A wicked curve ball…

The past year has been one of my best.  And one of my favorites.  Probably my most successful year professionally, lots of new venues, opportunities to write, a five part webinar series with Weaving Today.  Lots of great possibilities for the future.  My daughter finished college and moved home.  Though she is working full time we still have wonderful weaving adventures.  My son spent a long year on a military deployment, but has returned, and has grown for the experience.  And I turned 60.  Lots of looking at the future and what I want to do with the next phase of my life.  Suddenly there is permission to say no to things I don’t really want to do.  I am starting to unload and destash things that don’t hold any meaning for me anymore.  And my husband and I are talking of the next steps after he retires next year.  Of course, just reading my posts you dear readers know how special each of the venues I’ve had this year have been.  One of my best experiences at Sievers, my all time best experience at Peters Valley, an amazing month on the west coast, and everywhere I’ve traveled, eager and enthusiastic students work hard and are really grateful for what I seem to be able to teach them.

Until Wednesday…

I started this blog to celebrate a life interwoven with fiber, adventures, creativity, conundrums, and observations.  When I was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago, there was no blog.  There was no Facebook.  Only emails, and I gave progress reports to those who wanted to be kept informed by email.  Wednesday morning I drove my husband at 5:30 in the morning for an endoscopy, following up on some random trouble swallowing, nothing more specific than that.  By 10am we knew, he has a mass on his esophagus and the news was of course devastating.  It is cancer but the extent wasn’t known until a follow up endoscopy on Thursday, this time with a sonogram.  And the news is not good.

This isn’t my story to tell, and I promise dear readers that I won’t turn this blog into a step by step progress report of my husband’s journey through the hellish nightmare of treatment for esophageal cancer.  I am a fiber artist, and a weaver, and a mother, and a wife, and I am a living breathing cancer surviving human being that takes the curve balls with grace and humility, because we all get hit with curve balls in the baseball game of life, and I am certainly not exempt.  I am incredibly grateful for the past year and will cherish it as a large chocolate cake with a red wine chaser that gave me terrific memories to hold onto as I move into a darker scarier phase of life, our lives together.

I wanted to let all my supporters and students and potential students know that I do have a heavy schedule still lined up for the fall.  I am going to do everything in my power to still make those venues happen and to be as professional and focused as I possibly can. Not because I’m a hero, or slighting my husband and family, because after going through cancer myself, the absolutely best thing I can do for myself is to keep as busy as possible.  I have grown children now.  I didn’t have that 13 years ago.  I still had to be a mother to them.  Now they can be a support to the two of us.

Wednesday night my daughter and I went to the first meeting of the new season of the Jockey Hollow Weavers Guild.  It was wonderful to just get out of the dark place life is taking us right now.  And on Thursday we sat around the table at the Boonton Library, knitting.  For a brief couple of hours my mind was at ease.

I went back and read the editorial piece I wrote for Handwoven magazine the morning after 9/11.  So much of it still rang true for today and what my family, my husband is facing. You can read it here if you want.

The warps are wound, the handouts printed, and Thursday morning I’m still planning to get in the car, plug in the next installment of the Outlander series on Audible, and drive the 8 hours to northern coastal Maine, for Fiber College.  (FYI, I’ve already read the Outlander series, but it is amazing how much I’ve forgotten.)  I’m hoping for a bit of distracting serenity and to be surrounded by lots of colorful fiber.  And some pretty cool people.

Lots of hugs.

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Jane Dumais
Jane Dumais
September 11, 2015 4:15 pm

Thinking of you both. Stay strong and energetic. Remember that spa in New Mexico with all the different baths!

Susan
Susan
October 4, 2015 6:58 pm

Having been away for 30 days, I am just coming onto this. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and yours. Hugs