Sunday, January 1, 2017

I Have a Plan

I have been thinking, a very dangerous thing to do.  But 17 months ago I was diagnosed with cancer and told that it was incurable because it had spread throughout my whole skeletal system.  The cancer was found because my arm had spontaneously broken and was in such poor condition that it had to be surgically put together with a permanent splint.  At that time I was also told that my left hip was also in extremely poor condition and that I needed a partial hip replacement.  And while doing the preadmission tests for that operation my heart rate was found to be only 29 beats per minute and I was rushed into surgery for a pacemaker.  (This is just a preamble to what I really want to say)  It should be noted that up until that July I had never had surgery and was known to be extremely healthy so all of this was quite a shock to my system and psyche.  Although I never asked, the oncologist told the cardiologist that I probably had 9 - 12 months to live.  And, as you can see,  I am still going.  I, however, now suffer from back pain that has severely limited my moving around and participating in the things I love doing.  So this month I will be fitted with a device that may (read will) reduce my pain and allow me to stand and walk normally and to return to quilt making, a task I really do love.

So, here is my plan: I have a LOT of fabric that is folded neatly (?) on shelves where I can see it.  But I have not been able to stand long enough to cut it and make quilt blocks with it.  Also, there is the question "what will happen to all that fabric when I die?"  So my plan for 2017 is to make quilts out of as much of that fabric as I can.  I plan on making easy quilts to give away (charity, families in need, hospital patients, etc. )  and to have at least one special (applique, fancy blocks, fancy settings, etc.) quilt going at all times to stimulate my brain.  I really want to use up so much fabric that I HAVE to buy more to complete a current project.

I know I will still get tired when standing so I will continue to knit.  I really love knitting and it is so very relaxing.  I usually have at least two projects going, one in the studio and one in the house, so my hands can stay busy when I am off of the computer.

I don't know how much time I have but I really want to use it wisely and that my husband and/or family to only have to deal with the machines and other tools of my trade when I am gone.

I am very lucky.  When I came home from the hospital my husband took over ALL of the household chores.  And when I began to get stronger and no longer needed home health he told me that he would continue to do those chores and my job was to spend as much time in my studio as I wanted, to rest and read, and not worry about getting anything done. This has been such a gift.  Of course I  had to deal with feeling guilty but I have worked that out.  I did it all for over 50 years so 50 years from now I will take some of the chores back.  😇

The truth is that I need to feel a sense of accomplishment and with this plan I hope to feel it several times this year.  Wish me luck.



Julie said...

Your plan sounds wonderful. Best wishes for improved health and continued happiness. It sounds like your husband is a keeper!

Brandy said...

Wow what an inspiring post. I hear your hope and strength through and through. Quilting is such a wonderful gift to both those that quilt and those that receive the quilts. I hope you have a wonderful time!

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

Just believing that you aren't ready to leave this earth yet has kept your body and mind active and kept you alive. I believe you will go on for a lot longer. Just having goals keeps your body in the fighting mode, fighting any further damage to your body. I wish I lived closer to you because I would cut all of your fabric for you.

Kate said...

A sensible and doable plan. Hopefully the device will help with the back pain and let you implement the plan. It's so much easier to do well when you can do at least some of the things you want. That's probably the best therapy ever.

Nann said...

Gari, you have leaped over the hurdle of crying, "Why me?" and reached a new normal zone -- not the normal you'd like, but the normal you've got. I pray that between meds and assistive devices you'll be as comfortable as possible. Your plan is wonderful -- to keep your hands, mind, and heart engaged.