Diary of a Mad Dollmaker

Mimi's Weblog – Let's Talk About Dollmaking

Mimi’s Cancer Update and Plans

I Apologize for the long interruption of Mimi’s Adventures – due to health reasons.

I can’t fully express how much I appreciate the prayers and other forms of positive energy sent into the Universe on my behalf. I know your help has contributed to my healing.

My stage 4 colorectal cancer showed up in 11 months and it’s pretty much gone away in the next 11 months.

The Good News is that my last PET Scan showed the lesions in the liver and the original mass are both almost undetectable. I will have a colonoscopy in the fall to know for sure it is all gone. I have been off chemo for about a month, and I will stay off indefinitely. (Never really cured, only in remission.)

I will continue to have blood-work and have my port flushed on a monthly basis, and do another PET Scan in 3 months.

All my side effects are gone except for 2. This is the wonderful good news for me and my family.

The Not Quite So Bad News is that my year-old chemo brain should clear up in a few months. My family is very happy about that as it is driving them crazy.

The Bad News is that the Neurologist tells me that the Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CINP) is permanent. I refuse to settle for that and hope for improvement over time – physical and occupational therapy and massage of hands and feet. I need to get over this now so I can drive again and get back to my first love, teaching.

The Neurologist is primarily concerned with alleviating the pain rather than improving on the function. Eventually, he wrote me a script for the same type of therapy that is used for Diabetes caused Peripheral Neuropathy. The therapist says I will be driving again in a year. (Actually, two therapists, one for hands and arms, and one for legs and feet.) They’ve put me on an exercise program that’s designed to open up new channels for nerve growth – the places that have died have to be bypassed, they won’t come back.

There is no pill, and I would be afraid of it if there was a pill – there’s a problem with side-effects on every damn drug.

Because of the serious neuropathy, handwriting and typing is painful and almost unreadable. The chemo-brain causes me to forget words, have a very short attention span, and very poor short-term memory.

I had to stop working on the DVD on Doll Hair for Dollmaker’s Journey because I simply cannot think clearly or use my hands effectively. I hope to continue this project later this year. Mary Ann at Dollmaker’s Journey has promised to do one if I did not. I hope she does this as there is a need for a good hair book. If I am able to complete it, it will be different anyway. Always room for one more.

Jim is going to concentrate on getting Earth Angels and Mannequins finished. Mannequins will be re-oriented to comparative anatomy in doll patterns with a very short section on costume fitting and only 3 discs.

Jim is working on getting me to storyboard and then voice over instead of talking when I’m on camera. (I write out the script steps and voice over, then we shoot the video clip and record the sound separately.) Jim assembles the clips and voice over tracks. This avoids the problem of having to work and talk at the same time on the camera. I’m hoping to do about three small projects (simple dolls) this year including one with my great grandkid.

Anyway, we need some help.

Jim can’t keep up with the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker. I tend to wander and tell stories (which is part of the idea) and he cleans the diary up so that it doesn’t have the interruptions.

The problem is that Jim is the only driver in the house (since I can’t anymore due to the CIPN) and Cassie and I have doctor or other appointments almost every day. His day gets chopped up to the point where he can’t do his own work.

It would work something like this: 1) Call me up once or week for about an hour and 2) interview me on a subject. Then 3) write up and post the blog article. (Jim would probably edit the first one or two.) If you’re interested, email me at Mimi@Mimidolls.Com.

Also, we are looking for anybody who has a set of issues of Let’s Talk About Dollmaking (a letter from Mimi). We’d like to reprint them in the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker, but we’ve misplaced our copies when we moved. Again, email me at Mimi@Mimidolls.Com.

One other piece of good news. My youngest daughter arrived from New York City for several days to help celebrate both the remission of the cancer and my 80th birthday. We plan to do it again on my 90th. Actually, she’ll be here in the fall with my granddaughter and newest great. Christopher John is now 16 months old.

Happy Dolling,

Love,

Mimi

 

Sunday, August 18, 2013 - Posted by | Cancer, Diary |

10 Comments »

  1. Congratulations to you! I hope you find someone to help you with the blog!

    Comment by Luanne | Sunday, August 18, 2013 | Reply

  2. Dearest Mimi,
    My prayers for you have been constant. I am happy to read these latest news on your heath,. Have not written because I know you do not have the time or energy to be tending the computer, but wait patiently to hear from your end. Keep up the good health work. Hugs, Velia

    Comment by velia | Sunday, August 18, 2013 | Reply

  3. Dear Mimi,

    What good news! I am happy to hear of your progress – great steps in the right direction. A positive attitude goes a long way – congratulations. You remain in the prayers and thoughts of many.

    Sincerely, Helen Y

    Comment by Helen Yahner | Sunday, August 18, 2013 | Reply

  4. Great update. God does truly answer prayers. Continued prayers for a complete and rapid recovery. Eleanor

    Comment by Eleanor | Sunday, August 18, 2013 | Reply

  5. am happy to hear that youve been blessed with remission..will pray that your health continues to improve and God continues to bless you. (tonya aka paintedthreads)

    Comment by tonya | Sunday, August 18, 2013 | Reply

  6. You are a very brave and determined lady. I know your art helps keep you focused on what’s important. Nice to get to know you. I am new to this site.

    Comment by Jeanine Gehringer | Monday, August 19, 2013 | Reply

  7. We wish you good health and our best wishes Sylvia landau Doll maker

    Sent from my iPad

    Comment by sylviaherb@nyc.rr.com | Monday, August 19, 2013 | Reply

  8. Hello, Mimi
    I have enjoyed your blog the times I have remembered to visit you here. So, it’s been a while since I’ve been here and I am now going to be praying for you, as I had no clue you had been going through cancer.
    I have a small skin cancer on my forehead and on my hand that will be removed under surgery this Friday. So, I am now one of those entering into the world or cancer. And even the smallest of skin cancers can be scary, as I know they can migrate to other organs of the body if untreated in the long run. But there is mostly success stories, like your own, which are so encouraging. I have had butterflies in my stomach since I found out about my skin cancer, yet I know I will do well. I am a tad bit over 60 years old, so my body isn’t falling apart yet, and still has healing capabilities. You seem to be pretty coherent here on your blog with what you have written. Hope your ‘chemo brain’ continues to improve, and also the physical discomforts you are having to deal with. I will be stopping by more often to see how you are progressing.
    Take care,
    XO
    and prayers for continued recovery
    Teresa

    http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Teresa Swanson | Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | Reply

  9. I am so glad to see you back. My daughter started chemo about the same time as you and was reluctant to share things with me to keep me from worrying (of course I can always invent my own details). She has completed two sessions of chemo and a mastectomy and will be starting radiation but has a positive attitude as you do. I am feeling a lot more hopeful about her recovery. Thank you for sharing your progress.

    Comment by Marilyn | Sunday, September 8, 2013 | Reply

    • We’ve been doing more than chemo. In addition to meditation, I have been following basic Bill Henderson protocols and some that Jim has added to cut down on nausea, chemo induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), and chemo fog. I’m also in physical therapy for the CIPN. I’ve also had the fantastic benefit of many prayers and good wishes. We will discuss some of this as soon as we can manage. We have to much to do.

      Comment by Mimi | Sunday, September 8, 2013 | Reply


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