Something I never knew (until Susan found out the hard way) about chemotherapy and radiation is what they can do to your fingers.
Your hands get numb and tingly, as if they’ve fallen asleep, which is pretty close to what’s going on — but much more persistent.
Also, you can get a persistent tremor to your hands, making easy things like writing and typing really hard.
It’s called “peripheral neuropathy,” and for months it’s been one of the cruellest side effects Susan’s had to deal with.
If you knew Susan, you’d understand what I mean. You see, Susan has always loved making things with her hands. She was a scholarship art student in college. She has written dozens of articles for scrapbooking magazines on paper piecing techniques.
And for the past few years she’s been making jewelry. Beautiful stuff, with an emphasis on silver wire twisted into incredible links and patterns.
And of course, the neuropathy robbed her of all of that.
Here’s the cool thing, though: a few days ago, Susan’s hands steadied. They don’t shake anymore. They do what she wants them to again.
Of course, I have to keep telling myself that this doesn’t really mean anything in terms of the cancer: it doesn’t mean she’s getting better, just that she’s not being plagued by the side effects of a medication she stopped taking months ago.
But: it does mean she ought to be able to start use her hands again, the way she loves to — and is so good at.
And when good news doesn’t come your way often, even a little tactical win like this feels like a big deal.
Win a Susan Nelson Original (Hopefully)
And so of course I’m going to put Susan to work for me. I’ve asked her if she’d be willing to let me raffle off a couple bracelets or necklaces, with a cycling theme — kind of like this lady’s bracelet she made from a bike chain for a contest winner way back when the blog was young:
Susan says she’d like to, but that she first wants to make sure her she’s up to making jewelry.
So, for now, this is just a piece of good news. Soon, though, I’m confident this’ll be a chance for you to fight cancer and win some of Susan’s work.
Meanwhile, You Definitely Should Tune In Tomorrow
By the way, tomorrow (Wednesday) I’m announcing the latest Team Fatty raffle. And this one’s a big one, for something you cannot get anywhere else. I think you’re going to want in.