Wednesday September 20th 2017

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I hate cancer & other news

bloggersmThese days, it seems like the faster I move, the more I get behind…the converse is not true, though, as if I take it easy…I just get behind faster! That’s not fair somehow.

The belated Christmas knitting is being set aside (hopefully for a short time, because I really must finish them). I’ve been working on a couple of chemo caps for friends who are currently undergoing radical chemo and radiation and medication.

One of them, Patty, is one of the most darling, upbeat people in the world, and has a beautiful head of dark red hair, which all had to be shaved off last week; for the actual shaving they had a raucous party and a friend henna’d the most beautiful patterns on her newly shorn head. Her adored husband is deployed with the US military, so she’s going through this without him at her side. She has a very strong faith, which helps her enormously. There’s been a long gap in the time we’ve known each other and only very recently re-connected on Facebook.

hallowigBEAUTYI wish I could be there to help, and to deliver hugs. I’m knitting her Megan Reardon’s Hallowig from Knitty as a chemo cap, to help make up for her lost beautiful hair — although her hair is stubbily growing back already, she has three more weeks of really tough meds to go. I have some bright red Nord du Laine cashmere yarn leftover from another project, the softest yarn I could think of for her poor cold head.

Another friend is going to take the cap to her and take pics; we’re hoping that they can use Skype at the hospital so I can see her open it and put it on. So I’m knitting as fast as I can in every spare moment on that. I hope she’ll think it’s funny and loving!

turkishdelightNext will be a chemo cap of very soft alpaca/silk/cashmere from Ripples Crafts, in the Highlands of Scotland. I’ve been holding onto this lovely wool in Helen’s Turkish Delight colorway until I found something really special to knit with it, but I can’t think of anything more special than this.

I know a woman named Kathleen, who is so kind. That just doesn’t look as amazing as I want it to read, though. Kathleen is not just kind, but she is kindness incarnate — she reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s maxim that kindness is actually better than love, it’s more practical, and often means more to the recipient. We are not close friends, but she has written me at many hard points in my life to offer kind words and thoughts and support.

Her beloved sister Kage is fighting a terrible battle with cancer. Kathleen says right now it’s a race to see who dies first, the cancer or Kage. They’re fighting hard to give her just a few extra months, if there’s a miracle, maybe a year. (I wouldn’t normally post a link to Kage’s website in relation to a personal matter, or even her name, as she and Kathleen are intensely private people, but Kage has realized that it may be time to give people the chance to say goodbye and has allowed Kathleen to let people who love Kage know what’s happening — they’ve kept it largely a secret the last year.)

I’ll be making her Diana’s Cloud on Her Head, though I’ll probably add a lace border rather than ribbing. I have never met or spoken or communicated with Kage in any way, though I much admire her writing, but if she is loved by Kathleen, then she is loved by me. If there is time, I will also knit her Diana’s Cloud on Her Shoulders to match – I’ve one skein of Helen’s sock yarn, and two skeins of fingering, so I’ll make the cap out of doubled fingering and the shawl of the sock and one skein of fingering, most probably.

Kathleen says she can’t think about what will become of her when Kage dies — all she wants is the strength to hang onto her anger, so she can fight for Kage every second of the day. My heart breaks when I realize how tired she must be now after a year of this.

Please, if you have just a few moments, would you offer up a prayer, send strength, good vibes, or even a kind thought, to these three women? It kills me that all I can do is knit them something. I’m trying to stitch my love into every stitch as I frantically knit (and regret that I’m such a slow knitter), but more love, more kindness, more prayers, more strength from more people can’t be a bad thing. Thanks, I’d so appreciate it.


In other news: I’ve gotten the sample done for Kristeen’s square and I’m getting the pattern pdf made today and doing a second sample of the stitch in a different yarn. It’s gorgeous and will be well worth the wait. It’s also entertaining and quick to knit.  I have a couple of questions in to Kristeen and will publish ASAP.

Because of the wait, we’re pushing the deadline back by a week, maybe two. More news on that to come, hopefully by the end of the week.


I’m also working on a couple more pages for the blog: an index listing all of the posts by date for those who prefer a more traditional blog format, and also an index by subject so you can browse through them all without having to use the search form or look at each category subject. The first is nearly done, the second will take a while.


Personal news: we’ve decided to go ahead and hire an immigration lawyer to get me back to the UK in about four or five months. While it sticks a bit in the craw to pay for what we could do ourselves, we decided it was actually more cost effective to pay the money and not have to do as much work, worrying, and other “w” words while we have so many other things on our minds.

Money. “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor, and rich is better,” as Mae West said, although I’m not exactly rich. But it’s good to have money when you need it.

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11 Responses to “I hate cancer & other news”

  1. Oh hon. There is no ‘all I can do is knit’.
    You are sending a prayer with every stitch, and that matters. It matters a lot!

    My own prayers join yours for Kage and Kathleen and Patty, and those who love them.

    • Zina says:

      Thanks, Diana — prayers from someone like you must surely be worth a lot more than your average prayer! x

      It’s that “helpless” thing again…it’s so sad, because I realize I’ve actually done more to help people in Haiti than I could possibly do for my friends… *snif*

      • My prayers go out in all kinds of directions. Being a Pagan kind of frees me up that way :-}

        I learned from my friend Deb that just caring enough to send something means the world. She taught me some people can’t face the pain of caring about someone with a life-threatening illness, and the fact you are THERE in spirit as a friend means so very much.
        (She’s the person the original Cloud On Her Head was written for.)

        • Zina says:

          Aw. I love that that means she’ll never be forgotten, one way or another, in this world. And that knitting it means that I’m connected to her through you. x

          Yes, I do know what you mean about There. It’s just…difficult, because one of my tics has always been that impulse to make things all better.

          And you can’t make this kind of thing all better. It just doesn’t work that way.

          :) But…we can do what we can do.

          • Nothing is a panacea, but what we can do is enough, even if it doesn’t feel that way to us. What we can do is create a tangible manifestation of our love. Powerful stuff, Maynard.

  2. Zina says:

    Thanks, Diana — you always say things that make it better. :)

  3. Jeffrey Sacks says:

    16Feb14
    Zina, hi there.

    I’ve sent an email to you at The Session and now I’m chasing you around the web – seen a few of your travel blogs.

    Please keep in touch – especially if you’re in Europe.

    Con allegro,

    Jeffrey.
    Skype = JeffSacks

    • Zina says:

      Hi Jeffrey: I’ve only just seen this, I’m afraid…I’ll take a look at TheSesh (it’s been a few years now!), and see if we can’t connect again! x – z

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