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,

Sunday, February 22, 2015


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,

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,

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,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

New Look

Before Christmas I went shopping and found some gorgeous lavender themed fabric that I just had to have for our light purple and green bathroom.

I wanted to make a new curtain and a mat for the toilet tank and finally this past week I got around to getting it done.

I also went to the dentist this week to get a new temporary crown because the old one broke and the gold crown wasn't back as promised, aarrrgggghhh.  I will get the gold one on Tuesday, and I've broken the temporary again.  It's on the back most tooth and there isn't much clearance so the temporary is thin and well, it just breaks so easily that nothing I do seems to help keep it in one piece.

While at the dentist I asked him about my swollen face (by my ear) and the huge lump that had gone down some by the time I saw him.  I've had TMJ (jaw issues) my whole life and I am a bad clincher, especially at night.  I wear a night guard, but apparently that wasn't helping.  Luckily I have a Dentist that asked the right questions and got to the bottom of the problem.  I have been extremely stressed about Cliff and his treatments and the fact that he will most likely end up doing some sort of chemo after the treatment we are doing is done.  I didn't realize how stressed and upset I was and it's all in my jaw.  I would wake in the morning and barely be able to open my mouth to get my night guard out.  So he prescribed a low dose muscle relaxer and that has really helped.  The swelling is down and Cliff and I are talking about things that are hard to talk about.  You never want to talk about these things and yet everyone should talk about it.  Being brave and stoic is not the answer, at least for me it's not.

So I just want to say that if you've responded to any posts lately and I haven't gotten back I'm sorry, I've had some email issues and personal issues and I'm not trying to ignore anyone.  I'll be better at responding from here on out and I thank you for any comments in the past couple of weeks.  I really do appreciate them and your support.

We have the last infusion tomorrow and we also see the oncologist.  I assume that we will then schedule bone and cat scans for early March and see how we move forward from there.  Any prayers or good vibes you could send our way would be greatly appreciated.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First in the New Year

My first quilt top finish for the new year.  I started cutting in December and finished it last night.  I'll try to quilt it this weekend or next week sometime, just depends on how CR is feeling after his 3rd and final round of the Friday/Monday Provenge treatments.

It's a lap size quilt, the pattern is called Sunbeams and the colored fabric is batiks.  I really like how it turned out. 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bird Watching

The feeders are full and the boys are chattering and watching the birds and everybody is mesmerized at our house.  First up we have Chanceman, he's watching from a distance and hasn't a clue I'm even around and taking pictures

 And then Rascal jumped on the table I left bare for them to bird watch.  I wish you could here the chattering sounds he makes - Chance does it so quietly you can only see his mouth move, but Rascal is vocal.

 The last picture of Rascal looks like he's looking back at Chanceman like - hey did you see that?  So cute.

Then there is my little quiet introvert Scotchie, he was in the bedroom on the headboard watching.

 Apparently he got tired though and came into the living room to take a nap on his Dad's computer chair.  It's the best and most popular seat in the house - poor CR.  I just love this little guys soulful eyes and his little pink nose.  I really shouldn't call him a little guy, he's 18+ pounds and even though he's been on weight control food (they all have) for several months now, he's still holding his 18+ pounds.  Chance actually lost some weight and is now a petite 15 pounds.  Rascal is around 15 pounds also.  Tiny little guys, aren't they, hahahaha.

I'm off to the Dentist in a few to get my crown on and again it's a grey, dark day which makes me want to just stay home.  At least the morning fog has lifted. 

Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


This past Friday and Monday, Cliff had his second round of them taking white cells and then super charging them at a lab, then infusing them back in.  Poor guy was so sick with flu symptoms yesterday he just stayed in bed for the most part.  The animals were very confused by this because Cliff is never sick and this wasn't the normal routine.  Today, he is back to himself and the animals won't leave him alone, even while he's on the computer trying to catch up on news, etc he is surrounded by them.

Nice to be loved but it makes doing computer stuff a bit difficult.  He's a very patient man and just pets the boys and talks to them.  Eventually Chance (half on the keyboard) got bored and left. 

I don't think I posted anything last week because I was sick with the real flu and had nothing much to say.  Thankfully I was better by the time it was time to go to Spokane for Cliff.  I did make a fabulous Tortilla soup on Thursday last week though and forgot to share the picture.

I got the recipe here.

I also got some of the fabrics for the pattern I posted to make a king size quilt for our bed:

I still need to get the light fabrics and the border fabrics, but this is a good start.  I might have what I need in my stash for the light fabrics, I haven't looked really, but I'll definitely have to buy the border and backing fabrics.  Which means a road trip to Portland and Fabric Depot is in my future on one of their 35% off sale weekends.

It's been so grey and foggy and misty around here, I'm about to go to a tanning bed to see some sun.  This is when winter starts to get to me.  It's a boring month, nothing going on with the holidays over with, the ugly and depressing weather, ugh.

That painful cortisone shot I got in my hip was working pretty good till the last couple of days.  I have a feeling a hip replacement is in my future, possibly sooner than I'd like.  I told CR that when they cremate me there will be a huge amount of metal parts left over - oh look that's a knee and a couple of hips, hey is that a spark plug? 

We are looking at getting a new car.  Our Camry is wonderful, but it's a 2007 and has front wheel drive.  I won't drive it on bad roads, it's all wheel or 4 wheel drive for me.  So we are looking at a Subaru Outback.  CR's brother has one and they love it - we like it too and it's a very comfortable car, sits a tad higher than a regular car and of course the all wheel drive feature.  Also we'd like to have the back up camera, that wasn't a feature on the cars in 07, oh and the feature that warns you if someone is in your blind spot.  There are so many great features on cars now days.  My Aunties new car has it all and then some, I loved it.  I think hers is an Impala, in NC she doesn't have to worry so much about snow and a lot of bad weather driving.

This weekend is the super bowl, we'll be here at home rooting for the Seahawks and having chili for our game day dinner.  Personally I watch for the great commercials, but I do enjoy the game too.

So what will you be doing, if anything, on Super Bowl Sunday and who will you cheer on?

Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Survived

I survived the flu and let me just say I haven't felt that bad in years.  They weren't kidding that the flu shots we got this year don't do much to help with what's going around.  I had a good amount of miserable days but I'm back to the land of the living.

Yesterday CR and I went to see the movie - American Sniper.  WOW, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do.  At the end of the movie it was so silent in the theatre, not like a typical movie at all.  I was very moved by the movie and yes I did shed a tear or two at the end.  The woman a couple seats down from me sobbed so loudly I figured she cried for the both of us and then some.  I just can't do that in public.

While I was sick the cats and our dog and CR stayed as far away from me as possible.  In fact Chance and Scotchie shared one of the dining room chairs and watched CR do his checkbook to stay away from me on the couch in misery.  Where did the love and caring go I ask, haha.


We've had the boys on weight control food and while Chanceman has lost a pound, Scotchie is up a few ounces at a hefty 18.6 pounds.  We are worried about him getting diabetes.  He's just a big boy, but if he gets any bigger he may have health problems.  Rascal has really helped to get both of these boys running around the house and being more playful, so that is good.

Remember all those squares I cut out a while back, well they are finally taking shape:

 Speaking of weight issues, two of my boys are total treat piglets.  Scotchie and Rascal hear the treat bag rattle and come running every morning, it's so funny to watch them.

The other day I dug out a pattern that I purchased at the local quilt show a couple of years ago and decided to use it to make a kings size quilt for our bed.  I have even ordered the batiks 2&1/2 inch strips for the colored blocks from a place in Portland that I love and that has good sales.  Here is a picture of the front of the quilt pattern:

I still need to figure out the light fabrics and the borders.  I'm excited to get started.

I hope you all have remained healthy this winter and not gotten the dreaded flu that is going around.  This Friday we start Round 2 of CR's treatments, so a busy and exhausting few days are ahead of us.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Second Christmas

The other day I received a big box from my Aunties filled with lots of beautiful goodies.  A gift store in their area that we all loved was going out of business and things were half price and many great deals and they sell Jim Shore, so guess who scored some awesome Jim Shore pieces - yep, me, the Aunties are far to good to me.  Take a look:

So gorgeous and everything but the Santa's and the Scarecrow are out.  I always keep all my Angels out and the Snowman is perfect for this time of year too.  Check it out:

Woodland Snowman and Woodland Angel by my picture of CR and Maddie

Pretty Angel is by my chair

The cornucopia is so gorgeous I had to have it out, I don't care if it's not autumn

Isn't the little watering can to cute.  It might move around a bit, but for now I like it here.
Can you imagine getting a box like this.  It was so much fun to unpack everything and even CR said it was like Christmas again.  He supports my love of everything Jim Shore.  He's a good man.

Speaking of CR, except for fatigue he's done really well after the infusion and for that we are grateful.  We don't go back till next Friday for round 2, so he's just taking it easy.

I've not been feeling well, CR thinks it's the flu, but I don't have a temp, so I'm not sure about that.  Whatever it is has my intestines in major distress and pain and I have a horrible headache.  Since I don't get headaches except for rare occasions, it's horrible, but nothing compared to headaches people suffer from at all.  I'm whining.  But it is day 4 and I'd like things to settle out already and return to the regular scheduled programming.

I haven't even been sewing or doing embroidery.  I did go to the dentist on Wednesday for a crown, came home and the stupid temp crown broke off, had to return to the dentist for another temp.  Ugh, if the darn thing breaks off again I am not going back.  Currently one corner has broken off but the rest is still there.  Now how'd that happen.  I've been living off of mostly liquids and some greek yogurt and a banana or two.  I don't know how any of those could break a temp crown, but it did.  Oh and speaking of not eating much, do you think I've lost a pound, heck no, not even an ounce, what gives.  Pain, torture, hardly eating and still not a pound lost after 4 days.  I can't believe it.  My body must really love it's fat and is hanging on for dear life.  Sorry, that was more whining, huh.

Any plans for the weekend?  My plans are to clean house, grocery shop and hope that this bug goes away.

Happy Stitches and Hugs,