Thursday, November 08, 2012

Latest & Greatest News!

WOW!  It's been awhile since I've posted.  I'm still feeling pretty good and not having too much pain yet.  Really like all my Hospice team (nurse, social worker & chaplain) and enjoy their visits.  My nurse comes every week to take my vitals and see what medications I need.  I have begun taking generic pills for Norco because I'm getting lots of pain in my stomach, abdomen & back.  The pills really help to ease that so I can continue doing activities.  I'm keeping busy, so here's my November update.  

I'm finally posting a pic of the wonderful gifts I received for my birthday on Sept 13.  I'm in 2 birthday exchange yahoo groups and they sent such nice items.  Since I'm not able to stitch (because of the neuropathy in my hands), some of the ladies sent me other items.  I received 2 books, stitched hardanger coaster, stuffed cat, cat fabric (will make a nice pillow cover), stitched card of a MS cattitude (I love her cat designs), 2 organic catnip pillows (for my cat Shadow & he loves them), set of body lotions, a kit to make a Nascar #48 car(sort of like legos) and some beautiful colors of floss.


My online friend,  Glenda came to visit from Montana.  I'm so thrilled she came.  I had her go through all my cross stitch and take everything she wanted.  You can see the pics on her blog  Glenda of all the goodies she got.  I'm so happy that I was able to give so much of my stash to someone who loves cross stitch.  Here's a pic of us outside the Olive Garden (sorry G, but just had to post this).


If you think you're seeing blue in my hair, you are correct.  I had a patch of the front of my hair dyed blue and I'm so happy with it.  Here's a close-up of the color.

I think it makes a statement - just not sure of what.  LOL  Since this pic was taken, my hair has changed color to shades of purple, lavender and pink.  It really looks cool and I'm happy with it.  When I got it dyed, my hair stylist told me that blue is funny and tends to change color. 

I attended my 1st Nascar race this past weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway with my son & daughter-in-law.  It was absolutely perfect - my 1st race & my driver won!!!  Here's Lisa and me just chillin' with Jimmie Johnson. hehe  And I think you can see some of my changed hair colors in this pic. 


We had seats near turn 2 on the backstretch and we were about 30 feet away from the track.  Here's a pic showing how close we were.
 

Needless to say, we had a fantastic view of all the cars. Here's Jimmie going past at 190 mph+.  Loved the breeze we felt when the cars went past.


There were only 5 rows of seats and then the section for the corporate RV's to park were behind us.  One even had 2 chefs cooking for them.  Not to be outdone, I brought all the goodies needed to make sandwiches along with some chips.  Tasted good & that's all that matters.  LOL

Have been having a blast and there's more to come.  So be sure to come back and see what's been going on.  ;-)

Thanks for visiting and love to read your comments.

Many Hugs,
Barb

Sunday, October 07, 2012

September Activities

EDIT - I've been able to add pics to this post now!  Yippee!!!  Although it was a real pain in the a** to do it.  I had to upload pics from my computer into picasa & then download them from picasa into blogger.  Oh, the wonderful world of technology - NOT!

September was been filled with activity for me and now I've finally got a chance to update on all that's been going on.  After coming home from Cabo, my daugher & grandgirl came for a visit from Indiana.  We and my daughter-in-law went on a road trip to Corpus Christi and had a wonderful time.  I've been trying to post some pics, but blogger isn't cooperating with me.

This is a pic of my son & daughter with me.My grandgirl & me.

Left side pic is of me with my grandgirl and daughter-in-law in Corpus.
Right side pic is of Katie & me with our DQ yummies.

My daughter & grandgirl at Mustang Island.  Note the sand drawing of a peg-leg mama bird with her baby that Michelle drew.  We actually saw a bird who was peg-legged and we were amazed at how well it got around with the rest of the birds.  Would have never known it had lost it's foot if we hadn't seen it up close.


The trip was lots of fun and we enjoyed visiting Mustang Island and Padre Island for our trip to Corpus.  Beautiful weather to enjoy swimming in the Gulf.  Did some shopping - I only got a few magnets.  Would be silly to buy more souveneirs when I'm trying to get rid of lots of my stuff.  lol   Michelle & Katie stayed for a 10 day visit.  I gave her many items I knew she would like to have and shared some stories with her.  It was a nice visit and sad to see them go back home.

I attended the MD Anderson Cancer Survivors Conference in September and really enjoyed it.  My DIL & I stayed at the conference hotel for 2 nights & what a treat that was.  Lisa & I loved every part of our beds - mattress, pillows, sheets, blanket, comforter.  lol  Wish they would have given us the beds to take home with us.  ROTFLOL  I could truly spend the rest of my time laying in that bed.  Think ya'll get the idea of how heavenly the bed was.  ;-)

Was able to reunite with friends I met at the cancer weekend retreat and catch up with them.  Got lots of handouts - books, magnets, bookmarks, pins, leaflets, etc.  They had a photobooth there so we could take pictures of ourselves for free (I've posted the pic below).  I attended a session on makeup & everyone received a free copy of the book written by our group leader and some wonderful Laura Mercier eye shadow.  It was so amazing to watch her put makeup on a lady who had agreed to be her model.  The lady looked completely natural when finished and simply gorgeous.  I know I'll never be able to put on makeup like she did, but I did get some good tips to try out.  Also attended a session on journaling for healing.  Everyone received a journal and the leader gave us some prompts to write about (one was what we wanted to be when we grew up).  Had wonderful meals that were also healthy.  Go figure!  lol  Lisa said it was the healthiest good tasting breakfasts she'd ever had.


They also provided a special service that I took part in.  A videotape was made of me talking for 30 minutes.  I shared stories about things from my childhood that my children may not know about me.  I kept it upbeat and positive so it will be something my kids can enjoy watching without lots of emotional drama in it.  A CD will be made and mailed to me.  I will make a copy of it so each of my kids can have a copy.

My brother, Shawn came to visit from California for a week.  It's been 11 years since I've seen him and we had a wonderful visit.  Had lots of laughs, shared many memories and enjoyed many good meals.  Food has become my addiction lately and Shawn laughed at how much I could eat.  My favorite is from Chili's (their chocolate molten lava cake) and I eat it all by myself.  lol

Shawn & me at the Kemah TX Boardwalk

Mark, Lisa, me & Shawn at the Kemah TX Boardwalk

Now I'm getting a chance to take it easy and hopefully catch up with everything at home that I need to do.  I do have a friend coming to visit later this month, so I'm hoping to have my place less messy by the time she arrives.  Note that I said HOPING.  lol

Oh, I almost forgot to share that I was able to do a little cross stitching.  It wasn't much, but it made me feel good to hold the needle & thread again.  Here's a pic of the Tom Pudding 2002 freebie design that I worked on and it's nearly finished now.


I'm hoping that my hands cooperate again and let me stitch some more. I'm thinking positive, so we'll see what happens.

I'm sorry for not being able to post any pics, but I'll try to add them later on.  Sure hope blogger works with me on that.  Thanks for coming by.

Love & Hugs,
Barb
  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Vacation pics & health update

Finally took a picture of the Santa ornament I finished for my grandgirl.  Hope she likes it, even if it is nearly a year late.


Now for some pics from my wonderful vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico a couple weeks ago.  Wish I was still there.  ;-)  First pic is my first day there enjoying a virgin strawberry daiquiri - YUM!  Second pic is the view of the Pacific Ocean from my hotel room.  Would love to have this view every day.



Theses next pics are at the Dolphin Encounter with my daughter-in-law, Lisa and my son, Mark.  The dolphin's name is Renoir (Rennie for short).  This was an awesome experience to hug him & give him a kiss on his nose.  Didn't swim with him because I can't swim.  ;-(





These pics are me enjoying the view from the hotel balcony and me posing before going to dinner.


This pic is me standing on the bridge over the main swimming pool with the moon overhead.

This is a family of seals (mama & 2 pups) on the rocks. Went on a sunset cruise and this was one of the sights we saw.



This pic is The Land's End Arch we saw on the sunset cruise (where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean).  What a beautiful sight!


Finally, here are a couple pics of the beautiful hotel facility we stayed at.


This vacation was wonderful for me and really rose my spirits.  Gave me a little break from dealing with my cancer.  I came home on Saturday and saw the oncologist on Monday.  I was prepared for the bad news I received.  All chemo treatments are being stopped because they weren't helping me.  My neuropathy is not getting any better.  My hands and feet are numb and hurt, so it also affects my balance making me have to use a cane all the time.  I have many malignant lymph nodes throughout my body.  There is no other chemo I can take and no clinical trials I can take.  So now it's just time for me to live out my life the best I can.  The doctor said I have 2 - 6 months.  Who knows, I may have more time, but only God knows.

I'm keeping myself busy and have a positive attitude.  I am going through my belongings and taking things to the thrift shop and books to the library.  Still haven't gone through all my cross stitch stash, but will be doing that also.  Not quite sure how I want to disburse all of it yet, but want it to go to people who will appreciate it.  I truly do miss stitching, but my numb hands just don't work well enough to stitch.  ;-(

I plan to post here and keep everyone updated on my health.  Also want to post some pics of the upcoming visit by my daughter and grandgirl.  We're planning to spend a couple days at Corpus Christie while she's here (I've never been there).

Thanks for reading and it really warms my heart to have so many followers and all the wonderful comments you've all made throughout the 7 years I've had this blog.  It's now in God's Hands for how much longer I'll have this blog.

Much love and many hugs,
Barb




Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Been a long time coming

It sure has been a long time coming - six months in fact.  So it's about time I finally got around to posting something.  Wow, so many things have happened during my blog "sabbatical" time that it's difficult to know just where to begin. 

Perhaps a stitch update would be in order.  I have managed to finish these charity squares for Q4OC.  First is the Evil Queen from Snow White square I finished in March for a Disney Villain Quilt requested.  Second is a heart square using DMC variegated thread that I finished in April.

Next is the Brittercup Spring Motif square I finished in June.  This piece had to be stitched in all darker colors since the quilt recipient has problems with bright colors.  Finally, the last charity square I stitched was this Sue Hillis 2009 freebie heart design I finished in June.  I used a JP Coats color 513 thread I had in my stash.  Have no idea if this color is even still sold, but I loved the variations of lavenders, blues, greens & cream in it.

I also managed to finish a couple of stitching projects for my grandgirl in June.  This piece is a small project she asked me to stitch for her.  Yes, she loves flip flops.  lol  I also finished a Santa ornament that I didn't get a photo taken of yet.



I attended a weekend camp retreat for women cancer patients sponsored by MD Anderson in April and it was beyond wonderful.  I am 4th from the left in the back row in this group photo. 


I met some awesome ladies and participated in some great activities.  It was a weekend I'll always treasure and I had loads of fun.

One of the activities was a rope challenge. Even though I'm afraid of heights, I decided this was a challenge I was going to complete and I'm proud to say - I DID IT!!!  These photos show my progress.  First - my climb up and next after I completed walking across the first section and getting ready to do a short zipline crossing.



 
 
 
Here's me on the short zipline.  Next, I'm crossing the board section.  

Now I'm crossing the section of wood slats.  And now for an easy section.

 
The last section was really easy - going across a piece of canvas.  And then the fun part - going down the zipline.  What an awesome experience! 
 
 
 
The weekend after the camp retreat was the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.  I was fortunate enough to help carry the banner on the first lap.  Words cannot express the emotional impact it had on me carrying that banner and hearing all the cheering and applause from the spectators along the route. 
 
 
This has been a very photo heavy post, so I'll close for now.  I'll be posting again in the next couple of days to fill you in on the rest on my blog "sabbatical" time.  lol
 
Thanks for reading and I do enjoy all comments.
 
Many Hugs,
Barb

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 WIPocalypse update

Wanted to do a quick update to show my first 2012 finish.  I'm making some prgress on my 2012 WIPocalpyse - slowly, but it's progress.  


This is a charity square for Q4OC and I'm thrilled to have stitched this for a young lady's quilt.




Design - Bluebird of Happiness
Designer - Joanne Sanderson
Nov 2004 UK Cross Stitcher Magazine
14 ct white aida & DMC threads

Now that I've finished this, I'm moving on to the other 2 charity squares (evil queen from Snow White) & a heart design.

I've also begun working on an art journal.  I'm making it from a composition book per directions from the Lil Boo blog.  When I actually have something to show, I'll post a pic here.

Tomorrow is chemo day, so I'll be going in to my son & dil's tonight.  I'm hoping this treatment goes as smoothly as the last one did.  I didn't have as much pain in my hands & feet & I think that has a lot to do with the Lyrica medication I'm now taking.

Nascar has begun!!!  YIPPEE!!!  Today's Daytona 500 race is delayed because of rain, but looks like the weather has improved and they are in the process of drying off the track.  I'm excited about watching the race.  Go Jimmie Johnson!!!

Tonight is the Oscars and I'll probably watch it - or at least some of it.  When it begins to drag on & get boring, I'll call it a night.  lol

That's it for now.  Gotta start getting my things packed, so I'm ready to leave when the Nascar race is finished.  Thanks for visiting and hope ya'll come back now.

Barb


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Hard to believe it's already February.  I wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day.  Hope you get lots of chocolates, flowers, and love.  I've got lots to share with ya'll.  I'll begin with my stitching news.  Have received some wonderful RAKs. 




I don't know who sent me this wonderful fabric, silk threads & needles.  They came from 123 Stitch, but there was no name of who sent them.  Whoever you are, thank you so very much.  It truly brightened my day.












Wendy from SanMan Originals sent me this generous package of fabric, threads, charms, 4 small & 1 large kit.  She felt that the small kits would be good for me to work on while receiving my chemo, which I agree. Thank you so much Wendy.  I love everything.



I received these charts from Lisa and am really looking forward to stitching these up.


Georgena sent me these for our freebie chart exchange in the CSE group.  She said she had already chosen the heart maze chart and then found out I like cats, so added the additional cat chart.  Thank you so much Georgena for a wonderful exchange.


I sent this to my wonderful friend, Glenda.  It was a late birthday gift and I didn't do the finishing, so she could decide how she wanted it finished.


Here's my progress on some of my WIPocalypse 2012 projects.



Here's my Jimmie Johnson wall.  I was thrilled when I received the mounted memories plaque that I won from Lowe's Racing on Twitter.  How awesome to have an original autographed photo of Jimmie and an actual piece of race-used tire.  I never imagined such a wonderful plaque and am over the moon about it.  Note the heart shaped light glare in the 1st photo.  lol  I had to save this photo with the heart to show my love for JJ & Nascar.  hehe


Finally, an update on my health.  I began this new chemo treatment on January 2nd.  The side effects are sensitivity to cold and extreme fatigue.  I feel wiped out all the time.  As soon as I get the chemo, I feel pins & needles in my hands & feet and wow, does that hurt.  Last treatment, my hands hurt so bad that I couldn't take off my clothes & had to sleep in them the 1st night.  I'm now taking Lyrica for that and it does seem to be working.  I have to wear gloves whenever I touch anything in the frig or freezer.

Seems like chemo has affected my nerves more than anything else.  The hands & feet syndrome (neuropathy) are the main problem, but I also have difficulty with my balance at times so have to be careful I don't fall down.  I may have to start using my cane (that I got after my surgery) again.  My thinking is also affected by the chemo.  It's referred to as chemo-brain.  I forget a lot and am at a loss for words when having a conversation with someone.  It's so annoying to not be able to think of the word I want to say or even forget what I was saying in the middle of a sentence.

I'm just hoping the chemo is doing it's job.  The lymph node in my neck is smaller, which is a good sign.  I just take it one day at a time and leave everything in God's Hands.

Thanks for visiting.  I love to read your comments even if I'm not good at responding to them.  Thank you for all your kind words, support & encouragement.  It gives me strength to continue.  

Much love & hugs to ya'll,
Barb