Monday, November 12, 2007

News Briefs from the Knit-Wit

The blahs have been banished, possibly because my weekend was so busy I didn't have time to pay undue attention to my body's efforts to unravel my mind. On Friday, I started two projects: recovering the kitchen chairs and knitting a sweater. As for the chairs, I got as far as removing one seat, measuring it, estimating how much fabric to buy and buying the fabric. And if that wasn't excitement enough, my friend Patty gave me a long-awaited knitting lesson. Sometime over the summer, we'd picked out a pattern, and Patty donated yarn to the project and knitted a sample to check the gauge. Two and a half months and a transplant later, I finally got started. Patty spent a couple of hours demonstrating the various stitches and techniques, which I thought I understood. Wrong. Like the (Greek?) goddess who knits and unknits time, I spent Friday and Saturday knitting and unknitting and reknitting. In theory, I'm knitting myself a sweater, starting with the back. Maybe I'll just knit a placemat.

Another interesting thing that happened Friday was that my doctor decided to decrease my immunosuppressant drugs based on their levels in my blood. What I don't know is whether this decrease (which is sizable) is the start of the tapering of these drugs that usually begins around 100 days post-transplant. I'm only 66 days post, so it's early for that. I'll ask the doctor when I see him this week. One of the issues with tapering the immunos is that graft versus host issues can start rearing their ugly heads. In other words, the new white blood cells (graft) could start picking on my organs (host). On the positive side, my immune system, currently as effective as a 2-month old's, can begin to rebuild.

Saturday's blah-chasing event was our trip up to Maine to watch the East Greenwich HS Cross Country team compete in the New England Championship race. Ranked 4th, they ended up placing 2nd by one point. Mark ran a great race and placed 14th out of a field of over 250 runners. On a personal note, due to the cold weather and my being bundled under many layers, you couldn't tell I was bald and wearing a surgical mask.

Sunday I spent reading the New York Times and knitting. Whereas I finished the Times, the knitting never ends.


Anonymous said...

pj . . .

Anonymous said...

woops! hit return too soon.

i was going to say . . . pj, if you master the knitting, great!

i used to live in a remote log cabin in interior alaska (in between the yukon and tanana rivers, roughly 10 miles to each), and i tried knitting one winter as many of the other "bush wives" knitted all sorts of cool stuff--heavy wool socks, hats, mittens (obviously, more for autumn and spring than sub-zero winter).

i never got it either, despite my bush-neighbor snow machining to my cabin and spending quite a few afternoons showing me. i finally gave up when spring brightened and warmed the days, landing me outside more often. ironically, my husband (an alaskan gold miner, 3rd generation) seems to be better with domestic skills of sewing, knitting, etc.

alas, we have since left alaska for warmer temps in florida, exchanging gold pans and dog sleds (we used to raced sled dogs, too) for beach chairs and sail boats.

glad you are feeling better, and great news about the immunosuppressants.


Ann said...

As for will make you crazy in the beginning. I still haven't gotten the nerve up to try a sweater, so you are my hero.
As for the tapering...My doctor only started tapering mine with the ominous projection that I will no longer need them by the beginning of next month. She told me that they normally taper at +150 days. I've talked to other patients at other centers who have been tapered much earlier. Who knows, I'm just happy to be here.