Gifts For My First Cancerversary

I’ve discovered that celebrating a cancerversary, the day you were diagnosed with cancer, is something that people like me, who are living with cancer as a chronic disease, tend to do. At first it made no sense to me: WHY THE HECK WOULD ANYONE CELEBRATE SUCH A THING??? Now that I’m at my first canceversary, however, it makes a lot more sense.

It means so far, so good. And when 50% of the people who receive your diagnosis don’t make it through a year’s time, I’ve already beaten some pretty nasty odds. In my case, I feel good, and I am stepping forward into another year of living with cancer with realistic hope that I have some more good time ahead of me.

I’m even celebrating with gifts! The first one: a short drug holiday. I took my last dose of Tarceva on Sunday, and will take my first dose of Rociletinib on Thursday. It’s darn exciting to have three precious days of reset and detox. Note to self: go drink another glass of water.

The second gift: a new and promising treatment. 

The third gift: looking outside my window at the lovely rain falling on this beautiful world. Right now I am at peace and pretty much living my life day by day. 

The fourth gift: a new scarf I just finished a half hour ago.

The pattern is the Flower Scarf by Robyn Diliberto. I’ve made several of these as gift for others over the years, and finally made one for myself. It’s 100% silk, made from what is called a silk cap. A silk cap consists of layers of silk, each layer from one cocoon made by a silkworm. The cap can be dyed, and the one I bought was dyed with black and a brilliant rosy red. To knit with a cap, you peel apart the different layers then take each round circle of silk fiber, poke a hole in the middle, and gradually stretch the fiber into a roving that is the thickness you want. You can spin the roving, or you can directly knit it. For more on the process, here is a website that explains it well: About Silk Caps.

Here is the finished scarf not on me:

And here is a picture of the beginning of the project, showing all of the layers of silk I peeled apart from the silk cap.

It was a quick, fun project, and I enjoyed using up most of the silk cap that had been waiting in stash for a few years. I did something new to me, and completed a project I’ve planned to make ever since I got the silk cap. And it feels great on my neck, very soft and not too warm.

Onward, in peace and delight. And a comfortably warm neck.


  1. A friend of my daughter was knitting with a silk cap and showed us the process of separating a layer and turning it into yarn. I got to hold some in my hand and realized right away that you can’t have any roughness on your fingers or nails as the silk grabs onto it. It would be a really good reason to get a manicure!

    1. El, my best friend during this project was Lavishea, a great solid hand treatment that is shea butter and soy wax. I coated my hands first before picking up the project, and it helped to keep the silk from snagging on my hands.

  2. Congratulations on reaching this first cancerversary. Red(s) is/are my favorite color(s). The scarf is beautiful and the silk cap amazing - as are you. Knit on, my friend! You inspire me so much, and I look forward to our next trip to that city to the north! You are a marvel! XXXOOO

  3. Beautiful colours and truly wonderful silk!


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