Nittany Knits

Monday, April 28, 2008

Today we needed a platelet transfusion and we felt the effects of the platelet shortage here at Hopkins. Platelets are removed similarly to red blood, but they are fragile and need to be removed here at the hospital. We had heard of the shortage before this, but this was the first time we have been effected by it. We use platelets more than any other blood product, so this is going to become an issue for us. Anyone out there wanting to help supply Hopkins with this much needed blood product can call (410) 955-8951 to schedule an appointment for donation.
On to 'Knitting For Me' Monday news, I am done with her pedicure socks (lots of time last night with the cardiac monitor going crazy). This means that Wed. night will be pedicure night! This also means that I can knit my toe up socks today. These would be the same toe up socks that I wanted to have done for the Orioles opening day since the colorway is... 'Opening Day'. I have more to do on the leg, and then need to go back and do my first afterthought heel. This could be one of those second sock syndrome socks, since I'm not feeling the need to do another one of these anytime soon. Too much thinking is involved for me under the circumstances.

Happy Knitting and Platelet giving!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is my first hat for my balding kid's head. Her hair loss has stopped for now, so I don't think she will lose it all.

The yarn was from Sheep and Wool Festival two years ago. I lost the tag, so I can't even share any of the info on it. I was a new knitter then and didn't realize the importance of such things. Silly me.
Large Marge finished her pink bucket hat for her and it is so cute! I'm thinking I might knit myself one for the summer months.
Yesterday, my daughter had an operation to remove her central line. This was installed to help her receive her medicines and transfusions, but it has ended up giving her blood an infection. She now has a pick line in her neck that is painful right now, but we will hopefully be able to get rid of the infection now that the line is gone. The grea news is that she has not thrownup since she got out of surgery. This is a long time for her! Yeah! She even has had a couple Capri Sun's that her bible study group brought for the families on the hospital floor. The group brought all sorts of goodies for the families. What a wonderful way to show love and compassion!!!!! Miss Robin, you and your family are such a blessing.
Thank you to Knitini for dinner and entertainment last night, and Knit Glit and Large Marge for joining in. Also a big hug goes out to thank Knitini for the yarn. Thank you to Miss Shannon for the yummy Mexican Tortilla Bake we had for lunch today. Miss Kathleen makes the world's best meatloaf cupcakes (trust me on this folks!) and veggie lasagna. Aso thanks for the relaxation package! Miss Katie is making my waist not fit into my pants with the best brownies ever. (The staff at Hopkins has nothing but love for you!) We are so blessed with good cooks for friends! We are eating better now than we usually do :-)
Everyone's prayers are being felt. Thank you for all of them. Please pray for her infection to clear, for her lungs to clear, and for her heart activity to return to normal. All of these would help her to not go through the white cell transfusion.
Keep knitting through the tough times kids. Our love goes into every single stitch, and those we knit for can feel the comfort of our work.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Things are taking baby steps in the right direction. Yeah!

Muchos Gracias goes out to the guys and gals cutting their hair short for the summer in support of my gal who's hair has seemed to stop falling out for right now. You all are so awesome!

Many thanks also going out for the hat making army that has formed! I finally finished my first hat. Took me long enough. I realize it is the perfect project for me right now. It goes in circle like a sock, only it takes alot fewer stitches:-)

Finally, so many thanks for the [rayers. We know that is the difference between yesterday and today. Please keep up the prayer chain and show those doctors I'm not crazy when I look them in the eye and say, "It will work. People are praying." They always give me that crazy woman look, but we knitters are used to that look:-)

We missed Christmas knitting yesterday. Looks like we are going to have a Christmas in July to make up for it. Details later....

Happy Knitting.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Things can go downhill pretty quick around here, and they have.

It's weird to think that just one week ago we were talking about the possibility of coming home. We are now discussing the possibility of a white cell transfusion the middle of next week.

All prayers are accepted

Monday, April 21, 2008

This is our view from our window. We are allowed to venture out of her room and go to the grass you see below only if she puts on her protective gear. She will not put on her protective gear. We have never set foot on the grass. I hear that there is a lovely statue of Jesus behind that building. I wouldn't know since the child does not like the fact that her protective gear outfit is yellow and she does not "do" yellow. OK.

Thanks to all who are checking out the chemo caps she picked out over on my Ravelry que. She picked out a diverse group and I can't wait to raid my stash tomorrow night when I finally get home and start on one!

I have to follow up yesterday's story about my job closing it's doors. Those of you who know me know that I am blessed enough to work for two businesses in the same company. This means that even though the one job is now no longer there, I still have the other. The problem for me right now is that the other job pays about one third what the other paid. When you are down to working one day a week, this is significant. So I still have a job, I just make a lot less. I can't imagine another company working with me and allowing me to work only one day a week so that my daughter does not have to be alone at all while she is in the hospital. I am very sad to lose out on the great friendships that I have made working at the job that has closed. I helped to open that location, and have many great memories from the employees and the customers.

As for today's medical update, things are on the downhill spiral. First the fever has been flirting with that 38 degree Celsius again. Then the appetite went, and today was spent in bed resting all day. Now tonight we are above the 38 degree, and doing the shake and bake while vomiting blood. Let's not forget that the hair is coming out so fast we had a hair stylist arrive PDQ so that we could make it more manageable while it comes out. We had some wigs ordered for her that are VERY cute (I want one) and we even got a cool little headband that has a sprig of hair for when she is wearing hats. All of this takes a back seat to the green moster my daughter has become. She is literally a weird green. My poor baby.

I thought I would address either the ants that are invading my kitchen or the leaking refrigerator when I go home tomorrow, but I think I'm going to sleep. A lot.

Happy Knitting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

This is Chester.
Chester teaches us how to flush our central line (the one on the left).
One of the many fun props we have encountered here at Hopkins.
I think Chester needs a sweater. He's looking a little chilly :-)
So, I got a phone call this morning telling me that the job that I am currently down to working only one day a week has closed it's doors forever. Now, I realize that sometimes God wants you to get out of your box, but I'm thinking he has already sent my box to the recycling bin. Good thing we have a sense of humor around here!
This would also be the day that the hair has started to come out. My daughter has been in deep denile of this, so things are a bit shocking for her.
Thanks to Javajem for planting flowers in my flower box and quickly stepping in to hang with my son yesterday! A big thanks goes out to Storm Moon for being the only one to get a hat done for my daughter before the hair started to come out! (Once again, I'm getting mother of the year for not even starting my hat for her)
I'm following bunnysquirrel's advice and putting all of the cool hats my daughter would like to have knit for her on my Ravelry Que. My Ravelry name is NittanyKnits. Just leave me a message is you decide to knit her one so that I can take it off of the que. She is requesting bright spring colors to keep in line with her usual clothes she will be wearing them with. Thanks so much to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Knitting!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Here is proof of both knitting and theme night at Hopkins. This would be the finished pedicure sock (the other one is about half way done with the leg). Those cool toes would be the result of a pedicure manicure night. The nail polish was given to her by her church group leaders, and I must admit that is is sooo cool that I myself have done my toes in it as well :-)

Rumor has it the kid could get sprung from the hospital sooner than they were letting on. Keep your fingers crossed!

Big thanks going out to tons of people, hope I don't forget anyone. Miss Jenn for cooking awesome food for us and gifts, Miss Jean for gifts and smiles and hugs, Poopsie for your gift, Tinknits for almost getting to knit with me, Miss Beth for gifts and encouragement, Mr. Mike for hugs, and as always Large Marge for giving up her own life to run mine. You've done such a great job that I am kicking you out and returning you to your own family. You may visit once a week, but other than that I want you bonding with your peeps. With that news, everyone can start calling and e-mailing me instead of Large Marge to give her a well deserved vacation. Keep in mind that e-mails are more likely to be returned than calls, as I am never home.

One week until we knit for Christmas presents. I know I will be knitting for everyone on my list this year, and need to get those needles clicking :-)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's official, our best case scenario for leaving Hopkin's is the beginning of May. We have been pressuring the doctors for some sort of time frame and they finally gave us one today. I'm glad we at least have a goal.

I'm putting on a movie for us and kniting since it's guild night. I might be knitting a plain sock instead of the entraloc, but at least I'll be knitting :-)

Remember, the 25th of the month is fast approaching. Start thinking about you Christams projects. We were all very forgetful last month, and we have some knitting to do.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thanks to Large Marge and photobucket we now have images from Hopkins. This is the handmade quilt I was telling you all about. That blob underneath of the quilt would be my daughter sucking on a popsicle.

Thanks to Miss Beth for dropping by everybody in our house's favorite food, Berger Cookies! We had no idea what these were until Miss Beth introduced us to them, and now the kids refer to her as Miss Berger Beth. I do not think that there could be higher praise for anyone. ;-)

My daughter and I went on to Ravelry together last night, and she picked out a hat she would like me to knit for her when she loses her hair soon. This is a big step since before she was not even discussing the option. The hat is (I think) the Pi hat, and is the first hat you find under patterns for chemo caps on Ravelry. She had a house call from a yarn shop and picked a lime green 'Dark Hourse' yarn to have it made out of. Now that is what I call service!

The boy child is not being forgotten, and tonight was great bonding time for us both. I love the one on one time I get to have with him, and he loves the fact that I am not constantly asking about his school work since I am officially a bad mother and have given up asking. We have bigger fish to fry right now. Cop out I know. But it is what it is.

More pics tomorrow. Happy Knitting!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Here's why every knitter should have a great friend who does not can call them to come and hang out with your sick kid so that you can go to Sheep and Wool!

It is true, if all goes well I will make it at some point to the 2008 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Yeah me, and thank you Kristen for not liking knitting when I tried to teach you.

On to the goings on at John's Hopkins... things are looking up. The girl child has a ton more energy than 2 days ago and even ate a tiny bit of jello and some teeny peices of fruit. Big news! It's a good thing, since Knitini stopped by with some restorative chicken noodle soup for her to eat this week. It seems she stuck her hand up a chicken's butt in order to make this soup, so the child better be well enough to eat it :-) For those wishing to see photos of the child, link over to Knitini's blogpost today. She doesn't look sick to me, how about you?

Large Marge sent mini brownie bites for the doctor to try to bribe him into letting the child get sprung from this joint quicker. From the look on his face this morning during rounds, I'm not sure it will help, but hey it couldn't hurt!

Another great sunset tonight marks the 26th day in various hospitals. I can't even count the number of blood transfusions my daughter has had in those 26 days. I did want to thank everyone who gives blood to the red cross. Without donors like you, she would not be alive. For those of you out there who think of giving blood but haven't, you might want to think about my daughter the next time you see a blood drive.

Happy Knitting for you Monday! Knit yourself something nice today.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yesterday was the last of the high dose cytoxan. It was a very trying day for all involved in the process, and we feel that things have got to go uphill from here. (Everyone, knock on wood as you read that last sentence)

My daughter's father has a permanent girlfriend, and her mother made my baby the most wonderful quilt! I am so green with envy over this handmade gift of love. It even has a matching carrying case that then becomes a pillow cover! I have a picture, I just need to get my dail-up and flickr to repair their relationship.

After talking it over with my daughter, I have decided that this year for the holidays, I'm going to get her a good sewing machine. She has such an amazing eye for color (I do not, that is why all of my knitting is either solid or self stripping) and an interest in sewing brought on by Large Marge and Javajem.

I am finishing her second sock today and starting her first sock. Wow, that took me next to forever. I used to do a sock a week in the busy season, and this darn thing has taken me three weeks. So much for the myth that you just sit around in hospital rooms. I hope I can bounce back in time for SockWars 3 which starts next month.

Have a happy knitting weekend!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We had our first 24 hours in a week without a fever over 38 degrees celcius. Woowho!!!!!!! This is big news because even though she is still feeling like the bottom of a barf bucket, she can at least sleep in between trips to the bathroom. A night without shaking and baking is good stuff!

In celebration of such events, there was a wonderful sunset last night! We have a great view of the city from our room, and the colors were spectacular last night.

I am hoping to figure out my flickr issues by this weekend so that I can show some pictures . I have a ton of them, I just am having trouble uploading them to flickr so that I can share them with you all.

A big thank you to Javajem for stopping by last night to add some flair to PeaceandLove's blog and dropping by much loved presents.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A big thanks goes out to those many knitters who have been e-mailing and leaving me messages about my daughter. Two such gals have a great new blog about their booth at Sheep and Wool this year. I recognize the photos of the cute animals from Mannings Spinning Seminar last year. Am I correct?

My daughter was impressed that her mother and godmother loved her enough to spend last night with her instead of dumping her and running off to the Yarn Harlot. I always told her that I did in fact love her more than yarn. I think she might believe me now.

My sweet girl has been having a really tough time of things lately. Temperatures continue to rise with no clue as to why, and all of her blood counts are rock bottom. With this information, the doctors have decided to start treatments immediately. Please pray for her during this time!

Birds are chirping outside the window bringing signs of spring and new life. Here's to remembering the wonders of the life the Lord has given to all of us! Happy Knitting.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Last night was Rock Star night! Since I haven't gotten a chance to hang much with my son with everything else going on, I decided to make a night just for him. People got together at work to buy the kids Guitar Hero for their new Wii. (How awesome is that?) Last night in honor of my son's first time playing it, we made him a rock star and did all sorts of fun things. His aunt and I dressed up like groupies (we have photos, the outfits were BAD), got him six packs of bottled root beer, picked out only blue M&M's for him (rock stars do that!) and even brought in extra little groupies who made signs telling him what an awesome rock star he was (thanks large marge and her family). What a great time! He even signed autographs for the young fans! Awesome!

Thanks to all the knitters out there sending me links via e-mail for great wigs for the girl child in case the hair comes out. She is convinced that it won't. I am too busy thinking about everything else to argue the hair.

I did get to finally turn the heel of her sock, so there is hope that I will one day get to knit again. It would be a good thing, considering that I have a Knit A Thon to put on in 6 months. Time will fly and it will be here before we know it.

Hope everyone has a great time at the Yarn Harlot's book signing tomorrow. Think of me often. Happy Knitting!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The word came back today that The Girl will not be getting a bone marrow transplant from her brother since he is not a match for her. There's shocking news. They have been completely different since birth, why would they be the same for this :-)

This means that her treatments start Monday or Tuesday and will be high dose cyclophosphamide. Lots of poosible side effects, but the only one she hears is the possible hair loss.

So with that in mind, anyone know of some great funky wigs? I'm talking RockStar pink, Hannah Montana Blonde, etc. She has always been fashionable, and why shouldn't she do this the same way! I doubt she would let us knit her a wig.

Looking like I could turn the heal of her sock tonight. Here's hoping :-)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

So much for going home.

We are still at Hopkins. After signing the discharge papers, my baby girl started to spike another fever. There went any ideas of home. Too bad everything was already packed in the car, which if you know anything about Hopkins- the car is approxamately 5 city blocks away.

I did still have knitting, but everytime I try to knit, my precious child has me do something for her. It is officailly on purpose, since she just downright said yesterday, "Mom, I don't want you to knit" when she couldn't think of something I needed to do for her. OK then!

If I can't knit to relieve stress, I'm in some trouble here. Maybe I'll hit her with a tranquilizer gun to get some rows in :-) I have already taught her how to knit, and she doesn't like to do so. There went family bonding time. Oh, what would the Harlot do?

Speaking of the Harlot, she needs to stop coming to the area. Everytime I get excited about going to see her, major health issues break out. Last time I was going in for surgery the next day for malignant melanoma, and now this when she arrives on Monday. I give up! She puts a health curse on me and my family. (I love her anyway though)

The princess is calling- I must go

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My little cherub face gets to come home for a couple of days!

If she doesn't spike a fever now that she is off of antibiotics, she will get to come home until the test results all come back and we get a solid treatment plan in place. YEAH!

I did get to knit two rows of my 'Opening Day' socks on Opening Day yesterday. Too bad the Orioles looked as bad as the weather felt. ICKY! If my socks keep getting knit up at this pace, the Orioles will be in the World Series by the time they are finished. That my friends, is a long time!

Many thanks go out to three knitters in my life. Tink Knits for bringing by cards to the Hospital and very useful parking passes (that were put to immediate use I might add). Storm Moon for the emergency sock yarn to make me feel better. And last, and never least, Large Marge for swinging by tonight to help out when she was totally beat. Thank you!

Happy April Fools Day! I hope no one got hit by the pranksters too hard today.