Back in March 2009 I posted about this lovely young boy Luke. Luke has Leukemia and has been in remission twice. When I posted in March Luke was undergoing more treatment. I asked for squares and you answered. We were able to send Luke this lovely blanket.
At the time the blanket was sent Luke was in remission. In the last few weeks a cancerous mass has been discovered in Luke's cheek. He is undergoing a short series of radiation for the mass. The hope is that the radiation will eradicate the mass however there are no further treatment options for Luke and his only chance at this point is a miracle.
You will find Luke's page here. If you can, visit. Send thoughts, energy and prayers Luke's way. His favourite colour is blue, he loves 'bionicles,' and all things boy. Please let Luke and his family know you are thinking of them. If you would like to send a card you can do so at Luke Jensen, c/o King's Way Christian School, 3300 NE 78th Street, Vancouver, WA, USA, 98665.
Thanks so much. I am heartbroken for Luke and his family (and particularly grateful as Grace continues to do so well and thrive) and hoping for the best possible outcome.
It has been a very rough winter for me health wise and the posting has not been a priority. This is. If you can post on your site so that other Warming Grace contributors can mobilize energy and prayers for Luke I really, really appreciate it and I am so thankful. Donations for squares are always great and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my mailing address. In the meantime please pray for little Luke. Thank you.
...and it's been a bittersweet and challenging year.
I had to put my dog Gryph down at Easter and we also put down our beautiful 9 year old Borzoi Kiki and my 20 year cat Hiss (late August and early September). I unexpectedly got a Deerhound puppy, Bailiewick in October. She has been very therapeutic for me.
I got stable enough in my treatment programme that I could start Chelation in the late spring, however 'treatment' chelation is nothing like the tester bags I had a few years ago. The stripping of the lead from my body has been quite painful, excruciatingly painful and it completely surprised me (I am not sure why I thought removing lead from my body would be easy...).
We made some major changes around the house (moved an equivalent of four or so rooms, including my old craft space), changed the flow of energy and in the middle of it all I got sick so everything is still on some level of transition. Arggghhh!
I had the H1N1 virus and survived (my doctor was seriously impressed given my multiple chronic illnesses that I was able to keep it out of my chest), only to have about three other viruses since (I have been sick since the beginning of September)....the side effects being a brutal exacerbation of my fatigue and pain for the last few months and no end in sight. It has been debilitating and mentally grueling and in order to reflect on the year that was, I looked back in my photos to see that I have done things, that there has been progress and that my life has had substance.
I wanted to do a montage of my favourite photos from last November and I even got Michelle's help (thanks Michelle!, I continue to be a cognitive challenge) but I couldn't get the damn thing to work so instead here is a slide show (there are 36 and if you are patient enough to watch I am forever indebted).
I started "365 days of being 16" for Nick in May and it has been a good exercise for me. Some days the only energy I have had is enough to do the journal for the day and a photo. Importantly for me, I have kept up to date. It also made me realize how small my square is and how isolated I am much of the time. That being said, I am so fortunate for Ed, Nick, the dogs, my Mom and Dad, the farm and my friends.
My spirits are low right now and turning 49 brings a lot of thought with it. This year needs to be different for me. I need to feel that I am making progress and that there is future in my future. I want to turn 50 feeling that I can accept where my life is and accept the limitations I have, whatever they are.
My mantra is going to be that "I am what I am, not what I do." This is going to be a huge challenge for me.
I am going to start an Eat-Clean program (gradually easing in so that by January 1 I am fully into the program) to see how much change I can make long term to the inflammation, pain and mobility issues I am having. My challenge to myself will be to do it for 365 days. We eat very healthily now but I plan to cut out sugar, all processed food, cheese and eat smaller meals more often. I want to see if the changes over a longer period will really make a difference.
I am going to take some online courses in order to enhance my photography and photo editing skills. I love taking pictures and the digital age is such a blessing; so I want to see if I can up my cognitive challenges in a more creative way and broaden my small world if only on my computer screen, when I have the energy. Ditto on some digital scrapbooking courses online, again with hopes of boosting my creativity (and confidence).
I hope to do some knitting. This past year has really sucked in the knitting department with a few things finished, not much started and not much posting or keeping up to date in the Ravelry or blogging world (I have become an accomplished blog lurker and I still struggle with the energy it takes to read and comment and follow through and knit and do the living thing - I have serious envy for so many of you out there!).
So Happy Birthday to me. If you made it this far you rock and I hope I don't sound as bummed as I am thinking this sounds - I don't want to be all sunshine and light when it really hasn't been but don't think that I am not thankful for all that I do have - I would just like to get to a point where I can take more advantage of it all! I leave you with a pair of socks I finished in the spring and have not posted yet (here or in Ravelry). The details escape me but I will get on that! Thanks for listening!
Today is Ed's 47th birthday and I have to give a huge shout out to him and wish him a wonderful birthday.
In all of his imperfections Ed has taught me so much about unconditional love, patience and generosity. He is gentle and at the same time can truly give me a kick in the rear when I need it. He is one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure to know and he has a level of integrity I wish I possessed.
Ed's strength, both physical and emotional, have kept me going through the darkest days of my illness. His ability to laugh in the toughest of times and to keep me laughing have been invaluable, if not life saving. Living with someone who has several brutal chronic illnesses is not easy and I have say that he has done this with an incredible amount of grace.
I feel blessed to have him in my life and I am so glad that he was born on this day. I am truly privileged to know him and so honoured to be loved so deeply by him. Happy Birthday my love.
All you have to do is post a photo and list three things you are grateful for. I have so many things to be grateful for but I will narrow it down to just three.
When I posted way back at the end of March my original plan was to get the squares in, the blanket sewn up and sent off to Luke by the beginning of May. Ah the plans of life.....
Squares were so generously sent in (thank you, thank you, thank you) and I had enough squares to begin the sewing by the beginning of May. The ensuing months of May, June, July and August brought with them all manner of shit for me; health and personally (another post).
My blogless buddy Carole who has put together a number of the blanket was up to her eyeballs, literally, dealing with the summer long garbage strike in Toronto.
Finally, in September (while in the midst of dealing with the H1N1 - yes, that would be ANOTHER post) I emailed Wannietta in a panic and asked her to sew the blanket together. My guilt was huge...Luke was doing well but I had put myself out there and felt a tremendous sense of consternation that the blanket still wasn't done. Wannietta sewed it together for me (beautifully I might add) and got it back pretty quickly - THANK YOU W!
It still took me another 3 weeks to get it sent off. Finally, it is there. Luke is in remission (and doing so well after a bone marrow transplant). And he has the blanket. And I am indebted to all of you who so generously sent such beautiful squares.
As always I am humbled by your generosity to this ongoing project. I haven't named names (I was going to post the squares and the donors...and if I can get up the steam to do it I still will - you deserve so many kudos!!!!) but I do thank you all so very much. Please don't stop sending the squares. I am working on getting back on my feet (yet again) and plan to get more blankets out (this was blanket number 7 for the Warming Grace Project. Again, thank you!