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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cancer in the Family and Doing What We Can

Cancer... it sucks.

Plain and simple.

Steve's family just had another member with the sad "C" news... a cousin now has breast cancer.  Please offer prayers or good intentions if you wish.    This is the sixth person in his family now to have cancer.  Sadly, three have passed on, and three are survivors.

On the upswing, Steve's brother Mark has just been declared cancer-free!   He had a rough situation of bladder cancer and underwent some magnificent surgery and recovery.  We are so thankful that he has been able to overcome this.  Sadly, during his recovery, his darling wife (our sisinlaw) Shirley contracted breast cancer.  She didn't make it with her brave battle against this awful "C".  Leaving behind a loving family of a recovering husband, three wonderful daughters and two darling grandsons.

Steve's entire family has been suffering terribly with this horrible disease.

Please pray for a cure.

My own personal battle with Barrett's Disease is that it can develop into cancer at any time is scary. I get scoped and checked regularly. I have had my stomach and esophagus cut apart and put together a couple times in efforts to halt it's progress. Makes for some difficult digestion issues, for sure.  My body is also good at growing tumors (very fast) and I am sick of having surgeries to remove them.  I am scarred from stem to stern with multiple wounds from my hospital stays.

We do what we can, and deal with what we are able.  And we trust in our doctors and hope for the best.

We as individuals are helpless to do any research or make major strides in the development of drugs or cures.  We are not doctors or scientists or big politicians directing funds to pay to find a cure.

But in my own little corner of the world,
 I can sew.  
Yes, I can sew! 

The local Extension Agency has a program called "Stitches of Love" ... and we sew up lightweight cotton bandanna scarf type caps for summer wear for chemo patients.  These are made from crisp cotton. They are not itchy and hot like winter caps.  I went last month to a "Stitches Of  Love" gathering at the local courthouse to help cut up hundreds of bandanna scarfs and get started on sewing them up.

 It's amazing how many we could get cut up in one day! 

I took home a pile of cut up bandanna scarves and set to work on sewing them....

In the last few days, I managed to sew up forty four of them!  While I sewed, I thought of each person we have lost, of each person who has struggled, and how Cancer affects all of us.

Wheeee  It was such a lovely day that I sat sewing sewing sewing.. the humidity was down, the windows were wide open, and the breezes were coming in.  Usually Finnegan is laying by my side as I sew, and Binney is usually laying in the foyer just a few feet ahead of me, on the cool hardwood floor.  But this time, while I was sewing (and not paying attention to them) they both were GONE....   Where did I find them?  I looked out into the diningroom and saw them perched on the chairs!

I snuck the camera phone out
 and snapped a pic before they jumped down....
I think they are having a Tea Party??

I went back to my sewing, and I finished the bandanna scarves up.  I got them all pressed and tagged and brought over to the UW Extension Office in Oshkosh... As each person brings in their caps, the gals at the office take care of getting them to the oncology units at the local hospitals.

They are pretty easy to make, and we think of comfort as we construct them.  A softly padded brim, and inside stitched all tucked away so nothing rough or itchy would rub on tender skin.

Here is a You Tube link 
of a video on how to sew them:

I set this blog aside while we took a walk around the block before dark,
 with two sassy doggies on their leashes.  

It was nice to stop and chat with a few neighbors around the route we took,
 and before we knew it, it was dark and the skeeters were biting. 

Home again, Home again, 
Jiggidy Jig. 


  1. so sorry to hear of another reltive getting the big c...my sil has been battling for 15 years....seems when I young very few had this horrible disease now I dont think I know a family that doesnt have someone with it...terrible
    so good of you to make those head pieces for them

    1. Yes, it seems like more and more we hear about it affecting everyone. But in the old days didn't take all of something like the consumption? That it just kind of concerned you until you were gone and passed away?

  2. I am sending positive healing thoughts to your family and yourself.

    What a wonderful thing to make the head scarves for those that have lost their hair. They reminded me of the caps the amish ladies wear.

    Hope you have a lovely day. Sue

    1. Thank you Sue for your kind words. Yes the little caps are similar to the ones that the young Mennonite girls around here wear when they are working in the greenhouse.

    2. Thank you Sue for your kind words. Yes the little caps are similar to the ones that the young Mennonite girls around here wear when they are working in the greenhouse.

  3. When I had Breast cancer I was giveb a soft heart shaped pillow to put between my breast and the seat belt. The pillows were made by school children as a service project. I got to choose from several bright color pillows, even a Packer one was available to choose, and used it for eight weeks of healing. The patients really do appreciate these efforts made by helpless strangers. All you can do is sew and send good thoughts. Me? cancer free for many years, but still nervous before every mammogram.

    1. Oh yes, I know the feeling when mammo time comes around. I had a breast tumor removed when I was 15 years old, so for the last 40 years I hold my breath until I get a clear report

  4. I have bone marrow cancer and the doc says there is nothing they can do for it because neither chemo nor radiation can reach it because the bones shield it and block both. Actually the bones block the radiation and since there is no blood flow into the bone marrow, chemo can not reach it either. The doc says at my age, I will probably die before it kills me. Either way. . . .

    1. I am so sorry to hear that Dizzy. It just makes you wonder how it gets into the bone and marrow in the first place. I hope you hang around for a long long time. Just keep on "Wondering" !

  5. Yes cancer Sucks lost my niece this morning to long tough fought battle. Wishing your family memembers well.
    Love the bandana's you are making for cancer patienence

  6. I've been fighting big C all summer. Hopefully, one more treatment next week and I'll have it behind me for a while. So sorry to hear about Steve's cousin (and family members) battling this disease. I'm sure the cancer patients will greatly love and appreciate your kindness in creating those nice bandannas for them. What an awesome volunteer project!


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