Friday, September 7, 2012

Chemo Kumihimo

The word kumihimo might be foreign to some of you, but the word chemo probably is not lost on many.  Yes, my dear sweet mother-in-law Bernice started her chemotherapy today.  This will be a fairly long process and it will be grueling.  She gets 3 treatments a week on 6 different weeks with 2 weeks of "rest" in between.  For any normal person, the prospect of chemotherapy might have them riddled with anxiety.  I picture most chemo patients showing up for treatment (each treatment lasts SEVERAL hours...) in sweat pants or jammies.  I know I would!  But not my Bernice.  Here's what our beauty queen decided to wear today in her first quest to kick cancer's butt:

Stretchy pants? No.  Jammies? No.  Matching ensemble, rad new jewelry, and make up? Yep!  That's Bernice.  She is fully embracing the idea that the better you feel going into it, the better you'll feel coming out.  And nothing makes a girl feel better than dressing up! (and yes, she's sporting a new ADKOF design!)  I'm so proud of her.  I told her she looks like a picture straight out of a magazine.  So much so, in fact, that I'm considering sending it into some sort of photo competition about cancer research or something.  My prayers for her the past few weeks have been that she would be able to tap into that inner strength that she possesses.  Though she is a warrior...a tiger...the reality of cancer and chemo has of course been weighing heavily on her.  But she has tapped into that strength!  If you're of the praying persuasion, would you pray for her too?  She has that silent soldier instinct and today she went into battle dressed to the 9's.  If only we all had a piece of the strength that she has!

So where does the "kumihimo" come in??  Well, there is a technique that I have started using in making my jewelry.  It's an oriental braid called, you guessed it, kumihimo.  You braid on a loom that looks like this:

It's a semi-complicated process, but the pieces are so beautiful when they come out.  Here's an example of one of the ones I've made:

So Bernice has decided that during her 4-6 hour chemo sessions she is going to take advantage of the time by "kumihimoing" while she's "chemoing".  Effectively...chemo kumihimo!  She's so funny because the word kumihimo is a little difficult to say (I'm sure some of you have stumbled over it yourselves in this post!), and she mixes it up and calls it kumihomo which I think is pretty hilarious.  

Bernice goes in for her second chemo session on Friday, so I'm continuing to pray that she taps into that inner strength.  But so far, I have to say she's incredibly inspiring.  7 weeks post surgery (where she had 8 organs removed) and now approaching chemotherapy, you just would never guess it to look at that picture!  I'm so proud of her.  I keep telling Jonathan that when we finally get to come home in 10 weeks it;s going to be amazing to see her because when we left, she was still in the hospital recovering from surgery.  When we return she'll almost be done with her chemo and she'll be on the downhill slope!  I'm so blessed to call her family!

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