Sew and Tell – Breast Cancer Survivor Quilt

This week’s show and tell star has a very special quilt to share. Shirley G. from Texas is a breast cancer survivor and made this quilt as her therapy.

Shirley's Breast Cancer QuiltI’ll let Shirley explain, in her own words:

“I made this quilt from your Loralie Harris Still fabric line. I bought your fabric on line several years ago when I was recuperating from a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation.

“After I finished my quilt, I loved it so much that a made another one for a young woman that I called my “bosom buddy.”  We met by chance when she sat in the chair beside me and took her own chemo treatments as I took mine every 3 weeks for 6 months. By the Grace of God, we became close friends and remain so today even though I’m old enough to be her mother.

“Many of my family members and friends gave me little mementos as they prayed for me during my treatment. After I finished my quilt, I decided to pin many of the mementos to the quilt. My grandson was attending Texas A&M during my treatment. You will notice in the right hand lower corner his contribution to my quilt!

“I wish the picture was clear enough for you to see the contribution that my surgeon gave me for my quilt. When she surgically removed the chemo port from my arm 2 years following all of my treatment, I asked her if I could have the port. She was so surprised when I told her that I wanted to hang it on my breast cancer survivor quilt!  She had her attending nurse wash the port and line very well and gave it to me. To this very day, it hangs on the top of my quilt.  We all had lots of laughs about that. I later mailed her a picture of the quilt which she proudly showed off to others in her office!”

For those of you that don’t know what a chemotherapy port is, here’s Shirley’s explanation:

“A chemo port is a device that is surgically placed just underneath the skin usually in the bicep area of your arm or in the clavicle area of your neck.  It is usually a one time procedure that is  done before a patient’s chemo treatment begins. It is placed there so that every time a patient has his/her chemo treatment, the oncology nurse can place the chemo drip IV  needle directly into the port instead of the patient having to be stuck with a needle directly in the vein. Also when blood work is required, the oncology lab can  draw blood thru the port thus eliminating yet another needle stick directly in the vein. There is almost no pain when they are able to use the port instead of sticking directly into the vein.  Once a cancer patient’s series of chemo treatments are completely finished (6 months or so), the surgeon and chemo oncologist together will decide when the port will be surgically removed.

“In my case, the port was left in me for almost 2 years after my chemo was finished so that, heaven forbid  my cancer should return, my port would already be in place for reuse. I had a very aggressive form of breast cancer that is called HER 2 positive. After my original 6 months of chemo and 35 days of radiation, I had a drug called Herceptin administered in the port every month for 1 year. Thank God that drug was developed just a year or so before I got my type of cancer for exactly my kind of cancer. God was taking care of me even before I was diagnosed with cancer by letting someone develop the drug that was specifically for HER 2 + cancer.”

Wow Shirley, what a triumph! Shirley’s wish through this quilt and this blog post is to encourage others not to dread cancer treatment. She wants to spread the word that while the big “C” is a scary thing, she  is  living proof that many survivors do kick its butt!!

From the bottom of my heart, Shirley, thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt!

Share Your Project

If you would like to share a project you’ve made with at least one piece of fabric purchased from me, please email christa@christaquilts.com with your high quality photos and what makes your project interesting or special to you. If you are selected as my show and tell star of the week, you’ll get a $5 gift certificate as my way of saying thanks for sharing!