Side effects du jour…

Cancer treatments are weird and unpredictable.

One week, I sail through the infusion with no problems – in and out in 6 hours. Another week, I have 3 separate allergic reactions and wind up sitting there for 10 hours. Same drugs, same dosage.

One month, the pills I take give me a rash. The next month, the rash goes away but I’m plagued with nausea and intestinal issues. My eyes turn bright red, then they clear up but my vision goes blurry.

The only constant is the fatigue – the overwhelming, ever-present fatigue. We’re not just talking about being tired. We’re talking about waking up in the morning so tired that getting out of bed requires you to stop and take a break. Recovering from a shower can take a couple of hours. Fixing a meal, doing the laundry, running errands – probably not going to happen at all.

And then there’s that wonderful break – once a month I get a week where I take no drugs at all. The first part of that week, the drugs are still in my system, but by the weekend I usually feel pretty good! I can run errands, joke with my family, make dinner, fold my laundry – all the things I used to take for granted.

Then Sunday evening rolls around and I face the fact that I start treatment again tomorrow. Back to the hospital for another infusion. Tuesday I start the pills again. Off on another round. Maybe this time I won’t be so exhausted? Maybe this time my stomach will behave? Maybe this month it will all be different than what it has been… I can probably count on that.

The treatments are working! My scans are good, my blood tests are good, and the treatments are going to give me a better quality of life (we hope) when they are all done. I’ve reached the halfway point – three months gone, three months to go. I know I can make it through this. I have a wonderful, supportive family to help me. But sometimes I sure get tired of being tired.

Gratitude –
cancer treatments that work
my wonderful nurses and doctors who listen to me
my darling husband who takes such good care of me
animals in the house that make me laugh and give me a reason to get out of bed
my close vision is clear so that I can still read, sew, and knit
my online friends who provide me with information and inspiration
my stash of fabric and yarn that ensures I NEVER run out of projects
all of you for reading my blog

Let’s go create something!

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In the making…

Sometimes, it seems there isn’t much progress. You look around and there are no new creations to show. Nothing complete. Everything in a shambles.

But wait! Over there is a partially finished amigurumi. All it needs are its legs and its face. And see that on the coffee table? That’s the bridal headpiece that was commissioned. You have two ribbon daisies done and three to go. That bag at your feet? It’s the baby gift for your niece who is due in November.

Wander into the sewing room… two shirts completely cut out – one for the wedding. Oh, and while you were cutting out last Saturday, you also cut out a blouse and a skirt and serged the edges of the blouse pieces. That should go together pretty quickly (except the button holes). Oh, and on the counter – there’s your wedding bouquet. All it needs are ribbons. And that box? That contains the favors for the wedding that you finished while watching TV.

No, I have nothing to show for the week. Nothing is finished. Everything is in shambles. But… progress was made!

Sometimes life is like that, too. Sometimes it’s hard to see any forward momentum. Especially with a chronic illness.

No, I’m not healthy. I’m not 100%, but I’m better than I was a month ago. I am making progress.

I know that I may slip back into feeling really lousy, that I may get sicker, but right now I’m a little bit better. Every bit of progress is good progress. And just because the project isn’t finished doesn’t mean we’re not creating beauty, health, joy.

Let’s go create something!

chron·ic: [kron-ik] adjective

chron·ic

[kron-ik]  

adjective

1. constant; habitual; inveterate.

I have Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.

I also have a fiber addiction.

Neither of these adequately describe who I am, but it’s a good starting point.  I do not want to write a blog about Chronic Fatigue (hereafter known as CFIDS). So many other people have done a much better job than I could. I also do not want to write a blog about sewing or knitting or tatting. Those have also been done. What I want to share with you is how one of my chronic issues (fabric and yarn) combines with my other issue (CFIDS) and how I balance the two. Perhaps you will find ideas that help and inspire you. Perhaps you will share a laugh with me… or a tear. Perhaps we are best friends… perhaps we will never meet.

“Life is short, pain is long, and we’re all here to help each other.” ~Stephen King

Let’s go create something.