Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

I get asked a lot of questions about why I am so skeptical about photographs with orbs and mist.
Folks always wonder why I don't get excited over stuff like that.

Well it is because of my own experiences.
I have seen photos of spirits and never saw one with mist or orbs in my life.
I was raised a Spiritualist and our family was known for holding seances and speaking in tongues. Not your typical family next door.

My Great Grandmother was one of the women responsible for the rise of the Spiritualist movement here in Toronto at the time of the end of the Great War.
As a treat to you all I am going to show the kind of spirit photograph I got to see as a child.

This is my Great Grandmother who was part of Lillydale, NY Spiritualist community.
She is pictured here in the early 1950's(I believe) at Lillydale's Great Stump. Where she is conjuring spirits while in a trance.

My Great Grandmother has circled the spirits in the photo for us to see........

So stuff like this is NORMAL in our family life. LOL

(this photograph is my property under the regulation of creative commons to retrieve this photo to use it or any part of this article outside of this linked format without permission is forbidden. If you wish to link to this page of the blog- this is the only option acceptable)

click the photo to see it larger

Friday, October 30, 2009

Etsy Showcase Schedule

I have started my features in the Etsy Showcase:

You will find my items in the following Esty Showcases:(just click the right arrow on the page header to go to the titles of the sections HERE )

OCTOBER 31, 2009

Geekery Showcase

NOVEMBER 1, 2009

Geekery Showcase
Storque Showcase
Fiber Art Showcase
Jewelry (Pendants) Showcase
Dolls And Miniatures Showcase
Knitting Showcase

NOVEMBER 6, 2009

Geekery Showcase
Storque Showcase
Fiber Art Showcase
Jewelry (Pendants) Showcase
Dolls And Miniatures Showcase
Knitting Showcase

Monday, October 26, 2009

Surgery Date And A Wrecked Shoulder

On Friday I had my appointment with the surgeon.
My surgery date is December 2nd- in the afternoon.
It is day surgery.
I am expected to be uncomfortable for about a week.
The Dr said I will have to be checked every six months after that. For the re-occurrance rate of this cancer is high.
It also sounds like I was really lucky that by happenstance I ended up having this discovered because of another issue. The Dr said he never gets to see this cancer in its early stages like I have. Usually he sees it when it has gone too far. This is because this cancer basically is symptom free until it is too late. Once it starts to itch it is usually too late....

I also had my first physio appointment on Saturday. It looks like I have tendinitis in the bicep, but there also could be a tear in the cartiledge. So I am in physio twice a week until my surgery, just so my arm can be strong enough to brace me after surgery.

So in Studio I will only be knitting and needle felting for the rest of the season.
An exception will be finishing up some yule tree webs.
The photo session for the webs means we will have to set up the yule tree early.....
It will be strange having a bare tree up for a few weeks.

Stay tuned for new photos all week of new listings in the shop.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Took a Chance To Tell The Story And 5 young people Wrote Me To Tell Me They Were Going To Go Get Checked Out

I have to thank everyone who responded to my blog post. Some heard about it through the RSS, some heard about it through Twitter and Some through Facebook.

I received over a dozen notes from friends and family over the last two weeks when I basically disclosed the cancer in one sentence on Facebook.
Then when I decided to go public with the type of Cancer I got some of the most emotional notes I have ever heard.
Folks reached out to me from all over the world.

The most important notes were from 5 women under 25 who said that they were going to get checked out.......
If I can get 5 women to go get pap smears and think about their woo woo in a different light, I think I have accomplished more than I could ask for.

I know women over 25 wrote me that they were getting checked out too.....and I am glad for it. I just did not think I would effect younger women in the same way, and I am grateful that so many are thinking about their woo woo more.

And a note to the guys. You can think of our woo woo in a different light too. If you are so inclined to check out the area with your good eye (LOL not THAT EYE) then have a look down there on your loved one's package and make sure it all looks like the inside of your lip and if it does not..... make sure you tell your lady please.......Pink is right White plus brown or black is bad .

I had a crazy day.
That dumb shoulder problem that has slowed down my jewelry making has now stopped it for a bit. I have tendonitis of the bicep.
(Please....just roll your eyes now....because I am)
Now I will be doing extensive physio to get it mostly healed up before my surgery. Hopefully my shoulder will recover quick, so I will be able to brace myself better when moving around after the surgery.

Friday I go to the surgeon and he books my surgery. He felt that it would be within the next 8wks.
I will let you know what I find out Friday....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carcinoma in Situ
(photograph taken by euthman found on Flickr)
The Biopsy results are in.....
Cancer locked within a cell membrane.
This is what I have.

VIN 3 non HPV related cancer.(Vulvar Intraepithelial Neoplasia, grade 3)

The more technical term of having cancer of the woo woo years after a hysterectomy.

I toiled about whether to spell it all out or not. I thought about it being Breast Cancer awareness month and all- I felt that perhaps if you are not embarrassed too much by having to read about my bird cancer then you might learn something you didn't know.....and perhaps it will help you know what to be worried about if you are over 40 and under 100 if your woo woo changes...

Yes of course I am being funny about it! Because it sounds a lot better being funny calling it woo woo cancer than Vulvar Cancer of the Labia Minor (blech)

Geography lesson: the labia minor is a small flap of skin on the edge of the vagina, and labia major is the larger flap of skin on the other side. The Vulva is the outside visible area of the woo woo (LOL)
This cancer was caught because of an unrelated examination of cyst, and the dark mark was noticed by the gynecologist when he was checking out the cyst right below it.

Mine is a black dot with a white rough edge. When vinegar is placed on the spot the white raises up and looks wet. That is the first test. The second test is a surgical biopsy using a core punch device that takes about a 3cm cylinder of tissue from the spot. Then a couple of stitches.... If the dot and white rough edge is lumpy like cauliflower then it would be HPV infaltrated as well. Mine is flat. The flat stuff eventually becomes a flake (mine is not a flake yet) then it becomes Lichens disease. Very similar to what skin cancer looks like.
If you have ever seen a tanned person with white flakes on the back of their hands or arms or ears or lip, this is Lichens in the external form. On a mucosal membrane it is then categorized as a Vulvar cancer and not caused by the sun, but effecting the cells in the same way as squamous cell cancer on the rest of the body.

In latter stages VIN becomes insanely itchy. Then is spreads fast and can take over the whole of the vulva and clitoris and all of the vagina and even the bladder. Apparently that looks like little white bumps like razor burn bumps or clusters of larger lumps.
It is easy to mistake the bumps for razor burn or yeast infection or a pimple.
Once it becomes malignant it can spread to the lymph nodes, and rectom.

I had no symptoms. My mark is isolated and small. Mine is level 3 which means the next level worse and it is malignant. So you can see if you see some thing there or feel itchy it already could be greater than level 3.
If you are a teen and sexually active this is why you need to get a PAP smear every year. If you are an adult you definitely need to have a PAP smear.

Even if you have had a hysterectomy you need to have a partial PAP smear. They do it every 2-3 yrs after a hysterectomy, and it is a swab of the vagina and the hysterectomy scar in the vagina. I have mine done every 2 yrs.

If you get a lump, or a dark mark with uneven edges or white edges, or insane itching you have to go to a gynecologist. The early stages of this cancer (like what I have had twice now) is easy to cut out, but if left un attended or detected ,with this cancer, a woman could be severely disfigured from the excision and have to have multiple corrective cosmetic surgeries to look normal again.

A hysterectomy is nothing compared to the Vulvar surgery if it has to be invasive. They will dig deep into the pelvis to get out all of the cancer and you may not have use of your bladder or bowels again ever and losing lymph nodes means chemo and radiation.
Radiation and lymph removal make a person susceptible to lymphedema which is the pooling of lymphatic fluid in the legs and/or arms that is irreversible causing symptoms that look like elephantitis( swelling of the limbs as to create thick club-like limbs looking the size of elephant's legs)which is disfiguring and painful.

Girls that get HPV related cancers could get this cancer I have in a more aggressive form, plus have the terrible pollips to deal with. 6 out of 10 VIN cancers are HPV related. If you are young or you have daughters consider getting them HPV tested and get the HPV vaccination because I could not imagine how horrible it would be for a teen to get this and risk never being able to have a relationship or family ever because of being so disfigured.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a STD. It is caused by having too many sexual partners. From what I understand it is really common in teens today. I recall something like 75% of sexually active teens will have HPV.

Where I did not have HPV, if I did, my prognosis would not be as positive as mine is today......

So how does one get VIN? Well VIN means the cells are mutating. They are Neoplastic. They go from being normal cells to mutating and if the cell changes blast through the membrane then they become a malignancy.
Trauma can stimulate a cell to mutate. Trauma can mean almost anything. It can be trauma because of an injury (like falling on the bike crossbar) or having a tough vaginal birth delivery, or it can be because of trauma from a virus like HPV.
In my case it is trauma from another underlying condition that attacks my membranes.
The trauma could also be long ago, and the scarred cells can begin to change if the person is under severe stress which lowers immunity.

It all started with something completely unrelated..... a lump. More specifically a Bartholin cyst. A gland that makes that area moist got blocked. This can happen at any time and is easy to deal with a micro catheter. I have a gland disease so I have to have it checked out.

I was diagnosed with Sjogrens disease in 1995. It is an arthritis of every gland in the body that excretes. I have no saliva or tears, and problems with my pancreas, kidneys, and all mucus membranes. I have chipmunk cheeks from the saliva gland cysts, and similar problems in my esophagus. My Sjogrens is called secondary Sjogrens. It is secondary to another autoimmune disease, or in my case three other, so I have Osteo Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Raynods, and the third is the illusive tag of Lupus. It is a deadly combination for those with this multiple identification are super high risk for Sclaroderma, Diabetes, Cancer, and PolyCystic Lung Disease, and PolyCystic Kidney Disease. Basically my body is rejecting its organs.

This arthritis causes extreme distress to tissues making them break down. So the inside of my body is aging at an alarming rate. While the outside usually looks quite younger than my age. This combo distressed the tissue making me susceptible to Cancers. The arthritis made me susceptable to Shingles of the Brain which I got in 2005 (which also usually occurrs in folks over 60yrs of age)

It already made me a diabetic and caused me to have numerous surgeries before the age of 35. Now begins another cycle. I now get a cancer that only 70-80yr olds get....and I am 46.

So this year alone I had to add severe degenerative Osteo Arthritis, transitioning type 2 to type 1 Diabetes and Cancer to my list of new health issues.

I am usually cheery and positive almost all of the time.
I take it all in stride and accept my roll as: the human experiment for all of my specialists trying to figure out how they can write papers tying all my diseases together.
My Pain Specialist has admitted to me that me being so abnormal in my medical pathology really upgrades each Specialists' experience in medicine to know me....they all feel like HOUSE. LOL

I will admit whole heartedly that me the bubbley, and cheery and the positive high-spirited persona cracked a bit in the last two weeks. The health strikes this year had worn away at me, and my mood could not stay positive when they sprung a cancer diagnosis on me again.
I really began to worry for my family this time. I could see this diagnosis on top of all of the other medical problems this year was more than everyone could bear and we were all showing signs of strain after such a tough summer for my health.
I have had a lot of strange pain since February, so I just could not stay positive about this diagnosis, and I was really worried that I would present with some weird genetic cancer like Pagets and that the arthritis in my x-rays would have been bone cancer in that case.
In retrospect it is just a coincidence, but when you have serious pain then you get something else it is hard to ignore the pain from the diagnosis.
It is impossible to be cheery all the time in this situation.

I once again had to address my own death. I am 46 for pitty sake! I have had to seriously think about death being imanent.......again! I have had to do this 5 times in my adult life! And I don't mean a thought like, "oh I might die". I mean the kind of thing where you have to tell people where your will is and where your insurance papers are and your banking passwords etc.....I have had to do that 5 times already. I don't think normal folks have to do that! This can be extremely frustrating to face over and over.

So yes...I can be vulnerable eventhough I have this great zest for life.
I just wanted you to know that - yes- I can get down about stuff sometimes too, even if I don't
dwell on it for long.

I do have to do some medical maintenance now though. Today I go to the family Dr. to discuss getting a Urologist to do a cystascope to check the bladder for the same VIN....just as a precaution. If I had not already had a colonoscopy I would have had to book that too - to check for the VIN there too. PLus I will see if the diagnosis will up me in the protocol list for the MRI on my back and pelvis.

So I am back to myself, a bit tired but no longer under the influence of worrying if this is the one that will kill me.
I am now preparing for surgery.
Friday the surgeon and I plan the surgery.
Friday afternoon I get on with the rest of my life :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Have New Stuff In The Shop!

I have been busy finishing up some projects. I have posted new items for sale in my shop and The Pagans Of Etsy Shop.
I also have more stuff to post in the shop.
I hope you enjoy the stuff I have posted so far:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What? Surgery Yesterday?

Well after the shitty summer I had with my diabetes -things are coming to a head.
I had to go to another specialist yesterday and he operated on me right in the office.
He said." You are gonna hate me. I have to operate right now. I need a biopsy" So after three needles of anesthetic and 15 min of in office surgery I had a biopsy and two stitches in the absolutely worst place imaginable.
I can't even tell you publicly where they had to is too creepy to discuss.

So the clinker of it all is that I have cancer.
I had this in 1993 and have been clear since then. And its back. I didn't even know I could get it back the same. But apparently its rare, and is back. Frig Frig Frig.
Answers all the questions why my sugars would go weird out of no where, for no food reason.
Answers why I look like an exhausted mess.

So he had to do the quick biopsy to know what degree he is looking at. So he can book my surgery. I know I am having two operations in one day. I know I will find out the date in two weeks on a Friday.

My next hope is to see if this diagnosis can bump up my January MRI as I now change in the med protocol ranks if I have a cancer diagnosis.

I am not scared.
But I am pissed.
I think I have had enough medical problems my whole life that I deserve not to have another one. I really just want to know when this med shit will end.
I am tired of bein tired
And I am tired of bein sickly...I have stuff to do!
I am also pissed off that it was ME who discovered where the problem was when I had been complaining since April of issues-which all the med tests divulged as Nothing Wrong....
I kept telling the Drs that I felt like something was wrong "Right Here" as I would point to the area. And I got a lot of heads shaking yes from the Dr's, then a....."But the tests are coming back fine"
Then I point to the area this time and Dr. says "Oh what's that?"
Then the specialist says, "Oh this is not good"

I am sorry. I know my body and I know when something is wrong.
In June I felt like I was being treated like an anxiety ridden "Woman" by the Dr's as the male Specialists argued with the Female Specialist about what should be done about me.
The Women Specialists said, "There is something wrong."
The Male Speclisists said, "Ah its probably anxiety attacks"
The Women Specialists were probably right all along. They thought I threw a blood clot from a tumor or leasion and because I was arterially healthy it didn't stick... And they got the tests they wanted done. The Male Specialists wanted to argue that it sounded like I may have had an anxiety attack in June, but they could not explain my one eye drooping during the attack or the fact I was not hyperventilating..., but would have rather just passed it off.

So the Women Specialists were spot on. One can pass a clot through the body and it breaks down eventually, but causes a bit of havoc with the patient for a day. Healthy bodies have no problem with this. (like happened to me) The trouble is the Drs have to determine if you are a healthy body or not. Male Drs looked at my weight alone. Female Drs didn't.
The Women Specialists forced the tests to prove I was healthy and to determine if I was at any risk from what they felt was an escemic event. The tests determined I have no artery or heart disease, so I could have passed a clot that didn't stick! Now we have an idea where the clot came from. A leasion that the Specialist took part of yesterday.

Oh retrospect. Always makes so much sense....

Now I would like one good thing to happen to me please.

It is ironic that this happened to me. This year I have been following along the twitter and FB of my buddy Drew. I would like you to read this blog about him:

If you twitter please twitter the following< I #blamedrewscancer for @WitchAmy having to have last min cancer surgery yesterday>
so Livestrong will donate money to cancer research for every tweet you make with the hashtag #blamedrewscancer

If you do this we can all be part of the kicking in the ass of my name too!( for I am @WitchAmy lol)

If you don't tweet and your kids do, please ask them to tweet for you.
I would like to be responsible for someone getting donations because of this.

Monday, October 05, 2009

WitchAmy Knit Along Is Coming Soon!

I will be Broadcasting and Recording The First Ever WitchAmy Knit Along Waves Of Wonder Lapel Scarf Knit Along Class!

To see an example of these scarves check this out! Click This

The scheduled date is Wednesday October 14th, at 8:00PM (20:00)EST (GMT-5). I will record it so the Knit Along will be in the Archives of my BlogTV channel.

What do you have to do to Join Us?

All those who Join Blog TV and Subscribe to my WitchAmy TV will be eligible to be sent the Pattern.
Go to My WitchAmy Live Site by clicking HERE.

At the top of my page there should be a button that says Join. Press that and create a nickname and password for yourself. Then go back to my front page and below the chat box you will see a button called Subscribe. Press that and subscribe to my feed. (this will enable you to chat with me and ask me questions during my broadcasts.

Next you need to contact me at motivatedmotion[at]gmail[dot]com and tell me what the nick name you chose for your account is so I can cross reference it with my list. Then please request the project Pattern for The Waves Of Wonder Scarf. I will send it to you in an email with a word doc in it (if you cannot use a word doc please let me know and I can send it as html or a rich text doc if you request it) Once I get notification that you have subscribed to my show I will send you the pattern.(Please have your requests in by Sunday October 11, 2009)
**NOTE I won't open any files you send me in email regarding these request emails. I will only look at text.**

What materials do you need?

Yarn: DK or Sport Weight yarn (DK is my recommendation but a sport weight would end up just a bit larger.) You will need:

SMALL SCARF(42in/107cm long)-requires 312 yrds/285m of yarn
MEDIUM SCARF(52in/132cm long)-requires 416yrds/380m of yarn
LARGE SCARF(84in/214cm long)- requires 624yrds/570m of yarn

I recommend a natural fiber, but it is up to you.

Your needles will have to be circular needles with a long least 30inches I recommend something around 40inches.
The size of the needles will depend on the yarn you choose. Use the needle size recommended on the band of the yarn ball. If you need me to show you where to look on the yarn ball for the needle size then pop into one of the broadcasts I have going, and ask me in chat to explain this... in the next week or so and I will show you in the broadcast.

You will also need a yarn needle for sewing in ends.
You will also need scissors
You will also need a tape measure

Plus a note pad of lined paper and a good pen or pencil (a highlighter would be a good idea too)

Make sure you try to catch a few minutes of another broadcast of mine just in case you have issues with needing flash upgraded or need to ugrade your video viewer etc.

I recommend you view my free how to knit videos covering "Make One- K1fb" stitch and "Decreasing-k2tog" stitches, and "Cable Cast-on" at The Motivated Motion Gallery Site

A Beginner knitter who has cast on, Knit, and Purled before can do this scarf.
An Intermediate knitter will have no problems with this scarf.

Up Coming WitchAmy TV Broadcast Schedule:

Tues Oct 6, 2009 @ 11:00AM (GMT-5) EST, Steampunk Jewelry
Wed Oct 7, 2009 @ 1:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Needle Felting A Commissioned Piece
Wed Oct 7, 2009 @ 8:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Marilyn Monroe Evening Bag......
Thurs Oct 8, 2009@ 1:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Let's Go Pagan Themed!....
Sat Oct10, 2009@ 1:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Weekend Surprise!

Sun Oct11, 2009@ 1:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Weekend Surprise!
Mon Oct12, 2009@ 1:00PM (GMT-5) EST, Canadian Thanksgiving.......
Wed Oct14, 2009@ 8:00PM (GMT-5) EST, WitchAmy Knit Along Session 1......

WitchAmy- Broadcast your self LIVE