Monday, October 23, 2006

What a weekend ------

Swap goodies from my pink and brown swap. This was organized by my friend MaryAnn and I got these over the weekend. There are stickers, taffy, paper, and several other goodies. Thanks Kim for the gifts.

On Saturday we had our local craft/art show in the town park. Mom came and we spent part of the morning visiting vendors and friends there. No big purchases on my part. I bought a wonderful poetry book with silhouette illustrations throughout. I also bought a wonderful, unhealthy, fattening form of breakfast --- a dutch oven cooked peach cobbler from the boy scout troop --- you know I had to support those kids. Many times I go to these fairs and they are full of cheap and quick crafts. The quality of the offerings this year was a dramatic improvement over years past. There were jewlery vendors, metal works, quilts, photography, and plenty of wonderful foods. The day was gorgeous and mother and I walked all over town checking out yard sales. Lots of fun.

After that I came home and worked on baby Maggie's quilt. It's finished. Now I have to overcome the fear of washing it and then get it wrapped for April's shower. I have this fear of it coming apart when I wash and dry it. Can't explain that either. There will be more quilts to come and the handquilting part is what I discovered that I love. So there will be more of that too. The next one is planned for baby Charley. Not as traditional - I hope my planned design works.

The pieced side.

The back.

Confessions of a fabric junkie. I have tons of fabric. On Sunday morning, I decided to work on Abby's stocking finishing. I have planned to use a green velvet dress that I wore to an event in high school. I had washed this dress and packed it up into a box of fabric. So the search was on. I emptied totes and boxes of fabric. I dug through this stuff and searched. I created what Molly called a "God awful mess" and found the dress in the last box I looked in. Then I had to put is all back. Took most of the early morning. Found some great things I had forgotten about. Now I need to figure out how to easily make a lined stocking. Then mark that off my list.

Sunday afternoon I was alone in my house. This does not happen that often. I watched a Lifetime movie about breast cancer. You all know that I fought that fight. My fight was not physically that difficult. I had surgery - no chemo - no radiation - and only inconvenient follow up. I cannot count the number of mamogram images, sonogram images, and needle aspirations, I have endured. While I am grateful that my journey was effortless compared to many, the emotional effects of the cancer words are long ranging. There is still so much suppressed fear in me. I no longer feel that so much for myself, but what if I passed this on to my children?

I found my lump through a self exam in the shower on a Sunday morning in September. I had surgery very shortly afterwards. Then you wait. And wait. And wait. The pain of the surgery was minimal - I took only tylenol. The mental pain of the wait was horrific. Seems to me that some how the medical community could find a way to shorten that wait. The medical community doesn't equip you for your husband's reaction. The medical community doesn't equip you to handle a three year old who suddenly can't be held by mommy. The medical community doesn't hold your hand during the sleepless night before the next followup mamogram. (I held my own hand through so many follow up visits.) The medical community doesn't tell you that everything changes the second you are a survivor. Many of you may read a need for pity into those statements - not so. I now know I can handle many things, mentally and physically. The man I live with has offered on recent visits to go with me. Too late. When I really needed him there was in the early times and I have had to readjust my thinking about so many things since then. I know there is fear on the spouse's part, the children's part. Everyone needs to talk about where they are in the fight. I just wish people had not been so afraid of my tears, that it had been alright to cry over the loss of my security.

The movie I watched yesterday touched on those things. When a friend was disgnosed last fall, I told her husband that no matter what she said, she needed him in the picture, close by. He has been her "knight in shining armour" to use her phrase. He has stood in the fight beside her as a partner at times, in front of her as a protector at times, and behind her as an encourager at times. Many times, a cancer patient has no idea what they need so asking is of no use. Sometimes it takes to much effort to come up with an answer, so often the answer is nothing, when they really need everything. If you haven't been through it, you may not realise that it is a family disease affecting everything.

Me - today - strong - advocating for young women to take control of their health - vocal about the unspoken needs of cancer patients - about the needs of their families. Me today - still afraid it may come back - afraid for my girls that I may have passed this genetic structure on to them - afraid that I may never have a sense of security about anything again. Me today - thankful for those who supported me through the battle - thankful that they are still around - thankful for the advances in medical care and diagnosis - thankful for those that made it okay to cry out of fear or frustration. Me today - the one thing I never wanted to be - A SURVIVOR.

Have a beautful day.

1 comment:

Vallen said...

Strength and bravery and kindness and a loving quality are also traits that can be passed on to daughters. I bet they get all of those and more from their mom. The other thing - let's hope it's eradicated by the time they are old enough to think about it.