Unfortunately, even though cancer has been ruled out doesn't mean that I automatically feel better. What a lovely wish that would be. In fact, I feel just as crappy today as I did last week. What I do feel is a huge sense of relief and a huge weight off my shoulders.
My current diagnosis is Autoimmune Pancreatitis (AIP). A benign disease that can be treated. I say current diagnosis because the genetic tests needed to make a definitive diagnosis are extremely cost prohibitive and require a fight with the insurance company to get approved. So while we go through the process and try to cut through the red tape with the insurance company the doctors have decided that AIP is the most likely diagnosis. The treatment for the disease consists of a treatment regiment of high doses of steroids for 12 weeks followed by a course of immunosuppressive drugs. Sounds easy enough... except that I have an intolerance to steroids and experience abnormal joint pain.
I do not have cancer!! So, if 3 months of joint pain and assorted other crazy side effects is the path I have to travel then so be it! I have my family, my loved ones and my friends to stand by my side and help me down the path to health. They are the most integral part of my life!
I also have other things in my life.
I have meditation.
I have the beautiful outdoors and fresh air.
I have my dog
I have my sewing studio.
Yes, my sewing studio is a key part of my mental and physical health.
I can think of no better way to help myself get through trying times then to have some projects to work on. They will need to be 'easier' projects and projects that utilize my master patterns because success will be key to keeping my spirits up.
When I am in my sewing studio I feel like I have the ability to get into the zone. My creative energies flow and time seems to move smoothly by. Being in this zone has been quite helpful already in getting me through this illness. Even just pulling fabrics from my collection and sketching designs to create with them is a great way for me distract my mind from my body.
The process is the key. Having developed a process in my designing and sewing has already taken my skills through the roof and now I am using those same processes to keep myself moving forward in a an entirely different way.
- Sketching designs
- choosing fashion fabric
- flat pattern work
- making a muslin
- finalizing all fabric choices
- preparing fabric for construction
- garment construction
- Final hand finishing
On days that I am really feeling physically weak I retreat to my comfy chair with design and sewing books, my iPad and online classes, sewing and design blogs and of course, online fabric shopping! Plus there is always online fabric shopping to make me feel better ;-)
Does sewing mean more to your life than just producing a garment?