Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Please support Hats Unto Others!

The first time Mike ever saw me cry was on June 1, 2009, the day I found out my Beautiful Aunt Joyce died of breast cancer. The second time he saw me cry was last Labor Day weekend when I learned my dear friend Lisa McGlaun had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

You know how I feel about that f*cking disease (and my regular readers know what it can suck).  Fortunately, Lisa has completed her chemo and is doing well.  So well that, true to her character, she's not thinking of herself but is helping others.  I'll let her tell her story.
When I went to my oncologist's office for the first time back in August I distracted myself by reading all of the signs posted on the walls. That way I didn't have to think about what was coming down the pipe....chemo, surgery, radiation....lots of stuff that scared the shit out of me but all of it out of my control. So one of the signs said, "Do you want to be a happy hooker?" Well, that caught my attention! Turns out it was for the next meeting of the "happy hookers", a group my doctor started. They get together once a month and crochet hats and blankets for the chemo patients that receive treatment at her office...which I was about to be one of!

So I went to the meeting and loved it so much that I started spending all my down time (time on the couch because I didn't have the energy to get up) crocheting hats. I'd learned to crochet from a family friend when I was eleven but hadn't made anything in years so making the hats ignited my creativity again. It also gave me a way to keep my mind off myself and on something positive like giving back to the community...my new community of loved ones on "Planet Cancer"...:)

Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada has several offices around the valley. I went to an appointment at a different office one day and realized that they didn't have a program to provide hats for their patients. I began to donate my hats there instead. Yarn got expensive! Ideas began to roll around in my head for how to keep these donations going. I'd go to sleep thinking about it and then I'd wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. Always at 4 a.m. because cancer patients who are on steroids never get a good night's sleep..lol..that is my new wake up time!..arrggg.

So I settled on a buy one/share one program and my husband Todd came up with the name "Hats Unto Others," like "Do Unto Others as you'd have them do unto you." :) Very clever, that man of mine!

Beautiful Lisa
I've had a great response. I think that is because it is a win/win situation for everyone involved. I get to make hats to give to people who need them and now have funding to buy the yarn. Also, I get to be really creative in making the custom hats that people order. The buyer gets a cool hat for themselves and the satisfaction of having another hat donated in their name. Now they are able to help a cancer patient too! The cancer patient gets a hat, which is a very good thing because until you've experienced a bald head you don't realize just how cold it can be! LOL

When I am at home in the evening I almost always have on a hat...my head just gets very cold. I know other women who've lost their hair feel like I do. There have been nights when I've slept with one on because even though I'm nestled under the covers my shiny bald head is not! It's helped a great deal.

I've had 30 orders so far. I'm very pleased with that and I'll continue making the donation hats even if no one else ever orders. As long as I have yarn, I'll keep going. I've set a goal of donating 1000 hats and I intend to reach it
If you've ever known someone with breast cancer--and at this point who doesn't?-- you know how helpless you feel.  You want to do something.  Well. here's something you can do.  If you can, please help Lisa reach her goal.  You can find out more or place an order by emailing her at hatsuntoothers@gmail.com

How I wish my aunt were still here on earth with us; I would have loved to buy her a couple of hats.  Although she did manage to find one herself...

B.A.J. was so funny!
I have cried twice in front of Mike since then, both within the past week.  Once was because I was pissed and the other was when I saw on Facebook that my friend's 32-year-old daughter died of breast cancer.   She had learned of her daughter's Stage 4 diagnosis only five days earler.  Thirty-two years old!  And she leaves behind 6-month-old twins.

I'd so rather cry out of anger. 

But what is there to be angry about?  Let's enjoy every minute of life today, shall we?  And thank you, dear Lisa, for being the angel on earth that you are.  With every cell in my body, I wish you a full recovery and a long, long life ahead.


Sous-Chef said...

As a recipient from a similar program here in MN I can tell you that these small gifts mean so much. Someone you don't even know cares enough to look out for your welfare even when you can't. What a remarkable individual Lisa is that she saw a need beyond her own and made efforts to make it better for others.


Mellodee said...

Cancer is the most insidious, devastating, horrible disease. It indiscriminantly steals our husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, family, friends, siblings, and worst of all our children! In the effort to survive, the only treatments that have any hope of eliminating this killer from our bodies, are debilitating, toxic, overwhelming drugs and radiation that are often worse than the disease. Yet none of these treatments is guaranteed to be effective. There are millions of dollars being poured into cancer research, but so far, we are no where close to a "cure". No one deserves to be the victim of cancer. It is a nightmare that goes on and on and on, collecting more and more victims, and destroying more and more lives. Someday all that research will find the way to prevent and cure. There's just no way to know if that "someday" will be tomorrow or sometime in the next millenium. In the meanwhile, we mourn those we have lost and treasure those few who have won their fight and reached that nirvana of being "cancer free!"

sID g. said...

I remember when you cussed the day I told you about Doris' lymphoma. Well, we've been following Lisa's knitting efforts and imagine our surprise when a cap arrived for Doris. It worked wonders and we can' begin to describe the relief a few weeks ago when her oncologist deemed her in 100% remission.

So how do you thank Lisa and the others for their efforts. Well, we donated some $ for yarn or other expenses. We've also spread the word at two of Comprehensive Cancer Center's clinics - a bit like telling the choir.

But now we can publicly thank Lisa. There can be a positive outcome to the awfulness of cancer and you will get there as well. And Linda, be mad and cuss all you want, but don't forget, more are surviving than ever before, and the caps are gorgeous.

Sid Goodman

Liz said...

I lost my Mom to cancer (not breast cancer though) many years ago. I just lost (in October) my Step-Mom to breast cancer. My Sister-in-Law is a survivor. I don't have anyone that needs a hat right now but I'm ordering one. Lisa can donate both to the clinic.
I hope she wins her battle and has a long, beautiful life! Good for her and her wonderful idea to help those in need.

Lisa McGlaun said...


I love you. You're such a dear friend. Thank you for helping me get the word out. I'll be fine. I know I will. I am one of the lucky ones...just a few more surgeries and radiation treatment to follow and I can put this behind me. At least I'll put that part behind me but not the happiness I've found in crocheting these hats. It brings me such joy.

To Sid and Doris...you are my dear friends too! I'm so glad that I could do something that brightened Doris' day. And I'm very happy to hear that she is in remission and doing so well.

I've already had some orders this morning thanks to this post. You have awesome readers!

Love to you,

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Thanks to all for your heartfelt comments and your support to Lisa. If you only knew her in real life, you couldn't help but love her.

And she's right--my readers are awesome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


K A B L O O E Y said...

My mom is two treatments away from finally finished, after surgery, chemo, radiation and herceptin. I'm off to buy hats in honor of her.

Lisa McGlaun said...


Again...this is incredible! My donation hats have tags pinned to them that say Hats Unto Others...donated by...

I write in the name and state of residence for the person making the donation. Thanks to you cancer patients in Las Vegas will know that people from states like Wisconsin and Minnesota care about what they are going through!

I can't thank you enough for your help with this.

Love you,