Friday, July 30, 2010

Chemotherapy ends

Once again I have been caring for my daughter Genevieve and granddaughter, Danica. I am very happy to tell you that I took Vieve to her LAST chemotherapy treatment at Siteman Cancer Center (Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis) ten days ago. Below, Genevieve rings the bell, a tradition which lets everyone know that she finished.

This event was more emotional for both of us than we anticipated. The volunteers, nurses and patients applauded, and Vieve got a “Survivor” T-shirt. Naturally, they hope never to see her again. We got a grip on ourselves and then we went shopping—what else? I bought Danica a new deluxe stroller at REI so I can take her on walks with me, and we went to Whole Foods for wine and cheese. I had to skip my favorite quilt shop—The Quilted Fox (on Clayton Road)—because rush hour was fast approaching.

Genevieve’s recovery now begins. The first week after a chemo treatment is always up-and-down as she copes with the effect of the chemo drugs and the massive dose of steroids they give her. This past week was no different. Sometimes she is awake and interacting with us all day; other times she is in bed. I have been cooking and baking a lot (we celebrated my youngest daughter Libby’s birthday AND my husband’s birthday this week). And therefore cleaning up the kitchen a lot, to the tune of two dishwasher loads a day.

And, yes, I am almost finished with Vieve’s Recovery Quilt. I free-motion quilted the edges (below). Sewing on the binding took several days (I hand-sewed the binding to the back of the quilt), but I finally got it done. Too many interruptions and too many dishes--I've got to quit this cooking-from-scratch thing! I will make a label tonight and it will be finished at last. Tomorrow: the finished quilt.

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