Tuesday, June 27, 2006


...timing is out of my control...

... July 10th feels so very far away...

...hoping an earlier appointment for the surgical consult comes open...


May there be mercy.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Post Shop Hop

That Shop Hop was so much fun! We had a blast and came home with about 40 different patterns for quilt blocks and the fabric for them. Those were given to us by the shops we visited...

... and of course I bought a bunch of fabrics!

Some of the shops we won't go back. Not enough inventory for the lengthy drive. But several are near enough for a girls day out and are really great shops.

I'm tired today, but it was worth it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Shop Hop!

Time for the Western Washington Quilter's Shop Hop... I'm taking the next few days with my best girlfriend and we are going to try to visit about 47 of the 54 independent fabric stores in Western Washington.


Can't figure out how to make a link, but that's the event description...

It's an annual event and there are prizes and giveaways and fun, fun, fun! Each shop designes a quilt block and gives away the fabric and pattern to each person who visits. So by the time we are done, we will have enough blocks to make a quilt... cool!

It will be extra fun to spend this time with KC. We've got a 20 year friendship going on and have walked with each other in all of the good, bad and ugly... and amazingly beautiful places in our lives.

We're off... on an adventure into quiltland!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm dense

Still no answers after the mammo and ultrasound today. Feels a lot like a wasted morning, but in the regulations of health insurance, it's another step in the process.

Me, my doctor, the radiologist, the mammography technician, the ultra sound technician... Everyone can feel the lump. The dang thing just will not show up on any of the images.

Apparently I'm dense. I'd forgotten that over the years between lumps.

Even though I'm a small busted woman, the tissue is very dense and tightly compacted. So the lump doesn't show up through all that tissue. It's there, we can all feel it, but it won't show.

The doc today thought she was saying something great when she told me that she didn't see anything scary... but the best option is to have it out.

Well, hell's bells, lady. You can't even SEE the scary part, so how can you tell me it isn't scary??? If it was in her body, she just might think it was a little scary. And on the having it out... well, duh!!!

The surgical consult on July 10th feels like it's a long time away. I keep wondering if there will be a cancellation sooner.

So... we continue to wait and wonder. And while we wait and wonder, we hope and pray.

May there be mercy...

Monday, June 19, 2006

time away, and home again

Gosh, we had a great time in Victoria. Good food, lots of camera time, lots of relax time…

…lots of us time.

We really needed it.

We needed the time on the BC ferry to watch the water and the islands go by. We needed a few hours in the car where all that was available to us was conversation. We needed time in a museum and the lively talk inspired from what we saw. We needed time to do some people watching together and making up stories about the people we watched. We needed time alone in a hotel room and in restaurants and holding hands walking along the waterfront.

Oh, but it was good for us!

Now, we’re home and unpacked and the realities of the lump are starting to creep in. Tomorrow is the mammogram and ultrasound.

I do not expect to get any results at all tomorrow, but it would be really cool if we did find out something… anything.

It’s the not knowing that is hard.

If I had a definitive answer, whether cancer or not, it would help. Uncertainties, lack of answers, both are extremely hard on a control freak. Oh, yeah. That’s me, control freak extraordinaire.

I really don’t want to be in charge of every single thing in life. I just have a hard time letting go of the things over which I have absolutely no control.

Like a lump in my breast.

But tonight I’m making a conscious decision to let go. I am not in charge. The universe is NOT in my hands. Neither is this lump.

I’m reminding myself that this lump and my life are in my Heavenly Father’s hands… and there is no better place to be. He knows I’m scared. He knows I don’t want this.

I know that He loves me. That’s really all that matters.

May there be mercy on our sleep and on our day tomorrow.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Time off for good behavior

Well, it's vacation time and we've already had the "packing fight". We do this every time we go away... a little bit of a bicker/fight thing so that it's all out of our systems and we can enjoy our time away from home. I don't know why we do it... or why it seems to help our vacations go well... but we do. Neither of us likes it, but it seems to happen every single time we pack to go away for a few days.

Glad this one was short and over with quickly!

We're going to Victoria, BC in the morning. Have to be back in time for Tuesday's mammo, but until then, the lump doesn't exist. We've got our cameras packed and we are going to have fun.

We sooo need it.

Everything is ready to go. We just need a good night's sleep.

May there be mercy on our sleep and on our time away...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

lumps and bumps on the journey

I’m starting down another segment of the “what if this actually IS cancer” road and thinking a lot of the thoughts that I’ve thought before.

How awful would treatments be?
Am I going to die from this one?
Don’t take that lump; it’s all the breast I’ve got!
Get that lump outta me… NOW!

And the stupid, yet sadly very big thought…

If I have to have chemo… I’m gonna lose my hair.

Yep, I’ve got a lump in my breast. It’s my 4th lump, so one would think I’d be used to this process and handle it better. Nope. Freaked out, just like all the other times.

Actually, truth be told, maybe a bit more than the other times.

This time, the doc didn’t say the things that pacify women when they find lumps. Things like, “oh, this feels diffuse around the edges, (or is shaped in whatever way) so that gives us less to worry about. We’ll still check it out, but you don’t need to worry so much about this one.” No, he didn’t say those things.

He wanted his staff to schedule a mammogram and needle biopsy for the same day.

Needle biopsy? What the heck? No freakin’ way! This sucker is big and it’s coming out… NOW. They can biopsy the whole thing. It comes out as soon as I can make arrangements.

Why couldn’t they manage to get that appointment right away? Tuesday seems so very far from now.

Mammogram on Tuesday, follow up doctor appointment on the following Monday… and surgeon consultation follows that… unfortunately in July. JULY??????

Oh... may there be mercy and a cancellation come up before then.

Yes, I’ve done all this before. Yes, I know what to expect in the mammogram… and the doctor appointments… and the surgeon appointments… and the actual surgery to get the stupid thing out of me… and the post-surgical recovery process. All of it is standard and routine to them. And all of it is scary, all over again, for me.

I realized today that I can deal with all that again. I just really, really do not want to lose my hair.

Pathetic. Truly pathetic when I look at the option of my life versus my hair. But I admit to my stupid vanity.

I have really nice hair and I’ve always been proud of it.

Vanity, pathetic vanity.

And yet… somehow it’s okay that a part of me is more concerned about my hair and it’s potential loss than the other issues that surround this lump and it’s treatment… and it’s potential implications.

Easier to deal with hair loss. Yep, a bit of denial going on.

But at the same time… I keep reminding myself that my Heavenly Father is still in control of the universe and that this truly does fall into the sphere of that universe thing. Nothing comes into my life without passing through His loving hands… and He allows some things to come for reasons we just don’t understand at first. Might not understand for a long time, maybe not until eternity. No matter.

What does matter is that He does love me… He is in control… and I can stand on that without falling.

Even without hair.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

trials of life

Medical issues...

...trials of life...

...may there be mercy.

Friday, June 09, 2006


It's Friday and the work week is done. Yay! A couple days to rest and spend time with my sweet husband... and friends.

Tomorrow we are going to Seattle to meet up with friends for a leisurely brunch. Then, we will take our cameras out and enjoy a day seeing the things we generally miss.

People in Pike's Market... the waterfront... Snoqualmie Falls... old railroad cars... whatever catches our eyes and imaginations.

Good thing I've got leftovers in the fridge for dinner tomorrow. Who knows what time we will get home!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

wiped out

Still too pooped to pop...

Hoping the doctor has some answers for this exhaustion when I see him next week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

a haunting memory

Driving past the cemetery this morning sparked a memory... and has left me a bit emotional today.

About 3 years ago, our Christmas plans got cancelled. Cancelled too late to be able to plan anything else... cancelled on Christmas Eve about 4 p.m. It was a painful time for my husband and me. That year, those plans were the only Christmas celebration we had to look forward to enjoying.

Christmas morning, we were crabby, but got up and got ourselves ready to go see my mother-in-law. She was still fairly interactive at that point. Got in the car, headed over to the Alzheimer's facility and on the way, drove past this cemetery.

As we drove past, I saw a teenager in the cemetery. He could not have been more than 16, on his knees beside a fresh grave.

I could see the weight of his sorrow... in how his shoulders sagged... how his arms hung limp at his sides... his head bowed...

... and the racking sobs that shook his entire body.

I wanted to jump out of the car and run to him, hug him. His grief was so raw. It shook me and moved me and changed my thoughts that Christmas day...

The vision of his raw grief haunts me. When I drive past that cemetery now, I can still see him there.

A few weeks later; I noticed a new headstone on that fresh grave. I've never been brave enough to stop and see who the person was that had been so beloved that a teenager would show the intensity of his sorrow so publicly.

Today when I drove past the cemetery, I could still see him in my memory.

Death, dying, grief and sorrow. With my mother-in-law getting closer, I guess it’s been on my mind a lot lately.

Monday, June 05, 2006

a serious lack of energy

The exhaustion levels are seriously kicking my butt. Starting to suspect I'm anemic or something along those lines.

As Mama would say, "I'm just too pooped to pop."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

a quiet day

Didn't feel great today, so I didn't do much. Just feeling a bit of the exhaustion that usually indicates I'm anemic. Good thing I've got a doctor's appointment soon.

Worked on a pillow for my goddaughter's newly re-done bedroom. It's quite pretty, if I say so myself.

Had to laugh when my honey came in to see what I was doing. He tells me that I've made some pretty color choices...

...then tells me the pattern looks like a B-2 bomber!

I'm pretty sure that was a compliment. If it looks like a train or an airplane, he usually likes it. I just laughed.

Too tired to do much more today. There's a Rosemary Pork Roast in the oven and my house smells wonderful. Glad that's a simple meal to fix.

Early bedtime and back to work tomorrow.

May there be mercy on our rest tonight...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

a good day

It's been a good day, in spite of a lack of sleep. Just could not sleep well last night. More of a series of naps than a good sleep.

But in spite of that, it's been a good day.

My goddaughter's room got done. It's gorgeous. Her mother and I are both thrilled with how it turned out. I'm thinking that if she can't keep it clean, I'm moving into it!

She almost cried, but at age 13, they only really cry over boys. But she loves it, and that's all that matters.

Met Jenna for coffee after. What a lovely time of catching up with someone after several years of no connection. I'm so glad that we put another date on the calendar. Years between visits is just not a good thing.

Father-in-law has had a good day, too. My sweet husband checked in on him and found we need to do some grocery shopping tomorrow. Good enough. He's written out all his bills and is starting to feel more like his normal self. I'll take it.

A yummy dinner of albacore tuna steaks with a glass of Chardonnay... life is good today.

May there be mercy and this respite continue for a while...

Friday, June 02, 2006


I don't know why, but the blog for tonight got posted as prior to yesterdays.

See "Surprises for my Goddaughter" and you'll see tonight's blog.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

current projects

It's been several days since I've been able to get to my sewing machine. Just been too exhausted to even turn it on, let alone try to work with fabric and be all creative.

And yet there is still this need in me to get some project in process! So...

Tonight's project was a simple one. My father-in-law needed a rice bag for his back. Four simple straight lines to sew and fill the bag with rice. Nothing difficult, and yet it filled a part of that need in me.

My last project was a set of placemats for a precious friend. She couldn't find any in the colors she wants, so she asked me to be on the lookout for the right colors of fabrics for her. Took a while to find 'em - 4 fabric stores checked frequently over 2 months - but finally, one had everything.

Found the fabric, but had 3 other projects that had time sensitive deadlines. Two weddings and Mother's Day. This last weekend, I finally got to those placemats... and I'm very pleased with how they turned out.

My friend is thrilled, too.

Now to find some time this weekend to spend quilting... and a new project to enjoy!

Surprises for my Goddaughter

My Goddaughter is graduating from Middle School next week.

How did I get so old? It seems much too fast for her to be old enough for this.

At times, it still feels like it was just last week when she was born. I remember getting the call that her mom was in labor...

...and the later call that she had been born...

...and then how we spent that night crying out to God, praying that she would live.

She wasn't breathing when she was born. It took most of the night for her to breathe on her own.

We all still have nightmares about that night.

And yet, here she is, a young lady ready to face High School. How did I get so old???

As a surprise, tomorrow her mother and I are re-doing her bedroom. Our own version of "While You Were Out." My Goddaughter is away at a campout with school, so we can move furniture and put new things in there and make it a wonderful surprise for her.

She has always wanted a daybed, but since her room doubles as the guest room, she has not gotten what she wanted. A daybed just won't sleep 2 adults! Her mother found a gorgeous daybed that has a trundle, turning it into a king-sized bed. Cool!

Last week, both her room and her brother's room were freshly painted. Since her mother gets the painting bug frequently, this didn't give away anything.

Early tomorrow, we'll start moving furniture, move on to putting up shelves, and finish with accessorizing and adding all the fun stuff.

Then the bigger surprises come. Her grandmother, who lives in Florida, is coming to the graduation. This is a huge deal, and the "why" it is a huge deal is not today's topic. It's just a big deal at this time.

Next Saturday, my friend and my goddaughter will have a Mother/Daughter day. The day will end when Grandma calls to say her plane has landed... and they pick her up at the airport.

Recently, my friend made a quilt for another friend of ours. My goddaughter fell in love with the fabric... and was really pissed that this quilt was not for her! This kid has no idea that her mother got more of that fabric and has spent the last 2 months making a quilt for her. It's amazing and gorgeous and I can't wait for the graduation so she can see it!

Now I've got to get on the stick and get something made for her grad gift. Good thing I've got a week and some good ideas...