The new year of 2018 brought the news that my hubby had bladder cancer and needed treatment immediately. My world came shattering down around me. I had to put on this mask of calm and positivity for my husband and sons while inside every fibre of my being was screaming. My mental health was stretched to breaking point, hours felt like years between appointments.
After the operation to remove the tumor, the toxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions started. As too many will testify, they are grueling and heartbreaking, not only for the patient but also for those in the family. The toxic cocktail changes a person both physically and mentally, and the carer has to deal with those changes while their heart is breaking.
I needed something to distract my mind from overthinking, something to provide utter focus and boy, needle felting certainly does that! You can’t afford to cry or let your mind drift or you’ll be using band aids like you’ve got shares in the company! .... and that’s the reason I started needle felting.
It was your YouTube tutorial videos that got me hooked, you made it look so easy! My first attempt was your sleeping mouse, my attempt was renamed roadkill rat! But I kept at it, it didn’t matter what the outcome, I could release all my emotions into the wool.
I had painted and sculpted all my life, but chose to start needle felting because it was a “clean” craft, I could attend to my husband’s needs in a instant if required, as the materials involved require little maintenance or cleaning up, was quiet enough so I wouldn’t disturb his rest, and could be dropped quickly. It was also my lifeline, my therapy, honestly I don’t know if I’d have coped as well without it.
There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t had some sculpture or wool painting on my stabmat, I developed a love and gratitude for the magic that is found in the craft.
Hubby has passed his 3 year all clear and has made full recovery, there’s a high chance of recurrence, but we’ve learned to live every moment we have.