Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Medicine

The Revlimid was delivered by UPS on Monday. I waited until Tuesday evening to start taking it, because I wanted to make sure exactly how I'm supposed to take it. It seems to have the same 'sleeping pill' effect that the Thalidomide did. During the time that I was not taking either medication, I often had trouble going back to sleep when I awoke in the middle of the night. It's been nice the last few nights not having that problem.

Yesterday I realized an advantage ? to the neuropathy in my feet - I can't feel that my toe is sticking out through a hole in my sock!


I got up about 6 this morning, and had my coffee and oatmeal on the front porch. Then I sat out there and knitted for a couple of hours. I was working on my great-nephew Tony's afghan. I'm finally a bit over halfway done.

Then I spent about four hours alternately picking up the branches I trimmed from the crabapple tree several weeks ago, and resting on the back porch. After it was all picked up, I mowed that corner and the 'holidays' Robbie (next door neighbor) had left in the front yard when he mowed a few days ago. He's legally blind, so he doesn't get too close to the trees with his riding mower. I just appreciate his doing any of the mowing for me. He says he likes to mow. I think he likes to prove that he can do it. After he mowed, I went over to thank him and he told me that he fell a few weeks ago and cracked his shoulder blade and broke a finger. I knew I hadn't seen much of him, but had seen a lot of his family members. He's not happy about their being there so much - even spending the night, but I think it's nice that they're so concerned about him.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cooking & Inkle-ing

Yesterday, Alyssa had to take classes at Red Cross, so Lexi spent Friday night with me. She came into my room about 7 a.m. with my keys in her hand, asking which one opens the back door. I told her and she said she was going to have a surprise for me. A few minutes later, she wanted to know whether the water or the coffee went into the machine first. (It's a little cup-at-a-time machine.) I said it didn't matter.
Then, "The coffee goes into the little brown cup?"
"Should I empty it?"
A minute or two later, she was back with the coffee scoop. "I leveled it off. How many do I use?"
"Just one."
Then in a few minutes she was back with a small tray holding the cup of coffee, a ciabatta roll which she had sliced open, toasted, buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and a peony.
Pretty good for an almost-eight-year-old!

Then at lunchtime, she wanted to cook again, so she scrambled eggs while I microwaved fully-cooked, frozen sausage.


She came and sat on my lap about mid-morning. She pointed over my shoulder and asked what that machine in the corner is - "it has thread on it." I told her that it is an inkle loom and that I'd show her how to use it if she brought it to me. I had put a warp in it over a year ago and wove four or five inches. She wanted to know what that narrow fabric could be used for. I told her that people sometimes use it for guitar straps - "Oh, I can give it to Daddy." - or for purse straps - "You can make the bottom part of a purse for Mommy and use that for straps. As a joint effort, we wove a couple of feet of 'strap.' Later we wove another couple of feet.

I don't know what's wrong with Blogger, but I can't move the picture of the inkle loom down to where I want it. Nor the one of Alyssa and Lexi with my birthday cake and gift.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The week so far

Last week, Dr Winkler said that he was going to add Revlimid to my treatment regimen. Monday I got a phone call from Mindy at Diplomat Pharmacy. She said that they had put the Revlimid through my insurance and that my co-pay would be $2000. WHAT!? So she will present it to the Chronic Disease Fund, and if accepted my co-pay would be $25. I said I could afford that. She took some financial information from me, and said they would be calling both Dr Winkler and me. Tuesday, Dr W asked if I had received the medicine yet. I said that I hadn't, but told him about the phone call the previous day. He called in Donna Marie who handles such things for him. She had a fax that she had received the previous day with the same information I had just reported. The Pharmacy called again today. I've been approved for assistance from the Chronic Disease Fund, so they will UPS the capsules for Monday delivery (I told her I will be out much of the day on Friday). She then transferred me to Celgene, the manufacturer of both Revlimid and Thalomid to take a survey. It's the same as I was taking for Thalomid. Revlimid is a cousin of Thalomid. It has not been tested on humans for birth defects, but it has caused birth defects in animals. Once again, I promise not to get pregnant.

The Celgene representative asked if I had any Thalomid left over and I said that I did. She asked if she should send a return authorization. That will be good. I'll be glad to get it out of the house.


As Dr W walked into the exam room yesterday, I was saying, "Oh, shit!" He asked what was wrong, and I replied that I has just dropped some stitches off the end of the knitting needle. Then I held up my work and asked if he thought a man who works on the barges on the river would wear a scarf that color - fuschia! He said that he might, which was not the answer I expected. But then he added, "But he might get teased a lot." That's more like it. I said I guess that had better become a shawl rather than a seaman's scarf.

After I got my Velcade, Zometa, etc, I went to Market Square Coffee. I got a sandwich at Kirchoff's next door and a cup of coffee. I sat there and ate lunch and knitted for an hour or so. One of my knitting friends owns the coffee shop, but she wasn't there. When I saw her at the knitting guild meeting later she said that Tuesday is her day off. Then I went to Kohl's, Lowes, WalMart and Home Depot. All I bought was three packages of herb seeds - tarragon, parsley, and basil. I called the yarn shop from Kohl's parking lot and asked if the knitting guild was meeting at 7 pm. Maureen said it was, so I decided to find a place to sit and knit after I had finished my other errands.

I really enjoyed the meeting. It was a great bunch of women (about a dozen), some of whom I hadn't seen for a while. I mentioned the charity knitting group we're trying to start at Grace Church, and Stephanie asked if we'd like to join the small group at First Presbyterian. I think that might work well. I plan to tell Libby (our rector) about it when I see her on Friday.

Yard work:

When I woke up during the night, I thought it was raining, but the bird bath was dry this morning, so I guess it was just the wind that I heard. I was glad if that, because I was able to mow. I finished the second round of mowing and started the third - two and a half tankfulls of gas. I was only going to do two sessions, but that put me in the middle of the fenced-in area and I didn't want to leave it that way. Now it will be Saturday before I can do more because of other things scheduled for tomorrow and Friday. Maybe t won't grow too much taller by then.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The roof is done!

Here's some of the crew this morning. They arrived a little after eight this morning and left about 6 pm - long day, but I guess they wanted to get it finished as badly as I wanted them to finish.


My niece is expecting her second child within a month, so I figured it was time to knit a baby blanket. The baby is a boy and will be named Liam. I made a blanket with nine squares, four spelling out his name and five with sun, moon, star, tree and heart motifs. This picture is of the back (note that the L is backwards) and the one below is the front.

I started it on Saturday. Today when I was finishing it, I kept thinking of some of the words in Rite II, Eucharistic Prayer C in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, which is the one we used at church yesterday: "At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home."

The star, tree and heart motifs are from one of my stitch dictionaries, but the other things are from my own charts.

Jill, you asked about the green shawl in one of my recent posts. That is an Elizabeth Zimmerman Pie Are Square shawl. The pattern is in her book Knitting Around. It is more a method than a pattern. I have made several of them, because it is so easy to remember. You can do it in garter stitch if you just feel like knitting (with a few yarn overs thrown in), or you can put in lace stitches if you want more of a challenge.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Shingles - the non-medical kind

Carmen called me about 7 this morning. I was still in bed. For her it was about 8 and she was on her way to work. During the conversation, she asked if we'd been getting the rain they have and how my roof was holding up to it. Yes, we've had a lot of rain, but since the roofer had covered the bare spot on the roof it hasn't leaked. She reminded me again that Bobby would love to come out and do the job for me. He's been working in construction, including roofing, for three years or so. I told her it's easier for me to let the local guy, who knows the area, do it. About two hours later, I heard vehicles in the driveway. Usually they're for next door, but I looked out anyway. There were two trucks, one of which bore a load of shingles. They used a conveyor belt to get them up to the roof and that truck went back to the building supplier. Then another big truck came and backed up to the house to collect the old shingles, etc. The crew worked for several hours and will be back tomorrow if it doesn't rain. At least they finished the area that had lost the most shingles, and didn't leave any area bare in case it does rain.