Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A schedule - finally!

I'm just back from one pre-surgery appointment. Nothing extraordinary, just a quick physical, bloodwork, and instructions. The day before surgery, I have to have some dye injected so the Dr. knows which lymph nodes to sample. Apparently, I'll have blue skin for a while afterward. I also have my pre-surgery appointment with the plastic surgeon the day before. Both appointments are in the same building. It's too bad those two appointments are 5 hours apart. I'll have to figure out something to do, because I don't think I'll want to drive home in between.

Then came the bad news - I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. Yes, AM, as in morning, before sunrise, no coffee allowed! I am not an early riser. This will not be pretty. I refuse to not shower either, because I won't be able to shower until my stitches come out 7-10 days later. That's the part I'm dreading the most - not being able to shower. Yeah, I could take a bath, but our bathroom is FREEZING in the winter! Not fun to take a bath in January. I also won't be able to lift my arms over my head for a while, so I'll have go to the salon to get my hair washed.

After my Dr's appointment, I went to the music store and got myself a new music stand. It's my "performance" stand, to take to my LMS gigs. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a case. I'll have to see if it fits into one of my many tote bags. I'm excited about it though. It's so pretty!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Desperate Measures

It's 5pm on Christmas Eve. I'm finishing up my final knitting project/gift - a pair of felted mittens for my dad. I am loving this pattern, and I've used 75% stash yarn for all my gifts this year! I have about one inch on top and the thumb to go the last mitten, and I've run out of yarn! It was yarn from my stash, there isn't any, and even if the yarn shop was open, it's very doubtful they would have this lot number in stock (I bought it last year). What do I do??
The only solution? Rob Peter to pay Paul:

The thumb is done with a separate piece of yarn, so I carefully undid the thumb of mitten #1, and started knitting with that yarn. I'm very careful to only pull out as much as I need, so I don't undo the entire thumb. I finished the top of mitten #2, and picked up stitches for the thumb. I knit up so there are an equal number of rows on each thumb, then change to another color to finish each thumb. They look OK. I threw them in the washing machine, and 14 minutes later - nice warm, thick mittens for dad! I've got them speed drying on the boot dryer!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm getting there

Things are coming along with my handmade gifts. I got 2 pairs of mittens felted this morning (felted = intentionally shrunk so they're thick and warm, for you non-knitters). Now the house smells like wet sheep. I finished Karl's Christmas socks yesterday, then started the third pair of mittens. I didn't get very far on those, but there's still time. Today I'll start and hopefully finish a knitted coffee-cup sleeve, then go to town on those last mittens.

I'm on day 6 of a 7-day work marathon (2 different jobs), and I'm looking forward to tomorrow: it's a fun job, and I'll have a day off after it's done. I found my backbone and said "No" to working an extra day at the store and "No" to playing at the Xmas Eve church service (mostly because she called 6 days before she needed me - um, yeah, I might need time to learn the music?).

What's left to do before Christmas? Wrap gifts, bake cookies and bread, get a christmas tree (hopefully happening today while I'm at work) then decorate that tree, and probably a bunch more. THEN, I can relax, and it will be "Happy Birthday to Me"

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is too good not to post:

This morning when I went to wake up Katrina, she was laying in bed listening to her iPod. She told me that just before she woke up, she had a cool dream - she was at an actual Beatles concert, and that she could really hear the music in her dream. And when she woke up, she had her iPod on, and the music was on!

I'm a brave woman

I forgot about the girl scout meeting when I said I'd work my flower job today. Not good. But instead of canceling scouts, I'm forging ahead - straight from work to the meeting.
Of course I'm Mrs Last-Minute, planning and shopping last night for supplies. Of course, Hobby Lobby didn't have everything I needed for the cute Christmas craft I'd planned, so I had to change on the fly, and use one of the project sheets they had at the store. It involves glass ornaments, glitter, and funnels.
Wish me luck and get the wine chilling - I'm going to need both!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

White Stuff

I have always loved winter. Snowy days just make it OK to snuggle on the couch under a blanket all day.
But today, it's just making me nervous. Blizzard warning until 6pm, scattered power outages, and we have our City Band Christmas Concert at 4pm. The Opera House is literally one mile from the house, no big deal for me, and most of the other band members. But, my mom lives 45 minutes away (in good weather) out in the country. For her sake, I hope the concert is postponed. It would be fine if we weren't playing "Hallelujah Chorus" with each trumpet playing a different part. As hard as I try, I cannot play two different parts simultaneously.
So, for now, I'm snuggling on the couch, watching a movie, and working on another christmas mitten.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Wow. I had a great time last night with Ladies Must Swing. (yes, I know they need to update the bios and photos - email the webmistress) Despite playing for 3 hours, my lip held out, but my feet did not. I worked an 8 hour day at Giggles, then had to put on some heels and stand for 3 hours - how come only the trumpets have to stand? Because we're the best looking - that's why!
I started playing with the Ladies about a year and a half ago, as a substitute. Then, last summer, they asked me to be a permanent member. We have such a good time, and my playing has definitely improved because of them. I look forward to each and every gig.
I didn't get home until midnight (gasp!), and Katrina even let me sleep in this morning. I thank her for that. Those mornings are few and far between.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I had a lovely surprise yesterday morning, right after I got to work. The surgeon's office called: they had a cancellation and"could I make it in that afternoon?" Well, yeah! Much better to miss work on Wednesday than the Friday before Victorian Holiday Weekend! The downside? I hadn't shaved my pits.
It was a good appointment, the doctor is great, he went through the different options, told me what would be best for my situation, and reassured me that waiting until after Christmas won't be a problem.
So now, I just have to wait for the nurse/coordinator to call to let me know what's available for surgery dates, and get my pre-op appointments scheduled.

ETA: Woo-Hoo! The nurse called already this morning, and my surgery is scheduled for Jan 18.
Damn! I'm still going to have to do inventory at work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A better fit

Today I finally got around to putting my summer clothes away, and getting the rest of my winter things out. I always sort through as I'm putting away: did I wear this at all, can I get rid of this? Some things I put in the "give to St. Vinnies" pile just because I'm tired of looking at them. But I kept a lot more around than I had planned because I think they might just fit me better next summer.
I really appreciate that Karl does laundry, but he does tend to shrink everything ("they don't dry fast enough on low heat."). So I do end up with a fair number of things that fit when I got them, but not quite so well at the end of the season, like my favorite T-shirts. I'm looking forward to what will fit next summer.
An extra bonus of today's chore was that I found one of my favorite T-shirts that I though I had lost two years ago! It's a shirt I got for volunteering at a bike race, a race that was the national championship in the 24 hour solo endurance category. I had to drag my butt out of bed at 4am for my shift, but I got to record the time of the National Champion! That was a pretty cool weekend, and I'm so happy my shirt reappeared. And next summer, when people are staring at my chest, I know it won't be because of the size of my boobs. It will be the funky Tiki god on my shirt.
Yes, I've decided to go much smaller.

Friday, November 26, 2010

One or two?

Wow, this is definitely not going to be an easy decision. Not something I want to take lightly.
One side, or two? There are pros and cons either way. It's not often I have to make a choice like this - one so life altering. This is going to be tough.
I'll look the same either way, so why would it matter? The Dr mentioned that the risk of cancer developing on the other side is about twice that of any woman developing breast cancer. Do I want to completely eliminate that risk? The quick answer is yes, but I also need to think about the recovery from the surgery - how much harder will it be? I'm leaning toward taking both "girls" off. I guess I have a bunch of reading to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Well, I finally got the full scoop today. And, I got written copies of my pathology and MRI. And, if you ask me, it was pretty good news. Yes, I'm going to have surgery. The right side has to go. The other side? Well, that's kind of up to me. Either way, both sides will end up matching, and I get to choose my size! Those of you who know me, you know I'm a "busty" gal. It's tempting to just get rid of them both (the girls and I have never really been best of friends anyway). That would eliminate the risk of any cancer developing on the other side. But that isn't required.
The remainder of my good news is that I don't need any radiation or chemo. When I have my surgery, they'll take a couple of lymph nodes for biopsy - just to be sure it hasn't spread. Only if they find something on that would I need any chemo. That was my biggest concern - I just finally got my hair long enough for pigtails (after 2 years of growing!). But, on the downside of that - there goes my excuse to knit a plethora of super soft hats, and my weight-loss plan! I guess I'll have to stick to counting calories and exercising.
So, we celebrated the good news by shipping Katrina off to Nana & Papa's house - OK that was already planned: no school tomorrow and we both have to work. Then Karl and I went out for a nice Mexican feast, and came home to an exciting evening of folding laundry. (I know, we lead such an exciting life!)
So, hopefully my surgery will be after Christmas so I don't leave my co-workers in a jam during our busiest season, I can continue planning our 20th wedding anniversary trip in May, and I'll be able to fit into some t-shirts that Karl shrunk in the wash! I'm a happy girl

Monday, November 22, 2010

One more day!

Whew! Keeping busy to pass the time sure is hard work. Friday turned out busy - huge delivery at work AND a sale at the store. I didn't sit down all day. Saturday was the same - still working through the new merchandise while assisting customers. Sunday was a fun day - went to a morning showing of the new Harry Potter movie (IMAX!), then went out to lunch. Started a new knitting project, then had to rip it out because I made a huge mistake. Rehearsal for Thanksgiving Eve service took an hour and a half for 3 songs! (That is going to be a LONG service, I am not looking forward to it.)
Today was back to the routine, with an extra bonus trip to the vet for the cats' rabies shots. The crazy weather has me all mixed up - Woke up to thunder and lightning today. It cleared up, and right now it's 65 degrees with a tornado watch. Tomorrow, a bit of a change - high of 30.
I did manage to avoid doing the laundry, perhaps I should start it though - Katrina will need clothes to wear the rest of the week even if there isn't school.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some news!

Finally, I got some news.
A nice message was on the machine when I got home from work tonight.
My genetic test results are in (3 days short of the 2 week wait) and it showed no genetic mutations. Whew! I don't have to contact all 18 of my cousins to advise them to get tested. I'm supposed to call my genetic counselor tomorrow (she's grew up in Joliet - small world!).

Work was boring again - I got about 5 inches done on a knitted gift. Karl made yummy Toad-in-the-Hole for dinner. Now it's time to practice the music I got last night for the Thanksgiving Eve church service. Nothing like waiting until the last minute Mrs. Choir Director!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I am still in waiting mode. Ugh! So frustrating!
I hate not knowing what's going to be happening in 2 weeks. I am one of those "plan ahead and be organized" kind of people. Normally, I'd have our Thanksgiving plans nailed down - where we're going, what I'm bringing, when do I need to bake... Nope, not this year.
Am I going to be able to play with the Ladies on Dec 4? City Band on Dec 12? Everything is still up in the air.
I do know that I have an appointment on Tuesday at 1:00.
I do know that I'll be having surgery in the near future.
I do know that there's no way I'll get all my Christmas knitting done unless I get the yarn ordered soon.
Yeah, I am still planning my Christmas knitting.
You get cancer. But life goes on. Christmas will still come. We'll still get a tree. I'll still want cardamom coffee cake on Christmas morning. Oh crap, it's my birthday too. I'll still get older. At least I'll have an excuse to spend my birthday with my family - who actually will acknowledge that it is my birthday (and I won't have to bring my own birthday cake).

Thankfully, the next 7 days will be busy ones, hopefully that will make the week go faster.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not really a plea

I'm sharing my yarn wish list. Link
It's really not a hint. The website holds a contest. Those who share their list have a chance to win the entire list. Of course, if you really feel the need, I won't stop you from buying me yarn. But I'm definitely not asking you to.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


No not my sickness, but Katrina's. She stayed home from school today with a fever and headache. So much for my bike ride (and vacuuming, but I'm not too upset about that). So, I played nurse all day. At least I get to go to work tomorrow, and if she's still sick, Karl will stay home with her.

Monday, November 8, 2010

An answer!

Yet another thing I like about the University Health System - they bumped me up to the top of the list for reading my MRI!
Three spots on the right side, nothing on the left, lymph nodes are not involved. Right side will have to come off - but I'm OK with that.
We still have to wait for the genetic test results, but I do have a "consultation" appointment scheduled.

A normal Monday

To quote a childhood favorite "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

The temps are going up into the 60's for the next few days. I have no excuse not to ride my bike, even if it's just to the grocery store (but, hopefully more than that). If it means the dishes or vacuuming won't get done, so be it. This freakishly warm November day is calling me.

It's pretty much a normal, boring Monday: schlep the cello to the bus stop for Katrina, clean the house, waste time on the computer, scoop the litter box... Man, I lead a boring life.

The excitement of yesterday (fondue, rehearsal, knitting) was capped off with a batch of brownies that I didn't even get to taste until this morning. I was so busy knitting all afternoon, I forgot about my rehearsal! Luckily, I remembered just about the time I normally leave. Eating a bowl of chili just before bed is not recommended so, no dinner last night (I was still full from lunch anyway).

I did a little research about my cancer this morning. The person who did my genetic counseling was able to tell us what kind of cancer it is, at least. So, it was a starting point. I'm full of general knowledge, and I'll be able to understand why the Dr is recommending the course of treatment, when we get to that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ahh, Sunday

It sunday morning. Always a quiet morning, until Karl says "Aren't you going to make us some scones?" Well, dear, since you didn't buy any half-and-half, the answer would be no. Is it a bad thing that my family expects made-from-scratch scones every sunday? Is it bad that they complain if they're not cinnamon? Have I spoiled them?
Damn! Now I'm craving them too.

Frozen cinnamon rolls will just have to suffice for this week. I feel so dirty.

On the knitting front, I finished Karl's Chicago Bears hat ("Aren't you going to felt a "C" on the side?" - I've created a monster!). I started a secret project to match his hat, and a cool Gryffindor beret for myself (major startitis!). I bought the softest yarn while I was in New York (merino and cashmere!!) I'm seriously considering making underpants with it. But it's so pretty, I'd be showing them to everyone.

For a birthday present for her, I signed myself and my mom up for a cooking class at All Through the House today. It's a fondue class. Mostly We're just there to eat, but maybe we'll get inspired. I'm thinking an all-fondue Thanksgiving...

Then tonight I have rehearsal with Ladies Must Swing . I love playing with them, and I hope I can continue through my treatment (whatever it may be).

Rolls are done!! Happy rest of the weekend to everyone, and don't forget to change all your clocks!

Friday, November 5, 2010

So it was my first MRI.
I don't like to complain. But honestly, I would have nodded off if it wasn't so EAR-SPLITTINGLY LOUD!!! I'm still not hearing well out of my left ear. The techs were great, super nice, but they must not have a ton of IV experience. She hit it the first time, but didn't have her cap ready, and the tape was on the wrong side of the table. It stayed in, so no big deal. Taking it out, however - she didn't hold it off at all, (I think they were rushing to get to the next patient), so now I have a giant hematoma. It's like there's a nightcrawler on the back of my hand, and it hurts like the devil!
I think I was more vigilant with the cats - but I can now empathize with all those kitties.

Oh, and results take a week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And... Still waiting

My cancer genetics appointment yesterday was filled with information. Unfortunately, after an hour of getting all that information, it can easily be summarized: "If we do this test and get X result, it will guide treatment in Y direction. If we do this test and get B result, it will guide treatment in C direction. Do you want to do the test?"
Well, duh, yes I want to do the test.
Results generally take 10-14 days.

After a quick blood draw, we were out the door and on the way to Penzey's for some pantry staples.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The waiting game

Eleven days ago I got the phone call nobody wants. "You have breast cancer."
Not what you want to hear while you're at work, wrapping some child's birthday present. But, that's how it happened, and I can't change it.

Today was to be my MRI to see how involved the cancer is. But, apparently some tech nerd couldn't figure out how to fix the software glitch, so now I have to wait until friday. Tomorrow is my "genetic counseling" appointment. I'm a little nervous about it, I don't really want to hear "Your daughter is at high risk to develop cancer later." Do what you want to me, Mr Cancer, but leave Katrina out of it.

I started a new knitting project today while I was waiting to hear when I could reshhedule. Knitting is a major stress reliever for me. Much better than eating an entire box of Nilla Wafers. So, Karl will be the first recipient of my stress knitting. I should probably finish the two projects that are already half-done, but I do have a touch of knitting ADD.