Monthly Archives: March 2010

There should be a law against it!

I love the shop Ness.  I have never bought anything there mind because tartan itches (and it’s a little on the dear side for my tastes).  I think my particular brand of itchiness stems from being forced into homemade tartan trousers and a cape when I was young.  My mum relented and lined the trousers but I still remember whinging about them constantly whenever she made me wear them.   My Auntie Doris sent me two kilts when I was wee, before I had enough of a waist to hold them up and I remember my mum added them to underskirts so that I could wear them.  These I did like with their little kilt pins but they still itched!!

But I like to browse and ooh and ahh at things in Ness whenever we go to Scotland even, or maybe especially, because their tartans are not the traditional colours.  Our family tartan is to be honest quite dark.  My great grandfather came from Portebello just outside Edinburgh, a place which has such delectable names as Fishwives Row.  However when we went in there last week I was appalled.  This is a Scottish shop in Scotland that sells and is based upon tartan and the two shop assistants had not only English accents but pretentious English fluffhead accents.  One had way more etched lines on her forehead than me (and was about 15 years younger), I think these were from being constantly confused at the complexities of buttoning her cardy.  I visibly cringed when I heard them discussing with a customer what she could do to make an item fit.  I very nearly had to go for a sit down!

There should definitely be a law against this!



To Do List 9 – times on list in brackets


 Knit five Myeloma Buddies

 New and Done

 * Organise little birthday party for Saturday – catering provided by Leah Jayne who is completely recommended and had nothing to do with my vomiting.  My brother in law ate two cup cakes and took at third home and he is so fussy it’s untrue (correct me if I’m wrong Gill)

Still Hanging About – but started

 * Aran cardigan for me in rose tinted colour (7) – well up the second sleeve, just need another front and collar

* Post patterns and knitting to Ravelry (7) – now still got five knitted items on

* Make 3 baby presents (6) – one still actually started! – I have now bought fabric for the other two from a very nice fabric shop called Mandors in Edinburgh and Cabbage Patch Fabrics on the way there.

* Don’t postpone doing To Do List in an attempt to mark something off it – ooops a whole week late, but I was de-stem celled, holidayed, birthdayed, partyed and vomited in the space of that week


* Make cards and other stuff for lady who is fund raising for Myeloma UK and here it is – considering I was going to do bags and cards it got a bit diverse.

Cards – all two of them!


(We’ll speak of these no more)

Fabric ‘carrier’ bags


Felted rose brooches – I had bits of blooms and leaves hanging about and thought I know I’ll make them into brooches


 Pencil Toppers


I don’t want any comments on the frog!

Wristbands – three of them but only the top one passed quality control because I ran out of stitch and tear and used something else that was un-named from the bazaar that is our local fabric shop the other two though possibly wearable are certainly not sellable

And to make up for the lack of cards some things I had already done – some baby hats and a handknit bag


Long Term Goals

* Discover cause of myeloma

* Build own house – okay so maybe my dreams of actually laying some of the bricks and nailing on roof tiles may not be achievable anymore but I suddenly realised I still want to do this someday

For my Birthday I got…



Other Stuff

 A box made by my youngest nephew at school.  He got an A, he would have got an A star if the little box on top had successfully fit inside with the other one!  I may wax it so it doesn’t get mucky.  It’s flanked by the cards made by my sister-in-law,Gill, (his mum), she’s way more patient and talented at cards than me.

This is what Philip made B for his birthday, it’s a CD holder, but I have a bit of an overflow of cookery books so I may put them in it instead.

And my final present was a vomiting virus!  I woke up yesterday morning and felt fantastic even though I’d had a late night because we had a little party.  They I had a drink of cordial and it made a rapid reappearance.  So I got back in bed and the sick feeling passed.  A few hours later I phoned the Royal to check it wasn’t a delayed side effect.  No.  So I asked B to take me to the walk in centre as I am very rarely sick.  My temp, blood pressure and pulse were all fine and I was informed there are a lot of vomiting viruses going round.  So I came home and went back to bed but couldn’t keep any water down and felt blah to say the least.  I knew I didn’t feel well because I wanted to go back to bed, which wasn’t a done thing in our family.

Gill offered to stay over but settled for B leaving a key with her and me promising that I would ring if I needed anything and I felt so bad I meant it.  I got up this morning at 10 and looked like Ken Dodd*, had a shower and got back into bed. 

I have felt better as the day went on and even had a little bit of hotpot for my tea.  When Gill rang the second time to see how I was she confessed she nearly came over in the night with a spare duvet to sleep on the settee.  As it was she dreamt I turned into a prune from dehydration.  I meanwhile had  a fitful nights sleep and dreamt/thought it was a good job I hadn’t even started knitting the first Myeloma Buddy on order as it would end up like the episode of the Simpsons where Homer buys a juicer from Japan and the flu germs are sneezed in and then let out when he receives it!!!!!

How to find out you have a lytic lesion


1 x Hospital stay for stem cell harvesting

1 x Blood doctor that doesn’t part with information (Dr A)

1 x Very pleasant nurse

1 x Department Registrar (Dr R)

1 x Different blood doctor (Dr B)

1 x Bone marrow transplant co-ordinator (BMTC)

1 x Lyptic lesion in right femur

Step One

Take very pleasant nurse and have following conversation.

‘Dr B has asked for an x-ray on your right femur’

‘Don’t you mean my left one?’ Make puzzled expression.

‘Where were you getting the pain?’

‘In my back and left hip after getting my mother in law out of the bath.’

‘Oh, maybe I got mixed up. Anyway you can go down tomorrow after harvesting.’

Step Two

Add Dr R to the mix and have following discussion.

‘Have you been for your x-ray on your right femur?’

‘Not yet.’

‘You need to do that before you go.’

‘Okay but don’t you mean my left one?’

‘No, the right one. The x-ray from Whiston only shows the top part of the lesion and we wanted to see it further to see if we need to do anything about it before your stem cell transplant.’

‘What lesion? I have a collapsed L3 and some damage to my ribs.’ Add a tiny pinch of rant about how little Dr A says.

‘Have you seen your x-rays?’

‘No’ Add a touch more rant to taste.

‘They are yours, you can ask to see them. I can show you them before you go.’

Step Three

Pack belongings and go for x-ray on right femur whilst waiting to be collected.

Step Four

Vacant room with husband in tow and request viewing of x-rays on way out.

Step Five

Lightly stir in BMTC.

‘Why do you want to see them?’

‘Because I can.’

‘There’s nothing really to see, but you can have a look if you really want.’ (In a considerate we don’t want you to fret way.)

‘Yes I do.’

Add husband – ‘I’m not looking.’

Step Six

Have a good stare at x-rays from today and last April.

‘What’s that?’

Dr R ‘The myeloma.’

Der ‘Yes, but what’s that bit?’

‘Oh, the thin bone.  Where’s the pain?’

‘I haven’t got any.’

BMTC ‘You’ve got strong leg muscles.’

‘They’re not as big as they used to be’

 ‘Well they won’t be!’

Step Seven

‘So what about exercise?’

Get Dr R to give BMC a look.

Dr R ‘No heavy weights, nothing that jars it.’

BMC ‘Walking’s very good.’

‘Brisk walking?’

‘Normal walking.’

‘That’s back to brisk since I’ve been feeling better.  Dr A wouldn’t give me a letter for my GP to refer me for an exercise programme.’

‘And when he said no you start thinking all sorts.’

‘No,it’s more since he’s not very exercise orientated anyway and…’

‘And if he says no with no reason then you want to do it anyway.’

‘Yes, I’m fine if someone explains it to me.  So how thin?’

‘Don’t fall over!’

Add seasoning

‘I only said this morning that I had my bed so high to take advantage of the view that I had to clamber on to it so I took to lowering it just in case I fell and broke my leg because how embarrassing would that be!’

Add final dusting with light laughter.

Myeloma Buddies

The To Do List nearly finished B off this morning as I lost my pictures for the umpteenth time and therefore I took the hint and gave it a rest for this week.  I was however going to show these separately because they are sooooooooooooo cute they deserved their own spotlight.

As part of the stuff I did for the lady who is having the fun raising event today  for Myeloma UK (yes I said fun that was Roz’s mis-type originally and it sounds so much better than fund raising) I attempted to knit yet again to knit for want of a better word dolls.  I don’t really do knitted toys.  The ones that look really good are quite time consuming like this…


or I once tried quick knit Teddies for Tragedies and to be honest the ones I did were more likely to cause a tragedy than bring comfort after one.


They are all knit in double knit yarn but can you guess which ones I washed after knitting?  Anyway we shall never speak of these again!

However I attempted to give it another go and here’s the result.  This is the first one I knit keeping an eye on me whilst I was working…

Here’s one a friend adopted and named Sweetpea…

Here’s two in the colours of Myeloma UK and the official colour for myeloma (who decides these things?)

And then I got a bit carried away…

I really like these, so much so I have listed them on my etsy shop with the profits either going to Myeloma UK or MMRF.


I can see Arthur’s Seat

After checking out of my luxury hotel, I mean hospital, last night I decided it would be a good idea to have a few days away particularly as it’s my birthday on Friday.  It’s one of THOSE birthdays, the ones that seem to amuse other people.  Yesterday morning I had been sitting on my bed about four feet off the floor (because this was the only way I could see out) admiring my view of Liverpool and the wind turbines on the Mersey thinking a few days away would be nice particulary as B had booked time off from last night.  By the end of the day, although I had squeezed out a sufficient number of stem cells, it was definitely a good idea.  So I can now see Arthur’s Seat from my bed instead, which for those of you not in the know is a hill in Edinburgh rather than the backside of a bloke called Arthur.  And here it is…


We only booked at 10 o’clock last night after frenzied discussions because we normally stay at the Holiday Inn but B had brought up the Malmaison on a late bookings website and this is somewhere I have tentatively mentioned several hundred times in the past.  But as B doesn’t like change it took two phone calls to convince him it was a good idea this time.  One was to see if the hotel offered a better deal than the internet and the other to see if any of the rooms with the view from the front were the cheaper ones (obviously assuming not) and the deal breaker – did they have their own car park.  The guy I spoke to was very honest about the views from the cheaper rooms and that the area is undergoing redevelopment, it is round the old docks after all.  Since he was so truthful and said they would endeavour to provide as good a view as was available, and they did indeed have a car park – we booked.

So here’s my current tea tray (I’ll be wanting one of these at home at this rate)…

You can see the little chocolate bunny on the plate with the glasses and the wine that my Auntie Ann got me as a little treat for my hospital stay.  B got one too, here’s his…

I think you can just about make out what’s left of Bernard’s bunny’s seat!





Stem Cells are Go!

Apparently I need to produce 4 something I’m pretty sure it’s not just 4 CD34s but what the hey, and today I managed 3.  So another Plerixafor tonight and then the other one in the morning and back on the machine.  I’m going to take a picture of the BIG needle tomorrow as it’s BIG and no-one will believe I actually have knitting needles smaller than it BUT it doesn’t hurt going in because apparently it doesn’t touch as many nerves as the little ones. 

I was going to do my To Do List – had in fact started it but then I lost it somehow – better that than the stem cells – and since I couldn’t nod back off this morning I can’t keep my eyes open but felt the need to share the 3 out of 4!

Tomorrow – To Do List and I’ll share the pornographic nature of the audio book I inadvertently I got from the library, THE LIBRARY, and brought in and played on my laptop – it’s a good job I didn’t fall asleep with it playing this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Room with a View

 I started the injections to mobilise my stem cells on Thursday morning and now I’m sitting cross legged in my coral and peach stripped jim jams, just the bottoms the top is plain, you have to know where to draw the line, in my own little hospital room.  I’ve been in less appealing hotel rooms, well bed and breakfasts.  I remember one where the mattress had more peaks than the Himalayas and I refused to take my socks off  even for a shower.  It’s 04:38 and I woke up and couldn’t nod straight back off so I thought I’d take the time to show off my hotel, I mean hospital room, while I enjoyed a coffee and biscuit courtesy of the NHS.  Let’s face it if you’re going to have something wrong with you it might as well be something that gets you an NHS room like this.

 You know what this is…


it’s my light dimmer switch and telephone extension socket.

My reclining armchair and TV

My bed, CD/radio and storage with little mini wardrobe!!!!!!!!!!



My complimentary tea tray, tea coffee biscuits and kettle which are sitting on my  fridge. 

Oh, and this is my view, okay it’s dark but there’s a lot of lights, so there’s a lot of view, apparently its quite a small room but I think I can safely say I prefer a view over square footage. 

Rachel, the lovely nurse,  gave me my Plerixafor injection last night and so this should be kicking my lazy stem cells into action.  Hopefully they aren’t really lazy they just needed a bit of a rest after the initial treatment. 

DisclaimerI know I take the mickey but I do feel the need, unusually for me, to say that I do appreciate we are really fortunate to have the NHS!

Well enough of that, did I say this is my tea tray?

Myeloma & Me

As I was lying in bed this morning thinking I should get up I was also thinking about B.  Actually there was some thought of a scene I’d seen in Watchmen yesterday, no wonder it’s an 18 but since B was snoring away my thoughts turned to myeloma. 

Last weekend as I was standing in the kitchen Bernard put his arms round me from behind and said that he would be glad when it’s June and the SCT process is over.  On Wednesday when I woke him up I got a cuddle, just a cuddle, and even as he opened his mouth I knew he was going to say the same thing again.  Then last night or rather early this morning when he came to bed at 3:45am (sometimes he has trouble adjusting at weekends) he said that he wished he could just wake up and find it had been a bad dream.  I said ‘What coming to bed at this time?’ and he obviously said ‘No, you.’  So I snuggled in and gave his hand a squeeze.

We don’t actually discuss myeloma much as in the medical side it tends to be more about things I’ve read on blogs because these are about people and B is way more of a people person than me.  I’m actually rather shy but now I think what the hell and have made a conscious effort to be more extrovert.

B doesn’t actually read any, he doesn’t actually read much other than Page 3 and the brochure for the new car we got last November.  But together we’ve looked at Ruth and her FL’s wedding photo, Lorna’s photos of Toni, watched Phil’s son Ocean decide whether Spiderman or Daddy would beat myeloma, seen Beth’s foot, read of Denise’s parking lot altercation (B had already decided a visit to Tesco by me wasn’t a good idea, this compounded that thinking) and admired Tim’s truck.  We’d also read of George’s wife Sue and her car accident.  From an article on John’s blog we raised questions at the Royal over stem cell transplants along with trying Ruth’s cherry, lime and banana cake recipe (highly recommended).  I intend to try the gingerbread recipe soon. 

Basically that’s all B has seen direct other than that he gets edited highlights from me.  Bernard remembers people by association, hence, once meeting someone I worked with at a Christmas party she become known as Maplins, because she had a red blazer on that looked like the sort of thing a holiday camp employee would wear, Maplins being a fictional camp on an old comedy programme, where they wore yellow coats!  So we have Ruth who knits from Aberdeen, Lorna from Wolverhampton, Phil, you know, from the video we watched.  

There’s a lot of blogs out there, some of which I read on a regular basis, some I tried once but didn’t read again and a few I comment on.  Selective information is then shared with Bernard, generally the good stuff but obviously sometimes a combination like when Ruth’s husband was having a tough time fortunately followed by yeah, FL’s blood results are normal.  

I feel an affinity with everyone with myeloma but as with life generally there are people you would have a drink with and people with who you would pass the time of day.  I read George’s blog regularly (but rarely comment) and although I think that George and Sue may be in the latter category I feel a special affinity with Sue because she was diagnosed exactly a week after me.  As you may know things haven’t been going particularly well and on Thursday I saw a post listed on my blogger following list but when I clicked it was no longer there.  I’ve checked regularly since and this morning it the full post was there.  Being the eternal optimist I’d kind of hoped it was because they were waiting on good news and stomped on the niggling thought that this wasn’t the case.  When I read it I realised just how involved I’ve become in the well being of the people whose blogs I read regularly.

 Thursday I read of Caroline McWilliam’s demise in February from complications from myeloma.  She was an actress who starred in Soap and Benson and although I vaguely remember these I have to admit I can’t really place her.  I thought that’s a bugger but these things inevitably happen and even though she had myeloma I can’t say I felt vastly different than I would have done if I’d read she died of something else.  However when I read George’s post this morning I cried but not frustrated tears like B’s mum caused a few weeks ago.  These were the quiet big tears that roll down your cheeks while you barely make a sound that come from feeling a deep sense of sadness about someone you know.  Even though I’ll never meet Sue and get the opportunity to see if I would pass more than the time of day with her, her life has touched mine in a way I wouldn’t have anticipated.

There was a quote I heard in Watchmen that I loved and it is one I am adopting for my myeloma –

‘I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me!’

Oh So Adorable Matinee Coats

I came across these the other day via Roobeedoo’s blog.  Aren’t they just delightful?


They are on Joli House 

The baby knits I normally make are cutesy ones, maybe a little cabling and I tend to stay away from the more traditional matinee styles but these are simply adorable.  I don’t believe these would have worked anywhere near as well in say white or pale pink.

It’s weird they are traditional styles but non traditional colours and they look just stunning.  I particularly like the brown one.

I now want, no NEED, to knit something similar and so need two things.  A baby girl to knit for and a pattern.  I thought the second one would be easy to find.  I got my great nan’s knitting book off the shelf, which must be from the 1940s/50s, along with an old knitting book my father in law got me from a charity shop.  And nothing similar at all.  My great nan’s book was disappointing and amusing in equal measure.  A popular item seemed to be a pilch!  A what?  A pilch!  Anyone know?  No, shame on you!  Here is it…

Obviously every baby shouldn’t be without at least one!  They could be the latest trend.  Now where’s my knitting needles?