The Invader – Update #3

So when last I wrote, I hadn’t heard back about the MRI. Well now I have and the news is WEIRD and possibly bad. They found loads of lesions on my liver, but they cannot tell if they are cancerous without a needle biopsy. To do the needle biopsy – you’re never ever gonna believe this – they have to do ANOTHER TEST.  So it was a PET scan I had last week and yes – more radioactive contrast.  OH BOY MY FAVORITE!


So in the last 7 or 8 weeks, I’ve had 2 CT scans, an MRI and a PET scan, all with radioactive contrast and all of which has made me feel quite ill and has the added bonus of giving me about 12 years worth of regular radiation. There’s a certain amount of radiation you get from just living on the the planet every year, so I’ve now gotten 12 years’ worth. Hurrah.  My spirits are good but sometimes things that don’t usually hurt start hurting and the thought does cross my mind – is that a cancer pain?  Plus the radiation has made my saliva taste bad 24/7. No bueno.  All this before actual treatment (other than the surgery*.) Makes me a little nervous as to how bad the treatment might be……

So tomorrow – Tuesday, July 2nd is when I start chemotherapy.

PROS – treatment has begun, supposed to last 3 months only, no radiation treatment in the forecast, taking mostly pills and I’m not supposed to lose my hair.

CONS- the medicine is EXPENSIVE, pills everyday (my track record on taking pills daily or even on time is abysmal), plus I’ve been prescribed not 1 but 2 medications for nausea so that’s gonna suck, IV infusion every 3 weeks which takes 3 hours (which I’ll get to do tomorrow too), no firm diagnosis yet (means more tests) and so no prognosis yet, and based on last week’s PET scan results, ALL OF THIS COULD CHANGE.

After I get done with the IV infusion, I get an hour to find food (I am a diabetic so even if I feel super nauseous I still must eat) and then go over to the hospital for the pre-consult for the needle biopsy, which hopefully can be scheduled for after our trip.

YES I am travelling. I got back last night from a working weekend in Mississippi, then Wednesday, we leave for West Virginia and Studmuffin’s family reunion. Then a week of visiting family and friends as well as some sightseeing – Studmuffin LOVES LOVES LOVES Frank Lloyd Wright homes – we’re gonna *stay* in one overnight and I wanna see Fallingwater. Tomorrow’s promised to no one so I’m going to Pennsylvania and upstate New York so there. Studmuffin was looking at all the things he’d like to go see – battlegrounds and the site of the Johnstown Flood but I told him I just cannot do that. This time out I need nature, music, light and laughter, not disasters, grief and wars if I’m gonna beat The Invader.

Yes, he was cool.

After PA and NY I come back to Elkins for Blues & Swing week at Augusta and he flies to CA for work. I am determined to haul myself to Augusta, though today I decided not to take any Blues piano this year – I don’t wanna have to haul my keyboard around this time. So I’ll take pretty much all vocal stuff – or perhaps Ukelele. I have a pretty good one, they are compact and they are fun and easy to play. I won’t stay out nearly as late as usual or maybe even at all, but I want to do this for my mental and spiritual health. Then we head to Virginia to see my folks for a day before heading home. Of course I am gonna try to eat at as many restaurants that have been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” as I possibly can, and am booking some rather unusual AirBnb places to stay. There may be a couple of yarn or fabric shops in there too. Studmuffin said he wants me to choose and not ask him. OK – no problem!

Two of the progeny are going to the reunion and the Duke of Curl will take blacksmithing at Augusta the week we are swanning around the Alleghenies. I’m really happy about them coming – they weren’t at the last one- and I think it’s gonna be a good time. And I very much hope the Duke has a blast at Augusta! He started getting involved with blacksmithing last year and seems to really love it.

Since my diagnosis in late April I’ve had a few moments of deep anxiety, but very few – perhaps 3?  I absolutely know that this is because so many of you are praying for me. It’s truly a RIDICULOUS number of people – I need to do something pretty amazing to be worthy of it at all and I’ve got zero ideas of what it might be at this point. Maybe single-handedly fixing the broken US immigration process? Reverse climate change?  I don’t know. If I could I surely would….Thank you all very very very much.

If I have a few working brain cells left on the trip, I’ll try to take pictures and share….maybe even write an update, but I can promise nothing. Isn’t that nice of me?  Until next time…..







*By the way, I had the surgeon look at the incision that’s been bothering. Well, MORE than bothering, but the details are really quite disgusting and you really don’t wanna know. It took me 3 weeks to get in to see him. He glanced at it for perhaps a whole second and then said something I really didn’t appreciate. When I told my mother – she’s a retired nurse and wants to know all the gory details, plus she is rather fond of me – she exclaimed, “Surgeons!” in such a way that 1) made me laugh and 2) indicated a certain frustration borne of long experience with surgeons.   It’s been my experience that surgeons like to cut, not to stitch up, most of them are men and do not know much at all about sewing, and they’re not very interested in wound care. Don’t get it twisted – I like my surgeon, he did a really god job on me and I am very grateful, but this last bit was not as helpful as it might have been. I will continue to treat it as I have done which has made a big difference. I *still* can’t go to water aerobics yet, though (no open wounds in the pool, right?) and that irritates me no end.

I broke my diet on vacation – my yarn diet!


A Study in Yarn Weight. 🙂

Tis’ true, tho’ I broke it some before then too if I’m honest. More about that at the end of this post.  While we were on the famdamily vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where just up the road last century Orville & Wilbur took that first flight, I decided to check out the local yarn scene.

The OBX – somewhere near Kill Devil Hills

I knew this was a dangerous idea to entertain, but heck!  Yer supposed to break yer diet whilst on vacation, right?  I reckon that’s almost required, innit? I looked in the trusty phone book and found Knitting Addiction and I am so glad I did!

Actual yarn photos follow…


5 Days Left!!!!

“For what?”  I hear you thinking.  I’m so glad you asked!!

2002 Harvest Tour - Wilmette, IL

2002 Harvest Tour – Wilmette, IL

One Human Family is going on tour in the beginning of August for the first time since 2005, & this tour marks the first time that OHF is using online “crowdsourcing” to help defray the costs of the tour and we have 5 DAYS LEFT in our campaign. Always the leadership has tried to keep the costs of the tour as low as possible to encourage as many people to participate in that transformative experience called the Harvest Tour. To keep costs low, the organization has often chosen to go into debt; this time it is different and you can help make this difference.

More and more, we see people the world over struggling to overcome all kinds of difficulties brought about by longstanding prejudices & hatreds, lack of communication, understanding & education, often without the basic knowledge that we are ONE HUMAN FAMILY.  The OHF organization since its beginning 16 years ago has always been about making those connections, overcoming those barriers, ever increasing and strengthening the bonds of fellowship, friendship, love and understanding everywhere we go.  We do it with workshops, with travel, sometimes even a little “cussin’, fightin’ & carryin’ on” – but mostly with conversation, with laughter, and most definitely with music in praise of God.

See us in action in British Columbia!


This blog pause brought to you by…….

….apathy and ennui.

No. no really. Just got caught up in the daily drama, of which there has been plenty in quantity, but picayune in nature.
Will somebody PLEEZE give my oldest son a JOB? I need him out of the house ‘coz he needs to be outta the house and doing something.

Meanwhile, back in my wonky brain – I’ve been thinking of some things. Got any opinions, y’all? Please put them in the comments, puh-leeze.

  • The Force of Nature has asked me to audition for the TV singing competition – “The Voice”. I’m on the fence about it.
  • I’ve been knitting and ripping back a shawl.  Instead of thrilling all y’all with the details, I thought I might write some knitting book reviews. What do you think?
FYI – I started writing this on June 25th!

This blog pause has been brought to you by…..

Rather dramatic WEATHER! Or haven’t you heard…? It was the Force of Nature’s 13th birthday, and she was NOT happy! A rather inauspicious beginning, but we’ve tried to make up for it.

Anyway, we sustained no damage and no injuries but some extended power outages, so we de-camped to my parents’ place in southwestern Virginia; even the doggies came with us! They were so good riding in the van for soooo long – the children weren’t NEARLY so good….

Anyway, we’re back, school is open again, the power is on and we are grateful. Now, here are some links for you:

Now this Sunday is MOTHER’S Day. Be nice to her if she’s living; say prayer for her if she’s not.

It’s not easy being a mom….heck say a prayer for her if she’s alive, and then, if yer inclined, say one for me!

Happy Mother’s Day a few days early.

Scotland the Brave

So in a few years, Studmuffin and I will have been married for


yes, this blows my mind as well. Still, I know how we are and if I want us to do anything special to commemorate that date, I gotta start planning years in advance. Hence, a couple of years ago, I started asking Studmuffin where he wanted to go.  After much blathering and protestations of “I want to go where YOU want to go,”* and claptrap like that, I finally found out that he MIGHT want to go to Scotland. His ethnic heritage is Italian, German and Scots, and mine (so far as we know**) is: English, Welsh, Irish, French, German, Iroquois and Scots, with Scots being the only thing I get from both Mum and Dad.

Scotland is good with me.  After all, they have sheep there. Sheep means wool and wool means YARN!!  And there’s music, and I do love to travel…..

This morning, I was on the website for the Thistle & Shamrock radio program, I saw that they are running a fabulous sweepstakes for a marvelous trip to Scotland.  Yup, I’m gonna enter.  I think y’all should too, even though every entry lessens my chance for winning, but hey!  It’s fun to think about winning, even if the chance of winning is verra small. And if we don’t win, I have some good leads on places to go and to stay.

So go check it out:


*I stated picking places in Africa and India where I’d truly love to go, and that he has NO desire to visit.

**My dad was adopted so we’ve a general idea of his ethnic heritage, but few specifics.

Back and getting ready for school

Where did the summer go? Well, mostly on travel. I swear!!!! I will start writing again in the next few days, especially about India.

My mother, the Force of Nature, me, my nephew, my brother (and my niece)at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia

So how’s yer summer been? I’d love to hear from you.

Sorry about the blog pause-

-it’s unintentional. I mean to blog, but then I get all caught up in my life & I forget.  SO here’s a few things to catch y’all up:

  • my passport and copy of my birth certificate went missing in the house here.  Without them, I cannot get my visa for India – MAJOR PANIC!  Fortunately, my mother is sending me a photocopy of my birth certificate and yesterday, I finally found my passport. YAY!
  • The house has a certain torn apart quality after the passport search.  I’m finding it a little difficult to get things back in order – whatever that means.
  • My printer – my practically brand new printer is broken.  Turns out this particular model has known paper sensor problems.  This blows.
  • I am s-l-o-w-l-y  getting the garden in.  As of last night, I have 12 of 24 tomato plants in the ground. The Force of Nature and I grew a bunch of seedlings as part of her homeschooling which is great – we’ve never been successful with that before. But now it all needs to go into the ground.
  • My incision is finally healed top to bottom. Today is my first day without tape in 6 weeks.  I’m feeling pretty good and trying to do lots of walking and/or gardening without doing too much as I realize I am still mending.
  • The Duke of Curl turned FIFTEEN years old on Monday.  We’ll be celebrating his birthday this weekend: homemade pizza, ice cream cake, cash and a movie.
  • Started knitting again.  A scarf for a dear friend.  I am afraid to get back to “The Beast”…..
  • Have not done THING ONE in making my clothes for India, other than buy fabric.  I’ve not even taken any of my measurements.  How stupid of me!  I hope to get to it in the next couple of days.
  • I hope to blog a little bit about the Wings to the Spirit conference I was at this past weekend in Pensacola Beach, FL.  I didn’t take a single picture of the conference, but I took nearly a hundred pictures at the beach the next day.  Here’s a few:

My attempt at artyness

The Force of Nature prepares to jump a wave

My friend's feet

My little sandpiper buddy

Back from the travels………

Hey y’all-got back LATE last night from those “West Virginia hills….how majestic and how grand”.  We’re tired but safe and my oh my – so many things to write about:

  • Homeschool Kid receives an eye injury
  • “vacationing” with the in-laws sans Studmuffin
  • the Augusta Festival and my resulting depressive tendencies
  • A blog name change for the Homeschool Kid
  • the Force of Nature goes fishing
  • shawl frogging adventures

…to name just a few.  PLUS there’s YARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yep, I got to visit a couple of yarn stores and bring some of their yummy yarn back home to stay with me.  There WILL be photos because amazingly enough, we arrived home with both the camera AND the charger – AND I know where BOTH of them ARE.  I gotta celebrate the victories, y’all.

For now though, I think I’m going back to bed, so I’ll leave you with this:

Been traveling around…..

….so no posting.  I did take my knitting with me….but forgot my camera, so I couldn’t take any “Yarn Harloty” travel pics….  However, I have managed to interest quite a few people in knitting and will probably end up teaching several more of my friends to knit.