Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bad News

My sister had another scan today, because she has been in such pain lately. They confirmed that her liver is still besieged by growing tumors, and the primary site in her colon is coming back. The rest of her life will take place over the next 6-12 months.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I've been bitten

I had the swell idea a couple of months ago to make CB a pair of socks for a Christmas gift. My friend, laguera has been my inspiration and mentor on the whole knitting thing. Heretofore, I could do scarfs, and I had made a couple of pairs of mittens. But she assured me that I could do this, so I began. I didn't count, but I must have ripped out the beginning (just the ribbing on the very first part!) a dozen times. I was in the process of giving the project one more chance when it took and I got going. The socks turned out pretty good (for a first project).

I moved on to a baby hat (that seems to be a pretty common progression of projects). One should always know how to do a cool (and easy) baby hat. I made a jaunty little three pointed number for a dear friend that had her first baby at 40. I liked how it turned out, and at this point, it is appealing see rapid progress through using thick yarn, so that's what I like at the moment.
For the next one, I'm thinking sweater for me. Everything else so far has been made to give away.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sister Kris

So, it might seem a little odd that I refer to my sister as Sister Kris, as she is most certainly not a nun. However, our family is besieged by people named Kris. My dad's S.O. is Chris, and my sweetie is also named Chris (heretofore known as CB). With three Ch/Kris's floating around, it's hard to keep it all straight sometimes. Thus, my sister is Sister Kris. I also get called Sister Linda because there's another Linda on my brother's wife's side.

Anyway, birthday wishes. She is 45 today. My parents had three kids in 3.5 years and I haven't come close to comprehending what was involved in having three kids under the age of three. I don't think I ever will. Just having Mr. W (as he shall be known) was PLENTY of work. It's funny, we three oldest ones, (Ron is 6 years younger than me) didn't get along especially well, I think because we were so close in age. However, nowadays, we are very close. Something happened when we all hit our late 20's that made us realize we did indeed like each other.

I called her twice today, and just spoke briefly with her each time. She's so tired lately. I called at about 10 am her time and woke her up (oops). She was trying to rest before some friends came over with food and drink for her birthday. And then when I called later, she was wiped out from having them over and whooping it up (a relative term these days). She said her stomach hurt, and she was trying to rest to get rid of it.

She also said the doctors moved up the date of her scan to two days from now, because she's having a significant amount of pain. That can't be good, but she/we need to know. I was telling CB tonight that I'd want to know a timeline at this point. I'd need to know. But I also recognize that not everyone does. I really hope they can manage her pain adequately.

I did send card, it didn't get there yet, but probably tomorrow. It was from some original photos that were made into note cards that I bought. The one I chose had a nice little waterfall on it, and I thought that appropriate, given how time flows, and things are never the same for very long.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Spring-based Optimism

OK, I admit it. I'm a sucker for the gardening catalogs that come around at this time of the year. It's timed so well. After the holidays, I'm so over having to travel and do what other people want me to do (no, it's not that bad) that planning next year's garden seems like such a grand, selfish, home-and-therefore-me type of gesture.

And I'm not a committed gardener, by any means. I'm more of the sort that puts forth an effort at the beginning of the season and then sits back to see what happens. I don't tweak and do lots of dead-heading, although I will weed (if for nothing else than to save me the trouble of getting the damn things out when they get big and unruly). No, I like to walk out in the mornings when I take the dog out first thing and see what's changed since the last time I've looked. That's one of the best things about gardening for me, to see this progression of flower to seed, to experience smell and color like nothing else in nature.

So I will gleefully look through the catalogs and plan and scheme about plant selection and placement. I will make a mental list that contains enough plants to cover a garden five times the one I've got, and end up buying different stuff at my local garden center anyway. It's all about hope, I guess. Hope for the next season.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sister Kris Part 1

My sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer about a year ago. She was 44 at the time.

Of course, the first thing myself and my brothers (2 of them) did when we hear that Kris had cancer was to schedule our colonoscopies. And I get my yearly Pap, and mammogram, and try to eat my vegetables and not be sedentary, etc. This year I signed up for life insurance, so I had blood tests for other diseases/disorders as well. Us sibs have checked out OK. Our mom died early of cancer (she was 56) so it's been rather spooky.

Two years, they said at the time. Two years is the average life expectancy when the cancer's been discovered at this point in its progression. 'But I'm tough, I'm strong, and it's not going to take me that soon' she said. And for the first 9 months you could hardly tell she had cancer, besides the freaky side effects of the chemo drugs. Sensitivity (extreme) to cold, pimples that covered her head and upper chest, diarrhea and/or constipation. Weird stuff.

But now, it's clear that she's really sick. She's in a fair amount of pain, which has been pretty well controlled with some big drugs that you can't just send a friend to the pharmacy to pick up. It's the fatigue that has really laid her low these last few months. So exhausted that she can't do housework and spends most of her time on the couch.

I want to document how it happened for her (not to her - no one has that answer) and, more importantly, what she is/was like, what she's done, etc. She has two great kids, one of which wouldn't be here today if it were not for her persistence at getting him proper medical care. No, I don't think that's an exaggeration. She is virtually done with her BS in Nursing. And, it goes without saying, she's being taken before her time.

It's a lesson for us all, that's true, but I still am struggling with the senselessness of it. So, I'll explore that some with these posts, and also tell the world the kind of person is.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Inaugural post

I used to think blogs were self-serving and a stretch of the ego. Then I realized I had something to say. I have a sister who is dying of cancer way too young, and will post about that. I've recently gotten back into birdwatching, and that's been fun. I like my job, and will probably write about that as well.