An uninvited rest period

Sorry for the radio silence over the past few weeks. I try to keep to a regular (and on-topic!) post schedule but having partially recovered from the awful flu I’d picked up in February, I then had three other separate, nasty viruses jump on board for the ride, meaning I’ve been sick for over 2 months now. 🙁

Flashes of gold and silver

the gold

Yesterday I ran a 10km running race to celebrate my 2nd rebirthday of my bone marrow transplant (well, it’s a month early but this race is so much nicer than the July one I ran last year!).

The race went really well, and I truly gave it EVERYTHING I had, running the first 4 kilometers at an astonishingly fast 5min per km pace, and then I tailed back to a bit more realistic 5:30/km pace until the last 200 meters, when I gave an all out sprint for the finish!

Like last year, I ran with the memory of my three departed BMT friends firmly in my mind – this was for Vera, Rob, and David, who fought so so hard, and who even today inspire me to push and fight even harder on their behalf.

I wasn’t quite sure how well I did until I viewed the official chip times on the website last night… 51:21!! That’s only 7 seconds off my pre-illness Personal Best! I really was only trying to beat last year’s time of 53:38, and I honestly didn’t think I’d come anywhere close to that magical 51 minute point for me!

And this little piggy stayed in bed all week long…

I have been laid low and barely able to get out of bed since Friday. After an entire weekend of cold/flu symptoms and a fever of 38.8 (102F), I dragged myself into hospital to make sure it wasn’t anything serious…

…only for my swabs for come back positive for H1N1, aka swine flu!

Oh joy. I’m barely able to stand long enough to make a cup of tea, or sit long enough to write some work emails, so needless to say, I’ve been unable to get any sewing done from laying in bed. This has put a severe damper on my Christmas gift sewing schedule. At least my latest Patrones order arrived (296, 297, and 298) for me to read through.

The doctors have said I need to stay off work for this week at the least, but I’m hoping maybe I’ll feel better this weekend. Until then, muse on the fact that I got this despite having the combined flu vaccine which is supposed to protect against H1N1. 🙁 And here I thought swine flu was so 2009…

First rebirthday 10k race

Last Thursday was my one year anniversary of my bone marrow transplant, which others have taken to calling a “rebirthday”. James took me out for lunch and a very chill session at a super posh tea shop, followed by a surprise card and flowers when I got home! I’ve been planning a special celebration of my own for about six months now, when I got it into my head that I should run a 10k for my one year post-transplant.

The British 10K London Run was this morning, and even though I’ve been running around the river for the past 3-4 months to train for this, I had only managed 10km in my last three runs so I was feeling pretty nervous and hoping only to run the whole thing (no walking!) and to maybe finish in under an hour.

(More race photos here…)


Apologies for the short intermission this week – I intended to tell you all about the lovely knit dress I made for my mom and show off our great photoshoot, but I’ve been snatched away for the weekend to sunny Camberwell. I can now say I’ve had a headache that’s tougher than paracetemol (Tylenol), codeine, AND morphine, as well as all three combined together!! Don’t worry, it’s sorted now- the drs were pretty sure it was caused by one of my many medicines making my blood pressure spike, but they had to keep me in to dis-count any other nastier options to be absolutely sure.

Chemo hats – with pattern!

It was inevitable, but still I hoped I could avoid the hair loss that comes with the chemo in my bone marrow transplant… I was expecting it to be instantaneous, but in reality, my hair didn’t start falling out until 3 weeks after the first dose of chemo, so I’m really glad I thought ahead and made myself some comfortable knit caps before I went into hospital, based on my own design.

I know there’s tons of chemo hat patterns out there, but IMHO, most just scream “old lady chemo” to me, and as I’m neither old nor wishing to particularly associated with chemo, I wanted something a bit cleaner and less, err, wacky/zany. I mean, if I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that hat when I’m well, why would I want to put it on my head when I’m feeling crappy, fat, and unattractive already??

So I came up with this method for making what’s essentially a swimming cap made from stretchy knit materials. I knew I definitely want the back of my head covered, though, so you’ll see that my pattern dips down in the back to cover every last bit of Homer Simpson-esque wisps. If you’re a sewer, it’s a great use of scraps, and if you’re not, it’s a great way to recycle old teeshirts! Even if you’ve got some great wigs like I do, I find these absolutely indespensible for wearing around the house and sleeping in! Think of the wigs like your heels, and these like those comfy slippers…

The finished photo here is quite grainy and this one’s looking more baggy than it does in real life (honestly!), but you can get the idea of what we’re aiming towards here!

That was fast!

I’ll make this short because I really try to keep non-sewing posts to a minimum, but… I’m home! It was really short notice – I thought it’d more more like Friday but on Monday the doctor said “get ready to go tomorrow” so I frantically pulled down all my decorations and packed up my stuff, only to have it all eclipsed by the two ENORMOUS bags of medicines I have to take now (good thing they lay it all out in a nice grid or I’d be totally lost!). The only problem is, since James & mom were counting on 4-6 weeks to get everything done, and I came home in exactly 3 weeks, hardly anything was ready for me! So there’s some intense boat disinfecting going on today, and tomorrow the old (and frankly, disgusting) saloon carpet is being ripped out and new stuff installed, so I’m confined to my bedroom with the air purifier on high for a few days.

Khaki KnipMode puzzle trousers

I’ve been doing more sewing “on the inside” – this time I’ve made these curvy-seamed trousers (#12) from the May 09 KnipMode which should come as no surprise since you already know that I prepared them in advance as an activity pack.

I sewed most of these last Sunday, but took my time handsewing the invisible zipper, waistband, and hems, which I’ll explain later… Once again, apologies for the iPhone photos, but I’m planning on doing a nice & crisp DSLR photoshoot again once they and I!) am finished. But for now…

Boredom busters!

I’ve been keeping myself busy within my four walls, and a lot of this is down to you all who sent me boredom busting parcels and activities to open up each day! So I thought I’d share some of the seewing and crafty ones so you can see what I’ve been up to (though there’s way more yet to open!).

First up is from Rachel, who sent me two “retro” issues of BWOF from her stash, 07/2000 & 12/2002, with a note challgenging me to find some hidden gems and just giggle at the rest. I’m up for a challegne!

(sorry for the iPhone photos – it’s the best I can do since I’m away from the scanner and the DSLR)

In the 2000 issue I absolutely fell in love with this skirt: