Four weeks have passed since the surgery, how time flies! While my brain seems to have returned to 'normal' (I'm not entirely sure that's the correct adjective for me), my body is taking a while to play catch up.  You get told that after major abdominal surgery (and I presume for other types of major surgery too) there will be tiredness, but I had totally underestimated how all encompassing the tiredness or fatigue is; just walking up and down the road wipes me out for hours! The fatigue leads to many hours of horizontal resting, well technically lying down ;-), which in turn leads to hours of wandering around the inter web. And that is how I came across this wonderful store Housekeeping via the equally lovely blog little birdie, written by Jen. Housekeeping evolved from a passion for simple, functional, understated design for the everyday things that we use and stocks some beautiful products.

In the last two weeks I've had two orders from Housekeeping delivered, and each time the service and products have been great.  There is a certain irony to writing about items for keeping 'the house' though, considering my current state of 'post-surgery resting'.  For the first six weeks after surgery I was told that the heaviest thing I could lift was a half-full kettle of water, and then most medical professionals I encountered backed the 'kettle-lifting' up with no hoovering, sweeping, putting the washing on, hanging the washing out, ironing, lifting heavy pans of food or bags of shopping - which left me dumb founded! Not because there were telling that I could lift anything heavy, but that they seemed to assume that I would be carrying out these house-hold chores; they never told me no DIY, painting, oil changing, firewood cutting, tree felling or coal bag moving - all of which made me clench my teeth with frustration.  Why on a gynaecological ward did the medical staff assume that their patients should only be warned against undertaking what they perceived as 'female-orientated household tasks'.  To the credit of one person, who had to endure a morphine induced rant from me about the stereotyping of the their 'no-can-do' examples, they did admit that perhaps their examples where a tad patronising!  I rest my case!


made … Riddari

Lopapeysa love! 

It feels good to have completed something in the last week, to have made something; a jumper for my mister. I cast on a week before Christmas, as I sat on a hospital bed waiting to go down to the operating theatre for surgery.  A surgery that should shave been straight forward; and in many ways it was.  The procedure went well and after a couple of nights in hospital I was able to go home to recover and take things very easy, free of the ovarian cyst that had caused so much pain and happy to be able to get on with a pain free life again.  Over the next few weeks as I worked on the jumper I had no idea of what was brewing! Ha! But this post is about making and knitting and not the other nonsense that has hijacked things, the pattern is Riddari by Védís Jónsdóttir and the yarn is Istex Létt-Lopi; I love knitting with this yarn!  It's taken a while, there was a lot to knit ;-), but now it is done; my notes can be found here on Ravelry. 

P.S. the antler coat hook is by Alexander Taylor and the fish is made by the lovely Jo Waterhouse


in the shadow of an eclipse

Last friday morning, I found myself turning on the lights as our house became dark and gloomy and shadows appeared in the garden, at strange angles and in the wrong places for the time of day.  

And as I looked out at the sky expecting to see brooding dark clouds, the sky was cloudless and blue, and then I remembered - the eclipse! As the shadows lengthened the birds stopped singing and there was an eerie silence for while and then as the moon passed out of the path of the sun, the shadows receded and the birds were once again chirping away.  

I'm not usually a great fan of metaphors, but some of the shadows that cancer has introduced into my life have also receded in the last few days; as the eclipse that ovarian cancer had become, has shifted on it's path slightly.  On Thursday I was told by my oncologist that there was no evidence that my ovarian cancer had spread beyond the site of it's origin; that for now all the evidence points to the cancer being contained and removed by the surgery.  I was given the choice of chemotherapy, but with the caveat that it would only decrease the chance of relapse by one percent.  So for now, I have chosen to watch and wait and to breath again; to take deep deep breaths and to think about life.  What path my life is going to take now, I have no idea or how heavy the burden of cancer will be; but I want to try to embrace life with all the strength I can muster.


Béal Bán Races

At the end of the 2013 summer, just as the first niggling symptoms of my cancer started to make their presence known, I was fortunate enough to go horse riding in Dingle (Co. Kerry) with a wonderful friend, someone I've been horse riding with for over 30 years.

We went trekking along the coast and beaches around Dingle for two days, it was a magical place and we galloped along the beaches at some pace!

We galloped on the beach where the Béal Bán races are held; maybe not quite as fast as the professional jockeys shown above (Photo from Bridget Flemming Fine Art www.bridgetflemming.com), but just on the edge of being out of control!

Daraugh and Cookie, were lovely horses and looked after us well! Here they are relaxing after a day on the beach!

Riding together on holiday was something we had spoken about for a while, I spent a few years dithering and wondering if I should go for it or not, I 'm glad I did…..life is for living!


making ...

There has been a distinct lack of posts about making, so to even things up a bit here is a ginger cake I made over the Christmas holidays.  Not just any old ginger cake, this was an awesome ginger cake even if I do say so myself!

The recipe was from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, a copy of the recipe can be found here


fog and flowers …..

It has been two weeks since I had surgery, a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, omentectomy and washings*, and now that the fog of morphine and anaesthetic has started to clear along with the incredible weariness I'm beginning to find me again, my brain is rebooting, albeit slowly and I hope that, despite the rather impressive 20 cm vertical scar I have, I am still me!

Since coming home I have been surrounded by the most beautiful flowers, bunches upon bunches bursting with colour; there are vases of flowers in every room of our house.  What has become clear, on this cancer 'journey' is just how wonderful, kind and caring our friends are.  It is such a strange feeling to ask for help, to give in and admit that this is too much to bare on own own, and as we waved our white flag of surrender our friends have stepped up to the mark, each and everyone of them.  I have been truly overwhelmed by kindness and love.

*the 'washings' makes the dark part of my sense of humour smile, I'm clean on the inside now! Though I know that really this is no laughing matter.