Monday, September 16, 2013

Well it is the beginning of yet another week, the weekend has passed and the count down to the next one begins.
 In August I underwent surgery to have a lump removed from my neck as well as the right half of my thyroid. 3 weeks after that I was told that I have thyroid cancer, that they had removed the cancerous lump, the right half of my thyroid, my parathyroid gland and lymph nodes and have to come back in for another surgery on the left side of my neck to remove the rest of the thyroid, 1 or 2 more parathyroid glands and more lymph nodes and 4-6 weeks after that under go RAI (radioactive iodine treatment) Of course I was told that I had "the good cancer" and that things would be fine. However that is anything but the case.
 No cancer is the good cancer! Cancer is just that cancer regardless of where in your body it is. True the treatments may be different than other cancers and the survival rate for the 4 different types of thyroid cancer are considerably higher than other types, but that in no way makes this the "good cancer"( I am in no way trivializing other cancers, I know how devastating, debilitating and ravaging they are)
 Apart from countless surgeries, with wonderful scars left on your neck anywhere from 4 inches to ear to ear, having your body plunge into a hypothyroid state (and the side effects of that in a nutshell you loose ALL of your metabolism, ALL of your energy, you are so tired through out the day everything is constant battle, you cannot sleep at night insomnia, "brain fog" constant forgetfulness, non alertness, muscle aches, joint issues, bowel issues, dry brittle hair that falls out, extremely dry and cracked skin, intolerance to temperatures either hot or cold,  fast, irregular heart rhythms, anxiety attacks, chest pains, decreased bone density, extreme mood swings and the list goes on.)  You get to have this monitored closely for the rest of your life with constant blood work because levels can change quickly meaning a change in medication dose. You get to have RAI, a pill so radioactive that you are put in isolation in a lead lined room, the pill is given to you in a lead lined sealed container and then you are isolated from human contact for days because the treatment you are receiving to kill any remaining thyroid tissue could truly harm others. You are then lucky enough to come back yearly and have smaller doses of the radioactive iodine and have full body scans to search for newly developed thyroid cells which means a re-occurrence of the cancer. If that is the case the thyroid cancer then grows again in the neck area, the lungs, the spine, bones and blood stream. But the "good" doesn't stop there, because thyroid cancer re-occurs in 1 out of 3, you get to under go RAI again and possible neck and spine dissertations. If your parathyroid glands( the glands that produce the calcium your body needs) are damaged or removed( you have 4 and can function with 2 relatively ok) you develop hyperparathyroidism as well (please check the link, the side effect are vast)
 Because you no longer have a thyroid you no longer have any of the T4 or T3 hormone, which your thyroid produces and every single cell in your body needs both of these to survive and work.  You are put on life long meds. With thyroid issues or thyroids not functioning correctly they put you on life long medication to help stimulate and create the T4 that your body no longer produces with the hopes that your body will continue to convert the T4 into T3.  However with thyroid cancer you are put on extremely high doses of the same medication in order to suppress or prevent further growth of thyroid tissue this is to help prevent recurrence or progression of their cancer. So what happens is a thyroid cancer survivor then has their body thrown into both a hyper and hypo active state.  Your body is a constant seesaw swinging from one side effect to the other never settling on one. with hyperparathyroidism as well, you are put on life long extremely high doses of calcium and Vit. D to help you metabolize the calcium.  Calcium levels also change quickly so you watch and wait for symptoms to let you know ( tingling in hands and feet, severe muscle cramps, extreme brain fog, irritability  etc) then either wait for a dr to change or dose or head to the ER for painful IV injections. So ontop of all dealing with all that 24 hours a day, every day for the rest of your life we get to keep remembering we have "the good cancer"
I have been doing ok with this, have been handling it fine emotionally, (physically I am having quite a few issues), but for some reason out the blue yesterday morning it all hit me hard and for the first time I cried.
When I finished crying I did what all of us scrappers do, I headed to the craftroom to work through my emotions and this is what I came up with. 

Just a little something to help me stay motivated

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Hump day !! Whoohoo the weekend is almost here! I've just returned to work this week after a month off for medical reasons and believe me I cannot wait for the weekend lol. 
From the end of August to early October I have quite a few male birthday's in my family. I've struggled a little in the past trying to come up with cards appropriately masculine (sans flowers and poofs and frilly things lol)  Below are a few of the cards I made this time around.

This card was made using Pretty Little Studio: Monsieur Collection, papers and journal card. Film strip border is Tim Holtz.
 My dad is a big fan of the British "Carry On..." films so I bought this stamp for that reason, It is a Technique Tuesday set. I then used  EK punches (scallop and tag) to make the birthday tag.  I cut the tree using a Memory Box die, distressed and inked the edges using Tim Holtz Frayed Burlap and Bundled Twigs.Added an eyelet and some ribbon.  I Stamped the inside of the card using Impression Obsession WoodGrain background stamp. The Birthday banner stamp from hot fudge studio was stamped onto a Spellbinders Label 8 die.
 I again used the Keep Calm and Party stamp on the next card. The papers are from Hot off the Press: Steampunk Collection. Cut out some gears (distress inked and sprayed them) and a car silhouette and good to go !

Thanks so much for stopping by ! Have a fabulous day !!!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I have been such a bad blogger, actually have not even been a blogger. I have no excuse except to blame life lol, and all the surprises, mountains and valleys it throws our way.
I have done some scrapping and card making over the summer months and I even went as far as to branch out and play with mixed media, canvases and even a chipboard album.

the chipboard album is what I am going to showcase here.  The chipbpard album itself was from Want 2 Scrap. (Could I have picked a more difficult shaped album to use as my very first attempt lol) I dug into my hoarded paper stash and broke down and used the papers from My Minds Eye "O Christmas Tree" line.  Beautiful papers that I have been reluctant to use up. 

This was the front cover The Joy and Merry Christmas were both MME tags. The swirl christmas tree almost hidden was a Memory Box Die. Martha Stewart Edge punch, the ornaments were cut using a Prickly Pear die.

The following is the inside cover and first page.  The inside cover is an accordian style envelope to hold little treasures topped of with a Bazzill brad.

 The first page is a Scalloped flip pocket page, the outside holding Christmas tags (above) and below when you flip the insert another side pocket holding photo mats and a journaling tag.

The Second and Third page. 
the second page again has a page pocket holding a photo mat and Christmas tag. The flowers and Seasons greeting tag are both MME. The red Christmas tag was a plain shipping tag, inked with Dylusions Post Box Red and Tim Holtz distress ink Barn Door and Frayed Burlap. Edge punch is Martha Stewart.

The third page is a Baroque pocket with a photomat already mounted and waiting for the special image. Again a Bazzill brad to top it off.

The fourth and fifth pages are pockets holding tags and photo mats. The red tags are made as described above, the other tags are MME's tags.

 The last two pages are again designed to hold photo's.  The sixth page has a little rounded envelope tied together with ribbon.
 The last page is a pocket holding 2 more photo mats and a MME journaling card.
Thanks so much for looking and bearing with me through my first attempted journey into chipboard albums !  Alot of work and a little frustration as I did not have a clue what I was doing or how to make pockets, envelopes, doo-dads and thing -a-ma-jiggies haha ( The person who does make and sell those things would make a killing in my opinion lol)
Have a great day and keep on smiling !!!!

 Ok so I've been trying to get into the Christmas Spirit and get a jump start on my Christmas card making.... A little difficult when the leaves are still green, the sun is bright and there is no snow, or juingle music to help get those creative juices flowing.
So I go to my favorite app loaded with stations that play nothing but Christmas music all year long, turn it up and away I go !! Ho ho ho !!!

A Couple of traditional green and white and red and white cards.  Embossing folder Cuttlebug Snowflake pattern. I distressed the edges with Tim Holtz distress ink. Added a ribbon,  a cut file poinsettia (I drew in the veins in the petals and ink the edges to give them a little more pop.  Added some tiny rhinestones. The stamps were from various Stampin Up sets

For these cards I used Spellbinders M-Bossabilities- Winter wishes to emboss.  Patterned paper for the presents, thin ribbon and done!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy September everyone !!  It is so hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close. Nights getting shorter, shadows getting longer. How I miss the beautiful viberant colors of the leaves as they change color during the autumn, Elem Maple, Birch Oak etc. In my town there are a few trees here and there but the majority of the tree foliage are evergreen trees and I do miss those magnificent majestic towering trees with their gold, red, yellow and orange canopies just begging me to pile up thier generously given leafy treasures and fall blissfully into the swirly colors and deeply inhaling the damp sweet smell as you lay amongst them.

Over the summer I did try my hand and played around with some mixed media canvases.

The first canvas was inspired by Gabrielle and the tutorial on her Such a Pretty Mess Blog. Her tutorial is fantastic and she is so inspiring !!   The papers used for the dress and on the canvas are from Basic Grey : Kissing Booth. Washi tape Tim Holtz

The second canvas  I put my Big Kick to work and starting cutting die cuts. The key and hinge are Tim Holtz, the birdcage is a cottage Cuts. Petaloo flowers, some Tim Holtz embellishments (other embellishments courtesy of our garage lol) Molding paste, gesso and a few Crafters Workshop masks and I was ready to dig in and get my hands messy.

The third canvas I decided to go wild and really get messy.  Molding pastes, gesso ,Kaisercraft and Crafters Workshop masks and lots of tim Holtz distress stains and both Perfect Pearls and Dylusions sprays. A few Prima and Petaloo flowers and some butterlfies (from the local $ store) to finish it off.