Sunday, August 18, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday

As most of my blog readers know, my brother has been very sick for a while. (I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago about his treatments - you can read about it here.)
He now has cancer in his lungs, liver, spine/bones, and brain. 
Barb, my brother, and me
After a grueling day on Tuesday of meeting with Doctors, having radiation and procedures, he decided to stop treatments. This was an impossible decision to make, but his suffering was unbearable and his prognosis was poor, even with having chemotherapy and radiation, and he didn't want to spend more time traveling back and forth to hospitals. 
We moved him into a lovely hospice on Thursday where they are much better at managing his pain levels and taking care of him.  He is resting more and breathing easier. His left side is becoming paralyzed and he is losing his vision.
And I am quilting like a maniac. 
I don't have any "busy work" to do now. No meals to make or dishes to do for him, no groceries to buy, no medications to monitor, no appointments to go to, no oxygen tanks to maintain, no bedding to change, and nothing to coordinate. It's a lot of sitting and waiting for those moments when he is awake and lucid, and can have conversation. This is the quilt I am working on while I wait for those moments.
My brother is only 47 and yet has experienced so much suffering in his life. And his boys are just teenagers and love him so much. It really is heart breaking.

What else can I do, but quilt?
Trying to stitch together my broken heart and keep my sanity from unravelling, so that I can help the rest of the family to deal with this tragedy. I don't really even know what the quilting pattern is going to be on this project. Apparently I am stitching arrows in pink thread at the moment...we'll see what happens as the week progresses.
I would love for you to share what you are hand stitching this week. Link up your blog post below. Two posters will be randomly drawn to win one of little "Snowman Gathering" collections of 2.5" charm squares...just for a little extra fun. What are you hand stitching?


52 comments:

Sue Bennett said...

I am hand quilting a Starry Nights log cabin quilt..

I also lost my brother at the age of 46 to cancer. I know your pain.

suebennett1975@gmail.com

Rebecca Stevens said...

My heart goes out to you. You have been, and still are, a wonderful sister. Hospice is such a wonderful group. There comes a time when you need to allow them to provide that type of care. I think, from experience, your brother will be more at peace and more comfortable, he deserves that after all he has been through. But it is always hard on those of us left behind. Prayers are with you.

Darlene D said...

What a difficult time of you and your family! Cancer sucks!!! Your brother is a lucky man to have a sister that cares for him so well!

Deb said...

Oh Kathy this is awful, truly as you say an impossible situation. I'm so sorry. Ive been knitting not sewing, trying to finish a vest before winter is over!!

Deb A said...

I'm so sorry Kathy and will continue to send some prayers up that your brother is resting comfortably. You have a beautiful quilt you are working on and the quilting looks great. Hugs.

Carol said...

I'm so sorry about your brother. It sounds like you're just what he has needed with all you've done to help him. Your quilt is beautiful and I wish I had something to link up, but no hand sewing going on here. I'll be thinking of you.

Angie said...

I will be sending prayers and good thoughts for strength, courage and peace for you and your family this week. I hope your quilting continues to be a comfort to you!

Yvette said...

My thought and prayers are with you and your family. This is deja vu for me. I lost my brother 10 years ago the exact same way.

Your quilting is lovely and great therapy for your hands and mind.

Frog Quilter said...

I know your emotional turmoil. My heart aches for you. Just know you are in my thoughts today and tomorrow. Keep stitching for therapy. This quilt will have special memories in the future. H
UGs

scraphappy said...

I am sending prayers and hugs your way. Having just been through the hospice experience with my mom, I know what a relief it can be to stop all the treatments and accept what comes next. I hope your time together is a comfort to you both.

The Cozy Quilter said...

I am praying for peace and comfort for your brother and the rest of the family. I am glad you have some handwork to do as you sit with your brother. Take care.

karen said...

Cancer sucks, sorry you & your brother are going through this. It sounds like you're a very good sister and he's lucky to have you. I am hand stitching pieces for Jazz hands from Material Obsession Two.

Betty Lou said...

My heart and prayers go out to you and your family during this most difficult time. You have been such a blessing to your brother. Keeping you in my prayers.

Cathy said...

Oh Kathy, what an impossibly difficult decision to have to make! I pray that, now that the treatments have stopped, that there will be some peaceful times for you and your family left to spend with your brother and to enjoy the gift of his life. May God bless you all and give you peace.

Diane said...

we lost my brother-in-law to cancer 2 years ago, he was 52.
my prayers are with you and your family. I believe that whether your brother is lucid or not; he is aware of your love.
hugs,
Diane

julieQ said...

My heart and prayers are with you and your brother. I am so glad he is comfortable and breathing easier. I pray the same for you, as I know this is so difficult for you...you love him so much. Your quilt is beautiful...a quilt of loving stitches. Many hugs and much love, Kathy, to you!

Butterfly George said...

My heart goes out to you. I am sure your brother knows all you do and have done for him and loves you. This quilt will always be special. They are therapy for me too. I have an asian themed quilt in the big frame and am getting the binding on a scrap "Dancing nine patch" for my littlest grandson. Be at peace and know we in your quilting world are praying for you. Butterfly George

Darlene said...

I'm at a loss for words, Kathy. I'm simply going to send lots of healing thoughts, prayers and hugs for you and yours.

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

My heart aches for you because I was in the same position with my 58 year old husband. It's not easy but Hospice is a great help. Keep on quilting because when his time of pain is over, that quilt will hold many great memories/meanings for you.
Prayers and good wishes to you and your family.
One day/one minute at a time....

Debra said...

Kathy, I am so sorry for your brother, your entire family, and you. Prayers are on their way. I lost both of my parents (ages 68 & 72) to cancer. It is a terrible disease. Quilting truly is our catharsis and keeps us sane. Thoughts are with you.

sunny said...

How sad that we've all had to face similar circumstances. Mine was with my mom. So sorry you and your family have to face this. Hospice is a wonderful organization, and will do all they can to keep your brother comfortable. Your stitching will help you keep your sanity. I've just finished crocheting a pink scarf for breast cancer patients. Hugs and prayers to you.

Teresa Rawson said...

I am hand quilting on this music monster of mine...I've never linked up before...I will see if I am smart enough to figure it out...

I admire your brother's decision...I can't imagine how hard that must have been for him...and all of your family. I find hand work, especially hand quilting, so soothing during hard times. And the less structured, the better. I like to just do what comes to me at the time, which is why I love scrappy projects so much. It's nice to focus on the repetitive stitching motion while re-visiting (and loving) each little fabric patch...and "watching" my breath, in and out, in and out, to bring peace. Thank God for hand stitching. You and your brother are in my prayers.

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Mary said...

It's going to be hard for everyone who loves your Brother. I hope you and they can find peace in his decision for his care. My heart and prayers are with you. I know that prayer and quilting will help you through. {{{{Kathy}}}}

Teresa in Music City said...

Kathy, my heart is breaking for you and your family!!! It is so hard to understand why some people have to suffer so much in life! Just this week I lost a very good friend who fought a tremendous fight against cancer. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known, and I'm still crying. I will be keeping you all in my prayers.

No hand stitching going on this week, except one project that is for the Hexie blog hop next week so I can't link up and show it :( Darn - I love the Snowman Gatherings fabric line!

Janet O. said...

Oh, Kathy, what a heart-wrenching time for your family! I respect your brother's choice. And I understand your description of having no busy work to occupy yourself now that he is in Hospice care.
This is such an honest, real perspective of what you face. As always, I am keeping your family in my prayers.

Cathy said...

This brings back memories of several family members who have gone through hospice. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours during this most difficult of times.

When my mom was in hospice they put purple handmade quilts on her bed because that's was her fav color. She talked about those quilts quite a bit and how they bought her comfort. It was a rather strange sentiment since my mom was a very "rough" (to put it nicely) woman.

You are probably stitching memories of your brother into your quilt.

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

Kathy, it is always a tragedy when a young person gets so sick. Sounds familiar as my brother was in the same condition years ago. I too have a quilt I worked on while he was sick and believe it or not, I love to remember those days of stitching by his side. It's a good memory now, after much of the pain has eased a bit. Take care and enjoy the moments...they will become blessed memories years down the road.

Amy said...

Deborah's sentiment matched my own. I'm at a loss for words, but will continue to send lots of healing thoughts and hugs for you and yours.
The arrow quilting defines the lighter areas nicely. I'm thankful we have been given talents of quilting to help us through some of the difficult times in life.

Barb said...

I am so sadden by your post, it is so hard to watch a person especially family suffer so and even harder to say good-bye but in those precious moments between life and death there is a sweetness that fill the room and you know that someone is waiting on the other side for him. He will not be alone. It is those of us who are left behind that suffer the loss. Much love and prayers you way.

Susan P said...

I will pray for your brother, his sons and you and your family. Hugs to you all.

I am working on some Christmas pillows for my family. I could never take on hand-quilting a large quilt so smaller projects like pillows work well for me.

Aunt 'Reen said...

My heart just aches for you, your brother and your family! What an incredibly loving sister you are! Know that you have done all you can to be a devoted and loving sister. That is all one can ask to be. (As hard as it is to hear)

I'm sure your brother finds great comfort in knowing that you are there for him. I wish you and your family great love and comfort during this very difficult time!
Much love to you!

Kindred Quilts said...

Prayers for you, your brother, and his family, in these difficult times.

Judy D in WA said...

Sending prayers for strength for you and yours. Hugs.

libbyquilter said...

i am so sorry to read this news. i am sorry for your brother (who is two years younger than i am) and sorry for his children who must be struggling to make sense of all of this within their lives and i am sorry for you as you begin the process of saying goodbye to your brother. i wish that there was more that i could do than keep you in my thoughts and prayers but the power is not mine.
your quilting is now helping to keep you comforted as you make your way into and through the grieving process. it's part of what i love about stitching; that it allows us to move forward when we'd rather not and that it absorbs our thoughts without judgment of them. this will be a special quilt indeed.

take care of yourself with gentle love and compassion just as you have been for your brother.

hugs,
libbyQ

Teresa said...

My heart goes out to as do my prayers for you and your brother and family. I have been through this with my brother and I cherish the times we had, as I know you must be dong. May God bless you all with peace and grace during this time.

Deanna W said...

Dear friend
So sorry to hear this news. It is an impossible decision..but one I suppose he has come to and hope that the rest of his family will too.Although you hate to say good bye watching a loved one suffer is by far worse. Sending loving hugs and thoughts your way.

Sherrill said...

So sad for you, for you brother and his family. Know exactly what you're going thru as my DH just passed away 1 yr. ago from brain cancer at 66 yo. I had him at home the last 6 wks. with hospice and they were so great.

Judy Dietrich said...

Your days have been consumed with the care of your dear brother. It is painful to know what is coming, but I hope he will find peace and be able to rest comfortably. The pace will slow down now, and things can start to fall into place. It is a comfort to him to have you near and caring for him. Prayers and blessings to you and your family.

Kathy said...

I'm so sorry. Praying that your brother and all his loved ones will know God's peace in all this. The hospice people are truly wonderful, but it is an excruciatingly hard time.

audrey said...

I am so sorry for you, your brother and his family. Life is too short for some people. I'm running way behind today or I would've linked up too. Quilting is good for the heart and soul.:)

Béa said...

Not enough good in english to speak more, but my heart is with you Kathy <3

katie z. said...

Your family is in my prayers.

Denise :) said...

Kathy, I am so, so sorry. My heart just hurts for you. Your brother and his family are in my prayers. **hugs** :)

Marei said...

I'm so sorry....sorry for you that you'll soon be living a life without your loved brother; sorry for your brother that he has had to endure such pain; sorry for his kids that they'll lose their father at too young an age. My prayers are with you all.

Patti said...

Oh dear - I wrote my previous comment before I read this post. My prayers for all of you during this very hard time. Quilting does provide some solice, doesn't it.

swooze said...

I am sorry to hear this and understand what you are going through. We had hoped to write letters to the kids but got caught up in the process of dying rather than living the last weeks. I send you warm hugs and thoughts.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Cancer is heart breaking... I hope that your days together bring you comfort. And keep stitching too.

Bonnie said...

A hard decision but probably the best for your brother. Hugs to you and prayers for the whole family. It's never easy. There are so many people posting words of comfort and strength for you and yours here. I hope you find some comfort from reading them.

Ellen said...

Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of this sad news. Your brother has made a difficult decision but I am sure that once made, he is much happier and will now find peace.

Barb said...

Oh, I'm so sad for your brother and the whole family.
It is just a difficult and personal decision.
May he feel peace.
sending a hug ( )

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Kathy, you and your family have been thru so much this year. I'm sorry for your brother, but glad that he has had you to help him during this time. I'm sorry his kids won't have him around during some milestone moments in their lives, but, hopefully he has made some strong memories with them to help them thru all of those milestones and during this time, too. Cherish this last memories you will have with him. God gave you the gift of quilting for a reason. At this moment, the reason is to comfort you. Later, it will be to help heal you of your hurt. Know that others are praying for all of you.

brenda said...

Hi Kathy,
I am so sorry to hear about your brother.I lost my dad at 43, it is so young. I will think of you and your family and hope that your brother is well taken care of and is in as little pain as possible.