December 3rd was my first pain-free walk in two months! And today was my first long walk in the woods up and down hills. A wondrous homecoming to my body and my favorite trails. Everything seems better when we lose it, and I intend to embrace the window of good days between now and December 20th when I start radiation.
I'm feeling super clear about wanting to rehabilitate my body to the point of hiring a personal trainer eventually next year so that I can achieve my goal of a wilderness trek in 2023. One thing that should help toward my goal is that a side effect of tamoxifen for me seems to be zero craving for chocolate and/or sugar. I have never experienced this a day in my life until now. I can see the pounds melting off. Literally from start of taking the medication, I have only craved apples. Applesauce, apple juice, apples in any form.
Surely that old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" must mean something. (or not)
I made it through biopsies and surgery and 24 inches of scars, but for some reason knowing I need to submit myself to 33 radiation treatments is what makes me most emotional. I will get through it just as I have everything else and will fully recover, but for now in this window of time before then I will let my emotions flow like the water I will be ferrying over each day for treatment.
As my treatment and work disruptions drag on totaling eight months, I am increasingly aware it has taken a village to keep me afloat. For anyone who donated to my siblings' GoFundMe campaign on my behalf, thank you once again. I wish you moments of joy this holiday season and as we lean into our collective uncertain future. In fact, one thing that does feel certain we can create for ourselves is a moment of joy.
Knitting has been such an oasis through all crises in my life that I am considering enrolling in the years-long Master Hand Knitting program with The Knitting Guild Association. I've taught myself many techniques, but I can always improve and love the concept of apprenticeship in any craft. I would enjoy research and writing on the history of knitting, and gaining confidence to teach others.
Here are images from my reunion with the woods today and of the knitting of Scottish wool, mostly done while binge-watching and finally giving in to the Outlander phenom (never a first person to catch onto a trend), along with watching the entire series Men in Kilts. Ten percent of my DNA is Scottish (settlers in early Virginia), so apparently it's enough to make me appreciate instead of detest the sound of bagpipes and be fascinated by how anyone can play that instrument. I've watched hours of videos/vlogs from knitters of the Scottish Isles, so perhaps I'll create myself a wee research project on the topic. I dreamed of visiting Ireland and Scotland in my lifetime, and as an English & Music major in college missed an opportunity to do a study of Celtic harp in Ireland due to my asthma causing the student health center not to approve my travel after group orientation. I did get to watch the returning students' slideshow.
None of us know how long travel restrictions may be in our pandemic future, so if I cannot visit Scotland in my lifetime, I can be grateful for the internet and movies that allow me to travel through space and time. And the Scottish sheep wool that can arrive to me in the mail.
Staying close to the wealth of nature and making with my hands bring me greatest joy and comfort. You can find me on Instagram as @waterwomanknits, and on Ravelry as Waterwoman-Knits.