Sunday, May 6, 2018

PET scan all clear!

Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long!  I haven't felt like sitting in front of a screen, what with this glorious springtime weather going on.  

The PET scan was all clear!  "No evidence of suspicious regions of increased metabolic activity to suggest malignancy or metastasis."  Yay!  Also noted is that they can't resolve the brain at all because it lights up too brightly, so we await the brain MRI on May 29th for further updates on the Lloyd to Pearl conversion.  

At my appointment on Friday I told Dr. Oncologist about the persistent headaches (pain level 2-3 on the 10-point scale, so not terrible but annoying). I asked if they meant I should increase my steroid dose, or if I could take Tylenol for them or something?  She didn't want me increasing the steroids, she did say I could try Tylenol, and she also suggested massage.  Oooo la la!  Guess I need to be making a massage appointment.  I won't argue with that suggestion!  

SO, my dad went to the store and picked up some extra-strength Tylenol, and I've been taking it all weekend.  I'm happy to report that I am indeed feeling much better!  Takes the pain down to a 1, which is merely a sensation.  I still have the feeling of pressure, but that's not surprising.  The best thing about the Tylenol is that it improves the quality of my resting and sleeping.  By reducing the pain I'm finding that I'm less preoccupied with or worried about Lloyd, so I can fall asleep more readily.  Very nice indeed! 

Despite the headaches being largely under control this weekend, my brain still strongly urged for naps.  But I was able to balance the rest time (including a nap in the hammock, for the win!) with all sorts of fun things--farmer's market with the family, bike shopping for an appropriately sized bike for my oldest (didn't find one yet, but one bike shop is expecting a shipment of 24" bikes on Tuesday so we're going back there later in the week), summer clothes shopping for everyone, grilling, backyard fire-pit fire and s'mores, badminton (of course), bike ride practice with my youngest, board games with ourselves and with friends, laundry, yoga, and I watched a movie.  I rented "I, Tonya" on Amazon.  It was a really well-done movie, but such a sad story!  Poor Tonya Harding.     

I hope that you enjoyed life this weekend as much as I did, if not more!           

Monday, April 30, 2018

New layout for my healing palace

Hello friends!  Sorry it's been awhile; for awhile I felt like I didn't have any updates, but now enough time has passed that it's time for an update regardless.  I feel like I'm in a healing holding pattern, but many things are indeed getting better.  First of all, 4 mgs of dexamethasone (2 mgs in the morning, 2 mgs in the evening) is my JAM right now.  This dose is low enough that I am able to rebuild my physical strength (I'm walking the kids to school every day [1.4 miles], doing a 2 mile aerobic workout almost every day in my living room, plus random bonus dog walks with friends, plus 20-30 minutes of living room yoga every day, plus I've resumed attending my Monday evening yoga class. Huzzah!) while feeling fairly comfortable in the head most days.  I definitely notice the battle between strengthening my quadraceps muscles and the steroid deteriorating them, but it's better than it was.  I can climb stairs much more easily; exiting a low car remains my most difficult feat.  I have no plans to step down this steroid dose until AFTER my next brain MRI (May 29), because I'd rather not have it show another increase in tumor size.  Dr. Oncologist is okay with this. 

My primary healing goal needs to be turning Lloyd into Pearl, and keeping the brain swelling down in the process.  It's not really clear what I can do to achieve this goal besides steroids, rest, hydration, and nutrition.  In fact, with the improvement in my physical strength has come an inattention to my brain.  Sometimes I do too much (I suppose), and then my head starts to hurt and I need to close my eyes.  I sometimes forget that my body has a pretty major project going on in my head.  Actually, if I'm honest, I haven't at all figured out what leads to the days when my head feels good versus the days when my head feels bad.  My hypothesis is that it's related to sleep and hydration, so I'm trying to resume being intentional about drinking water and resting, like I used to be when I was in the thick of my healing palace (January and February).  I'm still working half days (mornings), then coming home for lunch and a nap/"eyes closed" time (turning off all sources of mental stimulation help my head to feel better). 

I've resumed my normal diet!  Broccoli and beans and whole grains, huzzah!  My guts seem to be fully recovered from the ileus trauma, and fully adapted to the neratinib.  I am currently suffering from no digestive issues at all.  This is wonderful because cooking is easier, and because I've gained a bunch of weight (15 lbs!  thanks, steroids and white bread) and need to get rid of it ASAP.  The increase in physical activity and resumption of my normal diet containing insoluble fibers will hopefully lead to relatively speedy loss of the extra weight, but I am nearly 40 and I understand that weight loss can be harder to achieve as you age.  Hopefully I'm still a spry 30-something when it comes to weight loss.  We shall see. 

I've been doing fun things!  My mom, H, was here for a brief visit, and I accompanied my daughters on a Girl Scout campout, and I had an evening out with friends.  Oh my and with the wonderful springtime weather we've had great family time outside that includes playing badminton almost nightly and teaching my youngest how to ride a bike.

Training on a grassy hill at a neighborhood park

And pedaling, all by herself, on the same hill!  She got it!  Huzzah!!
Tonight my yoga instructor was asking me about my recovery, and she was curious as to whether the inverted poses such as downward dog make my head pressure worse.  I told her that in fact the opposite is true!  Forward fold is currently one of my favorite poses, and my head often feels a bit better after spending a short time in forward fold.  She said that she's not surprised because it is a pose of surrendering, and so being in forward fold allows me to physically and psychologically surrender to whatever processes my body needs to be doing right now.  Cool.

The last thing to report is that I have a PET scan on Friday.  Results the same day.  No worries, no problem.  Love and hugs! 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Alternative Hypotheses

Yesterday, the only hypothesis as to why my tumor (Lloyd/Pearl; henceforth called Lloyd in this post because he does not get to be called Pearl when he's misbehaving) looked bigger than it did on the February scan was that Lloyd was growing.  This was alarming, and more than a little bit disappointing.  Today, in happy contrast, we were presented with several alternative hypotheses.

First, let's explore what we learned in regards to the possibility that the tumor is growing.  My spouse, my dad, and I met with Dr. Neurosurgeon (and his resident) at the University.  They were very knowledgeable and helpful!  After interviewing me and gaining a complete understanding of the situation, Dr. Neurosurgeon's preferred course of action was to do another brain MRI in 7 weeks.  He said that no urgent action is needed because I'm not experiencing adverse symptoms (besides the headaches--truly adverse symptoms would be seizures, or trouble swallowing, or loss of small-motor control).  If in 7 weeks the scan clearly reveals that Lloyd is growing, he said that yes he'll be able to surgically remove it for me, and that yes I would still be "me" afterwards.  Huzzah!  He even said that he's seen hundreds of cases like this, so it's really no problem for him.  That was reassuring! 

OR MAYBE...

Dr. Neurosurgeon also said that it's possible that Lloyd is not actually bigger, but that due to my head being positioned in the MRI tube slightly differently each time, perhaps the imaging revealed slightly different slices of Lloyd, making the measurements appear to be different each time.  This is perhaps not the most favored hypothesis, but it's one of them.

OR MAYBE...

Dr. Neurosurgeon wanted to get the opinion of one of his colleagues down in Radiation Oncology.  So, we sat in the exam room FOREVER, getting quite HANGRY, as his nurse tried to finagle a same-day appointment for us.  Success!  And I'm extremely grateful, because this was the highlight of the past 24 hours!  After a quick bite in the cafeteria, we walked to the far end of the hospital to the Radiation Oncology department.

We first met with Dr. Resident Radiation Oncologist, and she was phenomenal.  She had terrific bedside manners and was very knowledgeable.  She and I quickly put together the relationship between my scan dates and my steroid doses.  That is, my February let's-celebrate-Lloyd's-death scan result was correlated to a steroid dose of either 4 or 8 mgs (I haven't figured it out precisely, but it's certainly one of these), and my April-holy-shit-Lloyd-is-growing scan result was correlated to a steroid dose of 1 mg every other day.  When Dr. Radiation Oncologist came in, he said that the image of Lloyd in yesterday's scan doesn't look like a growing tumor; it looks like a dying tumor that is attracting the attention of the immune system.  He said that growing tumors have a spottiness to them, but Lloyd currently looks like a cotton ball, and this is consistent with tumor necrosis (death).  So, he agrees with Dr. Neurosurgeon's course of action, but in the meantime he'd like for me to further increase my steroid dose to 2 mgs twice per day to get that pesky immune system under control in my brain.  Left unchecked, it can damage my healthy brain tissue while it is working on Lloyd.  In short, the result of yesterday's scan revealing a larger Lloyd could be a side-effect of stepping down my steroid dose to be a bit too LOW.  The hypothesis is that the awesome scan result of February was made possible by the higher dose of steroids controlling the immune response in the brain. The plan is to continue on a slightly higher steroid dose (no more step-down for now) and hope that this decreases the swelling and the necrosis, and hopefully the next scan will look as promising as the February scan.  And this, my friends, is the prevailing hypothesis at this time.

REGARDLESS, I have 7 weeks to continue healing, pop the steroids, and not worry about a thing because there's nothing I can do.  Many available options ahead, and we'll have a clearer picture of the way forward in 7 weeks.  For now: just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

I am EXHAUSTED.  It feels like a final exam day in undergraduate--the stress, the performance, the release.  Time to do some yoga and go to bed.  Thank you for your love and support, both near and far!  I appreciate you!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Lloyd's unwelcome return

If you are one of those people who was a bit worried about me today, thank you, and your fears were not misplaced.  Today's MRI showed that the tumor in my brain is growing again!  It measures a bit larger than it was at my February MRI, and the adjacent swelling is increased.  Noooo!  No part of me considered this a possible outcome of today's scan.  Grrrr! 

On the plus side, I learned that my headaches are real, and that I've been stepping down my steroids too quickly in the context of the tumor growing.  I get to increase my steroid dose slightly (Dr. O said to go up to 2 mgs per day--I've been at 1 mg every other day).  This is a big-picture bummer because I was looking forward to being done with the steroids, but this is an immediate relief because I've been feeling rather crummy (headaches, fatigue) between steroid doses.  Needless to say I already popped my 'roid today, even though I normally don't take it until dinner, because I haven't had any since Saturday evening. 

So, what do we do about Lloyd?  Right now I'm waiting for the big University hospital down the road to give me a call to schedule an appointment with a neurologist.  Dr. Neurosurgeon will evaluate the situation and tell me if the tumor can be surgically removed or not.  That is the only route that I'm aware of at this time, although further routes will likely become available as I get more information from Dr. Neurosurgeon. 

DRAT!  On so many levels. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Save the date: Carnation Nation Appreciation PARTY!!!

Hello everyone!  I am thrilled to announce that we are having a party!  This summer!  And there will be a wonderful band and hours of dancing!!!

What:  Carnation Nation Appreciation PARTY
When:  Sunday, August 12, 2018, 2-10 pm (music from 5-9-->come early to visit, stay late to dance!) 
Where:  Mooselodge (same place as the Huzzah benefit party in 2014)
Misc:  The talented, energetic, and entertaining Final Mix Show Band will be playing!!  We'll serve some sort of food.  This will be a family-friendly event, with activities for the kids. 

Further details will be revealed as we plan them.  Ooo I hope you can come!!!   

Why are we having a party?  Well, during my cancer-free years I've been secretly planning a party, in my head, for the year 2020 (I was hoping to remain cancer-free until at least 2020).  In 2020 I will turn 40 and celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary; those are two big milestones!  Earlier this year I decided that perhaps I needn't wait until 2020--I should have a party NOW, then I can have another party in 2020 if I'm so fortunate to be around to do so.  About the same time that I was deciding not to wait until 2020 to throw myself a party, my dad and I were in a waiting room and he leaned over and said something like, "Hey, kid, I want to have a party for you."  And I was like no WAY, me too!  So now my dad is doing pretty much all of the legwork for my party (he's even talked of forming a party planning committee!).  I told you he's the best (I am SO lucky to be his kid!)!  You know what else is the best?  The Final Mix Show Band is going to play this party!  I want to dance with YOU!!  We have some other party tricks up our sleeves, to be announced once they are more fully fleshed out.  Holy cow, it's going to be such a blast.  I'd be honored if you'd save the date and plan to attend!

In other news, I had a check-up today.  Inputs:  I told Dr. Oncologist that I'm working half days; that's fine.  I told her that I'm headachy; that's less fine.  I told her that I'm down to 1 mg steroid every other day; apparently this is also less fine (I got the impression that she wanted me to be completely off of the 'roid by now, but I'm just listening to my brain pain!).  As a result, I now have an MRI scheduled for Monday morning to check on the status of my brain swelling and Pearl, and if everything looks good I guess she'll tell me to stop taking the steroid.  Cool!  I like using data to inform decisions. At that time I'll ask her what I should use to medicate the headaches, if not the steroid.  I'm unclear how to handle that--I thought that that was an indication that I still needed the steroid.  This is steroid step-down / brain pain is so confusing! 

Another outcome of today's appointment is super frustrating:  I'm going to be taking antibiotics for the next three months!  The horror!  (As you know, I study antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and prophylactic antibiotic use is one of my pet peeves, for good reason--antibiotic use selects for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and so antibiotics should be used prudently.)  The reason for the antibiotics is because apparently taking high amounts of steroids for a long time puts you at high risk for a certain type of lung infection called Pneumocystis pneumonia. The steroids have weakened my immune system, and apparently it'll take awhile for my immune system to get back up to speed, so Dr. O wants to protect me from this very dangerous lung infection that is very easy to get.  I can get on board with that (I SUPPOSE that I can agree that prophylactic antibiotic use in an immune-compromised patient is prudent use), albeit reluctantly.  Taking antibiotics can also cause diarrhea, as you well know, so it'll be interesting to see how my guts handle the antibiotics along with the neratinib (my daily chemo drug), which also causes diarrhea (in my body, only occasionally so far). 

Long story short, I thought this was going to be an easy peasy appointment, and it was (my heart is in great shape and my blood work is in great shape, huzzah!), but I got some homework!  ;) 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Summer 2002: Fried Pie

M:  Thank you so much for the beautiful cairn necklace and words!  I am delighted by you and your gift.  Much love!  

This post is dedicated one of the most remarkable humans on the planet, my dad.  And it's inspired by the following quotation that's been on my mind of late:  "Would that I had the chance in my sons' lifetime and my own to one day explain to them all the forces that moved me," The Tennis Partner, by Abraham Verghese. 

I spent the summer of 2002 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducting research in the developmental biology laboratory of Dr. Robert Duronio.  I had been moderately terrified to move so far away, even for just a summer, but in the end I was SO glad that I did.  UNC-CH is one of the most beautiful university campuses I've ever been to in this country, and I adored my time there.  It boasts of being the oldest University in the U.S., and I relished in the history.  Most of my time was spent in the newer, science-y part of campus, but I made a dear friend, Zib, and she and I would take long meandering walks through the old parts of campus in the steamy southern evenings.  The Spanish moss dripped off of the stout old trees as our Birkenstock-clad feet crunched on the gravel footpaths.  We found a place where raspberries grew wild and frequently paused to munch on them.  We'd often, too, find our way to the main part of campustown and pop into a shop for some Froyo (frozen yogurt).  Everything we could want or need was within walking distance--history, food, music, shopping.  Everything was East Coast and noticeably MORE than everything in my Midwest.  Clothes were trendier, food was tastier, entertainment was plentiful, and I loved it.  I learned how to not eat cereal for breakfast, that I look good when I wear pink, and that the secret to buying new clothes that you'll actually like is frequent shopping where you browse rather than infrequent shopping where you must buy pants and get stuck with awful pants (yea--I may have learned this lesson that summer, but I clearly still break this last one.  I hate shopping).     

At the conclusion of the summer, the research program hosted a symposium at which all of us scholars gave a 15-minute presentation of our research projects.  It was a lovely little event, and my dad bought a one-way plane ticket out to Chapel Hill to attend.  After the symposium he and I walked back to the dormitory where I had spent the summer, hauled all of my belongings down the elevator, stuffed them into my Saturn L-series sedan, and hit the road for what ended up being the road trip of a lifetime.

I'm not sure who's idea it was to take the backroads, but to lend some adventure to our road trip we decided against Interstate travel for the first part of the drive.  We wanted to explore the country!  And explore we did.  That first day, I was driving along somewhere in western North Carolina, and dad and I were chatting up a a storm.  Suddenly, I was confronted with the busiest, most highly numbered orange detour sign I've ever seen.  It had numbers for DOZENS of highways on it, each one with an arrow pointed in a different direction.  This is not typically something that would happen in the Midwest because our highways largely run north-south and east-west in grid-like fashion.  But down in the southeast, roads go every which way, and you can have intersections with more than four turning options!  It's madness!  So I had sped past this epic detour sign, and I thought I saw that to stay on our highway we needed to go left, but dad thought that to stay on our highway we needed to go right.  Well, of course I listened to my daddy!  I dutifully turned right when he pointed to "our detour".

Suffice it to say that turning right was NOT the right detour for our highway.  We ended up completely off course, but everything worked out.  Taking the wrong turn landed us on the Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which was absolutely breathtaking.  The only stressful thing about finding yourself on one of the most beautiful drives in America is that there weren't many options to turn OFF of it once you found yourself ON it.  We were rather stuck on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the majority of the day, headed toward nothing in particular.

Our plan was to camp that evening (we somehow had modest tenting supplies--I must have brought them with me that summer? I don't remember at all), so at some point we needed to find a place for camping despite not really knowing where we were.  We found a GORGEOUS campground in the mountains of western Virginia, with a creek running through it and a man playing a clarinet.  He was our camping neighbor, and his lovely melody filled the air among the fragrant pines.  After we set up camp we needed to find some food, because we did not have a cooler or cooking resources on this particular road trip.  So, we hit the unknown road again and got lucky when we found a tiny town nearby.  It was the kind of mountain town that seems to exist along just one road, because the mountains are on either side of the road and there are no other places for roads.  I always wonder where they put the schools in these skinny, linear towns. 

I do not remember what the restaurant was called, but I do recall the band:  Fried Pie.  The lead singer looked to smell of Patchouli, and her sandal-clad toes stuck out from her broomstick skirt.  Her beads clicked as she rocked to the bluegrass beat.  The banjo filled the tiny fluorescent-lit church-basement-like room with its vibrations and twang.  The fiddle sang its heart out while dad and I gorged on fried okra, fried chicken (well, dad ate the chicken), cornbread, and mashed potatoes from the 5-foot buffet line.  I was stunned by our good fortune!!!!  What were the chances of stumbling upon this little town, this tasty meal, and this remarkable music????  All because of a missed detour sign and a wrong turn.  I adored this evening with my dad and Fried Pie.  But our good fortune was not to continue...

The next day we struck camp, figured out where we were, and made a beeline for the nearest interstate to make up some time.  We were still too far away from home to consider finishing the drive on this day, so we found a place to camp in the middle of Indiana.  It was either Brown County State Park or Yellowwood State Forest in the middle of the state, and it was an awfully hot and muggy summer day.  We set up our meager camp in the shade at the base of a forested hill.  It should have been cooler there, but it wasn't. 

We got back in the car and headed into Bloomington, which is likely a fun college town during the fall and spring semesters but was very quiet and dull on this hot August day.  Several establishments weren't even open, but hiding beneath a parking garage we found an air condititioned pub, and that was good enough for us.  We shared a pitcher of ice cold beer and ordered some dinner, nursing our pints so that we could prolong our time in the air conditioning.  We eventually bid a fond farewell to the modern comforts of Bloomington and set off for what would be the worst night of camping in my entire life. 

It was one of those awful summer days when the sun going down doesn't actually help cool things off.  No cool nighttime breezes stirred in the trees.  The hot, heavy air persisted in the campground, moistened my clothing, and shrank my lungs.  Needless to say we did not bother to build a campfire that night, we just crawled into the tent and tried to sleep.  I remember this being uncomfortable due to the heat, but also due to the fact that I was sharing a tent with my DAD, and so there was a limit to the amount of clothing that I could remove.  I don't think I've ever been so sweaty, and I don't sweat very easily.  I still gasp for air when I think about the oppressive heat and humidity that night.  I'm not sure that either of us got any sleep.  We probably struck camp and hit the road before sunup, I don't even remember.  It was so, so awful. 

I always knew that my dad was cheap, but in hindsight I think that that night of camping in Indiana was a defining moment in cheapness.  If ever there was a time to spring for an $80 hotel room, that would have been a great time.  Good thing we had the memory of Fried Pie to carry us home. 
     

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A higher-functioning recovery point and Seattle

Oh my, it's been awhile!  So much to catch up on, but in summary I'm doing quite well.  I finally reached the higher-functioning recovery point that I was longing for.  About two weeks ago I started truly feeling on the good side of crummy instead of shades of less crummy.  I assure you that there's a difference.  "Shades of less crummy" is  perhaps, maybe, hopefully feeling a bit less crummy than yesterday, at least for the purposes of telling your mom that yep you're feeling better, but overall you're truly still feeling quite crummy. This was me for pretty much two months.  Then in early March, approximately coincident with decreasing my steroid dose down to 2 mgs per day (half a pill), I started to feel on the good side of crummy, with extended moments of feeling good between the crumminess.  And that goodness continues!  And the crumminess--well, it doesn't need to be discussed further, as we all know what it entails by this point.  But it's LESS. 

On Saturday I stepped down to 1 mg dexamethasone, so now I'm cutting my half-pills in half.  It's quite ridiculous, and the dose I'm getting is very imprecise because I lose a fair bit of the tiny little pill to dust when I try to cut it into quarters.  (The pill is smaller than a shelled sunflower seed before I attempt to cut it!)  As usual I had slightly worse head pain in the first few days immediately following the step-down, but now I'm fairly comfortable for most of the day.  I continue to have increased nausea as my steroid dose goes down, but I can eat through it.  It's just a nuisance.  I wonder if the nausea is just because of the steroid step-down, or does the neratinib make me nauseous and the steroid has just been masking it for me?  Who knows.  Also, my face is still puffy as can be.  I wonder how long it will take for that to go away? 

I have been working half days this week!  Huzzah!  This was my idea, because it doesn't feel right to feel moderately good and not devote some of that energy to my job, which is paying me.  Also, it would be brutal to have to work an 8 hour day straight out of the gate when I run out of time off, so I thought that starting off with half days would be nice.  Last night at dinner I told the family that I planned to actually GO to work today (yesterday I just worked on my laptop from home), and they all cheered for me!  E fist pumped the air.  It was precious.  Some treasured colleagues gave me rides to and from work, and I had a great morning with my co-workers; it was SO good to see and hug everyone.  Oh my, and I had 2000 unread emails when I started yesterday!  Goodness!  I got through 500 in 4 hours yesterday, so hopefully I can knock them out pretty readily in the next week or two.  Most of them are junk and don't need a response.  It's pretty boring to click through three months of emails, so fortunately I have some other more interesting tasks to do (at least two manuscripts to review for postdocs in the group, among other things). 

Last week my little family went to Seattle for spring break!  We had booked the trip in the fall, before the diagnosis, so I worked it out with my job to still go on the trip without abusing my medical leave.  We had a direct flight from Omaha to Seattle, so traveling wasn't too taxing for me, and we were hosted most of the time by my brother and his wife.  It was GLORIOUS.  We toured a chocolate factory, had the best weather of the year, spent three nights on the beach, went to the zoo in Ballard, visited the Ballard locks, and grilled out.  For my part, I did all of these things, but I also got lots of sleep in cosy beds, and only had one day on which I felt too crummy to participate in stuff (I mysteriously puked up my breakfast, thus freeing up the neratinib to cause diarrhea [bananas and yogurt seem to work for me to prevent this major side effect], and I was then a digestive mess for 24 hrs!).  That was one of our beach days, so the family just enjoyed the ocean without me, no big deal.  But it did mean that I didn't get to take them on a hike in the Olympic National Forest as planned, which greatly disappoints me.  We'll just have to go back!!   
Me on the beach at Moclips, Washington, with the wind conveniently causing my hair to hide my steroid moon face.

Us flying a kite on the beach at low tide.   

My heart in the Pacific.

My sis A gets the photo credit for this one.  The spouse and E jumping for joy at sunset.

We found DOZENS of sand dollars!  

My family, my bro, and his wife after we filled up on chocolate samples at Theo chocolate factory, the first organic and fair trade chocolate maker in the U.S. (as we learned on the tour).  The chocolate was DELICIOUS, and the samples generous.  
For some reason Google is failing to access photos from the latter days of our trip, so I can't post them right now, but I don't think I took very many anyway.  The ocean got most of my camera's attention.  

Oh, the final photo I have to share is of my brother's wedding blanket.  I finished it in time to deliver it in person!  Here it is folded up, but hopefully you can see the pattern in the stitches.  It turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself.  Huzzah for no loss of small motor skills so that I could get this finished during my recovery.   Me and wedding blankets.  

R and A's wedding blanket.  Pattern and yarn from Knitpicks. I used the color Platinum.