Saturday, March 14, 2009

3.14.09 - blogger unsilenced

Sorry for the blogger silence. Hope I haven't worried anyone. We've been having a kind of hectic, down, crazy month here and I just wasn't up to sharing bad news, nor up to taking pictures to share creative news. So... let's catch up, shall we?

So far, Mom has Stage IIb breast cancer - Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Cancer was found in one of 14 lymph nodes tested during the breast conservation surgery on Feb. 12. The results of the 'margin' taken from around the removed lump came back clear for the invasive ductal carcinoma. However, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ was also found in the tested tissue. She is ER/PR positive (good thing) and HER2/neu 3+ (bad thing).

She will be receiving radiation treatments on the affected breast. Before she begins radiation, Mom will have some form of chemotherapy. To determine the exact medications, her doctor ordered a battery of scans this week: bone scan, MUGA scan and CT scan of her organs. The results of all these tests will be made known to us on March 23. At a minimum, the chemo will be once every three weeks for a six session series. However, the final chemo recommendation will be determined by the results of this week's scans.

The MUGA scan was to get a baseline of her heart health. The medication she needs to combat the HER2/neu issue can affect heart health. This medication will be administered intravaneously, once a week for one year - as long as her heart stays healthy.

The bone scan and CT scan were to see if they cancer had spread anywhere else.

Following chemo treatments, Mom will have radiation therapy as well. Length and frequency has not yet been determined. This will required a 90 min round trip ride because there is no radiation therapy group in our County.

At some point following Chemotherapy, she will begin taking an oral medication. Tamoxifen is the one her friend took. The Oncologist indicated that Mom would not be taking that one, but something similar - once a day for five years.

This next week, Mom and I get a break from doctors and hospitals and medical tests and such. No appointments scheduled. No required activities. I may even get to work every day! It'll be a nice change, I'm thinking, for both of us.

On to Knitting!

A shawl to keep Mom warm:

Cherry Tree Hill Siken Mohair. It is a mix of colors. I bought a mill end skein at Stitches East. I just fell in love with the color and feel of the yarn. I began the pattern, Quilt in Stripes, and realized I wouldn't have enough in the one 424 yard skein for a shawl as wide and as long as I'd like to make. I went 'net shopping! The mill end did not include the color name, but I found a similar one called Martha's Vineyard. It is a little paler than the skein I bought at Stitches, but the colors are very close. To mask the dissimilarity, I decided to knit up half the unnamed colorway, then all of the Martha's Vineyard, ending with the unnamed colorway. I think that will work.

I also bought another colorway, Gypsy Rose, which Mom really loved. I might make that into a crocheted lapghan.

Now, I need to find some lovely, soft, wool and non-wool yarns to make some caps and other head gear, as Mom will be losing her lovely head of hair. :( She'll need the warmth for the chemo sessions and air conditioning. The weather will be getting warmer around here by the time she needs the caps, so I need to find some pretty and soft cottons for her too.

Until next time.


Enid said...

Kathleen, I am sending good thoughts to you and your mother. hope she doesn't suffer too much during the treatment. The shawl looks gorgeous what you have done so far. That is a good idea for using the two different yarns.

hugs, Enid

Wendy said...

I have some very soft Blue Sky Cotton (by Blue Sky Alpaca's) in a tan...and I have TONS of the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in about 7 different colors...I would love to send you some for your mom's caps...
Please let me know....
Hugs and prayers continue....

Robbyn said...

I'm real sorry to hear about the further situation with your mom, but glad to see that things are being planned out and that you're ready to move forward.

I remember those tests; I'd had so much radiation by the end of them (including plain, old x-rays for a broken arm) that I figured I must glow in the dark. I told Myria to stand me up in the bathroom and use me for a nightlight :)

I've got my fingers crossed for you both and hope that things go well, going forwaard.

The color(s) of the shawl are just beautiful!

My head doen't seem to be too sensitive and I haven't had any trouble with any wool but for something really nice and soft (and a pretty good yarn to boot) try Berrocco's Ultra Alpaca - it's as soft as a kitten's tuchus and comes in lovely colors. I don't know what to recommend for cotton - I generally just use whatever I can find in the stash. Classic Elite used to make one called Spotlight. It was very soft, but it's been discontinued for a couple of years now.

I'm thinking of you both! Hugs :)