Jelly Roll quilt

We dropped our daughter and her partner off at the airport just after 4 am this morning. It took a while for them to get checked in as they were unlucky to meet quite a nasty young man checking them in. Although the Qantas website says they are allowed two check-in bags each, at 23 kg each (but not one more than 32 kg) – he made them repack their bags and said one bag cannot be more than 22 kg. Two of the bags were 22.5 and the third 23. Instead of 4 bags between them, they had three. Was it really necessary to get them to repack the bags? Seems like it, yes. And when my daughter’s partner frowned, the check-in guy said ‘yes sweetheart, you have to repack’. That was not the right thing to say and I was really angry when they told me. As a professional you do not call a passenger ‘sweetheart’. But anyways, we quickly moved some baggage to my daughter’s carry-on bag, after deciding she’ll check it in as well……..and back into the line. They ended up with another young man, next to the nasty one. And this nasty one was quick to tell this guy that they had to repack their bags and to make sure to weigh their carry on bags too. As I say……….NASTY! The second young man served them with a smile, ignored the instructions to weigh their carry-on’s (although it would have been ok) and was really friendly. He made the whole experience pleasant again

We said our good buys at customs just after 5, went back to our accommodation with the plan to get some sleep before travelling back home. We decided to pack, clean and drive back immediately. Maybe not the best decision as it is a three-hour drive in the dark (at that time of the morning) and through snow and icy roads. But we made it back safe and sound, although it took 4 hours instead of the normal 3. Back at home we went straight to bed to sleep 🙂

When I woke up I decided I felt like needlework and started working on a jelly roll quilt I have been thinking on for quite a while. A few hours later and the strips are all sewed together – ready to add some appliquĂ©. I will do this by hand as soon as I get my printer sorted to print the templates

Here is my progress so far:

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Good news and on the way to recovery

This week I had the big surgery planned. Monday was the S-day and I reported at the hospital after the 3-hour drive and a visit to the gyro/oncologist’s rooms. In the afternoon I was wheeled to the theatre and felt very nervous – at that stage I was ready to get of the bed and walk home. Luckily they gave me something good to relax and I woke up some hours alter to very good news

The plan was to do keyhole surgery, send the frozen sample to be analysed while I was still sleeping, and to do open surgery immediately if the results came back positive. The surgeon removed the ovaries and growths with keyhole surgery………….and that was it. The growths were benign and he didn’t have to do open surgery

I am so grateful, so lucky, so blessed!!!!!!!!! Thank you to everyone who kept me in their prayers and thoughts

I am home and recovering quickly. With only four little cuts, after the keyhole surgery, it is easy to forget that I had quite a big operation and I have to remind myself to take things slow. Although my body is quite quick to let me know I have to sit back and relax. I am sleeping a lot and get tired quickly, but I know that is my body’s way to tell me I am recovering

What a wonerdul week with amazing news!

 

 

Letrozole/Femara

Letrozole is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Letrozole decreases the amount of estrogenthe body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.’ (direct quote from http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4297/letrozole-oral/details)

I was a really sissy during radiation and didn’t cope with it very well. Some people fly through radiation, continuing their daily lives like normal. Not me – I got tired, although it is not the normal tiredness, it is fatigue. Fatique just happens – I didn’t have to do anything specific to feel fatigued, it could simply be because I got out of bed. Or drive, or do needlework, or nothing at all. It is horrible because you want to do things, you plan to do things, and then simply can’t because your body doesn’t want to. Sometimes I would start with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, just to be knocked back and soooooo tired I couldn’t move. Even reading is impossible at times when you are fatigued. I am off work for a year (unpaid leave) because I realised that I wouldn’t be able to feel like this and work. And I thought the stress at work is preventing me from recovering

Some months after radiation I started with Letrozole. I thought as if I was really doing well and still blamed radiation for the fatigue

Then I struggled with my knee – it would just hurt at random times….when I sat down too long, when I walked and when I got out of bed. At times I was limping, other times my knee was perfectly fine. I just thought things like this happen as you get older and didn’t really worry about it

I noticed weakness in my arms and hands at some stage – so much so that I struggle to open the toothpaste one morning. And then other bottles. Or a ‘tiredness’ in my arms when I carried something, or put the washing on the line. And then it will go away and come back at the most unexpected times. At times I had to use both hands to pick up the laptop, or to put it down, as one hand/arm just wasn’t strong enough to hold it up

Suddenly I had trouble walking. I would get out of bed and my feet would hurt so much I couldn’t move them, or lift them or walk unassisted. I started to shuffle slowly, like a very, very old person. And then the pain started to continue throughout the day and I had sore feet 24 hours a day. And my legs, and my knee (just the one knee, funnily enough). And then my arms started hurting, and my shoulders. And I got tired even quicker. My battery simply never charged to full power any longer

I didn’t sleep well at night, although I felt exhausted. Other days I slept the whole day and night. Everything became unpredictable and one day things clicked and I googled ‘side-effects of Letrozole’. Yes, I know you aren’t suppose to google health issues……..but sometimes I think you should. Because there it was – every single thing I felt. I could tick off so many of the side-effects of Letrozole – most of mine are classified as ‘rare side-effects’, with only 1 in 100 complaining about it: (I changed the text to red where they listed the side-effects which I experienced)

Common side effects

More than 1 in every 10 women have one or more of these effects.

  • Hot flushes and sweats – this happens in about 3 out of 10 women (30%)
  • Pain in joints or bones – this affects about 2 out of 10 women (20%)
  • Tiredness and weakness (fatigue) occurs in about 2 out of 10 women (20%)
  • Increased levels of cholesterol in the blood – this is usually only slightly increased

Rare side effects

Fewer than 1 in 100 people have these effects.

  • Nervous disorders, such as anxiety, nervousness, feeling irritable, drowsiness, or memory problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Changes in sensation, especially touch
  • Eyesight changes such as blurred vision
  • Red, sore eyes
  • A faster heart rate or feeling of the heart beating (palpitations)
  • Joint stiffness (arthritis)
  • Pain, stiffness, and clicking in a finger or thumb and a small lump in the palm at the base of the affected finger or thumb. This condition is called trigger finger and the affected finger may get stuck when bent towards the palm. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have this
  • Pain, a weaker grip, and numbness and tingling can occur in one or both hands, particularly in the fingers and thumb. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome. It is caused by pressure on a nerve that passes through the wrist into the hand. Tell your doctor or nurse if you have this
  • Breast pain
  • A high temperature (fever)
  • Taste changes
  • A dry mouth and feeling thirsty
  • Weight loss
  • Urine infections

I contacted my oncologist by email, listing how I felt and she recommended I stopped this medication immediately, and that we will re-assess again in three months.

Now, three weeks later, I still struggle with these side-effects, but it is becoming better. My feet still hurt, but less. I still get tired, but it seems as if my battery remains charged for a bit longer. I have more strength in my hands and arms. Yesterday my knee didn’t hurt at all. I feel better and I am positive that as soon as I have all of this drug out of my system I will feel much better.

I guess I have reached appoint where I will have to decide: quality or quantity. Am I going to take this drug again and have a miserable life, live with so much pain that I can barely walk. Where I can’t do things I love to do because it aches too much. I can see myself ending in a wheelchair if I have to continue this drug. Or am I going to stop taking it permanently and risk the cancer coming back – shorten my life but have good quality of life?

At this stage I am choosing quality. I’d rather live shorter, that living with terrible pain for a longer period. Personally I don’t think that is going to be a pleasant experience. Neither will dying of cancer be, but at least I will be able to enjoy life

I am not saying women shouldn’t take Letrozole. I am saying I am not going to go back on it because it is bad for me. I am worried about the battle lying ahead with the oncologist because I don’t think she will be understanding and supporting me if I refuse to take this drug.

The day I was diagnosed with cancer it felt as if I lost control of everything – I was told when to do what – when to report for surgery/treatment/appointments. It felt as if everything was out of my control, which is hard if you have been a very independent person your whole life. Now I am putting my foot down and taking control. I am not going to take this harmful drug again, I am going to risk getting cancer again. But until that day I am going to have a good quality life. Maybe shorter, but better

SAL update

Since the last SAL update school closed for the Christmas holiday and I am organising to move. The moving company dropped off some boxes for me and the supermarket gave me a whole pile of newspapers to use for the packing. I made lists of jobs to do and love ticking off the stuff I’ve done

I’ve also found a new embroidery SAL and love it. It is called the Never-ending Sampler. Two to three ‘rows’ are released per week, but you never know when. My plan is to embroider 3 x 6″ strips of Aida fabric and then join the strips with lace for a tablecloth. I am also using some of the colours I never seem to use for other projects. That is the idea now, it might change in future. But this will be my SAL project for a while.

sampler
The Never-ending Sampler

Please pop over and have a look at the work of my SAL friends:

Avis at http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com
Claire at http://claire93.wordpress.com
Gun at http://rutigt.wordpress.com
Carole at http://aslightobsessionwithbooks.wordpress.com
LucyAnn at https://lucyannluna.wordpress.com
Jess at https://everthecrafter.wordpress.com
Sue at http://sewingmagpie.blogspot.com
Constanze at https://textiledreamer.wordpress.com
DebbieRose at https://sewrosey.wordpress.com
Christina at https://petalsandpins.wordpress.com
Kathy at https://livinginrapidcity.wordpress.com
Kate at https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com
Margaret at www.thecraftycreek.com
Cindy at http://homeofaflossjunkie.blogspot.co.nz/
Steph at https://mymakingdoadventure.wordpress.com/

 

My Foodbag – week 2

I am into the third week with My Food bag and am really impressed with the food and recipes. The best dish of the week was the amazing pizza!

My Foodbag

The past week I have been trying out the My Food Bag. This company provides you with the recipes for 4 meals, as well as the ingredients to cook it. As a single person I don’t eat very healthy and to be very honest, I waste food. Every time I go to the supermarket to buy something to cook, even with a list, I walk out with heaps of extra stuff which I ‘think’ I might feel like later in the week. I also often buy because I am going to eat ‘healthy’ and then end up throwing away rotting vegetables and fruit because I forgot I was going to supposed to be eating healthy and just made a sandwich or something. And I am fed up with the waste – I was not only wasting food, but also money

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Monday: Herb Crusted Fish with Kumara Chips. I burnt the kumara chips and the crust a little bit, but this was so delicious
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Tuesday: Teriyaki Chicken with Japanese brown rice and Cucumber Sesame salad
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Wednesday and Thursday: Haloumi with Roasted Pumpkin Salad and Green Tahini Dressing
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Friday: Lamb Rump Steak with Braised Cos, Peas and Mint

The Food Bag recipes are easy to follow and simply delicious. And every single day I had enough left for lunch the next day. And the Roasted Pumpkin Salad dish I cooked on Wednesday was enough for lunch as well as another dinner. At this stage the verdict is – the BEST!!!!! I enjoyed the food and I haven’t been in a shop this whole week, except to buy milk before the weekend. I also have some mushrooms and spring onion and some other ingredients left to make a quick salad or two during the weekend.

Next week’s food has been delivered today and the recipes are looking delicious. They also included a surprise Nadia magazine. I am definitely hooked and plan to try this for a couple of months. If you would like to have a look at the meals and maybe try a few recipes I totally recommend visiting their website 🙂