Sunday, July 29, 2007

It Ain't Heavy, It's My Blender...

Today Hannah left for Girl Scout Camp in Wisconsin - she was SO excited, I was SO excited - we ALL were excited! The bus left at 8:30, we were there at 8:00 and she was ready to go!

We spent the last few days packing, labeling EVERYTHING she took with her and picking up the last few things that she needed (boots... long PJ's) This has been an exceptional summer for her - not the usual summer by any means - and I don't know who is happier about it, Hannah or Gerry.

Hannah hugged us all, thanked me profusely (now THAT made me cry!) then hugged Max again for good measure. They're tight - Irish twins!

It means the world to Gerry to see both kids having such a great summer - it makes us so happy to see them adjusting well to St. Paul, making friends and finding cool stuff to do. We don't dwell a lot on Gerry's sickness, but - of course - it follows us at every moment and sometimes has to break into conversations like an excited child.

If there were ever a summer when it is important that the kids and Gerry make excellent memories, this is it! Timing is everything.

Today a new friend, London (coolest name since Hannah Brooklyn...) came over - ostensibly - to help us empty the kitchen for the contractors.

But I'd moved a lot of stuff this morning into the dining room (doing double duty, and soon the basement will be our second kitchen.)

So when London arrived, ready to work, I was tired and ready to sit and chat and knit. She agreed. No work for YOU!

As a wealthy friend in college said to me when I told her about my summer job - with absolutely no irony - "Work? That's for the birds!" Eh, it will all get done. Every bit that needs to be done will be done.

Nothing feels better than a well deserved break, and we had a lovely visit. London showed us the yarn she'd just spun with her new wheel. Very beautiful!

Gerry came downstairs and joined us, we talked in detail about his procedure (we don't really talk to each other about it unless we're talking to friends, so this was good for all of us!)

The Mayo had sent a DVD outlining the blood & marrow transplant process in graphic detail. It's very informative, but both of us wish that there were more real interviews with actual patients & caregivers.

I tell Gerry that THIS is why it's important for him to think about starting a blog. "Think how great it would be to read about another person's experience right now as we are entering this adventure ourselves."

I gave London some roving that I bought at Shepherd's Harvest, I knew I'd never get to spin it or use it in the manner I'd intended, and she's showing such a skill for the spinning!

She divided it into strands and created faux dredlocks - fetching (I photoshopped in the beach.) Then she went home and spun it up! Another hard worker...

Later in the afternoon, a bit of private knitting, a walk with my Max (picking him up post-playdate) and much more moving of pots, pans and dishes.

I'll work for an hour or so, then rest and knit - answer email, chart a pattern - then back up and move stuff. I will be leaving on Wed and I do NOT want Gerry to start feeling that he has to move anything around himself.

And I'm really loving this Evolution yarn from Chameleon Colorworks!

No wonder they're sold out until late August, it's the softest and most lovely merino I've every worked with! It has a cottony-silky feeling because it's pulled before it's spun, and knits up beautifully. I think I'm going to make a summer-wool tank top with it!

I can hardly believe that in a week we'll be going down to Mayo. I have to say that I'm scared for Gerry. Not scared in a long-term sense as much as just wanting any discomfort or pain to be OVER.

It feels as though we're about to enter a long, long dark tunnel. I have to let Gerry go first because it's his journey - he's the one who knows the way. All I can do is follow close behind and hold the flashlight straight.

And carry stuff.


Sheknits said...

That is such a good explanation, he knows the way, all you can do is follow close behind and hold the flashlight straigh...and carry stuff. I look at something i am goin gthrough with my hussband like this...he is driving the car and I am a passenger, he has to control the car as we are speeding into an uncoming truck (that is incorrectly in our lane) he has to steer but I don't have to sit that completely helpless I can yell watch out, maybe even grab the wheel but mostly it is up to him...I like your imagery more. I think that would be wonderful if he started a blog.

July 29, 2007 11:48 PM  
valéria said...


my heart goes out for you and your family. I so hope that this tunnel is a short one and that everything will go fine and the pain will go away.

July 30, 2007 12:08 AM  
susanc said...

That would be wonderful for Gerry to start a blog and chronicle his journey. I think it would be a great help for others who are facing similar situations and also a help for him in putting it down. It would really make a difference and who knows how many people he will help. What a neat legacy to leave, knowing that he has helped so many in going through his journey. I hope that makes sense.

July 30, 2007 12:14 AM  
Debbie said...

I think Gerry starting a blog is a great idea. My knitting friend Megan was in a very bad scooter/car accident. She kept blogging about what was happening to her and I really believed it helped her get through all the pain and multiple surgeries. Here's her blog addy

As for your dining room! Full of kitchen stuff or not WOW WHAT A GORGEOUS DINING ROOM YOU HAVE!

July 30, 2007 6:15 AM  
annie spencer said...

the good things about tunnels is tha they always end and you come out somewhere completely different!
Thinking of you always and the positive things that are now ahead of you all,
Annie (liquidgold...u.k.)

July 30, 2007 6:31 AM  
Roobeedoo said...

My First Love was recently diagnosed with MM and he asks me every day what "that Annie woman and her man" are up to! I know he would appreciate hearing from Gerry how things are going with the treatment and day to day living with MM - a blog would be such a resource for other people with this condition. As it is, it helps us to think we are not alone in this - and the knitting connection means a lot to me!

July 30, 2007 8:27 AM  
Kim-n-Cocoa said...

Annie you and your family are amazing. I know that 'life has to keep happening' no matter what but y'all do it with such grace.

I think that A blog for your hubby is a great idea. Not just for others but for himself.

Y'all will be in my thoughts this week.

July 30, 2007 9:25 AM  
Teej said...

I hope that Hannah has a great time at camp. Is she up at Northwoods? I was a girl scout growing up in the northeastern 'burbs and assuming you're in the same council, the two summer camps are likely still Lakamaga (which I think is in or around Scandia, MN) and Northwoods, which is somewhere in northern WI. Both are lovely and I have fond memories of camp at each. Summer always makes me yearn just a bit for a reason to go back to camp. *smile*

July 30, 2007 9:34 AM  
Milly said...

I think a blog would be a great idea! It could be theraputic for him and others.
Love the dreads! LOL.
I can't imagine having your energy level to deal with everything, your an amazing person!

July 30, 2007 10:09 AM  
Elizabeth said...

Hi Annie,
My 11 year old nephew has Hodgkins Lymphoma and has just finished his last round of chemo. His father decided to write a journal for each day along Johsua's journey. He used "Caring Bridge". If you go over to my blog, I have his site in my sidebar. Gerry could take a look and see if that might be something he is interested in doing. It has a place for e-mail, journal entries, and a guest book for comments. Just thought you might be interested.

July 30, 2007 10:49 AM  
Sarah said...

I just wanted to say good luck and that your Dining Room is Gorgeous. Keep it up and it will be done in no time.

July 30, 2007 11:01 AM  
Knitting Linguist said...

Hannah looks so happy! I love the picture you posted -- there is so much joy and excitement in her face. You guys are doing an amazing job of giving the kids a wonderful summer while you are dealing with everything that's going on. And of making a most welcoming home as well (your dining room -- barring the kitchen stuff -- looks like the kind of place that just invites people to settle in and be comfortable). Hang in there :)

July 30, 2007 11:56 AM  
Lora said...

Oh, how I wish I could in some way make this journey easier for you, Gerry, and the kids. Know that I am praying for you all...

July 30, 2007 12:34 PM  
Pat said...

Another great site for patients' blogs is This is what we used when my husband had his stem cell transpants (for MM) in 2000. Annie, both of us would be glad to talk with you and Gerry. I don't like to leave my email on such a public board though. I did send it to you in a card - if you still have it. :)

July 30, 2007 12:58 PM  
Anonymous said...

Annie, cover your temporary kitchen in the basement with tarps when the contractor is working. My next-door neighbor did the same kind of remodel, and she said when the crowbars, etc., got going dust and debris fell on her appliances and dishes in the basement. It made for not so pleasant meal preparation.


July 30, 2007 4:58 PM  
Anonymous said...


Your blog never fails to bring a tear to my eye. You and your family are in my thoughts as you start your journey. I hope things go smoothly for you and you can look back soon with a sense of relief that you made it through the tunnel and into the light of a new day.


July 30, 2007 8:31 PM  
Robin said...

ditto what Jenny/NJ said. I wish I lived closer so I could help you clear out your kitchen and knit a spell with you. I also want to add that although I love the name Hannah, my grand daughter also has a great name, Jourdan Brooklyn-Taylor (insert last name here). Neat to know there is another Brooklyn middle name. I love it.

July 30, 2007 9:11 PM  
Laritza said...

The news letter says the release date for the book is 8/8/8!!!
One more year????

July 30, 2007 9:51 PM  
mames said...

my friend has a little girl named london, i thought it a great name when he told me their choice. your gerry has my prayers, i'll send healing hopes your way.

July 31, 2007 5:42 PM  
Kris said...

Holy cow....

My husband are Craftsman style architecture/design groupies. We're both just awestruck by that photo of your dining room.


August 02, 2007 9:14 AM  
Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to have found your site. My mother learned this method of combined knitting in Germany thirty years ago. She taught me and I've had trouble learning to do lace every since. Continental knitters and English method knitters all told me I was doing it wrong. I'm planning to try your Alison's Scarf pattern in hopes that I will actually have lace holes that look like lace! :O)

My prayers are with you and your family. My FIL has been battling the same cancer for seven years now.
Alysha in KY

August 13, 2007 9:20 PM  

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