Monthly Archives: October 2014

Afghan Hound


So, I’ve been home from the hospital for a little over a week now, and one thing is clear. My goddess, I’m an antsy person. A first class fidgeter.

I’ve been joking about this with my cousin, since our late grandfather was a notoriously jumpy guy and I’m clearly his granddaughter. The apple that fell from the tree can’t seem to sit still, either.

And recovering from surgery kind of demands, as my cousin told me, to “get the ants out of your pants”. Or something like that. The message was to just sit back and relax and sleep and snooze and let your body heal. Be a good patient, damn it.

I’m doing my best; I really am. I am tired and I am sitting back and relaxing and sleeping and snoozing. Really.

And for as wiped out as I feel, I still want to “do”. I’m a maker and I have this innate need to create things. I had all of these great, grand plans for my recovery time, too. I picked out fiddly, intricate knitting patterns to keep my mind quiet and yarn in colors that would break your heart. I looked at crocheted tablecloth patterns where the hook required is only slightly thinner than a toothpick and three days’ worth of crocheting would yield a piece only slightly larger than your smartphone.

None of it is working. I don’t have the patience or the mental sharpness right now, and that’s as it should be. Hey, major surgery, right? Cancer, right? I’m supposed to be tired and taking naps with the cat on my lap, not fiddling around with elaborate knitting techniques.

But the hands still want something to do and the mind needs to be occupied and I’m all fidgety and I want to make something, just not anything that involves a lot of thought or concentration or color changes or exotic cast-ons involving flying fingers and multiple knitting needles. In other words, the crafting equivalent of a bowl of really good
mashed potatoes.

I needed an afghan. Or two. Afghan2

As it turns out, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered. I pawed through my yarn stash and found just about enough for one and ordered yarn for the other. I chose patterns that won’t get all cranky if I nod off with my yarn in my lap and drop a couple of stitches. The colors make me smile. And when I’m all done, there will be two lovely afghans just waiting for someone who needs a nap.

The complicated stuff can wait for another time.


Giant Steps


Oh, hi. Didn’t see you there.

I know, I know, I said I’d do a blog entry while I was in the hospital and I meant to, I really did. But somewhere in between lolling about, gazing at the beautiful flowers sent to me by family and old friends and catching up on my reading I just never got around to it.


Okay. How about in between walking up and down the halls to keep my lungs clear, gazing at the beautiful flowers sent to me by family and old friends and doing some real post -surgical recovery I just never got around to it?

Better? Okay.

The good news? The surgery is done. It’s done, finit, “outta here”, really-gone-baby-oh-so-gone. The great news? It went perfectly. It was long and complex and according to my doctor’s fellow, “a real doozy”, but it’s over.

All told, I spent 5 days in the hospital and they were surprisingly busy ones. My doctor’s fellow stopped by twice a day, once with her staff and then with my doctor. They want you up and walking almost as soon as you come out of the recovery room, so there were lots and lots of trips up to the reading area in the far corridor, pushing my IV tree as I went. I got poked and prodded and woken up at 3 in the morning for blood pressure and oxygen tests. I had my hair massaged with a dry shampoo and braided.

I had a lot of bad hospital food, drank gallons of hot tea and read Graham Nash’s autobiography. I watched “The Blind Side” (not bad), “The Hunger Games” (really overrated) and laughed when a nurse pulled a chair over to watch a Philadelphia Eagles game with me. The Eagles won and she won $50 from her son on a game-day bet.

I did physical therapy exercises, had a speech therapist watch me swallow coffee and drooled like a Basset Hound bassettbecause of where my surgical site is. I had the nursing staff fall in love with my handknit socks. I made my doctor laugh because when he came to see me I was sitting in bed knitting a sock and had a double pointed sock knitting needle jammed behind my left ear.

“I think you’re ready to go home.”

Yes, please, but this is only one piece of it. I had my follow-up visit on Friday and while he’s positively giddy with how well I’m doing, I won’t be able to avoid chemo. One of the little bastards he removed was an aggressive little beast and he wants to make sure he gets all of so we don’t have to do this all over again.

I couldn’t agree with him more.

The good news is that there’s about six weeks before the medical part of the treatment starts, so I’ll have some time to heal. Although I’m no longer drooling (much to the delight of my boyfriend and the cat), I’m still really swollen. And my tongue still isn’t quite sure where it should go just yet. That’s for the speech therapist and me to work out and all of that fun starts the week after next.

And if all goes as planned, and it looks like it will, and depending on the length of radiation and chemo treatments, there’s a really good possibility I’ll be done with all of this by the end of the year.

Happy New Year, indeed.

A Little Monday Morning Quickie


See? I knew I got your attention!

This is just a quick update to let youse guys know what’s going on here. Today’s the dental surgery over at Temple University Dental, but that shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll be on nitrous for a couple of hours, so if any of you in the Philly area see someone floating over the Linc, that’s just me. Please don’t call 311.


The big, icky surgery’s on Thursday. One of the PAT nurses at Fox Chase said I’ll probably be the first surgery scheduled, so there’s a good possibility we’ll be leaving here around quarter-of-dark that morning.

I’m in good shape. The whole idea of being scared has been in the rearview for a while now, but I’m pretty sure the possibility of being on Percocet and other assorted opioids for a week or so is helping me along.

I’ll take whatever I can get, ya know?

I’ll keep everyone updated here and on Twitter. Stay tuned!