Monday, September 2, 2019

Scanxiety and a BAP finish

Hi, stitching friends!

Oh.... where to begin?

At the end of June, I had routine scans for my metastatic breast cancer. Just checking in, making sure treatment is working. No big deal (hopefully). I felt fine, so I had no cause to worry. But I worry anyway.

It's called "scanxiety" (scans + anxiety = scanxiety).

After two years of good news, this one hit me like a punch in the gut. Some new "spots" showed up in my spine, but the tricky thing with bone mets is that we can't tell from scans whether they are active tumors or scar tissue (from dead tumors). My doctor said it could also be something called "treatment flareup," where tissue surrounding a dying tumor becomes inflamed.

So, new tumor growth = bad. That means my treatment is no longer working. But, treatment flareup = good. That means treatment is working.

The only way to tell is to wait, see how I feel until my next appointment, and repeat scans to see if the spots are bigger.


Enter a Vacation and Whole30

For the longest time, I just didn't know what to say. So I didn't say anything. I've been absent from my blog and from many of yours, and for that I am so sorry. Thank you to my friends who have sent me beautiful cards and emails checking in on me. I love you for it.

At the beginning of August, I decided to make a drastic change to my diet. Did I want to lose weight? Uh... yeah. (Who doesn't relish the thought of clothes fitting better?) But my main motivation was to do everything I could to affect the outcome of my situation. If changing the way I eat can extend my life at all, it's worth giving up some goodies.

I really don't think I can cure a disease with no cure by eating better, but if I can feel better and possibly increase the number of my "good" days, then heck yeah!

Whole30 ( is very similar to the Paleo diet. Lots and lots of vegetables, a little fruit, protein and healthy fats. No dairy, grains, legumes or unhealthy fats. It was a shock at first trying to get used to it, but now that my Whole30 has ended and the "training wheels" are off, I have very few cravings for sugar and junk food. My son keeps trying to get me to celebrate completing the Whole30 by going out for cookies and ice cream, and I just don't want them. clothes are fitting a lot better.

I see my doctor again next week, and I can honestly say I feel so much better in terms of everyday well-being, and I still don't have any pain where these new spots showed up in scans. I'm looking forward to seeing what my labs say about my health.

A BAP Finish

What is a BAP? My friend Arlene at Nanaland shared the phrase with me, and it stands for "Big Ass Project"! Don't you love it?

I finally finished Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow! Woot woot! I started it the third week of January 2019, and finished just after midnight on August 29, 2019. My goal was to have it done by the end of August so the framer would have time to frame it in time for October. I'm taking it there after the long weekend is over and I know it's going to cost a fortune, but it's worth it. I'm not tackling this one myself.

Last time I wrote, I was about half done with block 9. Here it is, all finished.

I love the long-stitched wraps of the mummy.

The green diamond pattern in the background stitched up very quickly, even though it may look like a lot of work.

Here is block 10. Lots of scary eyes and swampy creatures!

Rawrrr...... Scary alligator, or swamp monster. Poor frog!

Block 11 completed. I love the designers' creativity, how the steam from the locomotive becomes ghosts.

This way to the Hollow......

And finally, block 12 completed.

That was a LOT of DMC 829. I ran out twice! The skeleton teeth are stitched over one.

The BIG Reveal coming later. I want to show you the whole thing after it's framed. Sorry, friends, but you're going to have to wait.

Now that it's finished, I feel so free to work on anything I want. I have a lot of work to do on the SAL with Mary and RJ at Stitching Friends Forever, and I want to stitch some Christmas ornaments. But you know what's calling my name? The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. Call me crazy.

Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow Giveaway

To celebrate finishing Halloween at HRH, I'd like to offer the chart to one of you. It was so much fun to stitch, and I would love to see it go to someone who wants to stitch it and who might also pass it along to a friend afterwards. To save on postage, I would like to limit the chance to win to a USA-based stitcher.

If you would like to win the chart, please be a sidebar follower and leave a comment answering this question: What was your favorite Halloween costume or memory?

Thanks for reading! I have more in the works to show you, but I'll save those projects for another time. Thinking of all of you, especially those of you in the south facing Hurricane Dorian. Be safe.