Tag Archives: prostate cancer

The Xtandi Factor

Part of my life this year has been spent on the road.  While a couple of those sojourns have gone to the southland, most of those traveled miles have been within the northern part of California.  And much of them have been to see my dad, who has been battling prostate and bone cancer for the last five and a half years.  This time last year, my parents made a journey to my neck of the woods, seeing a doc at UCSF, where chemotherapy was advised.  Taxotere was introduced into Dad’s retinue in late January, 2014.  Suddenly this whole cancer-gig was more than the quarterly Lupron shot and doses of Zytiga, which not longer did the job.

And as it seems, just as speedily another year has passed.  How many miles have been collected by my car, how many miles has my father trekked?  Far more than I’ve traversed, for my dad isn’t the same.  He might have been feeling on top of the world in late September, claiming he had another twenty-five years in the tank, but now in mid-December, he’s a different person.  Radium 223 is still off the shelf, so Xtandi is the next option, a drug similar to Zytiga, taken in pill form.  Dad will start Xtandi this week, and we’ll see if it helps, his PSA and overall demeanor our gauges.  He’s also lost ten pounds since September, the chemo-style nausea having returned, without the chemo.

If you’ve never heard of any of these terms, no worries.  Neither had I, until Dad was diagnosed, but the realm of cancer is like an alternate universe.  We’ve been relatively fortunate; prostate cancer is quite treatable, and some men live for many years.  But not all.  Dad also has COPD, so that complicates matters.  When he was first given this news, I wondered how he would cope with chemotherapy; he has an indefatigable spirit, but the body is a separate element.  The doc at UCSF maintained that Taxotere is a milder form of chemo, compared to other drugs.  And for the first seven rounds, Dad tolerated Taxotere like a champ.  But in the eighth and ninth sessions, Taxotere came out with mean left hooks that left my father gripping the sides of the ring, wondering what in the hell had happened.  There was no tenth dose; in early July, Dad was clearly on the ropes.  But in late September, he had regained strength, his appetite, even his love of ice cream was returning.  Another quarter century looked like a walk in the park.

Two and a half months later, those extra years seem fleeting.  It makes me wonder about the nature of medical intervention, but more, I ponder if one day I am in a similar situation, what I would choose.  Dad isn’t doing this all for himself; he’s doing it for Mom, their children and grandchildren.  We all love him, want him to be around forever.  But forever on this corporeal planet just doesn’t happen.

On other planes, yes.  But not on Earth.

As Christmas approaches, I ask my husband and kids, “Okay, is there anything else you want?”  We’re lucky, for tangible blessings are within our grasps.  But the intangible aspects are all I wish for my father; to be pain-free, to be comfortable, to not be nauseous.  I will never forget coming home from that UCSF appointment in a pouring Bay Area rain, traffic on I-280 at a standstill due to a nasty looking accident just south of San Francisco.  My father’s impending date with chemo butted up against intense gratitude that my husband and I weren’t involved in that collision, that life and death were constantly battling for supremacy.  One year later, I mull over that evening, so many nights and days in between, miles on motorways, a baby born, more on the way.  And my father is still here, telling tales, also looking like a man I have never before seen.  He is still my father, but no longer is he the strong, forceful character of past days.

Where Xtandi fits into all this remains to be seen.  I hope it lowers the PSA, I hope it affords my dad some relief.  But respite isn’t a cure.  Through all of this, I have prayed for the will of God to be done.  And every day that prayer has been answered.  I don’t know why chemo left my father so debilitated, while his PSA bounced right back up as soon as Taxotere stopped being administered.  But I do know that regardless of what Xtandi does or does not do, Dad will continue to chat and joke until he simply can’t.  I’ll keep driving, as long as my car holds up.  Blast the tunes, be they Christmas-themed or tropical pop; Dad’s still holding court.  I’m ready for another road trip, on this concrete and ethereal pathway taking my father home.

Peace Pie and other musings…

So the World Series is tied one all, fitting to send it to San Francisco.  I won’t lie; I’d LOVE the Giants to take it at home, which they have not done in their previous two wins.  However, I don’t want to appear greedy, so as long as they win…

Ha, well, nothing greedy about that.  I will note that this contest has brought out the small sports fan in my eldest, or maybe it’s Buttercup who appreciates the Giants, although last night’s game was hard to watch, once Jake Peavy allowed two Royals on base.  But now these teams have gotten a rout from each of their systems, so perhaps the following contests will be closer.  (Albeit with a San Francisco victory sealed at the end…)

But what does that have to do with peace pie?  Not that much, nor does peace pie correlate with the recent news that Radium 223 is not currently being manufactured, in Norway by the only company that makes it.  I accompanied my folks to Sacramento yesterday, where we learned that no radium treatments are being offered anywhere in the world.  The doctor’s assistant wasn’t sure why, but we discussed other options, like Xtandi and Ketoconizol, which is an anti-fungal that just happens to work well for prostate and bone cancer patients.  Dad will make an appointment with his oncologist to map out the next step, however I’m hoping that Bayer can sort out the Norwegians in a timely manner.  Radium 223 would truly best serve my father at this time, and time is a most precious commodity.

Still, I hear you rumbling, “What in the hey does that have to do with peace pie?  Is it some autumnal thing, baseball related, or Buttercup’s favourite dessert?”  Actually, it’s what happens when I have too many fireflies flitting in my brain (thank you Laura!).  My brother visited with the folks last weekend, then asked me what we were all bringing for Thanksgiving, which was his way of saying, “Hey sis, start a thread, will ya?”  I complied, noting that we would bring Grandma’s fruit salad, homemade cranberry sauce, and peace pie, with perhaps some vanilla ice cream for said peach pie.  Note the error?  I didn’t, but my beloved little brother did, answering what in the heck was peace pie (ya hippie!)?  I countered that I would also make some deviled eggs, they had to have an attitude, to which my sister replied how much she loved our family, big smiley face icon included.  And I answered that yes, at lease we are entertaining.

Then Mom asked why we had a lease?  And on it goes…

I said that’s what happens when I’m not writing, my spelling goes right down the loo.  Which is somewhat true, in that WordPress and my email provider, as well as Word, note the misspellings, but not the erroneous miscues.  Peace pie, at lease, the list is endless.  Similar to Radium 223; we assumed that was the next step, but maybe not.  Assuming is a tricky deal, not always for the best.  Maybe it’s best to be like Buttercup, hording the remote, ready to change the channel if the Giants get wonky.  And at least (not lease) Buttercup doesn’t care how I spell peach pie or at least.  She just wants to eat the pie, peaceful or not.

Dad wants pie too, and while ice cream is tasting good again, he prefers Cool Whip.  I also know he’d prefer radium over other treatments, just as he and I and Mom and my hubby and probably even Buttercup would prefer SF to win the Series at home.  But what we prefer is at times irrelevant.  All we can do is wait and see.

And eat the peach and peace pie with great big spoons.  And cheer on the Giants to perhaps another World Series championship!

The Radium 223 Road Trip Part One


If my life were longer, say another couple hundred years, I’d write a novel based upon this entry’s title.  But even if I live to my nineties, most likely the last few days will remain as a memory, barely touched on within this and the accompanying post.  So many things happened over the last few days that snatches will waft through me, until as Julie Brown once said, I can’t recall them anymore.

But obscure pop culture references aside, I want to recount a few tidbits of my recent days, because while life is meant to be lived in the here and now, what we pass along to others matters too, be it in the confines of doctor’s offices or over ice cream, or even when alone, conversing with a creator who made the whole kit’n’kaboodle.  At times, time is frozen, like the sign at a Bakersfield liquor store, advertising the sale of film, sandwiches and picnic supplies.  When I saw that sign, I had to pull out the phone, capturing that piece of a bygone era.  Who sells film, or even notes its sale, anymore?

(Later I learned that no, they don’t sell film.  But I’m glad they still have the sign.)

When Dad saw his oncologist a few weeks back, radium was already on the proverbial treatment table.  His visit to the UC Davis Medical Center last week was the preliminary step, introductions between Dad, Mum, me, and a very personable doc who thought Radium 223 was Dad’s best option, assuming Dad isn’t anemic.  Radium 223 is relatively new, approved by the FDA in early 2013 after very promising trials.  It’s infused right into the bloodstream, going straight for the bones.  Fatigue and diarrhea will be the main side effects, but Dad was optimistic, especially after hearing that the next treatments were Jevtana, the bully-chemo-cousin to Taxotere, or another hormone pill that probably wouldn’t do Dad much good, coming too close on the heels of his days with Zytiga.  We might consider Xtandi later on, well after his encounter with Radium 223 is over, but right now Radium 223 will be enough to ponder.  Dad won’t be radioactive, the doc noted with a smile, so hugs are strongly encouraged.

After the low-down was discussed, we were sent to the lab, so Dad could give blood, to make sure among other things that he’s not anemic.  This has become so much of his life now that he doesn’t flinch, even made the doc laugh when Dad said they could poke him wherever they wanted.  “You’re at a university hospital,” the doc slyly smiled.  “Don’t go saying that around here.”  We all chuckled as Dad was called back to give blood.  Mom nibbled on a granola bar while I considered my next activities; we all had miles to go before we slept.  Dad wasn’t in there long, and slowly we approached the main entrance.  The facilities at UC Davis Medical Center were excellent, and everyone was pleasant and upbeat.  As usual Dad was his charming self, which I know bolsters not only his health, but the rest of us too.  Several times the doc noted this wasn’t a curative therapy.  It’s solely to give Dad, and us, as much time as possible.

And again Dad noted that he felt he had another couple of decades.  What more can we ask for?

While my parents had to navigate Sacramento freeways to get back home, I took another route, not one returning me to Silicon Valley.  The Central Valley was my destination, so we didn’t linger long, saying our goodbyes, which are temporary, for Dad will be back in Sac in a few weeks, possibly sooner, depending on the results of his labs.  If his white blood count and platelets are normal, and he’s not anemic, the first infusion of Radium 223 could take place ASAP.  These treatments will continue every four weeks for six months, unless his PSA skyrockets, in which case this option will be dropped.  But the doc noted that PSA’s are no longer the be-all end-all markers of prostate cancer.  In the last five years, PSA’s have mattered less, as long as the patient is feeling well.  With bone cancer now in the picture, not to mention Dad’s COPD, a host of ailments hover.  Dad himself said that prostate cancer isn’t usually what kills, and some men live for years with the condition.  Dad’s thinking another twenty of those years, and we’ll take it day by day to see.

Day by day is all any of us have, whether we’re seventy, forty-eight, or twenty-two, with another life eager to enter the world.  My next stop on the road trip was to see my youngest’s best friend, the mum-to-be of Master Z.  I was also on a quilt-delivery mission, but that destination was at the tail-end of Highway 99.  Before I closed my eyes on that day, Bakersfield, California was awaiting me.  I hugged and kissed my parents, walked to my car, then started the engine.  Pulling out of the UC Davis parking garage, I made my way for US 50, which would take me to 99 South, for Fresno the sign said.  I smiled; many cities and small towns between Sac and Fresno, and a few more separating Fresno and my final stop for the day…

Another Twenty-Five Years

On Monday, I sat with my parents at the oncologist’s office, waiting to learn Dad’s most recent PSA results, plus those of bone and CT scans.  As we chatted, Dad mentioned that if you asked him that day how much longer he would live, he’d have to say another twenty-five years.

Twenty-five years, my father smiled, then continued rambling.  Dad loves to talk, but those words struck me, staring at the fluff growing out along the back and sides of his head, although his mustache will be a while in filling out.  He’s still skinny, but food tastes good, even his beloved ice cream, which since February had been off the menu.  Other than his wobbly balance, and the probability of losing two big toenails, a post-chemo life has returned in full.

When the doc stepped into the room, Dad’s two-inch thick folder under that man’s arm, I wondered if Dad’s feelings towards his longevity would be borne out by the results waiting in that manila folder.  First off we learned the CT scan was clear, whew!  But the bone scan showed some worsening, although not to any internal organs, another hurdle cleared.  The PSA however, had jumped from sixteen to thirty-six.  Which isn’t all that bad, but it’s not the way a PSA after nine rounds of Taxotere should be behaving.

Which meant that next week we are all heading to Sacramento, to the UC Davis Medical Center, probably for radium treatments.  Although before the doc had joined us, Dad noted that in the ten months since he’d been to UCSF, who knew what sorts of advances had been made?

And from a man who feels he still has another quarter of a century to live, I can’t argue with him.

The visit wasn’t a long one; after the results were made known, the chit-chat centered on that impending trip to Sacramento.  As we left the office, Dad inquired about his Lupron shot, which they could administer that day.  We all trooped to the waiting area, where Dad gripped his prescription for more pain meds.  He had started that day feeling rough, but by ten a.m. was feeling well enough to consider another couple of decades.  But I noted his age at the top of the paper; 70.  And as he groused about a few aches and pains, I reminded him of that number; it’s not only cancer in the equation.  None of us are getting younger, to which he smiled.  “Yeah, I’ll be taking a sitz bath, then look over in the mirror and wonder who that old fart is staring back at me.”  We chuckled, then he was called for the shot.  Mom and I discussed Thanksgiving dinner; she would like to have it at their place this year, easier for Dad to relax in his easy chair.  When he emerged, I mentioned that plan, and he agreed, but not for his comfort.  He prefers his own stuffing to those made by my siblings.

As we left, Dad walked slowly, maybe due to the slight ache from the shot, probably from weariness, age, and yes, cancer.  But his voice was sprightly, maybe he was thinking about making his own turkey, of which he can be rather possessive, or that the results were in, or that even if the PSA had jumped twenty points, he was feeling another twenty-five years were possible.  I was considering how wonderful it was that chemo was over, for that also rang in his tone.  Food tastes good again.  His legs are stronger, even his hair, or as he laughed, the little he used to have, was growing back.  His poor balance might take another nine months to clear, nerves the doc said, that had been rattled by Taxotere.  Two lost toenails were also small potatoes; Dad has bigger fish to fry, or a turkey to roast.  I don’t know how long he’ll have, nothing in this life is certain, other than death and taxes.  But throughout Dad’s cancer journey, I have been reminded that life isn’t the long view.  It’s right now, and on Monday, it was right then; right then, Dad had places to be, Mom did too.  They had arrived in separate vehicles, and all three of us said our goodbyes, until next week, when they will travel together to Sac, where I will meet them.

And in the meantime, there are quilts to finish, like the one for a special little girl.  Life is constantly evolving, rolling from one second to the next.  Another doctor’s appointment down, which leads to another binding to attach.  That will be my plan today, after having pinned that little quilt to within an inch of its sandwich life.  The quilting went well, I must say, and I was hardly stabbed in the process.

And thinking about it, who knows?  Dad could live another couple of decades, by which time the little girl for whom this is being made could be a mum herself.  Such are the mysteries of this life, which is why any of us are here in the first place.

Meanwhile back to a pre-autumnal, post-Taxotere world…

For many days I’ve been feeling autumn’s pull, even if the temps are warm.  It was like this in England, around the beginning of August, when the long summer days began that fall-like shift.  But fall there is autumn, a term which has followed me back to America, still clinging tightly.  Summer is the same, trying to reaffirm its grip, but autumn hovers in the manner of how shadows fall, in the cooling of the evenings, in kids going back to school.

For all intents and purposes, summer is over.

However, being this is California, warm days will linger until November.  Still, I started out this day in jeans; I haven’t worn jeans first thing since, oh my goodness, May?  It’s been so dang hot in Silicon Valley this summer that even typing the word autumn feels ominous, like it won’t appear, rain won’t fall…  Well, rain might not fall, but that’s a defeatist attitude, and since Dad’s chemo has ended, I’m trying to keep an optimistic mindset.  Dad’s pretty darn upbeat, I should be too.

When I tell someone my dad just went through nine rounds of chemo, automatically they give me a worried gaze, which is probably normal.  But having weathered that storm all spring and much of summer, now it feels strange, for chemo is done, Dad’s already thinking about the next weapon in the battle.  Radium treatments are the most likely armament, and he was mulling those over well before chemo ended.  The strange part is that none of this is going to cure him; prostate cancer has moved into his bones, and in a month, we’ll know just how much further that illness has invaded.  Dad’s getting another bone scan, for his PSA went up to 16 after a low of 6.2.  I realize these are small numbers, PSA-wise, but it was disappointing that as soon as chemo ended, the PSA shot right back up.  We’d all been hoping for a reprieve, maybe a few months’ worth even.

Uh, no.

Of course, this is much harder on my dad and mum than on any of us kids and grand-kids.  But as a family we share in their trials, also in Dad’s triumphs.  His willingness to dive back into the world of cancer treatments amazes me, for how all-out lousy he felt with chemo’s eight and nine.  He’s not even back to feeling 100% yet, although his appetite has returned.  Sometimes after a meal he feels sick, his legs are still weak.  It hasn’t even been two months since his last dose of Taxotere, but here he is, investigating the next option.  Life is short, I can hear him saying; you gotta git ‘er done.

Life is a season of many taskings, from novels and quilts to treatments and road trips.  Sports come and go; football is right at the door, waiting for summer to wind its way into the past, autumn entrenched by falling leaves and dropping temperatures, and in some parts of this nation, an odd wetness that falls from these rather strange-looking gray blobs in the sky.  Oh rain, yes, I remember it well, eleven years of English weather that couldn’t find its way out of a Californian paper bag.  As this autumn knocks on the door, I’m thankful the words continue to tumble like sodden British days that made me pine for sunny American days that now make me ache for soggy English days and….  And on it goes, cycles of this and that and the next available cancer treatment.  But I’m thankful for those treatments, for they mean my dad has something to anticipate, they mean he’s still around.

One of these pre-autumnal days, he won’t be.

But then, neither will I, isn’t that a mouthful?  No one lives forever, which is even more reason to get the words down, sew the quilts, write a blog post.  Okay well, perhaps not that last one, or maybe.  Maybe you get what I’m saying here, which is more than weather and PSA numbers, but the fragility of the whole kit’n’kaboodle.  It’s a precarious thing, life, for what we accomplish, for what remains undone.  I have a quilt staring at me right now, with an unattached binding wondering when in the heck I’m gonna get off this darn computer and get my fanny perpendicular back to the sewing table.

It’s a colourful thing, so maybe the binding blends into it, but I can see it, out of the corner of my right eye.  And more fabric beckons, as does tomorrow’s chapter of The Hawk, in which this writer finally moves the cast into 1963.  But now 1963 is fifty-one years ago, fifty-one years!  How does time move that quickly, how are we supposed to get sorted all that needs to be accomplished?

Git ‘er done indeed, as my dad would say.  Because one of these days, believe it or not, 2014 will be fifty-one years in the past.  I’ll be…  Oh good grief, let’s not go there.  Instead, let’s return to the mountain from the top of the post, a peak my husband sometimes climbs, a peak recently made even more accessible by a car park just opened for all from eight in the morning until an hour past sunset.  A few nights ago my hubby drove us up there, and I purposely didn’t look past the front windscreen as he did so.

Yet, the view is stunning, all of Silicon Valley spread out like a vast English rain cloud.  It’s 2014, my dad is seventy years old.  I’m forty-eight, with words to write, comforters to sew, love to give.  Cancer to address, a family to support, and rain to hope for, amid other things…

No more chemo…

That was the title of my mom’s most recent email to my siblings and me.  After nine rounds of Taxotere, Dad has said no mas…

I don’t think it was a difficult decision, although Dad wasn’t quite sure when we last talked about this, over a week ago.  Yet, I could see this coming at the party; he was as weary as I’ve ever seen him, gripping his cane, along with the arm of whoever was near.  But his smile still shone, his words upbeat, albeit spoken in a voice thin and tired.  That was what ended the chemo; Dad is tired of being so dog-gone tired.  His PSA only dropped .2 last month, down to 6.2, which is wonderful compared to his numbers at the beginning of this year, in the low 80s.  Now we wait, which is all anyone can do, to see how the PSA responds, and how Dad heals.  Chemo was to aid in this battle, but what a brutal tool it has been.

Still, none of us bemoan these past months; life is a cycle of ebbs and flows, and my father isn’t the only one with health issues.  The Brother-In-Law Quilt is (finally) coming together, and while it’s still plenty hot in California, I want it to be finished before that BIL has his own medical procedures.  Not that my BIL is going to need a quilt to stave off the chills, but I hope this blanket will warm his heart, as surgery looms.  This quilt is sort of saying, “Yes, serious treatments sit on the horizon, but soon enough they will be over, and cooler days will have come, and you can stay toasty under this rather busy comforter.”

Ten rows done, with # eleven pinned and waiting to be attached...

Ten rows done, with # eleven pinned and waiting to be attached…

And be thinking of hunting trips for 2015 too.

Camo binding waits patiently...

Camo binding waits patiently.

However, not all quilts are camo-themed; I’m back to florals and bright prints, for a family who needs some quilty love.  The fabrics below will form some mum-daughter quilts to go along with the toddler patchwork which has already been removed from the quilt wall, to make room for another expression of affection.  It’s like instead of a get well or miss you card, I throw together a quilt.  Dad started the mission, and on it goes.

The fabric on the right was what I used for curtains, and I was so pleased to find more of it!

The fabric on the right was what I used for curtains, and I was so pleased to find more of it!

Maybe my youngest daughter was right, when coining my quest, that everyone needs a quilt.  In between revisions, baseball, and the annual housecleaning extravaganza (yesterday it was the interior of my fridge and hallway baseboards, today is the living room dusting and baseboards), quilts are pieced together with the utmost of love and care.

And tomorrow will take care of itself, PSA-wise and whatever else comes along.

I don’t always make sense, but I do make quilts…


Four rows sewn; this was how it started.

Four rows sewn; this was how it started.

I said those very words yesterday afternoon to my husband while explaining how I quilted the Former Roomie Quilt.  Instead of following along the rows with a quarter-inch seam, I sewed halfway through the squares themselves.  And by the end of the day, I had quilted that baby, including the scant quarter-inch seam around the perimeter.  This morning, I’ll attach the front of the binding.

So many steps in quilt-making, but then, many good things in this life are based upon building blocks, and sometimes those steps aren’t easy to explain.  Tutorials do wonders for something like sewing; they’re not so handy for writing.  I couldn’t sit in front of a camera, or narrate a power point about how to write a novel.  Writing a novel is far more invisible, much like making a baby.

But quilting, well, it’s a tangible process, that gives me intense pleasure, especially since I came across a tutorial that makes the final stages of sewing the binding a breeze.  Sometimes I wish I could locate a site that explained how to leave a manuscript alone for say, oh, two and a half years, then come back to it with a viable plot.  I’ve recently done that with Heaven…Mississippi, but then I wonder if that’s the fate of The Hawk.  In two, four, or eight years, after how many ever quilts have been fashioned, might I return to that behemoth and give it a conclusion?

About two-thirds put together.  But many stitches remain.

About two-thirds put together. But many stitches remain.

No tutorials available to answer that question.  It’s much like my dad and chemotherapy; he just had his ninth dose, one more to go.  His PSA is down to 6.8, but will it remain that low once the Taxotere is truly out of his system?

Inquiring minds are dying to know…

As I tried to explain to my husband my new quilting process, he was watching the Giants.  The Giants…  I’ve given up on them, for now.  Maybe that doesn’t make me a very loyal baseball fan, but through the month of June they squandered an 8 1/2 game lead over the Dodgers, and just typing that makes me a little heartsick.  I was safely tucked away in the sewing (but not that much writing) grotto, yet, San Francisco managed to pull out a win, behind the erratic but formerly brilliant (and two-time Cy Young award winning) Tim Lincecum.  Maybe Timmy is indicative of my writing, at this current moment, aching to return to its previous glory.  But I have to give thanks for the plot stirring in my head, which doesn’t have to do with The Hawk, but characters just as beloved.  I left Kendall, Sarah, Heath, and Ben dangling on a rather thin line, but now I have a notion of how to rescue them.  And while no, it doesn’t have to do with quilting, it does have a lot to do with my dad’s current path.  When my husband and I visited him together last, Dad bemoaned how crappy he felt, and what lousy company he was.  I remarked that if he didn’t mind us coming to see him, we certainly weren’t bothered.  He smiled, for I know he loves the distraction, what he said more than once as we readied to leave.  That we had made the last two hours fly by, even if he spent all of that time huddled under a blanket, spitting up, or dabbing at his watery eyes.  After nearly thirty weeks of chemotherapy, Dad is showing all the typical signs, but his spirit is mostly unflagging.  I put all these symptoms and moments under my writing hat, where by now they are crammed tight, waiting for release.

What I didn’t know three years ago, when I wrote Heaven Lies East of the Mississippi, was that I had to wait for my father to undergo chemotherapy to complete that tale.

Awaiting the binding (and for the seamstress to finish this blog)...

Awaiting the binding (and for the seamstress to finish this post)…

Now, I could be daunted by that fact; what in the world will I endure to finish The Hawk?  Maybe very little, maybe…  Let’s not go there.  Instead, let’s concentrate on quilts, or the Former Roomie Quilt, which by the end of this day will have an attached front binding, and probably a good part of the back binding hand-sewn into place.  Not while baseball’s on, mind you.  The Giants start an inter-league series with the A’s, oh jeez.  I’ll sequester myself in some baseball-free zone, as a needle carefully winds in, then out, of the fold in the binding.  Another quilt coming under the hammer, another book waiting in the wings.  Another day of my life on a journey I never expected in the sewing, noveling, and cancer-witnessing variety.  It doesn’t always make sense, but it all means something.