Monday, October 17, 2022

Pinktober hit home this year....


It's been a crazy year 2022 here at Lizard Creek Quilting...I hadn't had a mammogram in a few years and my dear husband was on my case to schedule one. I finally listened and had one the beginning of April. Four days later on our 36th wedding anniversary the clinic called there was an area in my right breast that needed a closer look. 

So another 4 days later we went to the breast center for an ultrasound that showed a biopsy was needed to confirm the suspicion of C.A.N.C.E.R. Yes, those are all caps--because when that word is said in the small dark ultrasound room it is like a piercing arrow right into your soul. The breast center wanted us to come back another day for the biospy but we persisted the clinic had told us we could have it done the same day if needed. They looked again and were able to do the needle biopsy that afternoon. We learned right away to be our own advocates and politely but vigorously ask for what we wanted. 

Another four days later the results came back as positive. Next appointment would not be for another 2 weeks. We also learned that there is a lot of hurry up and wait in this process. 

What a whirlwind of emotions happened in those 2 weeks. Not knowing anything--the kind of cancer--the extent of the tumor--how will our kids and family handle this--what does the future hold!! Just waiting....with the mind going to all the dark places the devil takes it to. Lots of crying. Lots of hugs.  Not much eating. Lots and lots of prayers. Assembling an army of prayer warriors was one of the first things we did after hearing the biopsy results. Through group texts we asked them to pray for wisdom to the medical personel and peace of mind for us. These were the longest 2 weeks we have ever done, but we also felt the strong arm of the Lord holding us up.

An MRI of both breasts was done the day before meeting with the breast care team. These results came back the same day--the left breast was clear and only the one tumor in the right. What an answer to prayer that was. 

Meeting with the breast surgeon was terrifing and peaceful all at the same time. Scarey for what was to come--but peaceful because it was time to know. We were told the tumor was small and if it had to be cancer it was the "good" kind. Not agressive and very treatable. The wonderful surgeon left the room for a few minutes to give us some time alone to absorb that information so we would have a clear mind to hear the rest of the treatment plan.

ER+ PR+ HER2-  are new words that would now be part of my medical history. The tumor was estrogen based so a daily estrogren inhibitor pill would be part of the treatment plan. 

Next appointment of the day was meeting with the plastic surgeon to figure if a lumpectomy or mastectomy would be needed. We went into the meeting thinking--just take them off so the cancer can't come back. But did you know that 10% of breast tissue is left with a mastectomy--and well I was very well endowed in the breast department--so 10% of my leftover would be about 85% of someone elses' whole breast--LOL. Also we did not know that breast implants have to be replaced every 8-10 years or that they can rupture on impact. I lead a quite active lifestyle of riding motorcycle and working hogs on the farm with my husband so the surgeon strongly advised us to go the lumpectomy with bilateral reduction route. 

Surgery was scheduled about four weeks later on May 26. If you were paying attention--we are farmers--so this was spring planting and also hog work season!! I took this time to help my husband on the farm, deep clean my house with my mom, prepare some freezer meals with my daughter, cut out some quilt kits in case I could sit at the machine after surgery, walked many miles to strengthen my body and spent time in Gods' Word to calm my mind. I found a verse I had never read before and it became what I would and still do say to myself whenever I get scared.

"Go in peace, for the Lord is watching over your journey." Judges 18 : 6

May 26 arrived--the day the cancer would be removed from my body!! Right before surgery, Nuclear Medicine injected a dye into the nipple area of my right breast to check for lymph node involvment--the procedure is called Sentinel Node mapping. Two nodes were taken out during surgery--both came back clear and the removal of the tumor proceeded. Because the lymph nodes were clear I could have my radiation done right DURING surgery. The radiologist came into the surgical room, set up the radiation machine right over the spot in my open breast where the tumor had just been removed and zapped the area for 1 minute 23 seconds. It's called Intra Operative Electron Radiation Therapy-- IOeRT. This was such an answer to prayer!!! The plastic surgeon and breast surgeon worked on me both at the same time--one worked on getting the tumor out of the right breast while the other worked on reducing the left one and finished reducing the right one. Surgery was about 4 hours. Then 1-1/2 hours of recovery. THEN THEY SEND YOU HOME!!! Yeah that was something!!! 

Healing went well. Lots of patience, lots and lots of walking and lots of return appointments. An ONCO score test was done on the tumor to determine if chemotherapy would be needed. My score was well below the number where chemo would be helpful. Many many prayers of thanksgiving for that. We took the motorcycle to the Praire Center for our last plastic surgeon appointment as my way to "ring the bell".
The first photo in this post is the arrangement we brought to the plastic surgeon on our last visit. The zinnias I planted this spring were just a regular mix--but somehow the Lord decided that I needed a whole mix of pink zinnias this year!!! The jar is the acutal one I used the oil from to massage into the surgical scars--she thought that was pretty cool. 

I have been taking the medication Anastrazole for about 3-1/2 months now and will take it for 5 years. The medication comes with it's own share of ups and downs. Ups--it keeps the estrogen from attaching to fat cells and making new cancer cells in my body. Downs--it messes with my balance, sleep, emotions, causes a constant ringing in my ears and can eventually cause osteoporisis. 

But through it all the Lord, my family and friends have been with me!! Faith over Fear is the only way I have gotten through the last 6 months and the only way I can look to the future!! 
If anyone has questions about this--please don't hesitate to ask me!!! And schedule your mammogram!!!

Quietness is the pattern of mine I chose to work with for this project. The pattern and 10" stackers are available in my shop
I am a huge basket quilt lover and a straight set quilt is even better!! The pink clips kept each set together.

Blanket stitching the handles. Made prettier with the Aurifil thread.

Love me some Island Batik fabrics!!!

Quietness with Hope and Heart!! It's not quilted yet as the balance issues from the Anastrozole caused me to tip over and break a bone in my foot 2 weeks ago!! Yeah so there's that!! Anyway I love the finished project and can't wait to get back on my feet so I can quilt it.

"But the Lord stood with her and gave her strength." 2 Timothy 4 : 17

Thank you again to all the sponsors and those who shared their stories on this blog hop. Please check out the others below!!

Jennifer Thomas-Monday, October 3rd

Lisa Pickering -Tuesday, October

Maryellen McAuliffe -Thursday, October 6th

Emily Leachman - Monday, October 10th

Jane Hauprich -Tuesday, October 11th

Marlene Oddie - Wednesday, October 12th

Gail Sheppard - Thursday, October 13th

Jerry Stube - Friday, October 14th

Brianna Roberts- Monday, October 17th

Terri Vanden-Bosch - Tuesday, October 18th

Mania Hatziioannidi - Wednesday, October 19th

Laura Piland -Thursday, October 20th

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Sew Along in 2022...


...I have had this idea rumbling about in my head for quite a while...and finally felt nudged that 2022 is the year.

What exactly is a Quiltlet? A while back, I was watching a lot of paper crafting/card making videos--I know like I need another hobby--LOL. Well, there was a new shape in the card making world that was narrow and tall--the shape offered more space for embellishments. My mind of course went to the quilt making world and thought--Wow, I could translate the same narrow tall shape into a quilt--and there you have it--Quiltlets!! 

The finished size will always be 6" x 12". Borders will finish at 1". The center blocks units will vary in size. The 4" Qube from AccuQuilt will work perfect for the majority of the center blocks--a useful tool but not necessary.

Fusible applique shapes will be added to the pieced quilt top. The shapes will vary each month according to the theme of the Biblical promise. 

Quilt. Bind. Finished quiltlet!!

This Metal Star Stand by Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin, is what I will be using to display my quiltlets. A quick search online and they are still available in some quilt shops. I will be giving some other display ideas throughout the year.

How is this Sew Along going to work? As per my usual style--very casually!!!! 

The free pattern will be in my shop sometime on the first Monday of each month. The pattern will remain free until the next months' pattern is released. At that time it will still be available, but at a $2.00 cost. The patterns are a downloadable PDF. It will contain detailed cutting, sewing instructions and full size fusible applique templates. There will also be a quilt line drawing coloring page with some journaling space.

A Facebook live will be held on my Lizard Creek Quilting Facebook page sometime during the month--remember--I work casually!! Plus, I am a farm wife helper out in the hog barns and have no control over when I need to help!!! Various topics will be discussed--how to bind mini quiltlets, how to Snapliquilt, how the applique applies to the promise, how to use the 4" Qube--you get the picture--it could be anything--but it all will help you make your best project!!

Watch my Facebook page, Instagram or the blog for when the new Sew True Quiltlets are released.

Creekside Quilting Crew-- is a group I have setup on the Lizard Creek Quilting Facebook page. Please consider joining so we can share our finished quiltlets!! Look for "Groups", ask to join, then share your quiltlet and discuss the promise each month.

Who can participate? Anyone!! Just because this is a quilting project doesn't mean that only quilters can participate. If cardmaking is your thing--do it in paper!! If coloring is your thing--use the coloring page and enjoy!! Whatever your craft medium is--adapt and make it work for you!! I just want to put these Sew True Quiltlets out into the world for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

Why a Sew True Quiltlet sew along? 

There are many things going on in the world as of late. And a lot of it doesn't seem to make sense--it feels as if up is down and down is up. This has been my nudging, to Speak Truth in Love. I have three precious grandkids--they need to know that up is really up and down is really down!! The promises in God's Word tell us so--that is something that will never change. 

"Truth is so obscured nowdays and lies so well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." --Blaise Pascal  a French philosopher from the 1600's

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own sight!"   --Isaiah 5: 20-21

"Never worry about who will be offended if you speak the truth. Worry about who will be misled, deceived and destroyed if you don't."  --Unknown

"So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."  --James 4:17  This is the verse that nudged me!! Many years ago, I took a Spiritual Gifts course and found that presenting the Word of God in a creative artful way is a gift the Lord has blessed me with. Not using my gift for His glory would be a sin!!!

PS...Like I said, this is going to be a sew along where we make Sew True Quiltlets based on truths found in God's Word--The Holy Bible. My background is in the Christian Reformed Church, so references might be used from The Heidleberg Catechism or Our World Belongs to God, along with various hymns or praise and worship songs. The truth will be spoken with LOVE and KINDNESS to all who wish to participate.

Looking forward to what we can do together!!

Sincerely, Terri