But after 84 friends gave me such encouragement on facebook yesterday – love, prayers, happiness, more prayers, chocolate, prayers, verses to hold in my heart, and topped it all off with more love,
I figured I should pop in and tell you I’m OK. Sort of. They told me months ago that the toxicity of this chemo would be cumulative, and I guess they were right. Plus I want to link to Ginny’s Yarn Along :-)
So here’s what everybody else has been reading – and I really have been trying to rest, but gosh, between the pain and the shortness of breath and the steroids, it’s been tough. Nobody’s been ringing the doorbell, though! They have just been sending Saranextdoor round the back with treats and treasures.
Even the mailman didn’t ring the bell to have someone sign for an international parcel:
I have been, a few minutes at a time (but not at the same time) reading, Alice’s Piano , a wonderful biography/autobiography of the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, whose music and spirit and determination are very inspiring to me… and continuing to knit on my Hap shawl, although not quite ready to start the border, for which my sister sent me carefully chosen Shetland… even though she hasn’t gotten the socks that were color suggestions, she had seen the photo and picked perfectly. I am past the half way point on the garter stitch diamond for the center, so each row is getting shorter… I am so excited to start with all the colors.
Although when I need color, I can just reach over to the heap of socks next to my spot on the sofa. Speaking of socks, I am open to suggestions. So many people want socks. Good wool socks, each stitch a prayer. In my heart I want to promise everybody that they will have them, next week at the latest, but the realities of chemo, and my cancer, just don’t work that way. I have a pair done for ebay, though, to auction to raise funds for a cashmere production center to benefit women in the high Himalayas, (and as soon as they are blocked and I put up the auction listing, I will post a link so you can see these gorgeous purple socks) and I was thinking of donating a rainbow pair that matches some that Ann wears when she speaks at big scary events…. to help raise funds for my friend Colleen who is rescuing two babies you can see here: http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=novit … not sure exactly whether to put them on ebay or some other sort of fundraiser? Have I told you lately that I am still SO grateful for the BIG miracle for Luke? That sure was fun.
But anyway, I don’t know how to prioritize the socks. My only idea is that my cancer goes away, i can quit chemo, have unlimited energy to knit way more, and not have a dismal diagnosis so that I can promise everybody that they will get 19,200 prayers, to wear with love, for sure. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Right now, though, I’m going to try to get some sleep. Looks like Friday might be the first day of the new added on chemo, so I need to rest up from all this resting to get ready. Love, esd.
We had a baby here 15 years ago today. He was a bit of a preemie, born in the hospital, delivered by our dear friend Maureen, and didn’t get to come home right away because Sam and Emily were sick, and he was jaundiced on double lights, and it just was complicated. So Brian and I stayed out of the way for a week or so… I wonder to this day how much having that absolutely special time for rest and bonding and recovery (hard with a 3 and 4 year old at home) has to do with our relationship now and what sort of man he’s turning into.
When we finally brought Brian home (stopping at church for a baptism on the way, tagging along with the entire rest of the street as our across the way neighbors had their marriage sacramentally recognized by the church…. it was so beautiful we just continued on with everybody there and baptized Brian on the spot. Sorry no photos of that day today, it would involve getting off the sofa and I have already done that enough, so it’s just not going to happen. Just picture a pumpkin orange baby with glow lights under his Swiss batiste gown with all that gorgeous French lace, still very much a preemie, surrounded by friends and neighbors… pretty much the same friends and neighbors we’ve spent the day with today. You know, I read about social instability in the US and think that maybe everybody should just move down here. We’ve had all the same neighbors for going on 20 years now… and mostly the same friends, athough we are in the habit of adding to that crowd on a regular basis.
But this was supposed to be about Brian. I guess it sort of is, Brian is as well loved and well respected by all these friends and neighbors as any teenager could be. Probably started when Sara’s father died, more than 10 years ago, and Brian walked himself right over to her house to ring her doorbell and offer to share his daddy with her….
But we still haven’t figured out who bombed our yard with a HUGE birthday banner and a filled unicorn pinata and a lawn covered in M & M’s and signs on the boxwoods…
and yes, that is a light up tiara on the unicorn. Much texting has happened today trying to sort out who in the world was up before dawn to do all of this. Current guess it that it was probably girls and it was probably upperclassmen since young ladies brian’s age can’t drive.
All the guessing had to pause for a few hours for brian’s soccer game, after an 8 month hiatus, he’s on a fun rec league team with lots of friends, and since they let him have his favorite number…..
he decided to play. No photos of game, though, I was just not well enough to go. Maybe tomorrow.
So mostly I stayed home, happily responding to correspondence… I finally figured out what people were talking about, my address on my blog… I KNOW I am not smart enough to put a contact thingy on the side bar. but I realized there was a photo of an addressed envelope… A HA! Mystery solved. And what a blessing of a mystery. Perhaps not as exciting as which girls TOTALLY decked out Brian’s birthday today. but I have absolutely no need for exciting right now.
I also didn’t KNOW I needed real genuine Mardi Gras beads. With the coolest CD ever and all… just so cool.
I actually snuck out for an hour while Brian was at orchestra to teach a friend to knit. She claims no experience, but I have never known anyone to master the knit stitch , purl stitch, two kinds of increases, one decrease, cast on and bind off all in 75 minutes. I wish I had more energy to stay longer and get her comfortable with double pointed needles, but it’s post chemo day 4 and that’s just not how it works. Maybe Tuesday.
so I spent most of Brian’s birthday attending to some most pleasant correspondence, being quiet on the sofa. It was nice. And then we had cake.
What is it about cake that changes otherwise totally rational boys and men into complete lunatics??? Even george caught the bug, eventually stabbing Dixon in the neck with his fork because everybody was so busy dissecting plot holes in Danny’s new novel that nobody was helping George get his cake stuck on his fork. First he tried using his fork to rub chocolate frosting on Dixon’s shirt sleeve, but that didn’t attract enough attention, so stabbing seemed to make sense to him, I guess :-)
So after that, I was pretty much over the birthday thing, so I remembered that i hadn’t taken photos of the latest batch of socks to be done to get mailed out. I took them out and put them back on sock blockers to show you. See, I always have several socks going,one in my purse, one on the end of the sofa, one on the bedside table, etc, so they tend to get all done in batches. These, from left to right, are for Mary who just needs them, for my sister Jane (who already went shopping for the shetland wool for my british shawl that these were supposed to be a color reference for, but I think she’ll like these socks anyway, and for my friend Steph who is a motorcycle mechanic and part of my favorite cashmere family, so needed Harley colored cashmere socks in the worst way.
And tonight, no heat, the furnace is blowing cold air, and it’s too late and i’m too tired to even check the breaker and the pilot. So the boys have hats and double covers, and we are NOT risking George with a space heater. There are plenty of warm big people for him to snuggle with, he does not need to be bonding with an object that can give him serious burns….
So good night. Sorry I missed Yarn Along with Ginny, and have fallen off the blogging path again. But here we are. Oh gosh, in latest news, they have augmented my chemo with mega steroids, which is … a challenge… and then they are going to add another infusion chemo agent next week, awaiting insurance approval. It can’t be given at the same time as the other one, so I guess it will be thrsday or friday. Puts a whole new spin on the concept of “post chemo day three” …. but it’s only every four weeks. because apparently it takes that long to recover from each dose :-) …. so sam is coming home friday, my parents arrive sunday, emily has the next weekend, and then we’ll see….
Anyway, happy birthday Brian. Sorry no photos of your amazing soccer game and sorry no photos of your cupcake party at sectionals at orchestra today. Maybe somebody got some on their phone??? Brian,if anyone sends you any can you forward to me? Ann showed me how to edit posts to add stuff, so I could put those photos in! Really truly. But meanwhile, just know that we are all so proud of you, and you are a truly valuable part of our family. We love you so much…
Begging forgiveness ahead of time, this is rather convoluted, but totally cool, as those little every day miracles tend to be. So follow along and it will all come together I promise.
First of all, it’s Wednesday, and Wednesday is Yarn Along at Ginny’s.
It has been pointed out to me many, many times over the past week that most normal people’s blogs have most of their readers from mostly one category – Catholic mamas, or knitters, or political people, or whatever. You could draw Venn Diagrams of their readership and most of the circles would overlap quite a bit. Somehow, when you look at who reads here, and even more interesting, the search engine terms they use to find me, there is HUGE divergence, There are the Down syndrome folks interested in effects of early tonsillectomy and the fiber artists wanting tutorials on scouring ultrafine merino fleeces and the stage 4 triple negative cancer patients looking for each other and the international special needs adoption community and the Catholic homeschooling mamas… often maybe two circles overlap, sometimes three, but not all, so I have been hearing that people get confused and frustrated not knowing what’s going on with these other folks they’ve never heard of….
So I promise to do a better job of introducing you all to each other. Because, last weekend, when you ALL came together to make our BIG miracle happen for Luke, that was really amazing. I am still sort of stunned, thinking about sitting on my kitchen floor watching those numbers go up….
So, introduction time. Friends, here you go. That blog screen shot up there? That’s my real-life friend and Sock Sister, Ginny. Her blog hosts this nifty thing every wednesday where people post links to their blogs or instagrams or whatever with photos of what they are knitting and reading… and linking up to it was on my make a wish list, and here we are, four in a row!
But before I show you my knitting and reading, we have to back up, this is the convoluted part I mentioned up top. You see, I have the best husband ever, who would do anything he could to make me happy, but I try hard not to take advantage, you know? So instead of asking him to do all sorts of little errands, I often ask friends or more often, depend on the miracle of Amazon,
Above is a screen shot from my blog. See, circled in red, that little thing that says Amazon.com??? It turns out that if you click on that to get to amazon.com, my blog gets a little credit percentage from whatever you put into your cart and get checked out within a certain amount of time, like 30 minutes or something. Well,this little linky thing is awesome. Remember our BIG miracle for Luke? Saved up Amazon linky money from me, and from the main donor of the prizes, is what was able to get that going… plus a few more secret middle of the night “DeHority Distraction Principle” episodes. As a rule, 100 % of what comes in through the linky thing goes to orphan rescue efforts, especially to invest in fundraisers that will provide exponentially more than the little linky amounts themselves.
So what does this have to do with knitting and reading?
I want to finish this sweater. It’s so truly beautiful, and I have a friend having a baby girl SOON. I even dyed yarn to sort of match the missing cuff yarn.
But, if you used a super-zoom on that unfinished cuff, you’d know my secret. Some unknown time ago, I took the correct needles out of the sleeves and substituted WAY TOO SMALL sock needles to hold the stitches. Must have needed the bigger, bamboo needles for something else, and they have not yet reappeared. So look below, screenshot from amazon… These are the needles I use for my totally easy almost purl-free prayer socks….
although I tend to stick with the smallest sizes … and go through them pretty fast, since the tiny ones get bent pretty fast. But I love them because they are inexpensive, and I usually have lots of socks parked wherever i might be sitting, and in various bags, and because they are color coded, so when I go down a needle size for heel and toe durability, i just have to switch from gold to red or red to blue…. but anyway, SOMEBODY changed out the worsted sized double points in that sweater for the biggest size in one of these socks sets, and that just wasn’t going to work to finish the sleeve, even after I
matched the dye color so perfectly sort of added some extra purple to the pink to make it look like i tried.
But I’m getting WAY too off track. I could have just gone on amazon and ordered some big wooden double pointed needles, but we had way more fun using that money up last weekend. Seriously, though, wasn’t that amazing? I am looking forward to telling you about our next fundraising adventure soon, but the way this one is dragging on, that’s looking hopeless :-) So anyway, then I COULD have asked my sweet husband, who just finished a week of night shifts and taking care of me while i’m sick and all, to get in his car and drive to the very best yarn shop in Charlotte and have then give him the right needles , I figured I’d just wait, maybe I’d be out with a friend sometime soon and if i felt good enough we could stop in… ‘
Now you KNOW I’ve said nothing on my blog or on facebook about this needle dilemma. But yesterday, dropping right through the mail slot, a perfect set of five wooden needles. They are beautiful, they appear handmade, since they are not a typical commercially available length. Perfect for baby sweater sleeves and the tops of boys hats. Perfect. And I have no idea where they came from, the note wasn’t signed and just said she just wanted to know someone was thinking of me and praying for me. Well, as a person of faith, i have no doubt why this happened. Totally cool, don’t you think?
And then, it gets even better. So the knitting part of my link up to Ginny’s blog was set. Baby sweater, check. But I honestly wasn’t reading anything. I am still pretty sick, can’t concentrate, still having fevers and all. Books with plot are beyond me at the moment.
Andrew to the rescue. I got the best letter from my cousin, so uplifting and encouraging, AND HE IS NOW A KNITTER!!! Claims to be stuck at dishcloths, but we can fix that over spring break, I promise. So there’s the reading part. Novels are beyond me at the moment, but good old fashioned handwritten correspondence is just my speed.
Knitting, reading, reading about my cousin knitting, one more little every–day sort of miracle… pretty amazing.
But before you go I have to share one more thing with you, just because it’s beautiful. I’m still not well, I had hoped to perk up by 7:00 Mass but no luck. So I was whining to a friend about sending everybody else up and I had to stay home, and she asked me if i’d ever heard about sending your angel to Mass…. Won’t copy it here, but I’m definitely going to print it out in a beautiful font on lovely paper to hang in my kitchen….
Too late and too long for the rest of the news. Gotta go link at Ginny’s….
Love and hugs, esd
No words. Just tears. But the GOOD kind of tears. You will love this one..
I had never seen this blog before, but a friend sent it to me and she has some great resources for thinking about and talking to children about stage 4 cancer (which doesn’t sound nearly so scary as terminal cancer… and not scary is good…)
I will be back later with a real post, about knitting and reading, but I was worried I would lose this link if i didn’t put it up now.
Going back to finish the very last of the white chocolate covered strawberries Esther sent for Mardi Gras now… for Ash Wednesday…. it would be almost a mortal sin to let them get soggy, don’t you think?
Somebody asked me what our family was doing for Lent this year. I replied that it seemed like our whole life was pretty much Lent at the moment… so we are just going to keep on spinning.
Love, hugs, gratitude…. esd
I am obsessed with the refresh button on Luke’s page. But if I don’t shut off my computer and go to sleep then I’m going to get sicker, and internet in the hospital is terrible. So just one last screen shot. We need that number to say $12,154 … Can I tell you how hard it’s going to be to not check it all night long??? Sam needs to invent some sort of alarm thingy, with a little buzz every time it passes each thousand mark and then a glorious ringtone (maybe the tune of “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” ??) when it gets to exactly $12,154….
Here’s the link: http://www.covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-big-giveaway.html
Wait, I need to tell you one more thing… one of my sock sisters wanted to share about our miracle on twitter, and I asked Danny what he would say, in 140 characters or less, to explain what we were doing… His answer (in even less than 140…) “help bring luke to the boroughs by spreading the word about this fundraiser. he needs you.” Yes. What he said.
I am home, my oncologist feels VERY strongly that hospitals are bad places for immunosuppressed people to be, and since I have a port and he is on call all weekend and we live five minutes from the hospital and my babies are here, not there, he sent me home. Although there are bad germs here, too, Brian and Dixon have been sick, so perhaps all my throwing up wasn’t just from chemo… we are still awaiting some labs to help sort out the whole picture… I’m too tired to explain the whole thing. Lactate levels and neutrophils and ground glass mosaicism… sigh….
It’s also good to be home because the internet connection is so much better here, and I am totally, truly obsessed with my computer today.
Although I got up earlier to put the dishes in the dishwasher… I was standing at the sink, and then oh my gosh, my head was so tired, I had to rest it on the faucet. Right at the same time as Dixon got up to have a snack. He asked me, if I was so tired, why wasn’t I sitting down, and the only thing i could think of to tell him was that all the chairs were too far away. Then I got smart and sat right down on the kitchen floor and have been here ever since.
Here’s how it goes. I knit a row, and then click refresh on Luke’s page. I am knitting REALLY slowly, but still… go look back at the number on the photo above ($7902.54) and then, the very next refresh was this one:
That’s 45 stitches. In my opinion, that counts as a miracle. The miracle of love and friendship. The whole time i was in the hospital with all those IV bags of antibiotics, my friends were posting and tweeting and TOTALLY plastering facebook ….. and then I got home and you all kept going and going.
So anyway, I have been going back and forth between refreshing Luke’s page and just being overwhelmed at the love and support on facebook, sitting here on the kitchen floor and all of a sudden like half my facebook friends have the same photo.
I don’t know if this makes any sense, but this really should be just about my worst day ever. Day 4, week three of the cycle of chemo that we don’t even know if it’s working anymore, but the cancer shows up on some scans but is radio-silent on others, so maybe it is, but the last thing I need is a bone biopsy on all these blood thinners and steroids, and then I get sick, my labs get bad, my family gets sick, and I feel SO AWFUL. and really, really scared, because there isn’t a new plan yet, and I don’t like not having a plan…
So any other day, I would be a totally soggy heap of tears in my bed, an absolute wreck, pretty confident my rosary was going to get rusty from all the crying. Instead, here I sit on my kitchen floor… I have used way less than half a box of Kleenex today, just saying… knit a row, click refresh, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the most amazing friends. This whole DeHority Distraction Principle… it’s BIG. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten a miracle before, but I’m in the middle of one right now, and it’s … I can’t even think of the right word. Guess we’ll stick with BIG.
And look – while i’ve been typing just 573 words (which has completely exhausted me…. oh, wait, maybe i was already exhausted?) Look what you did:
Thank you. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
YOU ARE A MIRACLE.
And that is really, really amazing.
Oh no. Editing, here I am going on and on about this miracle and I was so excited I forgot to show you the details about how to be part of it. Please forgive me. Go to http://www.covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-big-giveaway.html (That’s Julia’s blog… all the details are there, prizes, how to enter either by donating or by sharing/posting…. )