Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting Back in Gear

I have not posted because I have not been very "cheery". You know me! I like to be cheery. I just had my 3 month check up though and my CT scan and blood work say I am CANCER FREE!! Yay!! YIPPEE SKIPPEE!!! THAT is a reason to celebrate for sure.

Now a little whining...... I have been (and still am to some extent) dealing with a damaged intercostal nerve which has delayed my happy dance. It has been 5 months and I am still not pain free and am told there is no guarantee that the pain will ever be completely gone. I have had nerve blocks, radio frequency ablation several times, Lidocaine patches (which help) and tons of pills, many of which do no good. The ones I am on now slow down my brain and cause my wires to cross. I call them my "stupid" pills. Aaaarrrgh!! During one of the treatments my lung collapsed and they sent me off to the hospital in an ambulance, complete with sirens. So embarrassing. They put a chest tube in which was in for 4 days and did not inflate my lung so I spent 3 days in the hospital hooked up to some sort of pump gizmo. In addition, starting last Fall, my hair has been falling out and I have lost half of my hair volume and it continues to fall out. Nothing to do with the cancer or treatment. Apparently I am the first person in my family to go bald??? hehehe So, there you have it.

Gradually, my pain situation has improved and at least I can smile on occasion ;-)and some of my mojo is returning. ;-) I have a wonderful doctor at the pain clinic. He has a plan and I am trying to find the $$ ;-) BTW, if you do not have supplemental insurance to augment your Medicare, PLEASE GET IT. You would think I would have known that??? Nope!?

In the meantime, I am going out and about now and organizing my sewing space. Two 13 gallon bags of fabric went to the Salvation Army. Janis from SG helped me move my portable shelves from my bedroom into the sewing room and now much of my stash is stacked by type and function in an orderly way. There is more fabric stashed in the cedar chest and in the sewing room closet. But, there is a big improvement!

Here is a picture, courtesy of Janis, of us on her porch after a session with the tape measures. I am in RTW and she is in Marcy Tilton interpreted by Janis. I tried on some Marcy Tilton and can see where some of her things would work for me. ;-)

I also rejoined ASG and attended a meeting of fashion sewists. It was so much fun. They actually know who Marcy Tilton, LaFred, Louise Cutting etc are. How kewl is that??!! It is so enjoyable to be around women who use independent pattern designers as well as the big Four. There is show and tell and help with sewing problems if needed.

Matilda is on hold. I had to buy a smaller size and am waiting for help with the cover fitting. Janis from SG bought one too and we are going to help each other fit our covers when she gets back from her vacation. So, there is now a Matilda Sr and a Matilda Jr in my sewing room. There really isn't enough space for that so will sell my new Matilda Sr. She was never used. I do not want to ship her so hope somebody around here wants to buy her at a very reduced price.;-)

The roses made it through the rainy Spring/early Summer and occasional hot spells with no help from me. This Fall I will properly prune and do whatever to get them in shape for next year. ;-)

It is wonderful reconnecting again and getting the bug to sew. I doubt I will do any more sewing for KK. She starts kindergarten this year and her Mom prefers things from the store. So, except for some totes and/or accessories for gifts, from now on, I will be sewing for me. It is about time! ;-)

My progress will be slow no doubt, but I will keep blogging to keep in touch. I have missed everybody greatly.

Love and Cheer to all!!



  1. Go, Stash! I am so glad to hear you are doing well.

  2. So glad to hear you are feeling better, Stash! And it's great that you and Janis are hanging out. How fun is that? :)

  3. Stash, you went to the ASG meeting? I'm so glad it worked out. I can't wait for the next one. It will be one day before my trip, but I'm going anyway. Glad you are posting again. And congrats on being cancer-free. Great news!

  4. Yippee!!!! Stash is back. What a pleasure to read your status report. Wonderful news about the cancer. Hope that there is a solution to the pain that doesn't involve "stupid" pills.

    I hear you about sewing for KK. Alex is also going into Kindergarten but at a private Catholic school so it will be school uniforms for her -- thank goodness one of the required colors is blue which just happens to be her favorite color.

    As you in the Portland ASG? I've been thinking about joining one but wasn't sure what my time commitment at work is going to be this year.

    Great to see you back.

    Stitcher's Guild

  5. Great news from the 3 month checkup. You have lovely friends and family who care so much for you!

  6. Wonderful news. What a great pleasure to meet you.

  7. So nice to see a new post from you, Stash! Glad to hear that things are looking up. I hope that the pain MD's plan works like a charm. Five months in such pain is 4 months and 29.5 days too many. I hope that your sewing mojo comes back with a bang. And don't worry about your hair. You look so pretty in the photo with Janis! Hopefully your hair will grow back when your life is peaceful once again, after all you've been through.

  8. Hi Stash,
    So glad things are better.
    The Medicare situation can be a &%$# as I found out with having to take care of my Mom!
    I got the impression you didn't care much for Kaiser from the hlth care thread but I signed my Mom up when I moved her up here. It's $39 a month and covers all but the copays of $10-30, depending on visit need, and Kaiser has a Pain Clinic. The plan is called Healthy Options. There's a similar plan for those on Medicare thru Providence and Legacy also I think. My Mom is in the Long Term Care program which is wonderful - a provider comes to the care home to see her whenever needed and every other month otherwise.
    Hope to meet you sometime at one of the ASG meetings - just got back from the Eastside Thurs am meeting - we made beautiful beaded buttons.
    Take care,
    Tully on SG (aka Lynn)

  9. Welcome back, Kotter, um, Stash! I missed you and am so glad you got a good health report. Good luck with your pain control, I know it can be a struggle, I've watched my son deal with it for years, not always with the best outcomes. You look beautiful and happy in your picture, and that's what matters the most. Keep on posting, k?

  10. So glad to hear that you are feeling so much better. I hope the pain goes away soon for you. Glad to hear that you are cancer free and that you have many years that way.

  11. stash, I am so glad to read the cancer-free status report! That is wonderful. The chronic pain, no, that doesn't sound fun at all. I am so glad you have a doctor with a plan and hoping relief is on the way.
    Great to hear from you!

  12. Stash,
    Back again - realized I typed Healthy Options for the Kaiser program - oops, that's the kids program! The Medicare added benefit program is Senior Advantage!

  13. Stash is back! /insert happy dance here/ And cancer-free? Yesss! I knew you'd be back, glad it's before football season :) Should be so much fun jumping back into sewing, and for your svelte self. The hair will grow back, but you look beautiful now! K

  14. Stash - I'm loving the picture of you and Janis! Add me to the rest to hear that you are feeling better and are back to posting! Hopefully you will get some quality time with your sewing machine soon!

  15. That is wonderful news. Rejoice. Hope you find a solution to your pain. Enjoy your ASG group. Being with others who share the love of sewing is such a treat!

  16. Thank you for comment on my blog about Vogue dress. I only messed up the bodice pattern not the fabric. I was pin fitting the pattern pieces and when I made FBA changes, I really goofed those up. So fabric is okay.

    Glad to read you are on the mend, cancer free! That is such good news. Great picture of you and Janis. I presenting to my ASG about independent patterns and Lutterloh System!

  17. Sending a hug and well wishes. I hope you feeling well and strong since this last post.