Saturday, February 28, 2009

A couple little projects and an unexpected project

This week went by so quickly!
I am almost done sending emails and Ravelry messages to everyone who has asked me questions. I still have a few more and I'll try to get those completed asap! And thank you to everyone leaving kind messages. Things are getting better and better and the sweet words and encouraging messages are helping! :)

Here are a couple of little projects that I have completed!

Dream Swatch

Pattern: Dream Swatch Head Wrap by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarn in Chocolate Cherry
Needle: 2.25mm
Started: Feb 1, 2009
Completed: Feb 18, 2009

I got a much needed haircut last Saturday. I heart Aveda! I love going to my salon, Evan Todd and I love my stylist, Katie. She is so cute, sweet and just rocks as a hair stylist! I haven't seen her in forever because I'm really bad and don't go often. It is a little pricey there, by Indiana haircut prices that is. Just as an FYI (yes I am a walking advertisement), it is well worth the price. You get a back massage and essential oil gently massaged into your scalp prior to the cut and wash. And after your cut you get a hand massage and lip gloss added to your pucker! Plus the products are lovely smelling and (even better) support eco-friendly practices!

When I saw Katie, I was pleasantly surprised to find out she's expecting! In about 8 weeks! Right away I decided to knit her little baby goodies:

Pattern: Just kind of winged it.
Yarn: Caron Spa - so this claimed to be "A silky soft bamboo blend." But it is 25% rayon from bamboo and 75% microdenier acrylic. It IS machine and dryer friendly and it is soft. However, I felt I was jipped on the bamboo claim.
Needles: 2.75mm
Started: Feb 22, 2009
Completed: Feb 26, 2009

All week I was debating whether I should knit baby gifts for my boss and his wife who are expecting their second child in May. Being the perfectionist that I am, and far from being the worlds best knitter, I was a little hesitant on making gifts for them. On Friday evening I made a decision that I was NOT going to make them anything. My rational being, that it might be a little weird to give a scientist and his wife knitted gifts from the lab technician.

Well earlier today I went to give Katie, my hairstylist, her gift and guess who I saw at the hair salon. Yep, my boss. He was actually outside running around (that was amusing enough right there) with his 3 year old son. My boss was there because his wife was getting her haircut (seriously?!?! how many salons are there in this town and they go there?!?!? and at this time?!?!?). So of COURSE, he asked me if I was getting my haircut and was looking straight at the gift bag I was holding. I had to tell him my hairstylist was expecting and I knit her a couple little gifts. He started saying how nice that is and how much she will appreciate it and how thoughtful I am, blah blah blah. So of COURSE now that he knows I knitted items for my hairstylist, I feel that I am now obligated knit something for him and his wife. Not that I don't want to, I really don't mind at all. Just, awkward! :)

So now I'm starting the new baby booties and hat for the Rochet's....

Friday, February 20, 2009

A little motivation

First I wanted to thank everyone for the warm wishes! I have received so many wonderful comments and emails from family and friends both new and old. The group from Lesser Known Skeins (LKS) - you are all amazing! Thank you and big hugs to everyone! Your thoughts have been graciously received, especially because of the things that have been going on. Yes, I am cancer free (yay!) but being 5 1/2 weeks off the thyroid hormones is NOT fun.

****Warning a little bit o' science content!*****

I've had a number of people ask me about thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism and why/how did they think my cancer was back. I'll give a quick run through on all of this, but if you want additional information please let me know, I can send you links for reputable sources.

The thyroid is an organ of the endocrine system that receives information from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, that produces and secretes hormones based upon the information it receives. The hormones that are secreted from the thyroid (primarily T4 and T3) are important for many bodily functions such as metabolism, protein production, energy and much more. Another hormone that is produced in only in thyroid tissue is thyroglobulin. In December I had a blood test that indicated higher levels of thyroglobulin. Well, because I have no thyroid, (I had a thryoidectomy in January 2008), I should not have ANY thyroglobulin. Detectable levels of thyroglobulin is worrisome, because it indicates there may be some thyroid tissue somewhere in my body that is producing hormones. Well, this indicates cancer because there should NOT be any thyroid tissue in my body.

This result prompted the next few weeks of absolute hell. I had to stop taking my thyroid hormone medication (for 5.5 weeks!?!?!) so we could deprive my body of all thyroid hormone. This allows for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and other hormones from the pituitary to overstimulate any potential thyroid tissue that I might have had in my body. I had another ultrasound where my thyroid used to be as well as the nearby lymph nodes in the neck. And after the 5 weeks I had another blood test to determine the levels of T3, T4 and thyroglobulin.

Well we now know the outcome, I had no detectable levels of T3, T4 or thyroglobulin. Yay! No random growing thyroid tissue! Funny story, last year I was going around saying all I wanted for Christmas was a new thyroid, well scary thing this year I almost got that wish!

So great news. But even now, 2 weeks after going back on the thyroid hormone supplements, I am still feeling the effects of going hypothyroid.

First there's the weight gain. Somewhere between 20-25 pounds in 3 weeks. Yeah. I'm gross right now. And the hair falling out. Ew... And the dry skin, but oily hair. The tiredness. The, should I say it, constipation. This has been a bum of a start of the new year! And all of this on my psyche has been hard. As a former anorexic, the weight thing is really bothering me. All of this has taken a toll on me and I've been really down. However, I know it will all correct itself now that I'm back on the thyroid hormone. It's hard, but I know it will get better in the next few weeks.

Funny thing is, I've noticed a correlation with my knitting, or the lack of knitting. It could be because I typically knit when I'm fidgety. It could be because I knit when I'm happy. But I've been knitting small projects that normally would be quick knits but are taking me a loooong time. Maybe it's the lack of energy that slowed me down. But I've noticed all of my knits are small, they lack any sort of commitment and just generally didn't make me happy.

Now that I'm back on the medication and trying to get my energy, body and psyche back into the swing of things I think I should choose a knitted item that will make me happy. I can feel things are starting to get better (I can go through a whole day at work, come home and do stuff instead of laying there and being mopey or sleepy!). I have a couple of little items that I will soon show in a post, but I think I'm going to take some time and choose a project that will make me happy! Stay tuned for more upbeat posts, some more recovery and hopefully soon the start of a cool new project!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Test results are in....

And all the tests were negative!

As of right now I'm cancer free! Yippeee! I got the call from the doctor this morning and was given the great news. I might not even have to have radiation this year (I am suppose to have radioactive iodine treatment once a year for the next couple years). But because all of the tests are indicating there is nothing funky going on I may skip radiation this year and do it next year. Maybe. At this point I really don't care - as long as I don't have anything odd going on with thyroid tissue growing in random places. So these results suggest the results in December were just a false positive. Whoop-whoop for scientific/medical assays. Not that I wouldn't EVER have a false positive result on an assay (btw -- I think I had a few of those type of results last week alone. That would be why we do replicates of experiments. But I digress).

Yay! Cancer free! Let's see how long I can keep up that one! :)

Now maybe I can get into the mood to knit. Yes, I was getting THAT depressed... I haven't been knitting. Now that I can finally breathe I think I'm going to go look for that next project!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Styrofoam in his hay?!?!

A week or two ago the SO found this in the BunnyDiva's hay:

I tried to get a better pic, but you know my photography skillz. But take a look, I think that is Styrofoam attached to the hay. Styrofoam?!?! That is a little disturbing seeing how that shit can KILL bunnies!
And what type of hay was it? Oxbow! Yes! Top of the line, the supremo of the supreme of food/hay for little bun buns. I'm not sure if anyone else has seen this from their Oxbow hay. We've been using it since we first got Kyle (over a year ago) and have never had a problem. The little dude gets a mix of different Oxbow hay types (timothy, oat and grass hay and botanical for treat) a couple times daily. We think it came from the oat hay bag but we're not 100% sure. And I'm not sure if that is a foam or not. The SO was good and quickly took it away from Kyle before he could chew it. Either way it is disturbing to think if he consumed it (as many know, we have had issues with this diva having blockage scares).

Have any of you seen this? I hope we don't see any more. This is a great company with great products. I hope they are not slipping and letting foam (!?!?) or other impurities pass through quality inspections.

And if you want to tell him that Oxbow is slipping, go right ahead. I'll stand BEHIND you as you tell that ornery little thang....

Princess is back!

Yep I got my Princess (my car) back! Yay!

Here she is, dent-free and looking as good as new:

The body shop even washed and vacuumed her. So she looks and smells nice inside too. Too bad the snow is melting (did I really just say that?!?) because the drive back home from the body shop got her a little muddy. Nevertheless, she is back! New door and bottom panel and new paint job on the whole driver side.

For someone who doesn't drive too often, I can't believe how attached I am to that car!
Also -- because I forgot to send a Happy New Year to my friends and family in Korea (yes Mum is VERY angry at me) last week, I thought I'd send a Happy Hari-kuyo to everyone. Yes, it is a Japanese not Korean tradition, but I have a few broken knitting needles that I should go poke into some tofu and send off with good thoughts.