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To Do List

Every now and then I realise how long it’s been in between posting and I feel like I should give an update of sorts. Recently there hasn’t been much to update – nothing has been happening except bad stuff – my white blood count has been too low on a few occasions for me to have chemo and all of my other appointments have been slipping as a consequence. I still haven’t heard whether the super-surgeon at Birmingham will do the operation; he wants another PET\CT to be carried out before he makes a decision and since my appointment with him on 11th September I’ve had no letter – so I don’t know if the scan will be at Birmingham or Manchester. I had an MRI at The Christie on Wednesday just gone – the day before my last chemo cycle after the Neutrophil problems – so I don’t think this is going to show as accurate a picture of my situation as it could, and was basically a waste of time and money. I think it should have been rescheduled for in a couple of weeks’ time, give the last cycle a chance to work. But what do I know?

So now it’s just waiting again. Waiting for the MDT post this MRI scan, for whoever wants to PET scan me to get on with it, and then to get an answer over what my next course of treatment is supposed to be. I am so very tired of waiting and letting this take over my life.

I passed the anniversary of my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago too – on October 2nd. I spent the day at The Christie, but just having blood tests to check if I needed Filgrastim injections again to bring my white count up for my last cycle. I did, it had dropped to 2.1. Not so good. But this part does have a happy ending at least. By the test to see if I could go ahead with cycle 6, my count had been brought up to a whopping 22.6 – and so I finished this latest round of treatment – albeit only the Carboplatin part and not the Paclitaxel element – on Thursday.

I took a photo of the ward:

The Chemo ward at The Christie

The Chemo ward at The Christie

I guess in my heart I hoped it would be my last reminder of the place, but my head knows better.

Anyway – in other news – I’ve finally started to get a grip on things. Yay. Go me.

Here’s the stuff from my last, unfinished To Do List:

1) Sort out my Etsy shop. I opened it years ago, with the intention of selling the jewellery I wanted to make. Only I never ended up making anything to sell. Even though I have the materials to do this for jewellery now, I’m going to use the shop to sell the bags I’ve been sewing. So I need to do an overhaul on the shop, on my bio, on my profile on there and make my banner and then properly launch my page. I might never sell anything from it, but at least I can say to myself that I’ve done it. If I set it up and only have one item for sale, I will call this a victory.

This is done! The banner is a bit rubbish, but it’s a start. I’ve also set up a facebook page (unfinished as you can see) and have a blog that I’m going to have to restart (because it used to be about making jewellery). So if I can just get pictures of my stuff into my shop, I’ll be good to go with it.

I’ve actually already sold a few things off the site already, so I’m happy with the way things are going. I’ve ordered a bunch of business cards (still waiting to see how these turn out, I think the dpi may be too small for them) so… I’d say I can cross this one off.

2) Make a second and a third line of things, so I’m not just sewing on bags. I already know what I’ll be making for these – I have a couple of gifts I want to make for people so this will be my push to make them.

I think I’ve already said that I’ve been making hoop-art? I’ve been doing quite a lot of it, snowmen, house portraits and personalised baby name hoops, and a couple just for fun. I’ve also been making some Christmas decorations, tree-hanging ones up to now but I’ve started making them on garlands using felt and ribbon too on the suggestion of my sister.

3) Find a proper supplier for the bits and bobs I’ve been using to make things with. Ebay and Etsy in general have been fine so far but I need to do some more research.

I’ve not found a proper supplier, or at least one that I don’t have to do a massive bulk order with that I am not ready to commit to at this point in my treatment. I have found a couple of places that are cheaper that Etsy and Ebay though, and am using these.

4) Upgrade my phone. Throwing in a ‘normal’ thing there. It’s time to get a new one. I hate doing it, it’s just too much information to go through. So it’s on the list.

I did it! I got myself an iPhone 5c (couldn’t justify the extra spend to get the 5S and to be honest, the 5c does everything I need it to do. And I managed to transfer everything I wanted over to my new phone without screwing it up, too – a first for me!

I’m going to leave adding any more things to my list for today, because this is turning into a long post and is kind of disjointed enough as it is. I’m going to have a rest over the weekend, and maybe midweek, I’ll set myself some new targets.

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I’m in a much better mood today.

I’ve had some sleep, I saw my counsellor at the hospital on Wednesday, and I’ve had enough free time this morning to make up two embroidery hoops’ worth of sewing to do when we go on our little bank holiday trip back to Aberdovey. I’m taking a couple of the bags that are prepped – and there is a special wedding commission I’m in the middle of doing which will also be coming in my recently-bought-at-half-price Kath Kidston sewing box. So, that means I’ll get to do a lot of sewing, and sewing makes me feel happy, and calm, and centred.

I must say thank you to this post for giving me a kick up the bum to actually get the scissors and iron out this morning, for making me think ‘yeah, I bloody well love sewing, it makes me happy, I’m going to make some things to Do’.

The thing is, when I’ve finished these new things I’ve made to do, I’ll have actually done something else from one of my long-ignored To Do lists – I’ll have expanded my portfolio of work from just working on bags. While the work on the bags had evolved, I’m not just sewing the same thing on them all the time, I really wanted to have other things in my Esty Shop when I set it up.

And now – or in four days’ time – I will.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/daily-prompt-time/

This one made me laugh today, it was like someone’s been watching me.

Here is a list of things I had been or have been putting off again this week:

1) Etsy shop set up. I’ve still not finished this even though I started quite well with it from my last to-do-list. I can’t seem to get the headers for my shop sorted, so I’ve had another go at making the piece for this – I am now waiting for the air-fade pen to, well, fade. Then I will try to do it. I’m also waiting for the sun to come out to take proper photo’s of the bags and things going into the shop. And I was trying to have more than just the bags in there – something which is kind of coming along – but isn’t there yet. So this is still waiting for launch.

2) Changing my mobile phone. I have an iphone 4 – and the new iphone 5 comes out in September, right? So I may as well wait until that comes out, ’til all the lower tariffs drop, and I can get the contract cheaper. Plus I need to do the proper backup before I go to take it in. All the workings out of which are way over my head with the chemo at the moment.

3) Washing my short-haired wig for the first time. I’ve actually just washed it. Today’s Daily Prompt has prompted me into actually doing something. I was putting it off because it’s expensive and I was scared of ruining it seen as I’ve worn it every day single day since I lost my hair. It’s now drying in the bathroom and looks fine. It will dry overnight and all I need to do apparently is give it a shake in the morning. We will see.

4) Phoning my dad. I don’t really get on with him but I suppose I should be keeping him in the loop. It’s just so painful having to be on the phone to him, he drives me nuts and there’s always something worse wrong with him than me having cancer still and I just don’t want to get into it at all. He left a message on my machine on Friday night though. I should return the call.

I’ll do it tomorrow.

Making these short ‘To Do’ lists is definitely working for me. The last one was short and sweet and I’ve ticked everything off – which I’m very happy about.

1) To create something. To make something, to start it and to finish it, before I go into hospital in three week’s time.

I didn’t get to go on the jewellery course I had booked myself on because I had my GFR test on the day I was supposed to go – but I did do some sewing. In fact I did a lot of sewing and have put designs onto six bags so far. This one, was the first thing I finished this year though:

The first thing I made this year

The first thing I made this year

2) To have a good week off on holiday in Aberdovey. To play in the sand, hang out on the seafront, to do the things I couldn’t do when we went there towards the end of the summer last year, when I was too ill to participate, before I found out what was wrong with me.

Also completed. I went to the beach, I went on the train, and had a lot of fun in the sun with my boys.

3) To get my hands on a couple of short-sleeved, long-hemmed night dresses for the hospital.

As you know, it turned out I didn’t need these after all – but I have them now anyway for when they do call me in for the operation.

So… Go me!

This leaves me with the need to make a new list, especially now I find myself with all this spare time. I’m reaching a bit farther this time – I’m going to do something I’ve been wanting to do for ages but just didn’t get round to doing.

1) Sort out my Etsy shop. I opened it years ago, with the intention of selling the jewellery I wanted to make. Only I never ended up making anything to sell. Even though I have the materials to do this for jewellery now, I’m going to use the shop to sell the bags I’ve been sewing. So I need to do an overhaul on the shop, on my bio, on my profile on there and make my banner and then properly launch my page. I might never sell anything from it, but at least I can say to myself that I’ve done it. If I set it up and only have one item for sale, I will call this a victory.

2) Make a second and a third line of things, so I’m not just sewing on bags. I already know what I’ll be making for these – I have a couple of gifts I want to make for people so this will be my push to make them.

3) Find a proper supplier for the bits and bobs I’ve been using to make things with. Ebay and Etsy in general have been fine so far but I need to do some more research.

4) Upgrade my phone. Throwing in a ‘normal’ thing there. It’s time to get a new one. I hate doing it, it’s just too much information to go through. So it’s on the list.

I think this will be enough to keep my mind off the big things, and low-energy enough to manage on the week’s when I’m off my game and on the meds. I’m looking forward to it. Well, actually, I’m very excited about it and smiling to myself.

I haven’t completely completed everything from my last two lists:

here

and

here

I’ve sent off my Student Loan Deferment forms. That should keep them at bay for another year (see, optimism again, thinking a year ahead!).

I’ve also done a fair bit of de-cluttering. We have our new wardrobes in the bedroom which give me more storage space for non-clothing items, but less space for my clothes in general – so a lot has made it’s way to the charity shop. The maternity clothes I had kept hold of went to my next door neighbour, who is about nine weeks pregnant. And I’ve gone through four years worth of Lucas’ clothes and given them away. Well, most of them. There were a few hold-backs for sentimentality, and a few things I’m going to try on EBay first.

So that just leaves the workshop. We still haven’t worked out what we’re doing in the back bedroom, and I still haven’t got a workbench in there; so the kiln is still in a box in the dining room. Waiting. Probably for a long while as I’m due to go into hospital for The Operation three week’s today.

I have picked up another hobby though, in the meantime: Sewing. Embroidery. Applique. whatever you call it. It happened by accident – I went on a course with the friend who got me through my chemo days by going with me to the resin making thing. She wanted to do sewing. I didn’t really, but I went along to keep her company, and came out of it really relaxed and with a new skill. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, it’s easy to get out and put away with a four-year-old hanging about, so I can see myself doing a bit more of it. Not to mention, it’s also less expensive than the silver-smithing.

That’s not to say I’ve given up completely on that though. I’m booked in in two week’s time to spend a couple of days in a silversmith’s workshop getting one on one tuition. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been waiting for about two years to do it – the cost was holding me back as much as fear of the unknown. And now I’m free to do it.

So. What’s new for my To Do List?

1) To create something. To make something, to start it and to finish it, before I go into hospital in three week’s time.

2) To have a good week off on holiday in Aberdovey. To play in the sand, hang out on the seafront, to do the things I couldn’t do when we went there towards the end of the summer last year, when I was too ill to participate, before I found out what was wrong with me.

3) To get my hands on a couple of short-sleeved, long-hemmed night dresses for the hospital.

And that’s it for now.