Monthly Archives: February 2010

Look at my Tommy 2 (Well technically he’s not mine)

If you don’t like small furry animals look away now.  Here’s some pics I took of Tommy while we had him and because he’s ‘so adorable’ (imagine squeaky soppy voice) I felt the need to share them.

 ‘Hey, what’s going on?’


 ‘What are you looking at?’

‘I was enjoying my sleep and I’d like some privacy.’

 ‘If you’re not going to leave me alone, let’s see you show this to polite company!’

 Ha, fortunately we have the technology.

We were supposed to be having Auntie Ann’s own dog, Ben, instead but it was just as well we had Tommy again because Ben wouldn’t have been interested in going out in the snow after all he’s only a Bernese Mountain Dog!

 I think the reason I had trouble with my photos last week may have had something to do with Tommy.  He insisted it was a good idea for him to sit on my knee so that he could look out of the window and warn off attacking birds.  Once this job was done he endeavoured to assist with the photos by putting his muzzle firmly on the lap top while I was typing on the wireless keyboard obviously in an effort to speed things up so that we could get on with his walk.

I Won, I Won, I Won

The Red Ruby Rose Peacock clutch bag is mine, all mine!!!!!  I had to check a couple of times to make sure it really did have have my name on it even though the notification was through an etsy conversation so was obviously mine.  I’m thinking this is marginally better than the shortbread but probably on a par with the novelty egg cup. 

Also on Thursday we received a letter from the Royal giving me an appointment next Friday.  So I gave them a call on Friday (it was too late on Thursday when we got home from the mother in law’s who had monopolised our week a bit but that’s another story or rather blog post entirely) and the funding has come through for Plerixafor.  I decided to go with the NHS funding after my little moral dilemmia (you know who you are – thankfully Ruth [Roobeedoo] you solved it for me too by saying that if your FL was 45 it may be a different matter).

Myeloma Questionnaire

I’d like to say I don’t know how I do it but I do.  I’m extremely inquisitive and completely unafraid to ask a question even if it makes me look stupid.   So…

Statistically I should be an old fat meat eating black man who’s spent loads of time paddling in petrochemicals.

Instead I’m young, I think, female, white, was slim, fit and am still otherwise healthy, I was vegetarian for about 10 years and vegan for about six of those and even after becoming a carnivore again didn’t consume a lot of meat.  I used natural products for cleaning and body care, organic cotton bedding, water based paints, no weed killer in the garden, bought some organic veg, didn’t use anti-perspirant on a regular basis (erm, maybe I shouldn’t have confessed that one), didn’t have anything with artificial sweeteners in, avoided hydrogenated vegetable and trans fats and still don’t own a microwave.  Oh, and I hardly ever drink alcohol.  From that list I think I now know why a friend used to address my birthday cards ‘veggie hippy weirdo’.

Anyhoo being quite interested in stuff like this and after reading that Robert Kyle a myeloma expert said a cure would be easier to find once the cause was known I figured there would be a questionnaire somewhere on general lifestyle and exposure to certain substances for people with myeloma to complete.  I looked but couldn’t find anything on the web except a study relating to aspirin and paracetamol, so I sent an email to the nurse at Myeloma UK.  I thought it would be easier to show the emails.



I read from Dr Kyle in America that a cure would be easier to find if the cause was known (I’m paraphrasing) and since it’s thought that one of the possible causes is petrochemicals is there a questionnaire anywhere about exposure to such substances that myelomaites can fill in.  Particularly us younger ones since it would be easier to identify potential substances as we haven’t had as long to build up a varied collection.

I figured if I’d thought of this there must be one out there somewhere. I have searched on the web but can’t find anything.  If there isn’t one could I start one, well I could but what I mean is would it be of benefit even if it was an unofficial one and what would the questions be.

Thanks for your time.

Kind regards


Dear Paula

Despite much research, the exact cause of myeloma remains unknown. There are thought to be multiple trigger factors which may increase the risk of developing myeloma. As you know these include exposure to certain petroleum-based chemicals, some pesticides, high doses of radiation as well as some viruses. Myeloma is likely to be the result of several factors acting together, however, and in many cases people who develop myeloma have not been exposed to any of the environmental factors mentioned above.

 It is worth bearing in mind that research looking at the cause of myeloma is all from epidemiological studies which only determine what factors are associated with disease but can never prove that they cause the disease, nor if you are exposed to it you will definitely get myeloma. As previously mentioned in myeloma, many other risk factors have also been suggested including age, gender, race, family history, MGUS, radiation etc so petrochemical exposure is another in a long list. Unfortunately the answer is no one knows what triggers myeloma.

Professor Morgan at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey carries out research on the genetics of myeloma. He is an internationally recognised clinician with a special interest in the treatment of myeloma and associated blood cell cancers. I believe one of his projects looking at the causes of myeloma, involves a lengthy questionnaire which includes the history of the patient’s exposure to certain substances.

I hope that this has been of some help but please do not hesitate to get back in touch if you have any questions or would like to talk things over. I can be contacted directly by email as before or on the freephone Myeloma Infoline, the number of which is below.

 Kind regards


So I spoke to Professor Morgan’s secretary and she suggested I email him.  So I did.  Apparently they did compile a questionnaire but did not pursue it and it’s now with an American doctor but it asked ‘a few specific questions about benzene, the immune system and other imponderable questions’ and he wasn’t sure it was much use. 

 So does anyone know of one out there or think one would be a good idea? 



We have photos…

but not of my hair yet. B did take some but I don’t know who of it certainly wasn’t me. Whoever he took had short purple hair and looked FAT.




We went to the eye clinic today just for a check up because when I had shingles last year they were near by left eye (everything is fine). I wanted to get the nosebands in the post and because we’ve had Tommy Ticklemouse again since Friday I didn’t have time to get them parcelled up before going I took them with me. So I sat in one waiting room folding them up and then sat in another stuffing all 23 of them into an C4 size envelope with Bernard saying constantly ‘There’s no way they are going to fit. You should have used two’. I could feel people watching curiously and the pressure was on but I managed to get them all in then had a bit of time getting them in the post box at the hospital.

As a little aside is there anybody other than my husband that considers that this is the appropriate storage location for toilet roll?

To Do List 5


*  Make cards for Sunflowers Centre.  This is where the Blood Support Group is held and this year Sunflowers is the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce sponsored charity and someone there suggested that since the staff are constantly buying cards it would be a good idea to put a box of cards in reception and the proceeds go to Sunflowers.  So I kind of volunteered to make some – ASAP

*  Make cards and other stuff for lady who is fund raising for Myeloma UK – by end of month

*  Power of Attorney for mother in law – sounds like a reasonable swap

Still Hanging About – not started

*  Make 3 baby presents (2) 

 Still Hanging About – but started

 *  Sister in law’s birthday present (3) – needed for 28 Feb this year

*  Aran cardigan for me in rose tinted colour (3)

*  Post patterns and knitting to Ravelry (3) – now got three knitted items on

*  Pattern for colourful baby blanket in squares (2) – again if four rows count


*  Make nosebands for donkeys (4)  – it’s been hanging about for so long I had to wait to post the list until they were done.  There’ll be some comfy donkeys in Palestine courtesy of left over fleece and recycled Velcro.  How do you recycle Velcro I here you ask.  Well you sew one piece to pelmets and staple other to self made pelmet board then realise after two weeks of sticking the pelmet back up that the idea of using Velcro so they would be easier to take down and wash isn’t a goer.  So you unpick all the Velcro from the pelmet, unstaple it from the board and staple the pelmet straight to the board and never take it down.

Photo of donkey nosebands – What you can’t see it? – When I opened a blog to learn stuff I couldn’t decide between blogger and wordpress so because I didn’t know which was best I opened both.  At weekend I decided WordPress was for me since then I tried to add a widget to the list over there —> and lost everything else, I did find out how to alter things when getting them back but couldn’t remember what it was I wanted to add.  And now I can’t get photos on.  In the process I have added 11 to the Gallery (is that enough to charge admission).  So for the time being a little imagination is required.

*  Dinosaur Tested by Tommy Toy

Photo of happy, smiley black floral T-Rex type dinosaur (give that imagination a bit of a work out)

I also finished a baby jacket and hat that have been hanging about for ages (since approximately 1999, yes you read me right, I’m hanging my head in shame).  They were obviously waiting for the right owner.  Whenever I remembered them up until now the baby was either too old or not suitable.  The hat should also have birds on it but there is a limit to how much intrasia knitting I’ll do.  The pattern is from Bright Knits for Kids by Debbie Bliss.  And I little pattern of my own for the same little one.

Photo of cute blue, pink, green, cream, brown v-neck baby cardigan with pink birds with yellow legs and matching stripy hat.

Photo of green ribbed baby hat with stunning matching ribbon bow.

Red Ruby Rose Bags

I wasn’t actually going to mention this because the more people who enter the less chance I have of winning but I felt the need to share these gorgeous bags.

I’m not really a handbag kind of girl.  When I go out if at all possible I put my purse and keys in a friend’s bag and if I go out with hubby I obviously don’t need to take anything.  If I go out on the bus I take a paper bag with my knitting in it.  (I have a bit of a fetish for paper bags.)

However I came across Red Ruby Rose’s shop and blog a few weeks ago and she is having a giveaway for this …


I want it even though I may never use it.  As William Morris said ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – or something like that.

Actually I thought I may as well mention the giveaway because I’m not holding my breath over it as I have only ever won two things – a tin of shortbread in a boy scout raffle, don’t know who won the boy scout, and at the Blood Support Group AGM this…

a Novelty Snowman Egg Cup Set, in case you were wondering.

The link is over there —> somewhere, if you can’t find it I can’t be held responsible!

Hair Cut 3

I went for my hair cut again on Thursday.  I didn’t give much thought to the maintenance side of short hair on the basis that it wouldn’t be there for that long.  When it was long I religiously went for it cut twice a year whether it needed it or not.  So I copied Roobeedoo this time and went for an asymmetrical look, a very much asymmetrical one, the first time I had it cut short was far enough.  Did I mention that I’ve now gone from red to purple?  I had to ask for maintenance tips since the red had really faded and apparently BRIGHT ones do.  So there followed a shopping spree for colour treated hair shampoo, conditioner and some serum which have all been applied for the last two nights.  The hairdresser was heard to say … ‘You can always do this’ (light tousling with fingers) ‘for a funky look for a change from the sleek one’.  Well yesterday I had a sleek top and a funky bottom and today I have a very funky everything and look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards!  Not too sure the sleek look is going to work out.  I’ll post a picture if I can get B to take one that won’t scare small children.

That was the Week that was

I would firstly like to point out that I am no way old enough to remember that programme. I wasn’t even a twinkle when it aired but the title adquately describes last week.

Sunday – The toilet got blocked and leaked.

Monday – The mother in law got stuck in the bath it threw her because she let the water out before trying to get out. So three hours later we found her because the toilet was still blocked. I had to get her out and things like this regardless of my dodgy back are NOT MY DEPARTMENT. A friend after checking Mary was okay, nearly wet herself with hysterical laughter. I had my eyes closed at one point despite the numerous towels round her then decided nightmares were better than A&E if we slipped. I then slaved over three ready meals, and had to parcel Bernard’s up because he had to go home and see the plumber who was working after hours so charged time and a turd! (That one belongs to the plumber’s grandad.)

Plumber left, toilet still blocked. Plumber’s granddad went and got us some ‘Give it One Shot’ while B came back for me. Put ‘Give it One Shot’ down toilet later.

Tuesday – ‘Give it Second Shot’.

The mother in law was going to the doctors anyway with the brother in law. I spent five hours logged on to work and did 3:40 hours because apart from making the contractor a cup of tea I had a ‘couple’ of conversations with mother and brother in law.

In my defence I had no idea that Mary had been asked to provide a wee sample.

First call

Mary: ‘How do I get water in this thing?’ – No hello or anything

Me: ‘Take the lid off, it’s not like the other one’

Mary: ‘But how do I get water in’

Me: ‘Put it under the tap’

Now I can’t remember exactly what Mary said next because the penny was dropping

Me: ‘Do you mean a wee sample? I thought you meant the new kettle!’ Oops

Second call

Mary: ‘Do I use boiling water?’

I don’t know how I didn’t fall off my chair.

Third call

Mary: ‘I can’t go.’

Me: ‘Have you had a cup of tea?’

Mary: ‘No, can I?’

Me: ‘Yes and some breakfast’ – she’d had a fasting blood test

Mary: ‘I need to go today’

Me: ‘I’m sure you will at some point.’

Mary: ‘It needs to go back today’

Further enquiries of doctor’s receptionist and then brother in law revealed it infact did ideally need to go back today. So the pressure was on…

Fourth call

Mary: ‘It’s orange. Is that okay? You know, this thing.’

Me: ‘What?’

Mary: ‘In this pot!’ exasperated.

Me: ‘Oh, yes, well you’ve not had much to drink.’ Penny dropping, we’ll be minted if this carries on.

Mary: ‘What colour’s yours?’

Me: ‘Light straw, I drink a lot of water.’

Mary: ‘Is this alright then’

Me: ‘Yes, it will be fine’

Fifth call

Mary: ‘I’ve kicked the bugger over!’

Me: ‘Well you can do another later’

Mary: ‘I don’t think I’ll bother. It’s not worth it.’ – Huge ‘I’m old what’s the point moment’

Me: ‘Would you like to stay with me tonight’

Mary: ‘Yes… but will he not mind’ – Oh, you mean your baby

Me: ‘No, Mary it’s fine, Bernard will be at work anyway’

Mary: ‘Okay, I’ll go and clear this up’

Sudden realisation that the toilet is still blocked – go and ‘Give it Third Shot’.

Sixth call

Mary: ‘I’ve not been yet’

Me: ‘Have another cup of tea. I’ll ring you in an hour. By the way would you prefer it if I stayed at yours?’

Mary: ‘No, the change will do me good.’

‘Give it Fourth Shot’ – Thinking of suing for false advertising

Seventh call – Okay so it was ten minutes after I should have rung –

Me: ‘Sorry, I was getting Bernard’s lunch’ (It’s okay if I’m doing something for B because that’s what I’m supposed to do being a fluffy female. ‘I was getting paving flags up with a crow bar and breaking them with a sledgehammer’ – ‘Did you not get his tea after that?’ – Actually at the time I did.)

Mary: ‘I’ve been!’

Toilet STILL blocked and we’re out of Shots!

Bernard was going to his mum’s to use the toilet, take wee to doctors and tell her she couldn’t spend night at ours but she agreed I could go there.

I used neighbour’s toilet and went to Blood Support Group Meeting. Came home. Got lift off brother in law to mother in law’s. There before nine. Catered to her every whim.

Went to bed about 12 and Mary managed to go to the toilet in the night about 50 times. Okay I exaggerate, slightly. I myself went once and then went and took some painkillers because my back was giving me a bit of gip – maybe different bed and lifting her on Monday and when I went back upstairs about half an hour later she nearly bowled me over going to the toilet as she’d been waiting because she thought I was in bathroom. And every time she got back in bed I had to pull the cover up – somehow she manages when there’s no-one else there. Little old lady act?

Wednesday – Bernard picked me up at 7:00 and Mary stayed in bed. She says she’s normally up at 6 ish!

Tried to get some work done but seemed to take forever.

Tea’d contractor.

Gave toilet whole new bottle of ‘Give it One Shot’. Manufacturer obviously can’t count.

Auntie En phoned to say x-ray showed collapsed vertebra and myeloma scan on blood test. (Still waiting for results of this.)

Phone calls from two friends and Auntie Ann re driving test.

Thursday – Awake at 4:30. Leave message for Blood Nurse re Auntie En’s news, go back to bed.

Up at 7:30. Bernard politely reminded me that I hadn’t transferred money to pay contractor. Locked myself out of internet banking service in rush to prove I wasn’t inept. Used neighbour’s toilet. Went to fail driving test dramatically.


Lunch with friend.

Train to another friend’s (yes I’ve got two), trip to supermarket (oh, the excitement), tea at Chris’s.

So I was out from 8:20 to 22:30. I don’t know what Bernard means that he didn’t see me last week.

Friday – Few hours work.

Few hours Blood Clinic.

Contractor finished drive.

Drainage contractor turned up to clear toilet blockage.

This week… well I’ve been BORED!

Signature Needles

I love these needles.  I only have four pairs, so far.  I was a big fan of wooden and bamboo needles for a while and they still have a place in my heart and hands for some yarns and occasions but after reading that metallic needles go faster I went back to them but they didn’t feel the same.  Then I came across Signature Needles in Vogue Knitting and love the stiletto tips.  This is the only time I now ‘wear’ them.  The last time I wore the shoe type for a night out from work my husband phoned the friend I worked with, bearing in mind that Pat and I worked within short stick poking distance of each other, and asked her to keep her eye on me and make sure I didn’t fall off them!  I don’t know whether its health and safety but I’m sure points on modern needles are getting blunter.  However with these needles you get to choose your point – stiletto, middy or blunt as well as the length and end shape and get to see what they look like on screen as you select each.

I’m attempting to knit a baby hat at the moment and I cast on last night on my stiletto needles and hit a snag.  Well not a snag but the cut on my left index finger.  I sustained the injury during an intense encounter with the foil top on a supplement bottle.  They’re vicious little things if you don’t assert your authority.  As any knitter knows it is nay on impossible to knit with a plaster on, unless it’s on your toe, of course. Anyway the stiletto point on my needles keeps prodding my cut but don’t worry I’m going to persevere.  I’ve only done two rows and I want to give it someone tomorrow!

Bloggin literacy improves by the minute… I just found the button that lets me see the photo on the draft and how to make the post entry box bigger!

Look at my Acupuncturist

Deb, who I have started going to again, is a TV star. Well, not quite but she has made an appearance on the TV and she wasn’t getting arrested or anything. It was on some digital channel that I I’d never heard of. I realised I might be able to post a link or view or something here, so here goes…

Deb on TV

Apparently the glam presenter in her evening attire had manky shoes. And what was going on with the guy’s hair. You need to watch out for Deb’s dry teeth, she was really conscious of her lip sticking to them and so kept licking them and it was caught on camera. Overall an excellent performance I thought even though I’m slightly biased.

And you know what, Deb doesn’t even own a telly.