My progress as a woodworker #1: Next steps - getting healthy again

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Blog entry by mtkate posted 05-23-2011 11:39 AM 7696 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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As I read through posts and blogs of fellow enthusiasts who get set back on their passions due to health reasons… I admit I am joining that task force of LJs who have been forced to slow down but are determined to get back in it again as soon as possible.

You may have noted me flipping in and out of this site, and my last project was a painted piggybank. My niece loved it, by the way. I encouraged her at her birtthday to make the rounds and collect coin ;)

About a month ago I was diagnosed with cancer. Let’s say “a lot of it”. I won’t talk about stages and kinds…. just that I am being taken care of by so many great specialists here in Montreal that I have total faith they will help me beat it along with my own scrappy spirit. This thursday I start radiotherapy for lesions on the brain… then there is followup chemo for my lung, spine, liver and abdomen. They have not tested my big toe yet, if you get the drift!

Amazingly, I never showed signs or the signs were not well put together. What triggered all the investigation was I had severe back spasms after doing refinishing on the table of my diningroom project. Since I had a horse riding accident a few years ago, I am used to back pain and figured I overdid it – as usual. Chiro treatments over a week actually helped! But then suddenly I was going into work end of April and I heard a loud snap and I doubled over, unable to walk. I saw my clinic doc immediately and she sent me for an MRI on my lumbar. Instead of finding a slipped disk, they found mestasticized lesions on the lower spine! Talk about a shocker.

So I got all sorts of tests over a week and we know we are facing. I went home… things seemed good but my body tried to test me out last thursday. Unbeknownst to me and at least 50 health professionals who have been all over my body…. a mass of fluid had collected around my heart and was crushing it. Can you believe this? I almost died (vitals crashed) but these great docs got a catheter around my heart real quick and drained me off. After a week – we determined full recovery from that episode and I got out of the hospital on saturday.

I think if I can survive that, I can beat this and I can’t wait to start up my projects again… When I was in the hospital for the first round (tests) I was trying to figure out if I could sneak in a scroll saw…. to while away the time… I think I will spend another round watching my Charles Neil videos… and of course on this site when I am not too tired. I have not set myself up with too many buddies to follow but I may just do that more.

Keep on truckin’ and postin’. You folks on this site are one hell of a bunch and I still remember my first project post and how nervous I was! You welcomed me with open arms and kept the encouragement. I’ll never forget that.

23 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4598 days

#1 posted 05-23-2011 01:37 PM

Gitter dun dude. Kick that junk out of the ole body and get back to the dust. Don’t waste time in the hospital tho…that is, take advantage. Get those needles for glue, forcips for holding small objects…those rubber things they use for tying off your arm when drawing blood make great clamps.
All my best to you..

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5145 days

#2 posted 05-23-2011 01:47 PM

Sorry to hear that news, but certainly wish for you a speedy return to woodworking.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View HorstPeter's profile


121 posts in 3995 days

#3 posted 05-23-2011 04:53 PM

I wish you the best for your recovery and that the hard times fly by as fast as possible.


View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4506 days

#4 posted 05-23-2011 05:04 PM

your positive attitude
is the best way to go

we are all ‘aging’
but don’t need to give in to it

just find a way to work around it

God bless
and the best to you

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4500 days

#5 posted 05-23-2011 06:27 PM

I’m sorry to hear about your illness Kate, but I’m glad to hear that you are a fighter and positive minded. I thinks that is very important to beat this stuff. So My best wishes and prayers for a speedy and good recovery.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4202 days

#6 posted 05-23-2011 09:04 PM

I admire your spirit. A positive attitude goes a hell of a long way to getting you through this sort of thing. Here’s hoping remission is just around the corner and you can get back ‘at it’ soon.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View HerbC's profile


1820 posts in 4025 days

#7 posted 05-23-2011 09:41 PM


Sorry to hear of the health issues. Know that our thoughts and prayers are for you as you battle this disease.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4281 days

#8 posted 05-23-2011 11:12 PM

hope you have a well recover with out too many truobles
ceep up the spirit and humor thats the best and quickest way to get thrugh this
go pack an imergency bag with carvingtools and sandpaper + a few boardfoot of your favorit wood
under the clothes so you can sneak it in instead of the scrollsaw :-)

take care

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 05-23-2011 11:17 PM

Keep pulling those oars and know that we are all on board
here with you in spirit . Hope you are feeling better soon .

View jack1's profile


2163 posts in 5193 days

#10 posted 05-24-2011 12:58 AM

What they all said and more. Do whatever the DRs say and keep the faith. It is amazing what changes can be had. As Red Green would say, “Keep your stick on the ice, we’re all pulling for ya!”


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 05-24-2011 03:31 AM

Thanks all. Kind words very appreciated. I did use tools today (gardening).... maybe tomorrow I can find the excuse for a woodworking tool. My one true love is watching me like a hawk to prevent me from sawdust!

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 4197 days

#12 posted 05-24-2011 03:51 AM

I will keep you in my prays. By the way, I think the pig is very cute.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5263 days

#13 posted 05-24-2011 03:55 AM

Tough news. Seems like your strong willed. That is the most important thing.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View jeepturner's profile


946 posts in 3958 days

#14 posted 05-24-2011 04:07 AM

I am sorry to hear you are ailing, my prayers go out to you and your family. Stay strong, and take care of you self. Wood working is a real nice therapy, just don’t over do it.

-- Mel,

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 4269 days

#15 posted 05-24-2011 04:31 AM

I will be praying for you. Every time I think I have it bad the Lord shows me just how fortunate I am to only have a pinched nerve in the back. I can still do – just not as much…I hope and pray you will be able to do….

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

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