Tag Archives: DIY

Arts and Crafts Tuesday! (Jan. 8, 2013)

14 Jan

Wow, I have been slacking. Shamefully so! So here’s a re-cap of the past week. Tuesday, January 8 (Elvis’ birthday btw, thanks years of working at Chuy’s for that useless trivia forever stored in my brain) I dedicated to organizing and simplifying the new day-to-day responsibilities of a family fighting cancer. So seeing as cancer is a complete drag, I figured this was an opportunity to take pleasure in the little things and in this case it was a trip to Hobby Lobby and an afternoon of crafting.

The most important things on the agenda were improving the system for documenting Abha’s meds and treatment related notes and creating a way to track her daily liquid intake. So after a few clicks around my favorite website, Pinterest, I found an idea for a medicine chart that inspired me into creating a “care binder” and a to-do list I modified to be a liquid-intake… tracker? That’s a working title.

crafts    craft2

Hobby Lobby was fraught with bright colors, glitter and shine, arts and crafts, semi-useless gadgets and lots of tacky decor… Heaven? Close enough.


Lee made a guest appearance and joined me on my crafty splurge and as per usual, we enjoyed our surroundings thoroughly.


So after that eventful shopping trip, I went home to spend the afternoon drawing, cutting, gluing, laminating, hole-punching, etc. The first project was a cutesy water pitcher magnet with individual water glass magnets that Velcro to the pitcher as well as stick to the fridge. I used a foam board and drew a water pitcher that I cut out and outlined with a Sharpie. I stuck a few craft magnets on the back and eight Velcro-stratchy pieces (of the two kinds) on the front of the pitcher. Then, I cut out eight identical water-glasses on blue card stock and also outlined those with a Sharpie and wrote “8 oz.” on the front. I laminated these and stuck the other side of the Velcro piece on the back of each glass, along with a small craft magnet. Ta – Da! What a cute and easy way for everyone to keep track of Abha’s daily liquid intake.


The docs recommend she drink 64 oz. of “acceptable” liquids (no caffeine – sodas, tea, coffee, etc.) every day. It’s hard enough for me to keep track of what I’ve been drinking all day, let alone what someone else has been drinking. That being said, I didn’t want to leave it to Abha, who sometimes exists in a dopey stupor for periods of the day. Speaking of, we had a good laugh while constructing this when Abha put the foam board through the laminator and it melted and ate the handle. Luckily, we managed to recover it fairly unscathed.


The next project was started as a way to organize Abha’s meds in-take, as she has a handful of pills and mouthwashes to take multiple times throughout the day as part of her radiation and chemotherapy treatment. I used a large piece of card stock to create a chart with the times, medicine, dosage and notes for Abha’s daily medications. An hour every line starting at 8AM going all the way down to 7AM as the last line.

medchart        medchart2

I used paint pens and stickers to write with, and a sharpie and ruler to draw lines. After I let it dry out, I put it through the scanner, saved it on the desktop and printed a month’s supply of black and white copies. I hole-punched these and threw them in a binder I labeled, “Abha’s Medicine Binder.”


I laminated the original copy, put some craft magnets on the back, and stuck a piece of Velcro at the top with a fine-tipped dry-erase marker attached to the other side. With a space cleared on the fridge, I stuck the crafts up there and called it a day.


1/15/2013 UPDATE** – The system works well! Everyone is able to write down any appointments/notes about how Abha feels (ex. nausea, dizziness, pain, etc.) on the fridge as they happen, stay on top of the medications she needs to take every day at certain times and easily keep track of the pain medication schedule. At the beginning of the next day, I transcribe the fridge notes onto a copy in the binder and keep them in chronological order. It’s been much easier to keep track of for sure!

The Beginning

3 Jan

Howdy friends! We’re three days into January and seemingly life goes on. Worst apocalypse ever, right?


Anyway, it’s 2013 and time for a fresh beginning. However, 2012 managed to bring much of its baggage into the new year. Seeing as this is my first post, let me catch you all up.

Long story short. My name is Keely. I’m Austin grown and still reside here in a house on a lane with my faithful canine companion, Loki, and two felines, Bali and Kitten. I attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in public relations a little more than a year ago. As with most college kids, I worked in the service industry through school serving tables and bartending. Recently graduated and feeling just as lost as confused as ever, I tried to start the next chapter in my life. In this case, it was job surfing on Linked in, Access UT and Craigslist while simultaneously helping out with some of the public relations efforts at the lounge where I bartended most nights of the week. Pretty standard story, the young adult trying to establish her place in the world and start existing as a real-life grown up.

Well life, as it tends to do, slapped me in the face out of nowhere this past month. My mom went in to see a specialist for lower back pain (the same doctor I saw nearly four years ago for my injury) and her scans revealed a mass that Dr. Yaniv suspected may be lymphoma. Of course, this happened over the Thanksgiving holiday and things moved slowly. More scans were taken, the list of doctors grew, and within a couple of weeks we were at The Texas Oncology Center. A biopsy was scheduled at Seton and everything seemed surprisingly easy. They’d go in with a scope and take tissue and the pathology would hopefully reveal if this was lymphoma or not. If we were lucky that’s all it would take, but on the off chance the pathology came back inconclusive, they’d (excuse the graphicness) cut her open and dig deeper. The scope didn’t work. In fact, all of the tissue came back inconclusive with the freeze scans. They put everything back in its place, closed her up, and sent her into a week-long hellacious visit at the hospital filled with uncontrolled pain, annoying nurses, bad hospital food and long nights. On day six, the pathology finally came back and confirmed my mom had an indolent Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. CancerOff to the oncology center to formulate and execute a plan to stop this cancer in its tracks. Chemo was an absolute, but Abha (my mom) wanted to wait until after the Christmas holidays to start. So the end of 2012 was spent at appointments and scans and doctors visits to prepare for her fight against the disease. The new year came and went and on Wednesday, January 2nd, Abha started her chemotherapy treatment. It went well and she didn’t have a bad reaction to the drugs (thank god, because this asshole cancer hasn’t cut her much slack yet) and as of today, she is done with this round of chemo as well as her scans. Remember how I said she hasn’t gotten much slack yet? Well, although she started chemo, we found out yesterday that it may be further along than originally believed and require a more aggressive treatment. For now, we know it is stage four and she has a tumor near her spine that will require localized radiation to shrink. Tomorrow, she will start radiation and we will find out her prognosis. Sometimes, I feel like holding my breath until then.. but then I remind myself to exhale.

I quit my job temporarily to help take care of my mom and the house and pets while my dad (Mark) works full time during the week. Things feel incredibly chaotic and ever-changing but the next week or two should bring some normalcy back into our family’s lives. In an attempt to create some kind of structure amongst the chaos, Abha and I have decided to embark on a journey and start a project. Six months of Pinspiration. Every day, we will find something on Pinterest, whether it’s a recipe, a cleaning tip, craft instructions, decorating idea, shopping hint or the like, and we will do it. Together. or as a family when my dad isn’t working. I’ll blog about it here, and I’ll create a board on my personal Pinterest account dedicated to our recreation of our Pinspirations. The kick-off starts tomorrow. Links and Updates to follow!

Oh yeah. Fuck Cancer.



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