Prayer Shawl and Hat for Cancer Patient
A couple of months ago, I got some devastating news about one of my sisters who was having a lump removed from her neck. She had a tumor that was growing rapidly on one side of her neck. She made arrangements to have it removed and have a biopsy done because of the size and speed of which it was growing. In the meantime, while waiting to go to her appointment, another one started growing on the other side of her neck.
The first one was removed and was found to have all the cells in it to be dead, and no cancer. Supposedly, this meant her immune system had killed it off. Another appointment was made to remove the other and to biopsy it as well. There was a delay in the appointment for some reason, and it was postponed another week. While waiting for this appointment, two smaller tumors were popping up on the same side.
The second tumor showed there WAS cancer this time. She was diagnosed with some kind of Lymphoma. The decision was made that she should have chemo, and possibly radiation afterwards, in order to stop the growth of any more cancerous tumors and to keep it from spreading. She had already had a scan done to locate cancer in any other part of her body, but none was found.
This news was more than my father could handle. My father already had bad health with diabetes, and high blood pressure that was being controlled with pills. He began to have severe chest pains that, if he was ignoring in the past, he could no longer ignore. He went to his doctor (Thank God!) and was scheduled for an immediate heart catheter procedure. They found at least 4 blockages in his arteries leading to his heart! They scheduled him for emergency triple bypass – saying they would do three or four bypasses, depending on what they found when they went in.
My dad is a stubborn man, and this was a shock to him that he was just not ready or prepared for, so he postponed the surgery for ten days. I was so sick with worry he would not make it the ten days, because the doctors told him if he walked out of the hospital, he might not come back. He was a walking time bomb. I prayed daily, as did my family and friends.
He made it back to the hospital, a little more prepared mentally for what he was about to undergo, but faced with the fact he, also, might not make it. When they went in, they found five blockages after all and made the repairs to all five. The surgery was approximated at 4 hours, but I think it ended up being closer to 6. He came out okay, was in the hospital about 9 days, went home for one night, and was back in the hospital the next day. He was swelling up and it was just getting worse. They got his swelling down after one day and kept him in from last Thursday evening till Saturday around 1:30 in the afternoon. He’s been home for two days now and I hope he is finally on the road to a great recovery.
My sister, on the other hand, lost all of her hair after one chemo treatment, in just a matter of a couple of weeks. Her mother-in-law has purchased a lovely wig for her, but she doesn’t want to wear that all the time, of course. She has a thin knitted cap she can wear, also. I wanted to make something special for her to help her feel somewhat comforted when receiving her chemo or just being at home. So I made her a prayer shawl and a cap to go with it.
The shawl is made using a double-crochet stitch. I made the first row of chain stitches as long as I thought I wanted it to be wide. Then I started the second row with double-crochet stitches and just kept going until it was the height I thought would be good for wrapping around her shoulders. I used a variegated yarn in colors that I thought would be soothing, and yet cheerful enough.
Then I made her a cap to wear with it and to keep her warm. I just used a single-crochet stitch in the round. Again, I just kept going until I thought it would be long enough for her to have enough to roll down if she wanted more coverage. I took the leftover yarn I had from her shawl and made a flower to accent the hat, making it look more like a matched set. I’ll give it to her tomorrow and hope she loves it! I made it while at the hospital with my dad when he was recovering from his surgery.
It’s been a tiring last few weeks. I feel tremendously drained. I wish I could just put on my comfy pajamas, crawl in my bed, and sleep for days! I don’t even need to eat … just sleep. I grab every soft blanket I have at night and clutch it tightly, trying to soothe myself to sleep each night since this all started. I don’t even notice if I’ve been dreaming, and morning seems to always come way too soon. I haven’t talked to my friends for so long, except for a few texts here and there to keep them updated. I finally got to talk to one of my best friends this evening for a little bit, and I probably didn’t give her much of a chance to speak because I just started talking immediately. I wanted to tell her as much as I could to catch her up and before the exhaustion set in again for the night.
I want my life to get back to normal. But it’s hard to do when my world seems all different now. Because I forget what normal is anymore. And I just want to find that place when I felt like I could make it through the daily “stuff” and all it took was a decent supper, a good sitcom on the t.v. and a sugary snack before bed to make my world all right again. Then, I could start the next day and do it all over again.
I’m thankful my father made it through the surgery, but I won’t be completely okay until I know he’s made it through his recovery all the way. And we will have to wait to see if my sister will need radiation, too. She’s already had two chemo treatments. I think she is having one more before they check her again for tumors.
And now, I need my sleep.