Buddy gets a Bandage

On Friday we had a lovely lunch out with Sean and his charming Mrs, Charito. To save me blogging about it you can pop over to Sean’s blog and get all the gen along with seeing pictures of my current cancer patient hair cut (it’s shortness having been confirmed by my Uncle Ray on Saturday).

So after a good time being had by all we arrived home to find Bud had stamped the bedding with little spots of red, unfortunately he hadn’t used a fabric paint but his own bodily fluid ie, blood.  An inspection of his little furry body revealed a graze on his right rear paw.  However by this time it seemed to have stopped leaking – possibly because the 3,000 spots on the bed had used it up – so we left it alone.  Then later on in the evening I noticed a couple of little spots on the landing carpet near where he was lying so decided action was required.

Okay I admit may just have been an excuse to use this…

It was in our original first aid box and is therefore over 12 years old.  In these 12 years the opportunity to experiment with this obviously useless essential piece of kit had never, ever arose and it had been relegated to a basket in the kitchen cupboard – because you can just have bet that if I’d thrown it away we would have needed it.

The bandage is tubular so how easy would it have been to pop onto Bud’s paw – very, I assume, but since his paw was a tad too big for the tube that knocked that idea on the noggin.  However I was by now unwaverable in my determination to use it in some way, shape or form. Well, that and the fact that we only had a wappingly large crepe bandage that had been tainted with the aroma of citronella or sticking plaster.

Now I have to say that I have limited bandage applying experience (I was going to title this Nurse Paula but decided that was really too much of a stretch).  I have applied them to my knee when I had stitches following the fall off my bicycle (which was adequate – the bandage, not the fall) and on the couple of occasions I sprained my left ankle (which was superb – really, I am your ‘go to gal’ if you ever want an ankle strapped – you even get a free herringbone pattern included – I can’t take the credit for this skill since my Dad showed me how) however it turns out I am not your ‘go to gal’ for getting a bandage to stay on your small furry family member.

Bud was really good at being still whilst the bandage was being applied, and the second one did stay on for at least two hours but then promptly fell off after he’d got on the duvet at bedtime – which worked out really well as one of the prime objectives for applying it was keeping the bed linen clean.

‘What the heck is this?’


‘I can still see it behind your hand.’


‘Okay, let’s play!’


‘Sigh.  I’m not feeling it.’

‘Right, I’ve having this instead…’

‘…it’s all mine now.’

‘Right you’ve had your fun, now pleasssssssssssse take it off!’

And yet more crocheting…

Last week after I’d used the yarn bought specifically for Share a Square I found some aran/worsted weight I’d been given by a neighbour.  The problem with it was that it didn’t tell me what it was made of – I asked but it was being coy.  I was pretty sure it was acrylic and indeed the cardigan I’d made myself from it didn’t bother me and I am wool phobic from a wearing point of view – I think this stems from a pair of tartan trousers my Mum made me when I was little they still itched after she’d lined them.  (I also had a matching cape!)

So I made a couple of squares anyway but since I wasn’t 100% sure (Share a Square squares need to be artificial to any allergies) I decided to make a blanket for the hospital/crèche in South Africa that one of the receptionists at our GPs has ties with and having bumped into her on Tuesday (not literally) she mentioned there was another container leaving in the next couple of weeks – so I timed that well.

I used the yarn I had left over from the Greenway blanket (presumably so called becasuse in the book it was done in shades of green but from here on in known as the Daisy Blanket because of the stitch) and I cannot tell you how gorgeous that cream yarn is even though it as 20% wool. It almost glows and it has to be fondled to fully appreciate its softness – as B was instructed on Sunday ‘Feel that.’ slight touch ‘No, fondle iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.’ (In my best Homer Simpson impersonation.)

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The edging is also à la the Daisy Blanket.  I was going to leave it as three rows of double crochet (US single crochet) but then did a backwards row of double crochet and it just finishes it off nicely – well I think so.

I had my hair cut by a friend on Monday.  She used our clippers.  She regularly cuts her husband with their clippers – he has it very short and she consciously tired not to get mine the same.  Let’s read the reviews.

Friend who visited last night on being informed that I’d had it cut – ‘Yes I noticed it was shorter than last time.’  (That being two weeks ago.)  So noticed but hadn’t said anything – mmmmm.

Friend who cut it as she was leaving – ‘As I say to my husband, if you don’t like it it will grow back in a couple of weeks.’

My husband (who as we know says what he sees) – ‘It’s alright.’ Oh!  When asked a second time because I had the strange feeling he may have developed a dose of tact. ‘It’s a bit (sparse, say sparse) bald looking in places.’  Doh!

Me – ‘I look like a cancer patient.’

Other creative spaces are here.


Britney Spears

The following is a copy of the message I sent out to all the members of our “Monsters Against Myeloma” facebook fanpage:


Subj: Britney Spears!!!

I just shaved my head.

Where to begin, where to begin… If you grew up in the 90’s, like me, you might know what I look like. Yes, that’s right, Krillin from DragonBall Z, minus the robes and muscles. Add in Will Smith ears and, now, a never-ending forehead (or in the words of Rihanna, “5head”), then VOILA!

Spitting. Image.

Two days ago, my family decided that it was time to shave my mom’s hair. To say that that was traumatic would be a small understatement. So yesterday, my brother and I shaved OUR heads to make mama bear feel better. Needless to say, hair is NOT just hair. Hair loss is a common side-effect of chemotherapy seen in cancer patients. Although many will often say that “Hair is just hair, it’ll grow back”, the issue can often run much deeper. Hair is not just hair, it’s something that is a part of our being, like our laughs and our smiles. The hair loss associated with chemotherapy is a strong symbol of a cancer patient’s plight. Before all this stuff happened to us, as someone viewing from the outside-in, I used to associate the hair-loss as a sign of frailty, sickness, and vulnerability. However, my perspective on the issue couldn’t be any more different now. Now, whenever I see a patient suffering from chemotherapy-induced hair loss, I see it as a true sign of strength. This might sound a bit awkward, but I really do think that this image, this “symbol”, is actually quite beautiful. To see someone fighting so hard and willing to do whatever it takes, it is a sign of bravery, strength, and perseverance. One that deserves a standing ovation. I don’t usually send out messages that are so personal, but I thought that this was important.

My hopes are that, through this message, your views of the “typical” cancer patient will be changed (if you see them like I once did). That baldness, that fatigue, that struggle. It is something to be admired. These people are *literally* fighting to live, fighting for things that we take for granted every day. They are fighting for a walk in the park, a swim in the lake, a moment to laugh. They are putting every single ounce of their BEING into fighting off a terrifying beast, so much so that they have no energy left to eat, walk, or even talk. This courage and strength is something to be admired. So, without sounding too preach-ey, the next time you see a cancer patient, please keep this message in mind.

In conclusion, I leave you with this:

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today.’ So she did, and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she only had two hairs on her head. ‘Hmmm,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.’ So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.’ So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. ‘YEAH!’ she exclaimed, ‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!’

Health, Hope & Happiness my friends

Lance


If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll recognize that a lot of that message mirrors a post I put up earlier titled “Standing Ovation”. I think, if we can spread this message to as many people as possible (in this case, 970 members), we can start a shift in attitude that can result in more support and understanding. I have a fairly large platform of young (actually, all ages!) people that I can speak to, so why not take advantage of it?

As you know, my brother and I shaved our heads last night to help support my mom. A few observations:

1. I am almost positive I had more hair when I came out of the womb than I do now.
2. I cannot stop rubbing my head!!! It feels like a peach :)
3. It is shocking how much your hair does for your scalp! It’s so sensitive now! And if I walk really fast, I can feel the wind on my head, and DANG is it cold!

Bald.

Shaved the head yesterday….To say it was a little traumatizing would be a bit of an understatement.It takes a little bit of adjusting, but I think these things just take a little bit of time to get used to.Yesterday we packed all our clothes (like we were going on vacation or something!) and today we checked into our inpatient unit. It’s been a long, busy, and heavy day. Right now, mama is hooked up to the IV machine for hydration therapy and will be until about 6pm tomorrow (it is now 830pm). The reason for this is because TOMORROW, she will be receiving the MEGA dose of chemo (Melphalan) to clear out her body. Apparently it is a tiny “push”, but is potent enough to affect your taste buds for 6 months and give you mucositis. The half-life of melphalan is about 4 hours (?), so you want to get this out of your system A.S.A.P. (hence the hydration). So basically, mama bear will be forced to pee a LOT tomorrow. We do NOT want this chemo in her system. Get in, get out. She’ll also be chewing on ice before, during, and after the administration of Melphalan. The reason for this is because, normally, you get mouth-sores (so bad that you have trouble breathing). What doctors discovered, though, that something as simple as chewing ice was enough to completely eliminate this very serious side effect from happening at all! What the ice does is it constricts the blood vessels in the mucus membranes of your mouth. Significance? The more constricted the blood vessel, the harder it is for the Melphalan to get circulated through that area. THEREFORE, ICE=GOOD!
Other than that, her room is MASSIVE. Its enough for two patients, but because of the unique circumstances of this ward (zero immune system), you aren’t allowed to share your room with other people because of the risk of spreading germs, etc.
Tomorrow is a big day, will keep you updated.