The Yellow Hat and New Directions

       I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth.”  Psalm 34:1

As you might remember, I have been working on knitting a chemo hat for my friend, Louann, who just began her fight against a diagnosis of breast cancer. Now I’m not an ‘experienced/advanced’ knitter so this was a difficult project for me. You see, the requirements for a chemo hat are a bit different than the premie baby hats I’d knit in the past – they require that there be no seams and they must be long enough to cover the head from the top forehead area, cover the ears and extend to the back of the head to where the hair line stops. Attempt #1 ended up being a size good enough for a 5-6 year old child – too small (that will go with the premie hats donation); #2 ended up large enough to fit my husband’s head and then some – too big! (I ripped it out). Finally, out of desperation, I thought of my trusty ‘loom’; using the same soft yellow yarn from hat #2, I just finished ‘The Yellow Hat’! (Did I take a picture? No, it’s not a fancy hat, just an average loomed hat which she can wear around the house.) I spoke with her yesterday and, as strange as it sounds, with her chemo schedule, she’s expected to lose her hair this Tuesday; so glad I finished her hat on time. She’s very courageous, strong and has a very upbeat attitude which really helped me talk to her about my ‘new’ situation.

You see, as of Thursday, I joined her in the breast cancer fight. It’s been difficult this month with going to my doctor and him telling me that (a) they thought I had suspicious ‘moles’ on my body (they turned out to be nothing) (b) I now have a heart murmur (that, too, is ‘normal’ and nothing to worry about but (c) after my mammogram, it seems I have 2 small masses which lead to my visit to the oncology doctor yesterday. As it was explained to me – for all the kinds of cancer I could have – the one I have (a) is small (b) requires little treatment and (c) has a great success rate!

I’m guessing that as of this Monday, my life will take on an almost rollercoaster feel; I’m awaiting a call from the surgeon as to when they will do the lumpectomy. (If you’re taking notes, my schedule will look something like this:

(1) lumpectomy and removal of 3 lymph nodes-I questioned why the lymph nodes if it’s not ‘in’ them; answer was-to prevent a pathway for the cancer to spread (2) 6 weeks of Mon-Fri. daily radiation treatments then (3) 5 years of taking one pill a day as a preventative for this type of cancer. (ps: both doctors assured me that radiation will not cause hair loss – I’d already asked them to tell me ahead of time because I thought I could donate my hair to “Locks of Love”, it’s long enough for that).

For those of you who might have questions, I learned quite a bit. I had a total hysterectomy in 1989 and began estrogen therapy immediately. Estrogen is a wonderful thing – it kept me ‘sane’ for all these years (honestly! Without it I became a raging, angry individual you don’t want to know! I hated myself the two times various doctors decided I needed to be off it!). The problem with estrogen? You can get the type of cancer I have that thrives on estrogen! Who knew? I’m very grateful it’s been caught very early – my only worry? I had to stop taking the estrogen immediately. I talked to the two doctors and said: “I hope you have something ELSE to give me to prevent me turning into a raving lunatic!” Their answer was: “We could put you on an anti-depressant to help that.” Sigh . . . I remember in the past it took about 2 weeks from me stopping it before I really started having MAJOR problems (today is day 2). Let’s just say, I’m really working on watching my mouth and thoughts – you see, without the estrogen you tend to say whatever you’re thinking – and believe me, it’s not all good thoughts! If someone cuts in front of you while driving, you turn into a truck driver! Not good! (and it only gets worse). We’ll see . . . this is going to be a long journey, but I’m not afraid. I told my doctor that waiting those four days for the results were very hard; having to tell my husband and children was very hard. Now knowing what’s ahead of me is not scary – I’m ready to fight this thing and win! As you know, I’m a Christian and I truly believe the Lord will be with me through it all. I can’t begin to tell you the many, many Bible verses that have comforted me, the verses from hymns or songs I’ve sung in choir, all very comforting.

This whole ‘journey’ has changed my plans a bit; I’ve written the lady in charge of the afghans and told her I might not be working on them for awhile and she understands. I’ve written to my Knit Group and explained that I might not be there every 2 weeks, but I’ll try (I’ll try to keep up with the scheduling of the meetings for them). As to my special needs group, I’ve spoken to my ‘partner/other teacher’ and she’s praying for me – we agreed that I won’t tell the group exactly what I have, only that I might be sick (no need to spread fear into them – Cancer can be a very scary word to some). Tomorrow is telling my Sunday School class and that will be VERY hard; I haven’t told our Pastor yet, either. Why, you might ask? Because I’ve never been one to like drawing attention to myself and this situation doesn’t give me a choice – I have to, but I don’t like it – I know I need their prayers and support, it’s just that I’m not ready to see the pain in their eyes (it was hard enough to see that in my family’s eyes).

This is a ‘new direction’ for me but one I’m ready to take with the Lord’s help. I will try to keep posting here, just to furnish you with yummy recipes, if nothing else!

Thank you for your support, prayers, good thoughts, etc.



PS: I should also tell you the blessings so far: (I’ll try not to make this long) When I went for the biopsy the doctor who was scheduled for it said he didn’t like the mammogram films and asked if I’d had a Ultrasound (no) so they did that – good thing! On the ultrasound it showed that there were TWO masses, one right behind the other (they only thought there was one, originally). When seeing the Oncologist (cancer doctor) they decided to change surgeons – the one I will have now specializes in breasts and, as they said: “She’s the BEST there is in that field!” I know that the Lord is taking care of this whole thing and going before me; I rest in Him.


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I pray that God continues to send the people into your life that can help you overcome this experience. God bless.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words!

  2. Pammie,
    I will keep you in my prayers. With every stitch I knit I will keep a good thought for you. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Thank you, Sharon, for your prayers. I’ll be needing all I can get.

  3. There are no words for the helplessness I feel for you right now. I know your faith will comfort and guide you through this situation but I wish there was more I could do to ‘make it all better’ as we used to say as children. I want you to know you can rant and do what ever you need to release the feelings you are going to have to me. Even though we don’t always think alike and our paths do not always run along side one another you have been my friend for many years and I’m going to keep it that way no matter what!

    • I’m planning on being here for a long time to come. We have been friends a very long time and I’m not planning on going anywhere to change that!
      LOVE YOU!!!
      Pammie (aka: Alice in Wonderland – YOUR name for me!!!)

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