Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pico and "You Make My Day" Award

I came down to check my mail this morning and had an email from Angie to check her blog. She had nominated me for this award. Thanks are so sweet and I have so enjoyed getting to know you.

There are 5 rules attached to this and they are:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogging community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

The 5 blogs that I choose are:

Rita Kegg My upline and a very talented lady

Char Wilson My partner in crime who I love so much and a great rubber stamper

Mary Leeson Such an inspiration and talented lady. I think Mary touches every heart she knows.

Sonja Gonzalez She was my Secret Sister at Christmas Time and does such great work. She deseerves to be credited.

Diana Maldanado One of the seetest ladies I know. If you have never talked personally and in person with Diana you have missed so much.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Update and Sharing

Time sure has gotten away from me. My last day of radiation is over and boy am I glad. I will say the catheter did hurt coming out. That has probably been the worst thing of this whole ordeal. Mind you it only hurt for a minute but I sure felt it. What is funny about the whole thing is I had made a candy jar and card for the dr. and the nurses that took care of my radiation every day. It was five in all. I have added the picture for you to see. I gave them the gifts at the morning session of radiation so I wouldn't have to have them in the car for a long period of time. My daughter was taking me to the second session and we were going to make some stops on the way. When I gave Dr. Mahalingam her bag she said "You aren't done yet. You know they say Don't tip the camel driver until you are down off the camel." I thought that was a funny way of putting things but she is a foreign dr. and I believe maybe from India. I told her I trusted her to finish up without hurting me. She said she hoped so. When I got back for the afternoon treatment she had opened her gift and told me how Hershey Kisses are her favorite and she hides them at home. After the radiation she was to take out the catheter. When she got done I told her I wanted the Hershey Kisses back....LOL Anyway...they all loved their candy jars and cards. It was my way of thanking them for taking good care of me and making my treatments bearable with talk and laughter.

Now to tell you a little bit about the procedure of taking out the catheter. There was a balloon on the end of the catheter which was filled with water and that is where the radiation went into and sent out into the area that needed radiation done. When the dr. extracted the fluid from the balloon there was approximately 67cc of fluid in there. If you can't fathom how much that was almost two syringes full. That is big water balloon to be in your boob. Once they got all the fluid out of the balloon she basically took hold of the tubing and pulled it out. Mind you I didn't have my kids vaginally but I am comparing this to that....extracting a big object through a small hole. YIKES!!! Don't wanna do that again!

Now for my special gift of a pillow made for breast cancer patients. Abby...who is the daughter of one of my very good friends and actually extended a girl scout and her troop did a project for breast cancer. They stuffed these pillows to give to patients. Let me tell you it sure helps to use them to sleep with. Prop that puppy on the pillow and it feels like heaven. In the bottom left hand corner it is stamped with "Scoutig for the cure". I love the pillow and have slept with it since she gave it to me. I had find a small pillow I used before she gave me this but this is so soft and just right. I'm sure all the other recipients of these pillows will feel the same.
I want to thank everyone for the cards I have received since I posted the picture of the ones I had already gotten. I love them all. The gifts and cards have meant so much to me. I am so bad about forgetting to send cards of thought. This sure has made me open my eyes and let me know I need to do this. It makes a person feel really good.
Have a great Saturday. My friends are still here from SC and I think we will be playing some cards tonight.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No TECH this week!

I have been so busy with radiation this week. Twice a day and it is a 40 minute drive one way is killing me. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day. I have two treatments (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and then they will take the catheter out and I am done with that part. My daughter is going to take me for my afternoon appointment. We will go early and shop a bit first.
I was also busy tonight making a little goodie for the nurses for tomorrow. I will share the pictures soon.
I had some dear friends come in from South Carolina today. They are actually cousins of one of my dearest and best friend, Ginger. I am the extended family in the group. They wanted to come and see how I was doing. Aren't they so sweet? Abby is who the daughter of one of the cousins brought me a pillow that was made for breast care patients. Her scout troop made them for a project. I will also take a picture of that. I love it as I have been sleeping with a pillow under my breast because it feels so much better.
On a sad note my aunt died today also. She was the last on my mothers side so it is really sad for us.
As you can see it has been busy and hectic. I will return with pictures of my stuff later.
Sorry for not posting a TECH though. I really like doing that.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hope You Had a Wonderful Weekend

I also hope you had a wonderful Easter today. We had a nice Easter and I got to see all four of my grandkids. I haven't seen them much since my surgery and we had a good time. I sure miss having those guys everyday. I will say the house has been quiet and that is nice but there is nothing like your grandkids being around.

I am sharing a card we did in the last class I taught. We did some color combos and this is one of the mild ones. I love the two colors of Teal with Pink. There is a great source for color combos on the net. Click here and go to their color library. It is fun and very challenging. This is one of my favorite stamp sets we have right now. I love flowers and this one is so darn cute. It is called T-2802 Spring Flowers. The cost is only $15.95 for a set of 13 stamps. I think that is a great average of $1.23 per stamp. If you would like to order this stamp set you can visit on TAC website to order or email me to place an order.
I know I have been going through a lot of stuff the last few weeks but I am trying to do some stamping despite all of that. TAC has put out a Design Call from their Demonstrators for the new Catalog that will be coming out in June. It has been a few years since I have been featured in the catalog and I thought I would try to work on some ideas to send in. We will see what happens. There are so many talented demonstrators out there and the competition is hard. It will be a fun challenge.
I hope everyone has a good week and I hope I am back soon to publish some more. I have radiation twice tomorrow and actually the next four days but I do hope to stamp and have life as normal as can be.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Many Many THANKS

In all of the events that have happenend in my life over the last 6 weeks or so I have a lot to be thankful for and want to give my thanks. First off I am thankful that my cancer has been caught early and everything in the course of treatment is going well. I also want to thank my downline with TAC. I have had phone calls and cards and I also got this great gift. The can and the round cards are inspirations to read. It is so darn cute. I love it. the 6 pink ribbons are actually edible cookies or candy. I haven't wanted to open them yet. I love them and just keep looking at them. Aren't they the cutest thing? What a wonderful gift and I thank them so much.

Also here is a picture of the many cards I have gotten from family, friends and other Angels. I have loved each and every one of them. I do thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. It has meant so much to me.

As for me and today, I started my radiation. I had an xray this morning and then my first dose of radiation. The actual radiation treatment only took about 10-15 minutes. My DH and I went out for breakfast afterwards and off to Hobby Lobby for a bit. I had enough time to come home and get a nap and then we headed back to the hospital for my second dose of the day of radiation. It wasn't so bad. I have four more days of going twice a day and then I will be done with that part of the journey. The good thing is I have the weekend off and will be going to my daughter's for Easter dinner. I can't wait to play with my grandkids even if I can't lift them yet.

Everyone have a great weekend. Again thanks for being such loyal and good friends.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday's TECH plus more

Today is Thursday and I finally got it together to do a technique. This is called Strip Quilting with Paper. A fun way to use those small strips of patterned paper. Here are the directions:

Strip Quilting with Paper
White cardstock for quilting background
3-4 colors of printed papers cut in strips (I usually use ½” strips)
Colored cardstock to use for a Mat
Scissors and glue stick

I find it best to hold the different colors of printed papers together and cut them at different lengths at an angle. Using the glue stick; put glue on a portion of your white cardstock. Lay you printed strips onto the cardstock matching the ends and sides until to cover the whole piece of cardstock. You can put stitch marks on the strips with a black pen to resemble quilting marks or leave plain. Embellish as desired.

As for my cancer, I am ready to start radiation tomorrow. Today I had to go and have a CT Scan to make sure the Mammosite catheter was in place and ready to go. Yesterday I went back to my surgeon and she replaced the temporary catheter with the Mammosite. She gave me a local so it really didn't hurt. She also removed my drain tube. That felt good now that I don't have that tube with a ball on the end of it hanging down. She did let me know that they are retesting the spot that was orginally biopsied. It is called an Oncotype DX test. What it does is test the tissue to see what the percentage of chance you have for your cancer to re-occur in the next 10 years. This helps the Medial Oncologist decide on using Chemo or not. You have to meet criteria for this test to be done and paid for by insurance. It is very expensive. The criteria you have to meet is: Clean lymph nodes, invasive cancer and HR sensitive. What that means is cancer that has gotten into the tissue of the breast but not into the lymph nodes and you are hormone sensitive which is also done by a test. SO...radiation starts tomorrow for 5 days, appointment with the medical oncologist April 4th and then we will see what the next step brings. So far so good to me. I am here and stamping...what else can I ask for?
Have a great night!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Surgery is OVER

I had my surgery yesterday and all is going well. I was sore and in some pain yesterday. I arrived at the hospital at 7:00 am and was home at 4:15 pm. Here is some of the events that happened. I was called back to get prepped for the day. I was then taken to nuclear medicine to have contrast dye injected for the Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy. I had to put numbing cream on my breast and wrap it in saran wrap before I left home. I also put some glitter shamrock stickers and stamped the words "Happy St. Patrick's Day" on cardstock and mounted it on the Saran Wrap. How they did this was do four shots around the outside of the nipple area at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 spot (like a clock). It wasn't as bad as it sounds. I even watched him to make sure he was doing his job. I had a male radiologist do the shots of contrast dye. He liked the shamrocks and we joked about it. Here is a picture: Yeah I know I have a picture of my breast but you can't really see anything. Anyway I was taken back to my room only to be retrieved again to go down for a needle prep so the surgeon would be able to locate the cancer spot easier. This was a little harder to do. They did a set of mammograms to make sure the spot had not moved. They somehow measure the spot. After that is done they put a different plate on the mammo machine that has a hole in it with a measurement guide. They compress the breast again and then line the spot up with a light. The same radiologist came in to do the shot for this. When he came in the tech started to introduce us and he said he already knew me and asked me if I had my shamrocks. I told him no that he kept them. I also told him that he came back because he liked to poke by boobs..LOL He laughed. What he did then was stick a needle into the area they had marked and kept it there for the dr. to have a guide. They attached a styrofoam cup over it and taped it down so the needle wouldn't move. the tech told me I just doubled my cup size...LOL Anyway after the needle was injected and before the cup they took another mammogram to make sure the needle was in the cancer spot. Thank goodness it was so we didn't have to do that again. The radiologist checked the mammogram to make sure and he drew a shamrock on my mammogram to make it look like it did when he first saw me. The tech told him to stick with radiology because he couldn't draw.
I was back to my room and waited to go to surgery. My surgeon came in to see me and make sure I was okay and told me she would go get her jammies on and would see me before they knocked me out which she did. After that I don't remember much until I woke up in recovery. I wasn't in a lot of pain but it was sore. My family told me they had to take 3 lymph nodes to biopsy. I told them that wasn't what I wanted to hear but it turned out okay. I found out today they were clean. Once I ate some crackers so they could give me a pain pill and they showed my DH how to clean the drainage tube they put in we were set to come home.
Once I got home and all settled on the couch I napped. My DH has been an angel. He has been by my side making sure I have what I need and want. He had cleaned the drainage tube and even changed the dressing. By the way the dr. told us to get some Kotex and use for bandages as they are so absorbent. So now I not only have had saran wrap and stickers on my boob I an now wearing Kotex on them. Who would have thought? I joked with DH and told him he never thought he would have to change by Kotex. Not a thought he wanted to envision...LOL I can be so evil...LOL
I go tomorrow and have the permanent balloon put in for the radiation. I have a CT scan on Thursday to make sure the balloon is in place and then start radiation Friday. I would appreciate to keep the prayers coming that all goes well with the radiation.
If you have stayed through this whole post...thanks!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tomorrow is the DAY

Tomorrow is surgery day. Am I scared? Not at having the surgery. I feel my surgeon is very good and I just love her. I trust her very much. I am scared of the "what ifs" that are still hanging. My biggest fear is if the cancer has went to the lymph nodes. That is what the biopsy is for that will be done before the surgery. Please say a prayer they are okay. I will be very glad to get this over with.
Now on a happier note.....I have a very clean house! My DH and I did that today. I do keep a clean house but you know how you feel you have to go the extra mile when you know you are going to be laying on the couch looking at it. I told him if it wasn't done today...he would have to do it while I watched because I would find things that would drive me crazy...LOL
I have been doing some stamping and even had a FunShop yesterday. It was a little over $250 and a booking for next month. (Hope I feel okay to do it) I plan on stamping a few things tonight before I go to bed. Maybe I will get back on here and share.
I will be back blogging very soon. By that I mean Tuesday or Wednesday so check back.
Keep the prayers coming...they sure are helping!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"My Journey" Update

It has been a long two days. I had testing all afternoon yesterday and had to go back this morning. I have had an EKG, blood work, chest xray, Breast MRI and a meeting with the radiation oncologist. My butt was kicked this afternoon and I had to get in a two hour nap. I feel much better now. Let me just say one thing....if you ever get this unfortunate disease...plan on showing your boobs a lot. I haven't taken my shirt and bra off so much in two days ever in my life. The Breast MRI was a little different. For that I had to undress and put on hospital gown and pants. They put in an IV to run a contrasting dye that would show up in the tissue of the breasts. I had to lay on my stomach with my boobs hanging down into two holes on the table. Now isn't that a visual? Why I am telling maybe it will help someone out that may have to endure this. The MRI was easy.....shoved into a machine with my boobs hanging below a table and me with headphones on. Geesh!!! The good news about that is my dr. called me at home tonight...about 8:30 and said she was so happy that my MRI didn't show any other spots of cancer but the one that was found on the original mammogram. I was really happy about that. Means we are really doing well so far. We still have to biopsy the lymph nodes during surgery to make sure they didn't go there but far it has been good news and I am a happy camper. Tomorrow is one more dr. visit to my PCP for the pre op physical which is mainly paperwork and then I am good to go on Monday.
Just let me tell you what I have to do Monday morning. They are going to do a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy before the surgery. I have to use a numbing cream at home before I go and wrap my boob in Saran Wrap, put my bra on and go to the hospital. Please God don't let there be a car wreck. I could see explaining that. Maybe I should stamp some flowers on the Saran Wrap to make it pretty or better will be St. Patty's about shamrocks?
Some of you may think I am blowing this off. I'm not. I have always tried to make the best of any situation and this is no different. If I can't have my fun with it I would be sitting here crying.
I hope all of you reading this has had a good day. I did after my running and nap. Now it is time to get ready for bed. GOODNIGHT!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thursday's TECH

Once again I am bringing you a fun and easy technique. This is called Baby Wipes Stamping. It is so easy to do. You actually use reinkers so you can get any color combination you like. I used an orange, green and purple.
Here are the directions:

Baby Wipes Stamping

Clean moist baby wipe
2-3 re-inker colors
bold stamp of your choice
Cardstock your choice of color
Paper plate
Fold baby wipe to make a stamp pad. Place in paper plate. Squirt 2 to 3 re-inker colors randomly on the baby wipe. Use like a stamp pad and ink the bold stamp. Stamp onto cardstock. The more ink you use the more vibrant the image.

I will be on tomorrow to update my journey this week with my Breast Cancer. It has been a busy week and I really want to share. Hopefully this may help someone that may have to walk this same path.

Monday, March 10, 2008

For now MY BLOG will not only be about Stamping

That's right! My eyes have been opened up and looking at life a little differently lately. I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and have already started the process of conquering it. First of all here is the journal I made this weekend to keep track of my appointments and feelings of dealing with Breast Cancer. I am very lucky because my cancer was found early. Thank God for yearly mammograms. There was no lump to feel by me or the dr. but the mammogram found it. I knew it had to be early as I had my last mammogram a year ago almost to the date. I will insert some of the email posts instead of writing everything out again. SO...I will also post some of my journey with Breast Cancer as I also keep up my passion for stamping. The front of my journal says it all. Abundance is...being positive. That is half of the journey to a successful recovery from anything whether it be medical , physical or emotional.

This is my adventure through the two mammograms and biopsy.
I had my yearly mammogram on January 17th which they sawsomething suspicious. I had a diagnostic mammogram on Feb. 6th. I thengot a certified letter from the hospital saying I needed a biopsy. Thatwas done on March 4th. On March 6th my dr. called and said it wasinvasive cancer. On March 7th the breast surgeon called me and had mecome to her office today to meet her for a consultation. I will behaving surgery on Monday March 17th.

Here is what the dr. had to say today when I met her. She was absolutely wonderful.
I am home from the appointment and I feel a lot better. First of allDr. Hernandez is so nice. I wish all doctors could be like her. Sheexplained everything to us in very good detail. It seems I haveinvasive cancer which means it is outside the ducts of the breast andinto the tissue. It is called Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). It iscategorized as a T1 which means the cancer is 2 cm in diameter orsmaller. It is also qualified as Stage I cancer unless they find it inthe lymph nodes during surgery and then it will go to a Stage IIA. Iwill be having a lumpectomy to remove the cancer and some surroundinggood tissue. This is to make sure they get all the cancer in the area.They will also do a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy to see if cancer hasspread to the lymph nodes. They will check while I am in surgery and ifthe nodes look suspicious they will remove the ones that do. I willhave radiation afterwards. If everything works okay while in surgery Iwill have a balloon put in the breast area where the cancer was to doradiation straight to the cancer site. I will have to have 2 radiationtreatments a day for 5 days instead of once a day for 5 weeks. Noteveryone is a candidate for this but she thinks I will be a good one forit. The main thing to be able to have this is to have large breastswith the cancer centrally located. That is where I seem to be. I willhave the surgery on March 17th. I have to go and have an MRI Wednesdayas well as blood tests and an EKG. I will also see my primary care dr.on Friday to make sure all is okay there. The MRI is to make sure thereisn't any other spots that didn't show on the mammogram. She gave me abig hug at the end of the visit and told me not to worry because she wasgonna fix me up. She also gave Floyd a hug and told him not to worryabout me because she was going to take care of me.
Floyd is my DH and is in the picture here on my blog. He is a great guy and is standing beside me through all of this.

Please check back as I will still be posting my stamping stuff along with updates of the journey of Breast Cancer.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snowy Ohio

We got a late snow storm. I always hate when it snows in March. I am so ready for Spring by then. We had blizzard warnings out because of the winds we had. We got about a foot of snow and it is so cold right now. We even had Thunder Snow last night with thunder and lightning. How strange for all of that. I thought I would share a few pictures of our beautiful snow. It is beautiful because I don't have to get out in it today....LOL

This picture if the front part of our house. My solar lights blew off their poles and are buried in the snow. They can stay there...not worth looking for at this point.

The picture below is our backyard. The little round thing is our fire pit. I told Floyd (my DH) we should go out and have a fire today. He said we could if I wanted...I told him I was kidding. LOL

The next picture is looking down our street. It does look pretty but I'm still not convinced I need to go outside.

I am going to stay in and play today so I may be back with some card creations. Have a great day and stay warm!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thursday TECH's

I have been going through my Rolodex looking for old techniques to share. Sometimes we forget about those and want to keep learning the new. That is okay but those old ones can be fun. The technique I did this week is using dry wall tape. I love to walk through Home Depot and see what I can use. This makes a great background and you can actually use the colored dry wall tape on another card. I sure made a bright card thinking of something that would be cute for boys. I hope you get a chance to try it!
Here are the directions:
Hardware: Dry Wall Tape Backgrounds


Cardstock: color of your choice. I like lighter colors
Ink colors of your choice. Be sure they compliment each other
Stamps of your choice
Dry Wall Tape
Scrap paper for masking (optional)

Cut dry wall tape to the size needed for your project. Lay dry wall tape onto cardstock. Using one of the ink colors (lighter color), ink up the sponge and sponge over dry wall tape. You may want to mask the area around the tape to get cleaner edges. Peel off dry wall tape when done inking. Stamp images over the dry wall taped image

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What an awesome Weekend

The South West Ohio Angel Gathering was so much fun. There were only 18 of us but we sure had a good time. Everyone said they enjoyed it and loved the projects. It was my first Angel Only event and I do believe I may have to do it again. Here is one of the projects that we did. It is a tri fold card. I just love the Sweet Skunks Set. They are so darn cute.

I have also loaded the images of the card being opened. I love doing these cards and they fit in the 4" x 8" envelope that TAC carries.

This was also one of the first events for a lot of my downline. We had to have our picture taken since this is the most I have had together at one time.

The names are front row: Kathy McCurry, Rita Holmes, Yvonne Brown. Back row: Cindy Hahn, Tammy Hollander, Heather Cady, Debbie Fehrenbach and Sylvia Ruthven.

Aren't we just a cute bunch of angels? LOL We do have a good time when we are together. If you would like to be a member of my team please email me and I will give you all the information.