Saturday, December 15, 2012

Some personal news and a knitting/crochet challenge

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?


Robin said...

I'm sorry you have to go thru this but thank you for sharing with us. Your words may encourage others to have their 'lumps' checked out. I contribute caps and blankets to our local cancer hospital to 'hug' their patients.

Abigail said...

That is very startling news, but I'm glad it's good bad news, of a sort.

Will be thinking of you!