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Topic: Do you knit/crochet and are willing to share?

Forum: Mod Announcements, News, Blog Entries, Podcasts —

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Posted on: Jul 15, 2019 04:53PM - edited Jul 15, 2019 04:53PM by Moderators

Moderators wrote:

Hi all! We are wondering if you wouldn't mind helping us out!

We are working with Jimmy Beans Wool to share stories, quotes, pictures, etc. from members around how knitting/crocheting has helped them cope with a breast cancer diagnosis. Would some of you knitters mind sending us a PM or post here with a few paragraphs about how this hobby has helped you throughout your cancer journey? We'd really appreciate it!

--The Mods
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Posts 1 - 14 (14 total)

Jul 15, 2019 05:49PM Catsme wrote:

Great topic!

A lady from our church taught me to crochet when I was 12 years old. As the years past I would pick it up again from time-to-time and always enjoyed it. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and was off work for MX recovery, I picked it up again, and have vowed to keep going.

Crocheting has helped keep my hands and mind busy when fear and anxiety try to take over. It has also provided a great way to make gifts for others. And planning new crochet projects is another thing I look forward to and get very excited about. This is huge, because when first diagnosed I didn't see the point in planning anything and looking forward. Crochet projects were a small step in getting beyond that.

I've attached a picture of the first thing I created after my diagnosis and finding this wonderful creative medicine.


Dx 12/7/2016, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/3/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 1/19/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)

Jul 15, 2019 05:53PM MountainMia wrote:

How will Jimmy Beans Wool use this?

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.

Jul 15, 2019 05:57PM Ciaci wrote:

I crocheted for pleasure for many years (my Grandma taught me when I was 8!), simple afghans at first, then more complicated patterns.

When I was first diagnosed, I stopped crocheting for a few months. It was hard to see a long-term project and wonder, "how will I feel six months form now?", "will I even be able to do this?" -- then, once I had my treatment plan in place (Ibrance/Femara for my Stage 4 diagnosis), I was able to visualize myself crocheting. It brings me so much joy to be able to create something special out of a few skeins of yarn, it's literally been a lifesaver for me!

I've also been involved with Feel Better Friends - an organization that makes dolls for medically fragile children. I started shortly before my diagnosis, then stopped. I even notified them that I wouldn't be able to continue because I didn't know if I'd be able to meet deadlines anymore! Then, once I started crocheting, and saw the peace of mind it brought me, I reached out to FBF, to continue. Nothing in my life has been more fulfilling than crocheting these precious dolls, and I plan to continue for many, many, years to come.

These are some of the dolls I've created:

Dx 4/18/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 7/13/2017 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib)

Jul 15, 2019 06:10PM - edited Jul 15, 2019 06:13PM by exbrnxgrl

I have only been a knitter for a bit less than 3 years. I love everything about it, particularly the repetitive, soothing, almost meditative nature of it. I am a process knitter, more than a product knitter. Sure, I like it when I finish a project, but it's the process of getting there that interests me most (product knitters find this hard to understand). Additionally, though knitting consists of only two basic stitches, purl and knit, the variations on these stitches seem almost infinite . There are also many different ways to purl and knit (how you hold and move your working yarn) but you get to choose what feels most comfortable to you! On top of all this yarn is beautiful! Wool, alpaca, silk, cotton, man made , thick, thin, hand dyed. I adore all of it. Knitting is filled with possibilities, projects can be quick and easy or require months of dedication. What can I say; I'm hooked! Here’s a hat I made this past winter when I was on a hat knitting kick.

PS: Jimmy Bean's is a great company. I purchased something from their booth at Stitches West (fiber arts conference) this past February. I discovered a problem when I got home and they happily replaced it the next day. Lovely people

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)

Jul 15, 2019 07:19PM gb2115 wrote:

All during radiation I crocheted a baby blanket for a coworker. It was slow going because of lingering pain from my sentinel node biopsy, but I plugged away and got it done.

Dx IDC in Oct 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, Lumpectomy + rads + tam. Age 38. 5/21 Dx IDC. 1.6 cm ER/PR+, Her2 -. Gr 2. 2/2 nodes positive. AC/T. Age 42

Jul 15, 2019 08:28PM Acucindy wrote:

I am 52 years old. I have been knitting since I was 8! I found out 2 weeks ago that I have IDC. I am waiting for a surgery date. My knitting sisters came to me and said, "Let's knit a Conquering Cancer Cardigan!" I am going to make a soft pink cardigan to soothe my nerves and give me a focus through this process. Knitting is the most soothing thing that I do. I am blessed to have so much support!

Jimmy Beans - If you have questions for me, I am happy to reply. I love you guys!

Dx 7/5/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy

Jul 15, 2019 08:38PM Beaverntx wrote:

I have both knitted and crocheted off and on for decades -- my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was in grade school and I taught myself to knit from a book when I was in college. Before my diagnosis I was focused more on quilting but after receiving two lovely prayer shawls after my surgery I decided to make a shawl or two to share with others. It is enjoyable to work with yarn again. Unfortunately, I cannot use wool yarns as I do not tolerate wool being in direct contact with my skin!

Diagnosed at age 77-- Oncotype 17, dealing with this bump in the road of life!!🎆 Dx 1/24/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/30/2018, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0 Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/15/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

Jul 15, 2019 10:51PM ceanna wrote:

Moderators, may I ask why you would be working with a commercial company? Seems to be using people's diagnoses for funding. Just my opinion and I will not be sharing here.

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right

Jul 16, 2019 01:21AM SoCalLisa wrote:

I needed some " No Brainer" distraction when I was going through treatment and to feel like I was not wasting my time. So, I knit laprobes for the VA Hospital. Years later, I still do.

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years

Jul 16, 2019 02:33PM GoMama wrote:

I love it! Great work!

I got cancer, cancer didn't get me. Dx 5/9/2019, LCIS/ILC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 8/13/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 9/24/2019 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)

Jul 17, 2019 11:25AM sierramtngirl wrote:

For those of who are concerned, JBW is a wonderful company that donates a lot of money and yarn to local women diagnosed with breast cancer. I know this because it’s my local yarn store!

I think they are considering doing a knitting class survivors and/or those who are going through treatment. If I know anything about this company, I’d bet it will be offered for free.

I was diagnosed with a high grade DCIS in October of 2017. I’ve been a long time knitter, and knitting was such a great way for me to stay distracted during my surgeries and appointments. I made something for each person who helped me during my recovery.

Dx 10/13/2017, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/12/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement

Jul 17, 2019 11:39AM exbrnxgrl wrote:


Thank you for confirming what a great business Jimmy Beans is! I’ve purchased from them online and at Stitches West. I was in Incline Village during the winter and really wanted to visit their store, but the massively snowy winter made us cautious about driving (What can I say, we’re from San Jose 😉.).

Although the mods have not answered questions about JBW’s involvement, they are an outstanding business IMO.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)

Jul 17, 2019 04:13PM Wised wrote:

I have crocheted for 30+ years, knitted for 21, spun yarn and woven for 15. I feel so fortunate to have found the activities that bring me solace. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2018, I was frantic with worry and too preoccupied to work on fiddly patterns so I knitted dish towels that have a button to hang on the refrigerator or stove. I made 18 of those for Christmas. I also made a hat for my boyfriend who supported me through the ordeal. When I was diagnosed with lymphedema, the therapist told me to give knitting a rest so I reverted to my old friend crocheting. Since then, I have made 3 blankets. Here are a few pictures. These are not nearly as nice as things I have made before my diagnosis, but the soothing rhythm of the needles helped me recover.

Stage 3 colon cancer treated in 2015/16. Factor 13 bleeding disorder. OncotypeDX 8. Lymphedema dx 3/19. Dx 9/12/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 10/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/19/2018 Whole-breast: Breast

Jul 18, 2019 11:10AM Moderators wrote:

Thank you all for sharing! We have garnered enough responses now, and will be locking this thread. We appreciate your help!!!

For those who have asked, this is the response from our development team on the relationship with Jimmy Beans Wool:

Jimmy Beans Wool is supporting for the third year in a row through the sale of their knit and crochet products. Jimmy Beans Wool began their charitable giving program with the inspiration from their HR Liaison, Mindy, a breast cancer survivor. Mindy chose to support because it helped her decipher the overwhelming amount of information while managing her breast cancer diagnosis. Together, and Jimmy Beans Wool would like to amplify the importance of quality hobbies and their positive effects while managing breast cancer. We are asking our community members to share quotes/pictures/stories with us so we can inform and inspire others to find their pastime of choice during critical times. We'll likely be using these through social media channels and/or email communications.

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