Okay, it's time for an explanation why my blog entries are taking forever. I have a really good excuse - it's a humdinger, in fact. In August, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In September I had surgery which got it all, and it had not spread to the nodes - great news. But it was a really aggressive tumour so they recommended chemotherapy first and then radiation as preventive, adjuvant measures and I have just had my second round of six chemo sessions and it is tiring me out. I am thinking radiation in the Spring will be a walk in the park compared to chemo.
I decided to go ahead and teach this past semester, as I had already committed to it, but I am not going to be teaching in January. I am thinking I want all my energy to get well - not from the cancer which is gone but from the chemo - that is some toxic stuff. So I have planned some creative projects for myself that I can work on when I feel well, which really, is most of the time.
Before people respond with sympathetic comments, let me tell you what I have learned about energy. I have learned that there really IS negative and positive energy and people can project it like quills on a porcupine. I have discovered that, however well-meant, expressions of sympathy are negative energy. Negative energy requires effort to resist and I am not willing to expend that valuable part of my own energy resisting it. I intend to be relentlessly cheerful and positive about this entire experience and I have been therefore avoiding anybody who can bring me down, even if they really do mean well.
I have been writing about the experience from the get-go and that has been tremendously therapeutic. I am now trying to come up with suggestions for how people can respond when they hear about something major like this. Don't say "I'm sorry". I know that's almost always the first reaction but don't say it. I have been thinking people could say something like "Wow, how are you coping with that?" I had one person respond with "God love ya!" which I felt was not negative. So my challenge to you, my dear readers, is to come up with other initial expressions of caring that are not negative. I'm currently stumped.
In the meantime, I am carrying on with the corduroy jacket.
Here are my nice flat felled seams, from the inside and the outside.
Here's the back yoke from the inside, pinned and ready to be sewn down. I actually turn it over and sew it from the outside to make sure the topstitching goes in the right place. I sew very slowly because the pins are underneath then and I can't take them out as I go.
This is the shoulder seam, after it has been sewn and then one side of the seam allowance has been trimmed. I trim off the seam allowance belonging to the body of the jacket because there is only one seam in the sleeve part that will need to be folded over to make the flat fell.
Here I am pressing the outside of the shoulder seam over the ham. Because of how awkward it is, I don't press the flat fell over on the inside around the shoulder seam. I just fold it over once the outside is pressed flat and then pin it and sew, also very slowly.
And here is the jacket, taking shape. I have sewed on the bottom band to the inside of the body. After I sew up the ends, I will sew the folded edge of the band on the outside of the jacket with topstitching.