For the Prose Pantry at Poets United.  Magaly has chosen the word “stitches” for us to use.

“You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.” – Dave Pelzer

I should have died from the diagnosis but I did not. Most women do die from ovarian cancer. It mimics other symptoms of other diseases until it is too late. I had a canny doctor who ordered me for a biopsy and a CT scan. It was confirmed – I had ovarian cancer.

The treatments began until finally, surgery was the order for the day. The doctors gutted me like a fish and pulled out all the nasty bits, the parts infected with cancer. My surgeon was also canny and did not do stitches or staples. He used a special biodegradable and biocompatible superglue to seal the surgery closed. No stitches, no staples – I healed cleanly.

I was established in the guest room during my recovery from surgery.  My mother half sarcastically gave me an embroidery kit to work on while on bedrest. I looked at her like she was crazy. “You know my sewing kit consists of duct tape, staples, and safety pins.” She snorted and walked away. My two cats, Pugsley and SamCat the Ripper sniffed at the sewing kit and went down to the foot of the bed to guard me and keep me company. My husband looked at the kit and asked, “Is she serious?”

The embroidery kit was never opened. It was tossed to the side and discovered behind the bed a year later during a massive cleanup. I was determined – no stitches in me and no stitches in a kit.


embroidery kit for beginners

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kim881
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 14:25:27

    Another excellent autobiographical recount, Toni. You’re a real trouper!


  2. Magaly Guerrero
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 15:52:45

    It feels good to be able to choose what we want or need, especially when the situation is this serious.

    I can almost imagine the look on your face when you got that kit. Wow.


  3. Sherry Marr
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 16:19:02

    I am so glad you had a canny doctor. Too many stories of cancer are of it being diagnosed too late. I like the way he sealed the wound, too, wish more doctors did that. Embroidery was (briefly, when I was twelve) the only type of sewing I ever liked.


  4. Shawna
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 16:46:24

    Aww, I wish I lived next door so that you could give it to me. That looks like fun. 🙂

    Your strength and determination are inspiring. I can’t imagine anything doing you in until you decide you’re ready.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 04, 2019 @ 19:12:27

      Thank you Shawna. It is just an illustrative pic. The original kit was for like, a six year old 😊. It was thrown out in the massive cleaning!

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  5. Carrie V. H.
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 17:33:44

    I love how you covered stitches from two different angles Toni! I am also grateful you had a good doctor and surgeon! You are a poet with many more tales to be told! 😍


  6. Vivian Zems
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 18:01:14

    Wow! A fighter, you are. I love the mindset here. A positive and inspiring tale.


  7. susanstoo
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 18:23:30

    Mom’s timing was unfortunate! Loved the names of the cats! They would have ripped out the stitches, had the kit ever been opened, I’m sure.


  8. Sumana Roy
    Aug 04, 2019 @ 21:32:54

    Hey you have cool cat names. Love everything here: The doctor’s decision, action, your mother’s intervention & your reaction. 🙂 I had two/three surgeries done on me & they left their scars. Ugh. Healing cleanly is a blessing.


  9. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Aug 05, 2019 @ 11:41:44

    Ha, I wouldn’t have tried it either. Bravo for you, for both reasons (and for your doctor).


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