Friday, 28 February 2014

organic cotton hat 2

organic cotton hat 2, a photo by Jan2132 on Flickr.
organic cotton hat 2 by Jan2132A much happier Miss M.  The slouchy topped hat was a big success and I'll do more, but in wool.  The glasses came from Mad About Science in Victoria as part of a 3D writing kit.

She has been home about ten days and we are all having a bit of a respite.  Well, home apart from clinic visits for tests and chemo.  However, she has not been an inpatient from side effects of the chemo.

The little suitcase came from a Ravelry friend in England.  Beautifully packed, it was full of tissue wrapped small parcels of craft materials.  She loved it.  I've said it before, but we are continually amazed at the generosity of fellow crafters.  Amazed by gifts, offers of help, prayers, good wishes and so much more.  It has blown us away.

On that group in Ravelry I joined a KAL of accessories.  That was around Christmas time.  I certainly did not expect to be making chemo hats for my own granddaughter.  This one has a rolled edge and I think I'll probably make a bow from i-cord as decoration.  Or perhaps a butterfly, she likes them.

The yarn is lovely, very soft and easy to knit with.  I bought it from Suzy hausfrau.  It's Malabrigo silky merino, 51% silk and 49% merino.  I'm sure she'll love the colour, she likes purple and blues.  The colour is "nocturnal," a good name to me.  I sat on the balcony this afternoon and did about ten centimetres.  It was pleasantly cool and it has been wonderful to have had some rain.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

I spoke too soon

 Here's the first hat I made Miss M from the organic cotton kit which was given as a gift by Vivian at Ecoyarns.  The pattern had tendrils at the top but I omitted these as I didn't want Miss Kitty taking a swipe and scratching granddaughter's bare scalp.  It's very soft and she likes it. I was well on the way down a  second, as related in instalment below this, when I accidentally twisted needles.  I pulled it all out, although probably did not need to go that far.  I've just picked up the reworking of it, I haven't done any of it this week at all.  It's the pink cotton in the second picture.  However, today was mild and sunny and I sat on balcony in the breeze  for my lunch and did some knitting afterwards. It felt good to get back into it.

This week has been incredibly stressful and my body reacted yesterday with a full blown migraine, the first in a very long time.  Despite two lengthy daytime naps yesterday I slept almost eight hours straight last night and woke feeling much better.

I mentioned how happy we all were that she was at home at last after hospital. However, just on a week ago she started the second round of chemotherapy with different chemicals.  A side effect was a possible high temperature.  Last Friday evening her temperature began to rise.  It rose...and rose and her mum took her around the the oncology ward as per instructions.  It continued to rise for the weekend, going as far as 41°C which is 105°F on the old scale.  Far, far too high and it stayed there far too long.

Not only did it rise so far and she was really very ill with it, she stopped eating and drinking and just lay there.  Very scary.  She developed a strong arrhythmia of the heart and it did not want to respond to treatment.  We were very worried for quite a while. Tests were done and results showing no infection took several days to arrive.  It must have been the  chemo.

Then there was the back story of a family member being totally pigheaded and selfish and just plain stupid and wrong on an issue which then affected Miss M's siblings and other close family.  Son is not at my place for a few more days while he deals with the resulting mess.  I enjoy living by myself but it has been good for him to have been here.  Not a pleasant reason for it, but I have  enjoyed his company.

She went home yesterday eventually but was back today for  another anaesthetic and the tests which they do while she is out to it.  Fortunately, that all went well and she has returned home yet again.  I really hope she stays there.  Her sister who is two years older really misses  her as they are close and get on well together.

So I've posted the blue sky and clouds which I looked  at lunch.  Very restful just watching them for a while as I knitted around and around on the second hat.  Good meditation.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

home sweet home

Somewhere in an old wooden butter box is a 78 rpm recording on bakelite of Dame Nellie Melba singing Home, Sweet Home.  It came from my grandparents who played it on a beautiful rosewood wind up gramophone.

However, sweet as it may be, it's not as sweet as knowing that Miss M has lasted just on a week at home, sleeping in her own bed. Pretty well all her hair has gone now.

 I have made one hat from the kit Vivian at Ecoyarns sent me so kindly. The pattern had tendrils falling from the top but as Miss M has a mischievous kitten at her house I have just made an i-cord loop at the top. I did not want Kitty taking a swipe at the tendrils and scratching Miss M's head. Son has a photo on his phone with her wearing it and it's a good fit, especially as I guessed at the size. I must ask him to send it to me. I said she has been at home. There have been several visits to the clinic for the usual injections and central line chemo and last Friday had another
general anaesthetic and bone marrow biopsy, the fifth in a month. Doctors are pleased with the numbers showing up. A new round of different chemo starts this week and we hope she tolerates it as well as she did the last lot. I had another hat almost finished from more of the cotton, a different spin this time. It was a reversible pattern in a fashionable slouch style. I was careful it wasn't twisted when I joined it, but I think I may have introduced a moebius style twist by not being careful when I picked up the needles. I had to rip most of it out and am now still doing the slouchy style but without the pattern. I was not happy when I discovered it. Not happy, Jan, as the ad says, at all.

The second photo shows her with a gorgeous crocheted owl sent by a Ravelry friend of mine from England.  It's beautiful and is part of a number of items from various members of a Rav group.  People have been so kind.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

our little trooper

Here's a picture of out little trooper, home after a full month in hospital bar a few hours.  She came home yesterday and as you can see, she's very excited. The hair fell out completely two days ago, but even with that she looks very much better than she has done for  the last week.  Even the very dark circles around her eyes are fading.  No hair actually makes her look older than just nine.

I hope she gets to  enjoy some time with her brother and sister and that the (inevitable) infections stay away for a while.

She's been a real trooper about treatment.  Transfusions and a lot of other treatment go into the central line  which is on her right side of chest below the collar bone.  She can cope with that and she can even cope when the line is flushed and cleaned although she doesn't like it much.

Not everything goes  down that.  Two parts of the chemo are given by intramuscular injections and hurt.  Usually this takes at least two nurses  to administer to children and is nerve-wracking  to all concerned.  Miss M knows she needs them and has steeled herself to accept it.  She told the nurse she would be fine and rolls over for the injection.  And fine she is.  She hates it but put up with it without more than a grimace and a bit of a whimper.  The same goes for the several times a day injection of insulin to deal with the steroid induced diabetes.  She pricks her own finger for the tests and an adult does the reading.

I ordered some organic cotton from Ecoyarns on the NSW Central Coast.  The yarn is died  and spun in Peru from certified organic cotton and using fairtrade practices for the workers.  The women who work there are paid a wage and also receive a litre of milk everyday they work.

My brain was in such a distracted state that I sent off the order online, giving only half my address.  Vivian who has the business had to email me for full address.  I explained I was distracted.  I have not been able to get to the PO to pick up the parcel which was left there, even though I was at home when it was theoretically delivered.  SOn picked it up yesterday.  The three skeins I ordered were there but there was an extra  A little kit of yarn and pattern to make a hat with tendrils from the top. So I have to get cracking on some chemo hats for Miss M.

This is yet another example of the kindnesses we have had shown to us by so many.  I wrote "by strangers" on the ravelry group and was admonished for it.  Not strangers but friends who have just not met physically.  The postman asked why the influx of mail to my little used box.  Cards, toys, books, knitted things, prayers, good wishes, games  and more
have come in in an amazing quantity.  We have been overwhelmed, son has been totally surprised at the the kindness shown to his little girl.