This is a post I never dreamed I would be writing. It is something I never expected to have to face. And yet the unthinkable has come to pass and I am indeed having to contemplate a vastly different near future to that which I had expected. I can think of no easy way to share what has transpired so I think the simplest way to do so is just to jump in. So here goes.
A few short weeks ago I became aware of a lump in my right breast. I kept watch on the lump for a couple of weeks and quickly realised it wasn’t going away. I immediately called my doctors and within 48 hours I found myself in the surgery being referred directly to the Breast Clinic at my local hospital. Still convinced that my lump was innocuous, the earth crumbled beneath my feet as the Consultant explained that I had a large cancerous growth in my breast and that the cancer had also spread to the lymph glands. Life since that moment has felt surreal, terrifying, unfamiliar, out of control. Within a week a treatment plan had been arranged. Blood tests, scans, consultations, appointment after appointment, a whirlwind of information, guidance, counselling and decision making has followed. On Monday I begin chemotherapy, which will last till close to the end of the year. Surgery will follow and finally radiotherapy. Life is going to change dramatically and radically over the next few months and my focus is going to have to be on recovery.
Cancer is a terrifying word. The prospect of needing to fight this malignant growth inside me is energy sapping, but fight it I must and I will. As a self-employed person with my own business, there are of course, other significant concerns which need to be addressed. My business has been the most important thing in my life, other than my family, for many years now, and I would feel that the cancer had in some way won, if my business was to suffer. Likewise the stress of not earning any money would certainly impact on my mental health. Amongst many other decisions which have needed to be made, the practicalities of ‘keeping the show on the road’ have had to be considered. My wonderful and supportive daughter, Charlie, will be spending more time working in the business alongside Gavin, and still, but to obviously a lesser extent, me. We also have a great network of friends and colleagues who can step in and help us where needed. We won’t be doing any shows for the foreseeable future but will focus on the online business and building up wholesale potential. Alongside this, Gavin will continue renovating our barn to prepare our studio/shop for the future. We have lots of new designs, publications and most excitingly of all, new yarns, to develop and launch, and I hope to continue having an active role in these activities as much as recovery will allow. Our new online shop is due to launch any day now, and The Vintage Shetland Project is about to be published very soon. So there are many, many positives in the months ahead. Unfortunately I have had to cancel plans to attend Shetland Wool Week and other woolly events in the UK and Europe for the next few months and I won’t be able to promote the launch of The Vintage Shetland Project in the way I had intended but I’m hoping the book will have a long shelf life and I can take part in events or have a belated launch party further down the line.
Please bear with us over these forthcoming months. Pattern support will most likely be a little inconsistent and friends will look after my ravelry group. In the meantime though, I’ll keep sharing on instagram and social media and we’ll keep the blog and newsletters up and running as much as possible, but if I drop out from time to time please don’t worry, I will be back. Things will have to be flexible and respond to life but I’m sure Charlie and Gavin will do a truly brilliant job of looking after Susan Crawford Vintage and me too.
At this point, I can’t think of much else to say, but I’ll continue to be around as much as possible sharing beautiful pictures from the forthcoming book and from the farm.
But for now,