thru the wringer

This week I've had my most "favorite thing" of all time -- Surgery!  One of the metastatic malignancies I'm carting around ate thru 75% of my femur (that great big bone between hip & knee, for those who are anatomy-challenged).  It was at severe risk of fracturing, so now I have a titanium rod inside it to prevent that rather messy & certainly painful possibility.  I asked the doctor if he could find an adamantium rod instead, then had to explain what that was.  Now I'm thoroughly equipped:  I've a wheeled walker, an extended reach doohickey, a tub seat, and an extra tall toilet seat.  But hey! I can actually bear some weight on my leg now!  Unfortunately, our tiny crackerbox home is very difficult to maneuver through with the walker.  And it still has a lot of repair work that needs doing -- only how?  I suppose we could rent another place for a few weeks or months. 
I was not able to get much knitting done in hospital, as I had an IV in my hand that hurt.  But I've been working on the 2nd sleeve for the Gramps cardi, even putting in lifelines ( as Dog is my witness, I'm not starting over a fourth time!).  When the sleeves are done, it'll be time to work the raglan decreases of the yoke, and make the buttonband & collar.  Not much left!  I'm eager to see it done.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Good news (sort of?), bad news

I've met with my oncologist, and started treatment for the cancer that has spread to my bones.  He tells me there is no cure, but with treatment I will likely survive for many more years.  I'm not sure whether or not I've dodged a bullet, but I am somewhat relieved.  The survival span he's given would take me past 3 score and 10, which is really all any of us might have anyway.  BUT .. I am still in a lot of pain, taking some heavy duty pain meds.  For someone with a strong family history of substance abuse, who's managed to avoid that trap for her entire life, this is so very depressing.  Earlier this month, at a visit with an orthopedic physician, he advised me to take the meds more often.  So for two days I took it at the shortest prescribed interval, around the clock.  Then I woke up with a "travelling" itch -- you know, where it's over on the right arm then the left knee then at the back of the neck, etc. -- and I thought I might be having a reaction.  This was about 2 am, so I quietly got up & ducked into the bath to check for a rash or hives.  Nada -- no obvious source of an itch.  I'm standing in our tiny bathroom, staring into a mirror & thinking.  I remember seeing police dramas, where some junkie is being interviewed, and the junkie's always scratching...and I had to lay my head down on the towel bar and have a bit of cry.  So now, I don't take the narcotic pain med around the clock -- I have a prescription NSAID, which I use once every day, giving me a six-hour narcotic free period daily.  And I haven't been "jonesing" for the narcotic.  I just have to keep in mind that an addiction to my pain med probably isn't a primary problem, and if the treatments I'm getting work as planned I should be in a lot less pain eventually. 
Today I met with another ortho doctor, for the tendonitis in my elbow.  He took some Xrays, and saw where that elbow had an old fracture -- and there's some arthritis around it as well.  These and my work (computer mostly) have added up to the tendonitis.  I have a sling, to add to the soft collar (for the cervical fracture) and thoraco-lumbar support (thoracic fracture).  I'm sure I look like a total wreck, or that I've been in one.  After the office visit, we went over to the Krispy Kreme for donuts.  We ate inside, where the tables are tiny and have only two chairs.  Of course, we number three.  So I asked a gent sitting alone if I could have his other chair, and he jumped up and moved it to our table for me.  The perks of looking like a wreck, I guess. 
I thank any & all who've been checking in here, I'm sure your good thoughts for me are doing me some good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The calm before the storm

Last Friday I submitted to a CT-guided biopsy of one bony mass on my hip.  Dog, that was one unpleasant experience. For starters, I had no pre-op instruction such as "Do not eat!", so I ate a cup of yogurt at 5 a.m.  The procedure was scheduled for 8 a.m., and I had to arrive at 6 a.m. for all the paperwork processing, and to allow the radiologist to view the CD of my earlier CT & MRI scans.  Hey, I had a greatest hits CD!!  Folks who know me, know I cope with humor -- even very bad humor.  As soon as my breakfast became known, the service was postponed to 11 a.m.  I was confined to a very uncomfortable gurney from about 7 to 11.  The only bright spot was finding Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (we're Luddites, and haven't got cable at home), very cheering altho rather bloody.  The rest of the Plaid Patrol was present, but took turns running down to the cafeteria for breakfast.  Some 36 years ago, I herniated a lumbar disc, and have not been able to lay on my stomach since then.  So, when I finally rolled into the CT procedure room, I was appalled to learn that I'd have to be on my tummy for the whole thing.  And the CT table is very hard.  They kept promising me some good drugs, otherwise I think I would have made a run for it.  So, I'm on my tum, with an extra cushion under said tum, and the gown opened in back, and the nurse tells me the table is defective in that it won't slide back under the CT scanner unless I can pull my arms off the edge to a "Superman" pose -- does she know I've got a broken C-7 vertebra?  Much groaning followed.  Well, the whole thing took about 40 minutes, and the drugs were good; I dozed a bit near the end.  I  had no pain from the needle aspiration biopsy itself, but every core collected involved a loud crunch -- let's try not to think about that too much.  This Friday, I'll discuss the results with my Alpha Team Leader (oncologist), and we'll make some plan.  Enough of this topic.
Yesterday I found a "fatal error" in the second sleeve of the Gramps Cardi, so it's been frogged & restarted.  I looked at a lot of my knitting books & magazines yesterday; I still have so much to knit and possibly even less time to do so.  I surely wish I could get Disco interested in knitting, I hate to think my rather large knitting library and collection of yarn will go to some stranger.  Maybe I should consider destashing? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unsettling, to say the least

I've been just about managing to keep working while suffering a severely pinched nerve in my neck.  My primary care physician diagnosed it (without diagnostic imaging) as a slipped disc, gave me 9 days worth of Prednisone and some muscle relaxant med to help me sleep.  When the Prednisone was a week gone, I had to call her again, wanting a referral to a chiropracter or orthopedist.  She sent me to a physical therapist.  I took PT 3 times a week for 2 weeks, then 2 times a week for 2 weeks, and wasn't really getting any relief.  The last scheduled session was cancelled by me, as I felt too much pain to allow me to do the exercises suggested.  I went home early from work that Thursday, and didn't go to work at all on the Friday after.  I was really just laying in the bed & moaning.  Saturday evening the Plaidman went to the hardware store & made a few more stops.  While he was out, I got up to answer Nature's call, took about 3 steps and heard (and FELT!!!) a huge snapping/cracking sound from my back & hip.  I was immediately immobile; Disco had to bring me a cane and take my arm to get me the last two steps to the bath (very small house).  I dithered, but eventually the pain won out and when Plaidman got home we headed to the ER in Robertson Co.  The upshot is, I've got two pathological fractures, in my cervical spine (the so-called slipped disc) and in my thoracic spine.
Other findings point to masses in my chest wall, spinal column, and hip.  The very worst of bad pennies seems to have shown up again.  I don't think I've talked much about my history of cancer, and I really don't want to now, but if you don't hear from me for a while just know that I am fighting and praying to save my life. 
Let's change the subject before I dissolve in tears.  AHEM! I've been working on the tiny Gramps Cardigan, and have one sleeve done up to the point where it'll be attached to the body.  I've started the other sleeve too!  Still tickled to pieces at this darling sweater.  I did a mini-project in cotton yarn, which should work as intended but which doesn't really deserve any more attention here.  Still working on the party purses ala CAP for the nieces, even though I still have not heard one word about the Bunny Hop being received.  Gah, all I want is one picture of the kid in it, for pete's sake.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Twice in one week

Gotta be a record for me posting, lately.  The Plaidman has his marching orders, to get in touch with some structural repair companies & have them give us estimates on the floor joist repair.  We'll just hold our breath until that's done...or maybe NOT.  But summer is now officially upon us here, and this is the time to get home repairs done  with minimal weather delays.  I don't know if anyone's interested in the process, but I think I'll be documenting it all -- just to show what I survived (if that actually is the outcome; otherwise, it'll show just where the final straw was laid on my back!).  To that end, I want to create another page here.  That would be the fourth page, although there are currently only two: I've promised DiscoDame her own page on my blog, to showcase her jewelry & stitchmarkers.  I'll need to take some more pictures!  She's really been busy since she took a class in jewelry making.  I gave her some strands & other bits that I don't wear much anymore, and she's cannabilizing them for other jewelry.  She's hoping to be able to sell some items; we'll have to set her up a PayPal account & figure out how (& how far!) she'll ship her goods.  So, I'll probably be back here this weekend to get all that set up. 
And I hope to have a Finished Object to show -- a lace scarf that I finished on Saturday.  I still need to wash & block it, but I'll get before & after pics.  Honestly, right now it looks like someone spilled Easter egg dye all over a huge vat of Ramen noodles. 
In other knitting, I finally swatched with the Knitter's Pride Trendz acrylic needles, for the Gramps Cardi.  Guess what?  I got soooo close to the stockinette gauge!  I'm so glad I forked over the $ for the Trendz interchangeable set.  I've already ordered more of the DK yarn from Knit Picks (and it's already been shipped!  yippee!), so I'll make the next larger size with the Trendz, getting a gauge just a smidgen smaller than the pattern calls for.  I'm sure I'll have to swap back & forth between the yarn I got earlier and the new yarn, as KPicks was actually completely out of the Tahitian Pearl colorway -- sure to be different dye lots.  Of course, I always order enough from KPicks to get the free shipping, so there are 6 skeins of the Coastal colorway coming along as well.  Plus some lace weight...for which there is no excuse. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ouch

Well, just disregard that stuff about moving.  We looked at the lengths we'd have to go to to get the tiny house paid off (like gutting my 401K!!), and the possible adverse effect that would have on our assets in general...and decided we'll try for a home equity loan instead.  This will be a longish process, as we first have to get some estimates for the work that must be done, and some for the work that we'd like to get done, and figure out if we can do more than the absolutely necessary.  And as we were discussing this last week, we had another problem arise.  I was sound asleep, 10:30 p.m. Friday, when something struck me on my head.  I woke up screaming and flailing, thinking I was being attacked, until I finally got the lamp on.  The ceiling had fallen on me!  Disco & the Plaidman ran into the bedroom as I was looking up at the very large hole in the ceiling.  It had rained about two days before, and apparenly the flashing on the front edge of the roof came down, allowing water to accumulate overhead.  The top of the bed was wet & covered in plaster.  We scrambled around to get some plastic draped over all, and put some pans under to catch the water still falling.  Of course, The Plaidman & I had to go to a motel for the rest of the night.  Fortunatley, the eggcarton mattress pad kept the mattress itself dry.  It's taken him a couple of days to figure it out, but Plaidman has put a tarp over the roof where the flashing's gone, and even applied some tarp to our ceiling, until we can get a repairman out.  Last night I got to sleep in my own bed again; Disco was thrilled, since I've been bunking in her bed while she slept on the floor.  Her cat was totally confused, "Why is MyMom on the floor?  Why is OtherMom in the bed?".  And oh by the way, I was unharmed, which is the reason The Plaidman is alive today. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't blink

Or you might miss this very quick post.  I'm still (!!!) working on the Cat's Paw scarf, and it's already going to be about 7' long after blocking.  I haven't returned to swatching the Gramps cardi yet, as I'd really like to turn the scarf into a(n?) FO.  And I'm deep into summer reading.  Got at least two, often three, novels I'm reading at any given time.  I really need to switch to listening to books so I can knit at the same time.
Hint hint to The Plaidman:  CeltChick would like some player to which I can download books from the library!  An Anniversary approaches, ya know.  Actually, what I'd really like is to find a decent condo (1,000 sq ft) in our modest price range, and move out of the crackerbox (about 750 sq ft).  Yep, we need to pull up stakes and roll on down the road.  So, darling spouse, please work on finding our new home.