Sunday, June 13, 2010

First, You Cry...

"I have breast cancer..."

I could not talk; I could not breathe. I put the phone down and cried for about 4 minutes. I could hear her at the other end saying, "Barb? Barb? Are you there, Barb?"

My sister has breast cancer.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That was April 23. Since then, Jeannie has undergone a full mastectomy, and will be undergoing chemotherapy soon. I gave her a choice for a chemo quilt: pink, blue (her favorite color) or funky. She chose funky but asked for it to be really soft. When I got home from California I felt the need to get the quilt made quickly, but then the OTHER news came...lung cancer. The oncologist says that each cancer is unrelated. Jeannie is a smoker. Ok, no cancer diagnosis is good, but you have to understand that the lung cancer (stage 1) was found only because Jeannie was having surgery and she needed a routine, before-surgery chest x-ray. In my view, the breast cancer has saved her life. This lung stuff is curable with surgery. So I'm off to California again and I can deliver her chemo quilt in person.

Once I got over THAT shock, I was able to concentrate on the chemo quilt. I started pulling out my funky fabrics but somehow they didn't FEEL right for the purpose. By the time chemo starts, it will be hot where she lives, so I was thinking that something softer would fit the bill. It should look cool, but keep her warm. (I've heard that chemotherapy patients are often chilly, even in warm weather.) So I hit upon a group of fat quarters I picked up at a quilt show about two years ago. And it's backed with baby blue minky embossed with stars. I hope Jeannie likes lavender and green.

Tropical Dawn

A bluebird has come to visit Jeannie whenever she goes out in her back yard:

So I put baby fairies with bluebirds on it:

The lettered fabric sends messages of love, hope, joy and compassion, and you can find some pretty cool words in there too if you look hard enough. And I sprinkled it with a little bit of pink ribbon fabric for sparkle. It really is easy on the eyes. I'm sure Jeannie will love it.

Now don't go sending this post to her - she is incapable of using her computer for browsing the internet, let alone check her email (which I set up for her! She never answers back!). Let's save it for a surprise for when she gets home from the hospital, OK?

This was taken at lunch post-surgery. Doesn't she look great!!