To make a long story short, I found a lump on my face this past summer. Had it removed on Oct. 17 but didn't receive the pathology report until Dec. 2, just 2 days after my brother's chemo was stopped. It was a MALT tumor, a rare type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I've seen the oncologist and been tested, everything looks to be clear except the margins around the tumor. Bypassing the medical technical jargon, it's not the type of tumor or surgery that would ensure that they got it all. So it looks like I'm heading for radiation therapy in the new year, barring a positive bone marrow biopsy (not likely).
Here's the thing--during my trips to chemo facilities with family members and my own recent trips, I am stunned by the friendliness, gentleness and kindness of the patients. And they are friendly, gentle and kind regardless of the type or stage of their disease. So, here’s my plan. I’m planning to make 17 chemo caps, one for each of my
sessions. When I’m finished I’ll donate them to my cancer center (if my
radiation oncologist has found the lady he wanted to contact) or another
cancer facility in Pittsburgh. I’ll post my progress here,
starting some time after the New Year since I don’t have a therapy
schedule yet. If you want to make a few caps (or a lot of caps), I’d be
happy to collect them and add them to my donation. Just email me for my
mailing addy--carol(underscore)mcfadden(at)verizon(dot)net. However, if you want to find a facility in your own town
to contribute them I’m good with that too. That way I’m not asking you
good folks to spend money on postage, and the cancer patients who need
something pretty and warm will still have their caps.
I just did a Ravelry search on ‘chemo caps’ and came up with 9 pages
of free patterns. Since I just bought 10 skeins of various worsted yarn
today--hurrah for Joanne Fabrics coupons!--that narrowed it down to 4 pages. There’s quite a few that would
be good stash-busters, some cute cloches, and one do-rag that ties in
the back. I tried to stick with bright but not too garish
colors--burgundy, blues, grey mottled, one or two skeins of brighter
happy yarns. That way the caps can be worn with a dress coat or a jeans jacket. There are also a lot of websites that give tips on type of yarn, etc for chemo caps.
I just feel that I’m lucky in the type of cancer I have/had and that
there’s a cure just around the corner. So many folks do not have that,
or they don’t have their own angels like I have, but they
still smile at everyone in the waiting room and chemo areas and they
fight a battle each day. I’m simply trying to pass around the good
fortune I have. Won't you join me?