April 15, 2013
to the least painful known side effect of chemo, chemo curls!!!
April 12, 2013
I Dare You
Okay, this is how much I love knitting. I dare any of you to one-up me, she says, making a sweeping, pointing gesture of defiance that includes the whole of the knitting universe.
Hied myself off to Orthopedics this morning and allowed one Dr. Morris to first jab a long, pointy needle (and, not, I repeat, not of the knitting kind) containing Lidocaine straight into the ball of my thumb. This was followed immediately by the jabbing of another even longer and pointier needle containing cortisone straight into the place where the thumb pain is—even before the Lidocaine had done its work.
Doc said casually as he slapped a pretty meager-looking Band-Aid on, "Meh, it’ll be slightly uncomfortable for the next couple of days."
I am now eyeing my bottle of Vicodin. "Uncomfortable," my sweet Aunt Fanny, Dr. Morris.
And the capper? That was only one thumb. You do the math. What we won’t do for knitting, eh, kindred spirits?
(Then, for another reason entirely which isn’t germane to this story, I had an appointment with a male physician’s assistant. His name was Leslie, so we had a man named Leslie and woman named Ryan in the same room. I was sure we were going to generate some kind of weird space-time warp just by dint of our existence and proximity.)
(I know Leslie is a common-ish man’s name in England. Just not so much here. Here, it's most likely to get you pantsed.)
March 26, 2013
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
I always knew there would be a lot side effects to the cancer and radiation and the almost-equally-as-horrendous medications you take after but…taking away my knitting? How much does that suck?
Tamoxifen—the medication that whooshes out all the cancer-causing estrogen from one’s body, and which I will be on for years—and my hands don’t play well together. Within the taking of two doses, one thumb wouldn’t straighten out without a “snapping” of the main tendon and a considerable amount of pain, the kind of pain that makes you stare at the offending digit with a frownie face. By the next day, the other thumb had followed suit. And then a pinky. And then the carpal tunnel that had been lurking flared up. Sooooo many frownie faces.
The oncologist, who is kind but could never be accused of sugarcoating anything, laid it out: Tamoxifen is the only medication I can take right now, and I have a potentially aggressive form of cancer so…it’s Tamoxifen or hand pain. In other words, cancer or knitting. I repeat, how much does that suck?
But I haven’t given up yet, as the hours I still spend on Ravelry will testify to. And I almost bought a ball of yarn the other day. Plus, I’ll be talking to my general practitioner to see if she has any advice. In the meantime, knitting friends have been supplying me with knotted-up balls of yarn to untangle which is keeping the worst of the cold turkey away. And when they run out, the cats said they will volunteer their services to make more tangled yarn. No surprise there.
February 18, 2013
The Disappearing Cat Trick
(1) I'm collecting boxes to take some things to Goodwill. I've piled the empty boxes up in my bedroom.
(2) I haven't seen Joon in a few hours. Hmmmmmm. Where could she possibly be, do you suppose?
February 15, 2013
It’s fuzzy, salt-and-pepper and growing molasses-slow, but it’s coming back. Although, truth be told, I’d gotten quite used to looking as if I were the love child of a mad scientist and an orangutan. Hell, I’ve been all over this city as bald as a coot. And if anyone noticed, trust me, cancer makes it easy to win staring contests.
The weird thing is, although you can’t tell in these photos, the “pepper” part—solid black. I haven’t had a strand of black hair in my entire life.
In between treatments, which are ongoing, and emergency trips to the hospital, which have also been ongoing (frustratingly), knitting has been happening but at such a rapid rate that things have flown out of the house before I remember to take a photo: Bright green, Blue Moon Socks That Rock socks for the sister; an infinity scarf for the niece; a men’s chemo cap for the infusion center... Here is one thing that is hanging around, though, because I knit it for moi—a French market shopping bag, here, looking unattractively like a limp, used condom…
…and, here, in its more natural state, doing what it was born to do. (This bag is strong! I raided my pantry for this photo and there are some heavy-ass cans in there.)
I was compelled to knit this because:
• Seattle outlawed plastic shopping bags last year
• I have yet to remember to bring reusable bags into any store, anywhere, and I thought maybe if I surrounded myself with bags, I would remember to pick one up on my way out the door.
• Cute reusable bags that used to be sold in the store for .99 cents are now, thanks to the law of supply and demand, $3 or $4
I have noticed, however, that supermarket checkers Do Not Like This Bag. If I bring a mass-produced bag and this one up to the counter, they will stuff the mass-produced bag until it's begging for mercy, and put anything that doesn't fit straight back into the cart, sans bag. Today I had to gently encourage the checker, almost as if he were a frightened kitten, to use the knitted bag. He put in...some napkins.
• Pattern: Knitted String Groceries Bag
• Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton in the color Snap Pea (which I lerv)
• Pattern uses knitted handles but I went crazy-wild with creativity and used clear acrylic instead. Makes for a more comfortable handle, plus the original handles added unnecessarily to the “sag factor.”
Next up: Find a job, my fourth in two years, if I’m doing the math right.