Wednesday, June 13, 2007


We heard the news today that we didn't want to hear (oh boy)

Although Dr. Costas at Mayo did say that sometimes folks with Multiple Myeloma go on for long periods of time, it's not common. He wasn't hopeless or pessimistic, but realistic. We appreciate this - we've not based our marriage on false hopes, we're pretty honest with each other. It seems this is the best way to continue - hopeful but realistic.

We were told what the doctor at U of M told us - but the blow seemed softer somehow. Probably because we had heard it before and we were waiting for it. I recorded it on my iPod, but I think I screwed it up. Damn.

Dr. Costas was frank. He said the time frame we're looking at is a couple of years.
Me: A couple of years?
DC: A couple.
Me: As in - two?
DC: Yes, two.
Gerry seems as if he hasn't 100% absorbed this. Sweet JC, I haven't either. Who could?

I'm clinging to numbers, math, things that can be quantified. It was stressed to us that everyone is different, every scenario unique. All they can tell us are the averages.

My mind is filled with numbers and math;

Max is 9 and Hannah is 10.
730 days.
17,520 hours.
24 months.
We've had 15 years together
Married August 21.
Gerry was born 54 days before my brother, Jim.
Mom's birthday was May 24.

Useless numbers.

Since our appointment with the
social worker is tomorrow morning, we decided to drive home and save the $$ on the hotel. More numbers. We leave at 7:30. Home, if lucky, by 1:00 ish.

We did stop on the way and had a very good dinner - 1 down, 729 to go? Don't you DARE tell me not to go there - How can my mind NOT go there. I won't dwell there, but I can't help but peek inside, and don't try to stop me. You're not the boss of me. So there.

It was a long and quiet ride home to get the kids, and thank our friend who'd watched them for us. Thank you Jane, thank you Cora - thank you so much!

This has come on very quickly - as you know - and Gerry's in stage 3. That was news to me, but Gerry seemed aware of it. He's better read on this than I am. 3 is worse than 1.

Mayo wants to do the stem cell transplant sooner rather than later (he's responding very well to his medication - yay - and they said there's nothing really to be gained by waiting 3 months) so it may begin to happen as soon as end of July / beg of Aug. They're worried about the Zometa's effects on his kidneys' so they're stopping that.

And - the day after he finished a few sessions at the dentist - we're told that going to the dentist while on Zometa probably isn't the best idea due to a not-nice but unusual side effect.

Mayo will try to arrange it so that Gerry's worst phase - when he really needs 24/7 care after the high dose chemo and I need to focus entirely on HIM - will coincide when the kids are in NJ for 10 days.

I need to book those flights.

More numbers.

I'm numb with numbers.

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Monday, June 04, 2007


A shot of Columbus in the rain, after a few G&T's, stumbling strolling back to the hotel. Quickly. Because I had to pee.

Thank god for the lobby bathroom at the Hyatt. Aren't you glad you left early, James?

TNNA Redux

I had a hell of a time. Yes, I did, an I'm not ashamed to say it. Haircut and all, I was a friggin' derelict. I haven't had that much fun in Columbus since I was 20. At least I'm legal now.

Max just asked me how old I am for a class project on finding averages & means. I told him I was 25. He doesn't believe me.

The Potter Party on Sunday night was amazing fun. Then again, I have fun just about everywhere I go. I had several G&T's, my drink of choice for a warm night, and bonded with new friends (whose booth I TOTALLY missed) and with some old, good friends.

Lorna's Laces girls are wild women - be warned...

Favorite part? Whenever they called a winning number for a raffle I'd squeal and yell, "Oh my GOD!" I kept changing my location around the room.
Hi, I'm 4.

Next favorite part? When I convinced Amanda
to yell, "BINGO!" when the final number was called. Meet my friend, Amanda - she's 4, too!

Third favorite part? Engaging in some rather - ahem - salty dialogue with a few guys & a girl from the
Vermont Organic Fiber Company.

I thought they were the AV guys because I'd MISSED THEIR BOOTH (what a fool I was) but they were incredibly cool. We had a Tony Soprano-off (which continued pretty much the entire evening, and was a magnificent way to relieve a little stress.)

This was after we'd compared our adorable kids' photos on our ipods.
Techno-geeky proud parents showing photos of their 4-year old children.

Then on to the Tip Top bar for more drinks (I had iced tea) and the aformentioned stumble back to the Hyatt.

Passing through the bar on my way to the elevator (funny how that route goes, huh?) I spied Eliot from
Artyarns and sat with him and Joanna [friendly neighborhood yarn rep] & her husband. A G&T and a bit of conversation later (Eliot, you ignorant slut...) I was finally, to bed, to rest from my 4 maniac days of yarn-walking.

The yarn booth reps rush over when someone is mauling the fibers to see if they can gracefully extricate the fingers from the yarn. I always say, "I'm not a yarn shop - I'm just a designer!" because I'm not a potential sale - and that really IS the biggest reason to have a booth at TNNA!

However, it's nice when they stop, look at my name and
(if they know me) ask me if there's a yarn I'd like to swatch up. That means so much, and I put those companies in the front of my to-be-swatched basket when I'm trying to come up with new ideas.

At times this weekend I would see a yarn I really, really liked, but just didn't feel that I had the mental energy to schmooze a swatching ball out of the rep
(not to take away - usually they'll send a ball to me after the show and I'll find a way to use it in a pattern or book.) I'm usually better at this, but just seemed to be lacking the "Hi, I'm Annie - I love your yarn!" patter this time around.

Best Stuff I Saw

This can in no way be a totally
complete list. Bear in mind I was in a fog this TNNA. I had 3 classes, 2 book signings - those take a lot of energy and focus.

Because of this blog & the kindness of knitters, there were myriad lovely folks stopping to give me a pat or some encouragement.
If they got weepy, though, I stomped on their foot. Be warned. And Thank You - everyone!

Prism Arts
Perhaps my favorite yarn at the show was Lotus (wool/bamboo/silk), which was dyed extraordinarily well. I stroked, loved it, made a fool of myself, and slunk off without the courage to ask for some. Alas.

I am thrilled that Iris has added beads to the Silk Rhapsody (one of the nicest knitting experiences one can have, and the main yarn in the back cover sweater for Romantic Hand Knits) Serendipitously, I had added some beads to my own ball of SR when working up a little bag, so Iris was able to use the bag as a sample!

Tilli Tomas
We know I love these yarns. I love them. Mwa. I kees you, you magnificent yarn! I'll be playing with some new spun silk, Plie & Demi PliŽ, later this evening. I'll be taking the phone off the hook.

Yarn Place
I hadn't used these yarns before, but I fell in love with their Bel Canto DK and Vivace. I truly am a sucker for a multi color ply. I cannot WAIT to get some of this on my needle!

Trendsetter Yarns (Lane Borgosesia)
I adored Harmony (wool/polyamide/polyester) - it's a really lovely blend - not too novelty-y for me (I'm so square) but with lots of zing. Just lovely. I was also transported by their yarn, Tonalita (wool/acryllic) - I love the colors and the way it's dyed. And I left my hat at the booth. Damn.

Needful Yarns
Their wool/silk/cashmere Feeling was extraordinary, as was their new Kaleidoscope (which is rather bulky as it's a chained yarn, but had a light feeling)

Crystal Palace Yarns
I fell in love with Taos (wool) and Kaya (wool) - I really dig the blending of the yarns. Very nice. They also had a yarn, Maizy (corn & elastic nylon) that will be a fun yarn to use for a variety of projects. Very pretty.

I LOVE Southwest Trading's AMaizing - it's the yarn used on the cover of Romantic Hand Knits - but this may give it a run for its' money! It's a trifle thinner.

Lorna's Laces
Shepherd Wooltop - Just being around this stuff makes me happier than is legal in 4 states.

Mountain Colors Yarn
I stroked and stroked their new Mountain Goat yarn until David from
Unicorn Books across the aisle came over to see if I was alright. Yes, indeedy. I'm fine.

Cherry Tree Hill
The Supersock Dk that they had was really stunning - great colors - and lots of good "guy" colors!

The Alpaca Yarn Company
They were presenting a new yarn, Paca-peds, which is an alpaca/wool/nylon blend - great for sox, and beautifully dyed! And Superwash!!

Ecolution Pure Hemp
Lanaknits has it all over them on color choices, but I liked Ecolution Pure Hemp's selection of twine thicknesses, and will be asking for some to work up a series of hemp hats (some wired, some not...) which should be easy care and fun to wear. I like twine.

I think Lanaknits is the place to go, though, for cutting edge colors and really nice blends of hemp and other fibers, as well as pure hemp!

There were amazing colors and fibers at this booth - great textures and lovely yarns. Unfortunately, I've found that it's hard to get swatching balls sometimes from them, which is understandable (I'm sure everyone and their sister wants several!) so I don't work with this yarn as much as I'd like.

I am working up a shawl right now for VK in their Wool/Silk blend Sanctuary - it's going to be gorgeous

The Cascade Yarn Company
I really liked their new Dolce (alpaca/wool/silk) and Cash Vero (merino/acryllic/cashmere) - they seemed to have a lovely hand, but I'd really like to knit some up to see how they "play."

Back in St. Paul

Now I'm home - home to my husband who looks great
(and apparently walked quite a bit yesterday up Grand Ave during the Grand Old Days celebration with his walker) and to my kids, who are beautiful and loud. Life is good.

I can tell he's glad I'm here - 4 days just about taxed his resources.

He didn't want to drive much while I was away, but we live near a CVS so if we need milk, etc., the kids can run up and get it. Thank heaven. And we have friends. It's hard for me to reach out - it's harder for him to do so.

Of course, into each life a little rain must fall - and when it rains on me it tends to pour. I'd love to see my horoscope for this day, but so far this has happened to me:
  1. A beautiful yellow-ware bowl that I bought several years ago, and was worth $300 on Saturday, was broken into 300 pieces on Sunday. By Max. By accident. Geeze, I loved that bowl. Here's a photo of Max & Bowl in happier days.

  2. Two bags in my suitcase - a small manicure case and a larger matching bag - were missing from my luggage when I got home. This has been the cursed luggage trip.

    The damage? Oh, only the Alchemy yarn that I was supposed to be making this shawl out of, that's what was in the bag. I've written to VK for more yarn, let's hope it's not too much of a nightmare. I've filed a report with NW, but I'm not expecting a lot.

  3. I discovered that my beautiful Motobecan bike was stolen during the Grand Old Days celebration when Gerry and the kids were out for a walk. The question about who left the gate open is up in the air, but I'm going with Hannah because Max has the bowl on his ledger right now.

    Damn. I'd only ridden it half a dozen times, but I loved it. Damn.
Everytime I go to TNNA I seem to lose something. I was so proud that I had my phone, ipod, glasses - EVERYTHING when I left the hospital. So I guess they made up for it at home and at the airport.

And now I just feel - tired. I'd love to snooze for a week, but I'll be knitting for this evening. I did get a nap today (yay!) and Gerry was feeling well enough to take Max to baseball this evening. I hope Maxie did well!

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