Monday, October 26, 2009

Steve and a Finish

Steve has been moved to a local rehab facility that is actually quite excellent. He will be getting occupational therapy on his left hand, which he can't feel (he is not paralyzed, he can raise his left arm, just can't use his left hand very well), physical therapy - walking, etc., and speech therapy, which is mostly focus type. He has been having mini seizures since the surgery. These are not convulsions, and only 1 grand mal in the hospital, but he kind of zones out for a minute or less and then is back. He's having trouble sleeping also. They have doubled his anti-seizure meds, so hopefully today will see an end to them. They are afraid to let him walk while he's having these because he's 6'2" and taller than most of the therapists! He is aware of the seizures, which is kind of freaky, but he hasn't lost his sense of humor and his intelligence is not impaired, so that is a good thing. As soon as he can get the seizures stopped, he can get the needed therapy and go home -- this is only a temporary stay. Once he gets home, he'll be going back to Madison to find out the next step. Staples come out of the incision next Monday, hopefully.

I finally managed to finish the witches quilt. I like how it turned out and the legs hanging free make me smile, but I really don't care for this type of pattern - the Buggy Barn way. I'm going to give this to my daughter, because I think the grandkids will love it.

I spent some time this weekend making backings for a couple of little quilts that have been sitting around collecting dust. Now I have 3 small projects waiting to be quilted, with bindings made too. It's nice to move things from pile A to pile B!

Steve is doing better every day and is looking forward to going home.
Getting back into my routine a little more. I need to clean house and run errands on my usual days - it's just a quirk in my personality, I guess.

Getting into the sewing room -- it calms me and centers me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Steve Update

Steve had surgery yesterday morning. It was not the chip-shot the doctor had expected. The pre-surgery MRI showed that the tumor had grown to 1.7 cm, so she knew she couldn't use the endoscope. She had to open the entire area again. It took 4 hours, but she got all of the growth, took out all the aneurysm clips she had left there in his first surgery, and cleaned up some scar tissue. He was in recovery for another 4 hours and had a heck of a time coming out of the anesthesia. He basically has the same problems that he had after the first surgery -- right eyelid is droopy because she had to cut into the muscle that controls it -- we expect it to improve over the next 2 or 3 months.
This morning he had another MRI, which showed that she did in fact get all the tumor, everything looks good, no sign of a stroke, but a small area of bleeding on the left back, bottom side and nothing to worry about as it is probably due to the stress on his brain from the previous radiation and surgery. His brain is swelling, but she is controlling that with steroids. He was fully awake and lucid today and hungry! They had to do a swallow test and have him on a thick liquid diet for now.
He is in intensive care, of course, so we only visit for a short time and then give him an hour or so to rest - which is rather difficult when they are constantly monitoring him -- but hey, that's why he's there. Probably be in hospital through the weekend and possibly early next week.

Please continue praying -- we appreciate the prayers.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

More quilting

Here's the ruler I used to make the pinwheel blocks. It's called Lil' Twister and their website is:

And this is the finished table runner top made from the ruler. It's really a fun pattern to play with.
I finished 8 witches blocks and didn't make legs for the ninth, so saw no reason to finish it. The pattern calls for 8 of them. I'm glad they're finished and hopefully it won't take long to put that top together. I started piecing another twister top as leaders/enders, so hopefully I'll have two tops done at the same time.

It was a wonderful quilty day here today -- rainy and cold outside, toasty warm with logs on the fire in the kitchen fireplace, bread in the breadmaker and leftover stew for dinner tonight -- no cooking!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back to Quilting

This is what I've been working on since my trip to Madison with Steve & Kim. Stitchers' Crossing had this quilt hanging on the wall in their classroom. I thought it was adorable and picked up the book. When we got back I cut it out. Now you should know that I am not a fan of Buggy Barn patterns -- so piecing these 9 witches is taking me awhile (along with all the time I haven't been stitching at all!). I only have 3 more to piece before I can put them together, so I'll keep at it, but I'll definitely be done with Buggy Barn patterns for awhile.

As my leader/ender project, I've been piecing these blocks. They are 9" finished. I bought a kit that makes into a table runner and the special ruler which is Twisty something or other -- of course the ruler and instructions are upstairs and I'm in the basement, so I'll have to try to remember to photograph it. These are really fun blocks to put together, so I will be making another quilt with this ruler -- and some of the charm square packs I've bought.
Getting somewhat back to normal around here -- whatever that is.
Spending some time sewing -- it sure calms me down.
Getting my tulip and daffodil bulbs into the ground today.

More Info

We now have a lot more information. I think waiting for test results and meetings with doctors and specialists is undoubtedly the most nerve wracking thing. We were pretty much knocked off our feet with Kevin's news, but now we have much more information on both guys. I think I have my feet under me now anyway.

Kevin (56) was diagnosed with very aggressive prostate cancer. On a scale of 1-10 with one being the least aggressive, he is at a 7 or 8. Not a lot of time to waste. The good news is, the scans show that it has not yet spread. The surgeon in Rockford wants to do surgery sometime in the next month -- he has to heal from the biopsy two weeks ago first. They have an appointment with a surgeon at UW Madison to get a second opinion. Basically, he'll have surgery by one or the other and it doesn't sound like he'll need chemo or radiation -- so that is very good.

Steve's (40) surgeon took a good look at the MRI results, called the kids and suggested she remove the nodule without waiting 6 weeks to see another MRI. His tumor was a Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), which is the most aggressive form of brain cancer and it ALWAYS comes back. So, while it is the size of a pea (as opposed to the tennis ball she removed the first time), she wants to take it out. This is a good thing -- and actually makes us feel better to have it out than wait around to see if it'll grow. She also thinks she can do this with a small incision and thread a scope through one of the screw holes holding the piece of skull in place that she removed the first time -- much less time for the surgery and quicker recovery. Surgery is scheduled for the 15th. Probably won't have to do any more chemo or radiation after surgery either.

So, while it has been a rough couple of weeks, we'll make it through. I want to thank everyone for their prayers -- believe me they helped tremendously.
And, I want to thank Kris for getting me out of the house last Saturday and to the quilt shop and lunch and a couple of other stops. It was a great day, even though it was cold and rainy. And I have finally started sewing again -- and actually looking forward to whatever time I can squeeze out of the day to sit at the sewing machine! And next time I'll have pictures!