Posts Tagged ‘International Quilt Festival’

Stem Cell Transplant

October 25, 2016

It’s the day before I move into the Hilton Americas for the International Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. It is also my birthday.

Sunday my husband and I went to James Avery after Sunday school, church, and lunch. I had chosen the wide Crosslet Ring for my birthday gift from him. While he was paying for it and giving instructions for the engraving, I went to Chico’s next door. fullsizerender-007-001

Really, I was looking for one item at our local Chico’s that I hadn’t found at the Chico’s near our office. One thing led to another, with a helpful, knowledgeable manager, and I came out with four new outfits to wear to the Fall Quilt Shows. Happy Birthday to me.img_3256-002

The Hilton and the George R. Brown Convention Center will be my home for twelve nights and thirteen days. However, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday my husband will pick me up at 6:30 am to go to MD Anderson Hospital for blood reviews, PA and oncologist visits and platelets and blood transfusions. I was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in 2007, but did not need treatment until March of 2015.

Those of you who have seen me running the Education Department for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival for the last 40 years, have no fear. I will be there sporadically. I feel fine and have energy as long as I have a current platelets and/or blood transfusion.

The shows are in good hands with Jill Benge as Manager, Barbara Cline as her assistant, Marcia Barker, who takes on all our special projects and new developments, and Shannon McGaw who works part-time for Education and a great help to me.fullsizerender-005

Part of our show team will arrive for Market and the remainder will come during Festival. We couldn’t do the shows without them.fullsizerender-007

Man or woman cannot live on transfusions of someone else’s blood products indefinitely. For a while one of the chemo trial treatments worked for me. But, after seven months of no transfusions we came to a dead end. My oncologist tried other treatments, but my bone marrow just won’t function properly.

So the only thing that is left is to have a Stem Cell Transplant. When my oncologist is satisfied I am healthy enough to go through the high dose chemo process, to eliminate my existing bone marrow cells, I will be admitted to the hospital for three to four weeks. After the conditioning phase is complete, the collected stem cells will be infused in my body. My blood counts will be monitored daily and any side effects will be managed. It will be a tough time. Initially I said I wouldn’t put myself through this voluntarily, but when that’s all that’s left, I had to change my mind.

Once I have engrafted, meaning that my white blood cells have recovered, and I am eating and drinking well, I will be discharged from the hospital. For 100 days I have to have a caregiver 24 hours a day. I will be monitored at the hospital generally every day for follow-up initially and that will adjust to every other day depending on my health and needs. I’ve been told to plan on a year to get back to how I was physically before the transplant. Needless to say, I am fearful. I am sad.

I won’t be able to be in public for quite some time because of infection possibility. I will have no immune system initially. The family gatherings I treasure so much will have to wait for a while.

During this process I won’t be able to be around grandchildren who are under 14 years of age. That breaks my heart. We have a 16 month old grandson and another baby on the way.


I will be strong and follow the rules so I can recover and have good times again with family, friends and TRAVEL. My faith, family, and friends will be of utmost importance through this process. God will be my constant companion. I won’t be alone.

Will you say a little prayer for me? God bless you and love, Judy



Busy Summer

September 3, 2012

Goodness, it’s been a long time since I have visited with you here on my blog. I have thought about you many, many times.  I even started a blog or two and  created many things to share with you.

Friend collage greeting card

Friend collage greeting card

But, the summer has been chock-full of travel, deadlines, work at the office, meetings, sewing, visitors, etc. You know, since your lives are busy, too. Hopefully writing this post will get me back on the track to completion again.

It’s the beginning of September, and I’m working on some new beginnings and some “start overs.”  On September 1, I started back to my Dahn Yoga class after being away for almost two months. What a gift to give oneself. It’s there waiting. You just have to open it. This afternoon I had a healing session with Master Joy and then attended an invigorating evening class. I truly believe yoga feeds my body, mind, and spirit. Why would I allow myself to leave that off my list of things to do? I’m back again now and so happy to be there.

Treasure Boxes

Treasure Boxes

The last I wrote to you we had just returned from our delightful anniversary trip to Mackinac Island. Shortly after that trip my husband and I joined our oldest son and his family for a week in Cooperstown, New York, the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. They had rented a lake house elevated above a dock on Lake Otsego. We enjoyed more cool weather as the heat was continuing to climb in Houston, Texas.

Son Todd and wife Julie on Lake Oswego

Son Todd and wife Julie on Lake Otsego

It was a great get-away and so much fun to watch our 12-year old grandson play in a 5-day baseball tournament at Cooperstown Dreams Park.

Grandson Tyler before game at Dreams Park

Our son is the coach of this select team so it was fun to watch him in action also. Being with his super-mom wife and our 15-year old precious granddaughter made this family vacation the best it could be.

Todd and our granddaughter Madison after baseball cap shopping

Todd and our granddaughter Madison after baseball cap shopping

The latter part of July, I was off to Long Beach, California for Summer International Quilt Festival. Aww…more cool weather and so many wonderful places to eat just outside the convention center. The pre-show tour was a hit with my favorite being Karri Meng’s French General store. It is loaded with vintage and new French textiles, notions, fabrics, trinkets, kits for making jewelry, etc. I would love to return again. I also took a charm bracelet class from Karri at Festival.

French General Shop

French General Store

The show went off without a hitch, and it was great to see our quilt friends from that area. Classes, Special Exhibits and exhibitors were filled with energy and new sights. Our youngest son is a musician and artist who lives in LA, so he is always an added attraction for me. Several of the Quilts, Inc. staff went to the venue where he played on Saturday night even with a full-day of work scheduled the next day. Troy’s band, Restavrant brought everyone to their feet, including me, when he played.

Before Troy's gig

Before Troy’s gig

Each of our 5 grandchildren spent some vacation time at Grammy and Granddaddy’s house. Some came together,  and others spent special nights, one at a time. My studio is always a popular spot for sewing and crafting.

Madison and Tyler creating in my studio

Madison and Tyler creating in my studio

Sydney painting

Sydney painting

The big excitement for these visits was our new kittens. We adopted them in early August when our older grandchildren were visiting.

Our new kittens are delivered

We adopted two kittens from Katie.

We originally named them Tiger and Sugar, but Sugar has been renamed by our younger grandchildren as Snowball which I shortened to Snow and then later by my sister to Snowy.

Lindsey with Tiger

Lindsey with Tiger

Sydney and Ashton with Tiger

Sydney and Ashton with Tiger

Having these two little guys is somewhat like having a toddler again for me. They love to be with me wherever I am. It’s not good enough to be “with me”, but they want to be on the keys at my computer, or grabbing whatever I am working on at the sewing machine, or playing catch with each other up and down from my lap as I sit in my chair with sewing.

Kitties on work table

Kitties on my work table

Snow is learning when not to use his claws, but Tiger has yet to learn grabbing onto my clothes often goes into flesh. As soon as I yelp, he’s off and running. I don’t remember having this happen with our other kittens. Have I just forgotten? Whenever they decide to nap, I sneak off to another area to get something done as I am doing now. What funny little guys.

Brothers always together

Brothers always together

Among these summer activities have been anniversary and birthday parties, baby and wedding showers with births of babies and weddings.

Sydney and our daughter, Holly

Sydney’s birthday with Holly

My husband's birthday

My husband’s birthday

Our sons have each spent a few days with us here, and we have traveled to Austin, San Antonio, and Kerrville, Texas. My sister came for a few days for our annual sewing marathon to kick-start her preparation for Houston Quilt Festival. Her shop, Apples of Gold,  has been an exhibitor at our show for 30+ years. Her focus is vintage quilts.

My sister Suzanne and me

My Sister Suzanne and me

While she was here, I spent three days getting all the vintage blocks I have collected over the years sorted, ironed, packaged and ready for her booth at Quilt Festival in November. Now I am knee – deep in sewing pumpkins from chenille bedspreads for the Texas Quilt Museum.

Vintage quilt blocks

Vintage quilt blocks

So that just about brings me up to today. Hope you’ve had a great summer and are looking forward to lots of great things this fall. From here on out, my focus will be on the International Quilt Festival/Houston, but I vow to keep better in-touch with you. Meanwhile, I hope to hear from you. Keep stitching, Judy

Snow at my finger tips

Snow at my finger tips

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