On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Four-footed friends

There's been a black dog sleeping at the foot of the bed where I am resting.  She is welcome that way, a reminder that I am not alone.  There are a couple other black dogs somewhere in the house - probably keeping Steve company while he makes spaghetti in the kitchen and one on the living room sofa, isolated from the others.  "Does not play well with others," would be the logo on her tee-shirt.

I've been knitting most of the afternoon.  An entire afternoon only produced one inch of product, but that's because I'm new (again) and haven't knitted for years and years.  But I remember the basic stitches and that's most of what knitting is, basic stitches.  I'd like to make about a dozen afghans like the one that I've been wearing all winter and that was made for me.  If I truly were successful I'd give them anonymously to the girls in Juvenile Hall next Christmas and that would please them.  If I'm not successful I'd make fewer - one for Oldest Daughter, for example, who who also be pleased.

Brix emptied a can of grated parmesan cheese this afternoon, but Steve said it was only the remnants of the last can; he has another one for tonight's dinner.  When I walked into the family room Brix was licking happily and being protective of the green lid.  The container was empty and he didn't fight me when I grabbed it from the floor.

What I was really afraid of was medication.  We have an inordinate amount of medication around the house these days and more seems to be coming in almost daily.  Yesterday, while we were in Santa Rosa, we replenished the liquid morphine supply and that's what concerned me most - a black labrador sucking up the last of the morphine - which would be followed by another trip to the animal hospital.  But I counted all the containers and found everything so it was just the grated cheese this time.  We have to watch carefully, especially carefully nowadays.

The last strip of tape fell off my belly and I feel totally gutted.  I have a scar that's never going to disappear.  This was my first surgery - three in one day, actually - and my bikini days are forever over.  It's a long jagged line, right down the center of my belly.  In the hospital all the staff commented about about how clean it was - no droplets of blood anywhere with a shiny line of stapled sutures to keep everything in place.  Now, with no tape to protect it, I feel vulnerable, as though anything could tumble within the next hour in spite of what they say.

Steve walked the dogs this afternoon, but I didn't have the gumption to do that.  I'd been up and about, but actually dressing and putting my best foot outside seemed like more than I could manage.  Tomorrow I have plans of a different sort and so I'll try again.  I can take Demi with me, she always seems to know that she was trained to keep me company, something I really need to know.  So, tomorrow.....


  1. Sharon6:42 PM

    Hi Barb,

    Remember that conversation we had about revising the definition of normal on a daily, or sometimes hourly basis. Be patient with yourself - it's not just the surgeries that have zapped your energy, anesthesia plays havoc with energy and concentration. I've heard it said that it can take up to a year to recover just from the anesthesia. Hang in there, my friend, a lot of people are rooting for you.

  2. I concur with Sharon about the anesthesia. It even changed my husband's taste in foods and he really hasn't enjoyed "his" spaghetti which he ate almost every week since I've known him! So what is the pattern you are knitting? I would love to share a chunky yarn project with a granddaughter wjo has knit a few scarves.

    It's good you recognized you needed to rest rather than push it. Even if you have some bad days you seem to be moving forward mostly. Good idea for the girls at juvie. Nothing stops my crafty momentum more than not having a real reason to make something. Now you can knit up a storm!


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