15 November 2011


Okay buddies,
I've started a new blog! A blog solely dedicated to what's going on in my world beyond knitting & purling. Heyawesome! Will continue to be my craft blog - caregiv'r is my blog about being a....err... caregiver.

14 November 2011

first bump.

When G was first diagnosed with Leukemia in 2007,  I quickly learned not to kick up my heels too soon once things were pronounced 'Done'.

When he was discharged from the hospital 2 weeks ago, we accepted people's congratulations, but we knew we weren't out of the woods just yet. There will *always* be bumps in the road.
I mentioned that he had been experiencing some well known side effects of transplant but that it was being kept under control by his meds. Seems now that maybe those meds aren't really doing a good enough job. He has GvHD of the gut - so he's having a heck of a time keeping things down (and in, as it were). For the past week I've seen him try to eat/drink the smallest portions of things only to have it come back up shortly after.
This morning he felt so weak - disoriented. He called the head nurse & she advised him to get to the ER as quickly as possible. It was then that I realized we didn't have a very good contingency plan in place. He was too weak to take a cab by himself...I could go with him with Frankie in the cab, but then how long could I stay with him for? Do I want to bring the baby to the ER? We thought of who we knew with a car who was around during the day....no one, not really. So the ambulance came.

He'll most likely be kept for a couple of days. They are hydrating him & the probably switching around some of his meds which will hopefully put him back on track.

There is so much going on right now. G's dad is in the hospital in Hamilton - his cancer has metastasized - he's putting in one heck of a fight (32 year kidney transplantee!) I think G gets a lot of his strength from his father - it's so admirable.  I hate that all of this is happening at once. No, wait - I hate that all of this is happening AT ALL. Gord's mom & I said that we should go to an island after this & lay on the beach with fancy drinks "Without a care in the World!" - those words just kept ringing in my head over & over... without a care in the world. Impossible to imagine right now.

08 November 2011

Home is where the High is.

Gord's been home for 6 days.
He's pretty exhausted most of the time & is dealing now with some of the well known side effects of transplant but seems to be kind of controlling it with meds.
As I type this he's playing guitar for Frankie who is happily bouncing away in her bouncy chair, letting out squeals of delight & clapping her hands together (her new adorable skill!) It's so nice to all be together again.

I'm feeling way more relaxed now that G is home & I've finally been able to get some pictures of recent finished knitting projects.

First off, Frankie's Halloween costume.

Tiny Red Riding Hood. I used Berroco 'Weekend' from my stash for this. No pattern really, just cast on enough stitches to fit around her (98? I think?, knit even & then k2tog'd a bunch at the neck edge. For the hood I just knit a big rectangle that fit around her head & then grafted the stitches together at the back. Then I knit a little tab for the front & sewed on 2 buttons.

I 'Pretty in Pink'd' her skirt by combining two dresses that are now too small for her. I took the crinoline from one & sewed it to the bottom half of a red checkered dress. Then I sewed rick-rack to some thick black elastic & attached it to the skirt for the waistband. She just wore a white onesie for the top. I made her some boots too, but they didn't fit properly so luckily she already had these snappy red check mary janes already in her closet.

Knitting for Frankie is pretty satisfying - she's small, so projects are pretty quick and also?


Totally adorable.

This is the 'Striped Elf Hat'. I used some unidentified sock yarn from my stash. I only had one 50g ball of it & it was more than enough. I cast on less stitches than the pattern said to (170 instead of 180) to fit my little lady's noggin & it worked out to be just right.

And last but not least, a little something for me! I cast on for the River Run Wrap in TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT. Originally I was making it for my friend Susannah, but then she asked me to make her an all over cabled cardigan out of fingering weight yarn so I decided she already received enough of my knitting time.
I ditched the whole 'wrap' idea & decided to knit until I got to the end of the second ball of yarn. I grafted the ends together (conveniently enough this was started way back when with a provisional cast on) and there I have it - a 2 loop cowl. I think I'll get a lot of use out of this. When I wear Frankie in the carrier, I definitely need something around my neck since my coat isn't done up & when I wear scarves she just chews & slobbers all over the ends of them.

I've been sewing a bit too - mostly sleep sacks for Frances. I've been asked to make a little tutorial, so I'm working on that but I'm learning how much I suck at taking photos as I go along. 

So that's it - simple days around here since we're pretty much living in a bubble for the next couple of months. It's okay though, it's a cozy bubble.

02 November 2011

champion engrafter.

How's this for an update?

He's coming home today!

(and I got a ton of tidying up to do around here so I'll write more later).

25 October 2011

day +11

Good news - he's engrafting!
For most of last week, his white blood cells were at 0.01, which is very, very low (.01 away from none?) on Sunday they went up to 0.04. Monday they were at 0.09 & today they are 1.1.  This means that the new cells are setting up shop & making new ones. He was getting platelet transfusions, but they've stopped giving them to him because those are also on a tiny little increase on their very own.
He's off the morphine they gave him to ease the pain in his mouth & he ate some food I brought for him from home - which was great because he said he could actually taste it!
Lots of little progress, which I am so pleased about!

I realize I have not blogged about anything crafty for a while - I'm still at it & I've finished up some projects that I just need to take some photos of. Sadly, knitting is slow going for me these days on account of I got a bad case of Mother's Wrist. It got so bad that even pulling my sheets up over me when I got into bed made my eyes well up. I got Dr's orders to wear a wrist brace *all the time* for 6 weeks - which suuuuuuucks but hopefully it'll help out my wrist. I can still knit, it's just not as fast or as relaxing as it should be for me.

I get in some knitting everyday though, and now I have a little helper:

22 October 2011

one week.

Sorry I'm not posting more, but the truth of it is that there's not much to write about!

Gord's blood counts are all way, way down in the dumper (right on schedule), he's tired, queasy, sore in the mouth, but generally he is doing pretty good - definitely better than I was expecting. I hope I'm not eating my words in a couple of days though. The nurse told him yesterday that now until engraftment (usually around day +18, we're on day +8 now) takes place is when he'll feel the worst. Here's hoping the next week & a half is just as uneventful as these first 8.

Yesterday after I picked Frankie up from the PMH daycare (which, by the way is such an amazing, amazing service offered by he hospital. I am really truly amazed by it!) I brought her up to the doors of Gord's unit. He's not allowed to leave & kids under 9 aren't allowed in, so I stood with her at the little window in the door so they could see each other. It was so nice. I think Frances was really starting to notice he wasn't around - she had huge, huge smiles when she saw him.

The daycare is closed on the weekends & Frankie has her 6 month check-up on Monday so I won't be back to visit him until Tuesday - these next 3 days are going to feel very long.

A while ago, I saw these alphabet rings from Catbird & immediately wanted them. Three of them. They arrived to me (after some fancy shipping arrangements) the other day & I am thrilled. I love looking down & seeing my little family hanging out on my finger together.

16 October 2011

so far, so good.

I meant to come on & write an update on transplant day but I didn't get a chance. I have no excuse, really, since the transplant was actually pretty boring.

We (Gord's mom, my dad & I) got there right when he was being hitched up to his new cells. It took about an hour. Gord was a bit dopey from the Benadryl they gave him so he just rested & I stared at the little red bag. The tiny bag full of new cells from someone (in Europe, but we know nothing more than that) dripped into him. Quietly saying 'Thank You'. Boring. Just the way they like it.

After it was done, he ate his lunch & felt awake & alert & hungry enough to ask that I get him some Ten Don from the Japanese place near by.

My mom stayed home with Frances & stayed over that night so I could visit with him on Saturday. When I saw him yesterday he was feeling mostly good, just super tired. And although he's the one who is going through transplant, I was the one who napped during our visit.

So now we just wait...for what? For him to feel shitty, which apparently is a GOOD thing as it means the new cells are making themselves at home & engrafting.

It feels weird to not be able to just go there & hang out with him all day like I've been able to do in the past. Luckily, Frankie seems to really enjoy the daycare at the hospital - although this week hasn't been good at all for her nap schedule. Babies are resilient though & this is just a short time (hopefully).

I didn't take any photos of anything that happened in the last couple of days so here's a picture of Gord serenading the Lady the day before he went into the hospital.  Ain't they sweet?