Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Coming Home

I'm so excited that my Aunt is finally coming home this Thursday.  It's been over a month since she had a tiny stroke that has left no ill effects and she is doing great.  She's still a tad weak from it all, but that happens.  She's working hard to gain her strength back and luckily she was not paralyzed.  Being in Washington state and my Aunts living in North Carolina is tough when these things happen.  There truly wasn't a thing I could do if I flew back there and so I wondered what I could do and came up with the idea to make her a quilt for her homecoming.  I mailed it off today and she should receive it on Friday.  I hope it wraps her in the love I have for her and lets her know that I was there in spirit.


I've had these gorgeous fabrics in my stash and I think they are so happy and cheery that I felt they would be a perfect lap quilt for my Auntie.  I used the Eleanor Burns Tossed Nine Patch pattern.

Tomorrow I'm headed out to the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area to visit my good friend Robyn.  I need some girlfriend time and just to get away for a couple of days.  If CR needs me it's a quick 4 hour drive home.  I'll be driving Suzi the Subaru and it should be a fun trip.  That said all the animals are very concerned about a packed bag in the living room - especially Maddie.  I'll be home on Saturday so I'm sure they'll survive.  Boy though can't they make you feel guilty with just one look.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Back to the Beach

Just felt like looking at our beach pictures today and sharing a few more from our March trip.


Ah the Lazy Susan CafĂ©.  Our favorite place to eat in Cannon Beach and the owners always remember us.
Sleepy Monk Coffee - Organic Coffee roasters - best latte in town!!
Cute magnet I found for my Aunt Shirley - looks just like her cat too


Cute magnet that I found for my coffee lovin Aunt Jean


Haystack Rock - such a beautiful site, no matter what the weather is like


There in the distance to the right is Tillamook Head Lighthouse - my favorite light house ever


Fun in the cold surf


Wild mushrooms


the haze/mist always fascinates me


oh Maddie, look this way


Maddie, look at your Mom


Okay lets look at Mom, she wants a picture
 
Lets stop and focus on Mom, but she wasn't having any of that, there were birds on the beach!!
It's a beautiful day here and I have lots to do, but just wanted to sit back and think about the beach for a few minutes before I got busy.

Hope you're having a fabulous Saturday!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ahhhh, Sunshine

No doubt about it, the boys love their sunshine and will follow it around the house.  I call it their tanning sessions.  Thank goodness I don't have to follow them around and put sunscreen on them!!


Meanwhile I have been really sick for the past week.  I thought it was allergies and then last Thursday I could feel whatever it was going into my lungs.  Thanks to several bouts of pneumonia I have adult onset asthma and every time I get a cold it is much worse than a just a cold.  So I've been on antibiotics and prednisone.  Ugh I hate prednisone, it makes me bloated and grumpy and I crave carbs - it's like PMS in a pill.  I finished the antibiotic today and the prednisone has a few more days.  Each day gets a bit better but lord it's wearing thin on my patience, I want to be well and breath deeply.

If I haven't answered an email or a blog response, please forgive me, I just haven't felt up to it and I may have missed an email or two.

Hope all is well where you are!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Finally Some Good News

CR and I visited his Oncologist yesterday and the new meds seem to be doing their job and doing it well.  CR's PSA has dropped by almost half and we couldn't be happier about that.  Also, my Aunt Shirl is coming back nicely from her stroke.  She is in a nursing home that is closer to home for Aunt Jean to get to and check on her daily.  Right now she mostly needs help regaining her strength and resting because it was quite a trauma.  Things are turning around and we all are so grateful.

Today's picture - Maddie's paw prints in the sand and my handsome honey at the beach:



Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Tam

Friday, April 3, 2015

Beach Pictures

Today is Good Friday and Sunday is Easter.  I have plans for a nice dinner for CR and I on Easter.  It will be a quiet weekend here and Monday we will see his Oncologist.  Here are some gorgeous beach pictures I'd like to share with you.









Happy Easter, Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cannon Beach

Back from Vacay and all caught up.  We were so stressed when we left here, but we knew we needed some time away.  I was able to get the speciality pharmacy to overnight the new cancer meds for CR to our location in Cannon Beach so he started them the day after we arrived.  However it was not to be an uneventful trip.  We'd been there about 4 days when I learned my Aunt Shirley had a stroke, and was taken 90 minutes north from her home to a Norfolk, Virginia hospital.  I also learned that a good friend had lymphoma cancer.  Yeah, bad things do come in three's it seems.

So here is where all that is at.  CR is tolerating the new meds well and feeling well with no side effects.  My Aunt has been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks and finally we have a diagnosis.  They did several cat scans and said she didn't have a stroke, then they thought maybe a series of seizures, but she wasn't acting right, her speech abilities and reasoning abilities were severely hindered and they made 2 attempts to do an MRI but she would crawl out of the tube.  So finally my Aunt Jean demanded they knock her out like for a surgery and do the MRI and get us answers.  The doctors were wanting to send her to a nursing home and we had no answers and that wasn't going to work for any of us.  Yesterday they did the MRI and guess what - she did indeed have a stroke, the bleed in her brain was to small for a cat scan to pick up and it is centered in the part of her brain that affects speech and reasoning, etc.  Thankfully we have an answer and now for a long rehab.  My friend who has lymphoma cancer has been through chemo and has a clean pet scan, so keeping our fingers crossed and our prayers said, she will remain in remission.

I thought over the next few days I'd bore you with pictures of the beach.  We had some really rainy days and some beautiful sunny days and warm days as well.

Maddie running her shorty short legs off:





Sniffing everything there is to sniff:




Running from the ocean.  Since she was a pup I would tell her the ocean is gonna get her so she'd run from it when it started getting near, and she still does it today at 6 years old.

 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, March 13, 2015

What a Week

It's been an incredibly hard week for us.  A week ago Friday, CR had his bone and cat scans and blood work.  On Monday we had an appointment with the oncologist and the results were not great.

Here is what we found out:

The PSA was over 500 (in December it was 162)

The bone scan showed that all his ribs, areas of the spine, and jaw have metastatic bone cancer (in December it was only a couple of ribs)

The cat scan showed that he has enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen

Cliff will start a daily pill as soon as all the approvals go through.  The drug is called XTandi and is specifically designed to fight advanced prostate cancer.  It is classed as an androgen inhibitor.  Androgens are a group of hormones, which include testosterone.  The Androgen receptor inhibitors interfere with the connection between androgens and androgen receptors and help slow the cancer growth.  The basics are this:  A prostate cancer cell needs an androgen to connect with an androgen receptor to cause tumor cells to grow.  Xtandi doesn’t allow them to connect and grow tumors.  I asked the Oncologist how will she know that the Xtandi is working and she said that a monthly blood test of his PSA will tell her.  If the PSA starts going down, the Xtandi is working.  Then every 3 months she’ll follow up with Bone and Cat Scans. 

We felt as if a freight train had run us over and it's been emotionally and mentally draining.  I have even experienced some panic attacks from this news.  I think we both are doing better now, we've had a few days to wrap our heads around it all.

We have decided to continue as planned to take a trip to the Oregon Coast and celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary.  I think it will be good for us to just get away to a favorite place.  We always find the ocean renewing and calming.  Given this latest storm, we need the calm seas even for just a little bit.

On top of the stress of cancer, another stress had me in knots this week also.  I had mailed my Aunts birthday package to them and used the Post Office flat rate box that has tracking and insurance.  I've had such good luck with those boxes until this time around.  I mailed it so that it would arrive on March 5th which is my Aunt Jean's birthday (Aunt Shirl's birthday is the 24th).  I made adorable wall hangings for them (I posted about them a few posts back) and I also baked cookies for Aunt Jean and scones for Aunt Shirl.  Well that box sat in Rocky Mt. North Carolina for days, and days and there was no update, only a statement that the package was delayed.  Rocky Mt is a 2 hour drive to where the Aunties live.  I was feeling sure that they'd lost the package.  And I was upset, it just compounded the upset I was already feeling.  Crisis averted on Tuesday morning when the tracking number showed it was out for delivery.  They got everything, all was well and they loved their wall hangings.  And I didn't have to blow up at some poor postal worker and take out all my upset on them.

One thing I started working on this week to try to be calm and focus and not have panic attacks is a quilt for the bird viewing end table in my one living room.  It came together easily and was fun to do and I love the result. 


So that's my week.  Not much happening, well except for what I've told you about.  The weather has been gorgeous and spring like.  In fact the other day the temps were in the 70's.  Just beautiful.

Hope everyone is well and enjoying some better weather.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Suzi

We've added a new member to our family -- Suzi, the Subaru.  We love her because of Suzi, we sent Cami the Camry packing.  Poor Cami, but it was time!  Suzi has all the bells and whistles and wowzer she practically kisses you hello.  Now if only she knew how to make coffee!!





 Not much sewing has been done because of Suzi.  I think a trip to a fabric shop may be in order.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Friday, February 20, 2015

A New Wall Hanging

Yesterday I got to work on a wall hanging for our house using some blocks I embroidered in the summer:


I've had the fabric for quite sometime and could never decide what I wanted to do with it.  I even got wild and wasted a bit of fabric to fussy cut the doggy fabric corner stones.  Here is an up close look at the embroideries:





I really liked how it turned out.

Today Chanceman decided it was a good day to eat his morning treats out of the little bowl CR uses to put extra treats he doesn't eat into for later in the day.  The other two cats gobble theirs right up, but Chanceman will eat a couple and leave the rest for later.  So CR watches to make sure the other two don't eat them up and saves them for Chance.


The sun is shining and I need to grocery shop and just get out and enjoy the weather.  Yesterday it was 60 degrees and it's only Feb.  Either we are in for a late winter storm or we are going to have a very hot and dry summer.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I Have Been Bad

I have been so bad about ignoring my blog and the blogs that I enjoy reading lately.  Don't know what is wrong with me.  I usually try to look at them every morning, but lately I will peruse Facebook for a few minutes, then do my online jigsaw puzzle, read a daily devotion on my kindle and that's about it.  I have been doing instagram, which I enjoy and will usually post to facebook from there (so nice because you don't actually have to get on facebook to do that).  But even then I'm bad about responding to comments or making comments.  I think I'm in a funk.

The other day during my most stressed out moments of having my face swollen on the one side and my jaw pain, I received a package in the mail from my good friend Robyn.  Just totally out of the blue and it contained this:


She knows me so well and she knows my greatest addiction is a good cup of coffee.  It was a lovely surprise and meant so much at such a bad time. 

I've also been getting emails from my wonderful blog friends just to see how Cliff is and how I'm doing.  Man you have no idea how much that means to me and how lovely it is to get your emails out of the blue. 

I'm back on my treadmill again and I believe that is helping with the stress and I'm working hard to shake off this funk.  Hang in there with me please while I'm temporarily out of order.

One thing I have been doing is embroidery and lots of it.  I been working furiously on a couple of door hangings for my Aunties for their March birthdays.  They're both the same embroideries, but different colors.  One Auntie is getting a pink/burgundy embroider and the other is getting red work.  I think they turned our really cute:

Redwork with red and white border fabrics

Looks the same as the redwork, but it's actually a burgundy thread

I have to say I don't think I can repeat these embroideries for a while, I burned out on this design.

Today is my wonderful hubbies birthday.  He is 75 years young.  We went out to lunch at a favorite restaurant of ours.  He and our friend Ken had wine and I was really bad and had a blood orange martini.  Whoohoo!!  Oh yeah it was good.  It was a nice time and yet low key too.  Cliff is still dealing with the fatigue from his last infusion so we knew it had to be something easy on him.  His brother and sister-in-law sent him a book for his birthday that we both are looking forward to reading:


Everyone, including CR's daughter has told us what a good read it is.  So if you are looking for a book to read, give this a try.

I'm working on a wall hanging using some embroideries I did in the summer.  Hopefully I'll have pictures for you soon.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam