Monthly Archives: February 2011

Boxing Day Part I

We multi-tasked and combined Buddy’s walk with the trip to the cemetery as it was my Dad’s anniversary.  I tell you this purely for the sympathy vote, and to point out that I really don’t need to hear about my father in law’s heart attack for the 5,000th time on that of all days.  (My Dad had a coronary artery thrombosis during the night and we found him when he didn’t turn up for lunch – he  would have paid to go that way.)  No, really I tell you this to explain why we were walking through the cemetery where we came across two rather large ball-shaped shrubs at the end of one of the paths with a covering of snow that made them look like Christmas puds AND someone had strategically positioned a red something (carrier bag, flower paper) on top of one so it really did look like a pudding (unfortunately I hadn’t taken my camera).

After we got home B phoned the m-i-l  up at 13:15 to say he was on his way and she informed him  that she’d had a bowl of soup to put her on!  She’d had lunch!  Bearing in mind that she takes every opportunity when faced with a plate of food to state that she doesn’t eat a lot (yeah right – tell that to her empty tin of Roses – chocolates).  This was when I very nearly lost it but thought ‘What the heck, even if she hadn’t had lunch she’d have complained I’d given her too much’.

She pointed out that last year, we’d only had lunch late.  Yes, because the beef wasn’t done enough for her and took forevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvver to cook and then she didn’t eat it and complained that the veg was cold whilst shovelling it down like it was going to do a runner and therefore she had lunched this year because obviously she would pass out if she had to go another hour without food.  However this year I’d done stew, basically because I would have needed B to peel the potatoes due to my wrist, and I couldn’t have coped with getting him up at 04:30 so that they were done in time.

So the m-i-l was most put out that she went straight to the table rather than got to complain about how late lunch was (although she did manage to do that at Gill’s on Christmas Day).  And obviously complained there was too much.  Then we had pudding (fruit slump which said it didn’t store well) so there was too much.  After complaining about this and B refusing to take any off her and being told 55 times to just leave what she didn’t want I went on a trip to the kitchen, which is all of six feet away, where I heard the m-i-l say to B ‘Will she have some of this?’ and came back through the door to find her indicating that she meant my Auntie Ann by waving her spoon in that general direction.

Never the one to miss an opportunity to moan the m-i-l declared to my Auntie Ann that the problem was her legs.  Now I having gone beyond the smile and nod stage said ‘Are you doing the exercises the physio showed you?’  The physio that back in September it took me about 10 phone calls to sort out and included a load of equipment being provided which she agreed on and then insisted on all but one zimmer frame going back!

M-i-l:  ‘Occassionally, but they don’t work.’

Me:  ‘That’s because you have to do them three times a day.’

M-i-l: ‘Oh!’ With a look that said ‘Thank you for interrupting my moan’.

All through lunch the m-i-l kept saying how cold her hands were.  Now this is not unusual and she has on more than one occasion been known to grab the hand of the person closest, in this case mine, without prior warning and say ‘Feel how cold my hands are!’  Several times with me this has backfired as my hands were colder and this has reduced her to a sullen state.  So I have to say I paid her no mind and carried on eating and it was only when B made sure she got upstairs okay and asked whether the heating was on that I remembered I had set it on timed on Christmas Day to accommodate going to Auntie Ann’s.  Doh.

So after I crazily confessed the m-i-l ended up on the settee huddled under a throw (I burnt it the day after – no not really but I did wash it).

Tomorrow I’ll share how the m-i-l provided a lovely warm welcome for our next door neighbour and his lady friend – okay we ALL know that’s not gonna happen.  She refused to sit at the table with us and caused Bud to lunge viciously at Ben.  Now I’m gonna take a little kip as I think my temp is spiking because I’m struggling to keep my eyes open!  Whatcha mean it’s too much of the easy life and getting waited on hand and foot that I now need an afternoon snooze?


Full Disclosure

Courtesy of Mike I now have internet access.  So here is an update of what I’ve been up to in the intervening period.

We got home on Friday 4 February (which now seems an age ago) to find a couple of letters from our GP pushed through the door saying ‘ring me and then get yourself over to the Royal as your counts have dropped from normal range on 31 December and there is the underlying temp.’

WBC – 3.3

Platelets – 102

HB – 7.9

So after a night on the Medical Assessment Unit with maybe an hour’s sleep, a couple of hours on Saturday on some wacky side ward that you had to be there to believe, four days on a gastro ward and so far five days on blood ward, two chest x-rays, an ECG, five canulas, umpteen blood tests – regular counts, PP levels (which didn’t give an actual PP level but the lab said it was contained within the IGA level of 18) and all sorts of cultures, wee tests, three units of blood, quite a view IV antibiotics and now tablets, numerous temp spikes – it managed to get up to 40 on Friday (and the nurse has just noticed when my temp spiked just that for the last four days it has done it at a very similar time) and a bone marrow aspirate/biopsy (didn’t feel a thing – well nothing painful or nasty) the general opinion is that pending the results of the bone marrow biopsy, as nothing else has been absolutely unequivocally  conclusive, it’s the myeloma.

The doc I saw yesterday, who we’d seen before my SCT, said he was sorry and I asked what for as it wasn’t his fault.  He said because it wasn’t that long since my SCT.

I informed him that if I needed treatment I didn’t want to take dex again as I had zero quality of life on it and B’s and family/friends’ was hugely affected too – it/I was that bad.

The doc this morning said it was likely I would need treatment and it would be Velcade.  He also said, and yes I know it is immodest to share this but hey I have a temp so I don’t care, that he admired my attitude and I was brave.  I said that that being miserable wasn’t gonna fix it unless he thought otherwise and you just had to get on with things.  They will however in the interim keep looking for an infected bug.

And apparently I have the audacity to look well and feel merely lethargic generally and sleepy when my temp spikes – I said I always have to be different but I’d see what I could do about feeling ill for tomorrow’s rounds.


Happy Birthday Bernard! Happy Birthday Bernard!

Well we didn’t get a phone call from the m-i-l about the card but look what B got when he called to see her yesterday…

one picked by me and one by his brother.

Our visit to the GP this morning resulted in blood test being sent off with results to them evening, things getting prodded and stethoscoped, blood pressure being taken (with B asking if he could have his done! cheeky monkey). As my temp was down to 37.4 this morning, I felt tired rather than ill and the thought that more antibiotics may not be a good idea without knowing exactly what the root cause was we are waiting and seeing.

And I may have mentioned once or twice before that I love our GPs well now I love them just that little bit more.  I am under doctor’s orders to take it easy this weekend – how fantastic is that!

Thinning Thursday

After a comment I made over at Lorna’s (and Mike’s) blog and although I normally do Creative Space Thursday (my creative space is filled with a couple of Myeloma Buddies I can’t show yet) I intend to herewith start Thinning Thursdays.

So every Thursday (hopefully next week along with something creative) I will pop on the post how much weight I have lost in the last week.  Feel free to lose along.  Lorna is preparing for some sort of big event – I think they may be opening a branch of Selfridges in Wolverhampton in about 18 weeks, well either that or a Home Bargain.

I on the other hand just have a lot of back side, front side and side side!  When I was telling a friend about the dentist last Friday saying I had fat cheeks she said I should have asked him how he could tell as I was sitting down.

So as I didn’t we-hay myself last week I’m going with the figure from my last blood clinic appointment even though the nurse said we could keep it between ourselves!

If you do participate you don’t have to show your actual weight if you don’t want to – you can just show how much you’ve lost!

And if you want you can do the whole Slimming World meeting thing – ‘I don’t know why I’ve put 3 pounds on I only had 6 Baileys at the weekend and they were in half pint glasses and I only ordered REGULAR fish and chips THREE nights and I didn’t eat the lemon wedge and that piece of green stuff. So I just don’t understand it.  Although I may need to change my washing up liquid as the one I squirt onto the kids’  unfinished meals to put me off eating them is actually better than my cooking.’

So in the past 4 weeks I have lost 2.8kg or 6lbs through my own hard work – WHAT!?!?  I’ll have you know it had nothing to do with indulging at Christmas so that came off easily or a stomach bug or the temporary cleansing effect of the second lot of antibiotics.

And I am not afraid to show my original weight.  It’s right there in the middle of this piece of paper…

AND Happy Birthday to B today and also to Tim, Denise’s husband!

I think personality wise they are similar in their laid back way. My Dad’s birthday was the 2nd and he took laid back to a whole new level – I must remember to tell you about the firey pan incident some time. (Handy-man wise, wait have I been censored over that?  Mmmmm – no – I just can’t say that B can’t make milky coffee and he has learned to make cheese on toast after slapping a ban on me saying he couldn’t do that.  So handy-man wise Tim has his own flooring company and B has a gutter on the garage that’s been dripping about four years and this winter the bradish came off half the shed roof – I don’t think I need to add to that.)

And many happy returns to my temperature spike, tired on Monday put down to not being over two busy days, more of less okay Tuesday night after mid afternoon dip then last night I needed an hour’s kip when I clocked off work – two friends were calling round and one wanted to know why I was in my pyjamas – I said at least I was awake.  Then this afternoon shivery, took two paracetemol because I decided not to join our little Italian/American Dr Frankenfurter in her new extreme sport.  An hour later is was 39.1 (note to self remember not to put smart ar, um aleck comments on other people’s blogs, Sean’s, about temperatures because they come back and try to bite you on the bum).  My temperature is now resting comfortably at 38.6.  I spoke to our GP’s and the Blood Day Ward at the Royal because I was scheduled to go for Zometa tomorrow.

Bascially  the lovely receptionist at the GPs said I can ring in the morning for an appointment, due to the computer she physically couldn’t book me in today for tomorrow (keep up), per the Day Ward I need to ask them to do blood counts, and check out if it’s still my ears or wherever and give me more stuff.  Then if I’m not feeling better by Monday I need to ring the Day Ward again and they will look at getting me assessed somewhere!

And because I have the common sense of a stoned lemming I had to wait until B got home to have it suggested to me that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to go to Liverpool tomorrow with my friend, Chris, anyway for lunch!

Sometimes though it’s hard to locate that fine line between seizing the carp (to quote Ruth) and having it whack you in the kisser with its damp fishy tail! Ugh!

Mother in Law Calling (as in ringing – what else!)

Two weeks ago, on the Tuesday, the m-i-l rang and I ignored it.  I listened to the message to make sure she hadn’t fallen and couldn’t get up.  Then the m-i-l rang again and yet again I ignored it but again listened to the message.  And then the third time – this was all in the space of about an hour and a half – so quite spread out really for when she wants something – I answered it.

M-i-l:  ‘I’ve phoned twice!’

Me:  ‘Oh yeah.’

M-i-l:  ‘Have you been out?’

Me:  ‘No.’

M-i-l:  ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’

Me:  ‘I’m saying that I haven’t been out and yet, due to the wonders of caller display, I didn’t pick up the receiver and say ‘ello.’  Well you and I both know I didn’t really say that I just thunk it, and as it happened I didn’t get chance because the m-i-l didn’t pause for breath and carried on…

M-i-l:  ‘I need some Voltarol.’ (anti-inflammatory pain cream)

Me:  ‘Don’t you get that on prescription?’

M-i-l:  ‘What do you mean?’

Me:  ‘You get it from the doctor.’

M-i-l:  ‘Oh, no!’  Now I know full well that she has indeed in the past had a huge tube on prescription because I saw a dispensing label on it and I’m sure you would need a second mortgage to buy a tube that size without a prescription.

Me:  `Well’ and bear in mind this was the Tuesday after the stomach bug weekend so I couldn’t really be ar… fussed ‘could No 1 Son not pick it up for you with your shopping?’

M-i- l:  ‘Oh, yeah.’


M-i-l:  ‘Actually, I wasn’t ringing you for that.’ I had to admit I thought she was ringing to instruct me to get her a birthday card for B.  ‘I need a birthday card for Bernard.’  Woman’s institution still working then.

Me:  ‘Okay.’

Well with one thing and another I haven’t really been in a position to get one from either of us, without a significant effort which I didn’t feel like making, until yesterday.

So I bought our cards and decided the simplest way to get the m-i-l’s the four miles from ours to hers was to post it!  Look some things are better left to the postman – he gets paid for it.

I popped a note and the card in an envelope and sent B and Bud off to the post box on the way to their usual walk.

Now I knew this wasn’t gonna be straightforward and fully expected at least one of the following…

The m-i-l to ring and say that she has got her cleaner to get the card when she goes for her a pie!!!!!!

The m-i-l to ring and say she had had a note through the door saying they couldn’t get something through the letterbox

The m-i-l to ring and say £1.69 (I left the price sticker on and it’s not like I included a SAE and remittance advice) was too much for the card and if she had gone for one herself she would have gone to the cheaper card shop

The m-i-l to ring and ask how was B gonna get the card

What I didn’t anticipate was a stumble at the first hurdle.  Ten minutes, if that, after setting out I heard B and Bud return.  Thinking something dire must have happened I whizzed downstairs.

B:  ‘It wouldn’t fit in the post box.’

Now to be fair the post box in question is set in someone’s garden wall and does have a small slot however with some skill and manipulation its surprising what you can get in.

Me:  ‘The card doesn’t fill the whole envelope, fold it over and then if it wedges, stick your hand in and give it a tap.’  I am always a little dubious about this I must admit, since I read about someone sticking their hand in a post box that had some short of anti-take back your post device and they and the post box got to know each other quite well over the course of the next five hours.

B: ‘But…’

Me:  ‘It will fit.  I used to post survey reports in there, you just have to be creative.’

B:  ‘But…’


So now I just have to wait for the phone call from the m-i-l when she gets back from her Wednesday club – I’m betting it’s going to be…

M-i-l:  ‘Whose Birthday is it?’

Me:  ‘Bernard’s.’

M-i-l:  ‘When is it?’

Me:  ‘Tomorrow.’

M-i-l:  ‘Oh, yeah!  I need a card.’

Nelson Mandela nearly made me miss my post a day!

Well we got through the whole month of January with a post every day and of all the days that it was a close thing – even more so that the days I was so sleepy I could’ve nodded off at the keyboard – yesterday cut it the finest and it was Nelson Mandela’s fault!  Well not completely obviously – Bud was also partly responsible.

Yesterday afternoon I started flagging again and decided that I would take a late lunch when B woke up and we could both walk Bud.  Basically because it was one of those fine line times ‘Will I feel better for an hour’s kip or some fresh air?’  So I figured if I got too tired I could just come home and leave them to it.  However this was the right decision to make and I felt perkier when we returned.  Earlier in the afternoon, yet another boring report had nearly got me nodding off.  I actually took one of my breaks in the  middle of it because I was becoming unable to make sense of what the surveyor wanted particularly when he was saying things like…

A precautionary inspection of any (relevant housey bit)  is recommended as part of ongoing inspection.

Electric storage heaters are provided elsewhere.  Okay but then instructed me to go back and take out ‘storage heaters’.

And used the word functionalability!

So after some fresh air and then a perkifying bath with some ‘upper’ essential oils I got tea and then as B was getting ready for work, and this is where Nelson Mandela makes an appearance, I started to watch Invictus whilst making up Daniel and Danielle.

Now this is so not my type of film for two reasons – sport and politics – I ‘watch’ some sport, Rugby League, because I don’t really have a choice at home or if we go to Auntie Ann’s and there is a match on – I may have said this before but in the off season for our Super League this can include anything, the Billabong Bandits vs the Coolangatta Service Mens Club – anything!  And if there is no League on then Union is a poor, but acceptable substitute.

I used to go and watch my two nephews play Rugby Union – I didn’t understand it but I went anyway.  I think I’ve picked the rules up to Rugby League by osmosis over the years, goodness knows I can’t ask B anything when a match is in progress, but Union! I’d be staring at a bunch of lads pushing to and fro and then a player would ‘appear’ 50 feet up the field running with the ball!  It wasn’t rugby it was slight of hand.

And politics – I avoid as much as I can – I only end up shouting at the telly something like ‘Just say yes or no!’

So I figured I’d watch it until B went to work and then find something else to watch.  However I popped it on pause when B left at 20:20, then did some ‘chores’ and settled back down to watch the rest at 22:30 because I needed to watch the rest.

It was truly gripping and Nelson Mandela seems such a genuinely lovely man. Almost too  good to be true – maybe some dodgy past like time in jail – I don’t know.  I was choked and teary a couple of times – I did manage not to cry, even when Matt Damon took his rugby shirt off.  Now in my book he is ‘easy on the eye’ no more, no less however he seemed to have acquired quite a set of pecs, delts, biceps and any other muscle above mid torso – I think they may have been digitally enhanced the images since I’m assuming I’ve seen him without his shirt on before and I don’t remember thinking ‘Wha!’ and having to ask someone to kick my eyeballs back.

Anyhoo I suddenly realised we (Bud snuggled down to keep me company) had to be close to the end of the film, and I wasn’t wrong, but it was 23:50!  I grabbed The Dans and headed upstairs to stick on their paws and get their pictures taken. Popped my post text on wordpress whilst waiting for the glue gun to warm up, glued felt pads on, took photos, downloaded photos and then Bud indicates that he needs to ‘go wee wee’.

Now sometimes this can be a ploy to get a treat but on this occasion he wasn’t being abiguous and couldn’t have expressed it better if he had had a neon flashing sign in his possession that said ‘I NEED TO GO WEE WEE NOWWWWWWWWWWW!’.  It was 23:56!  I have to admit that I did actually toy with the idea of carrying on uploading the pics and clearing up the puddle later – then I realised I was actually considering letting my carpet smell of doggie wee and my little Bud Bud feel guilty for weeing in the house.

So I… pushed publish, rushed downstairs and opened the door, Bud shot through his pet flap like a rocket, then I rushed back up stairs and added the pics and then went back down and let Bud back in – it was only a minute or two but yes, he did give me a ‘You left me in the garage when I’ve been a good boy’ look!

The only thing and I apologise on Nelson’s and Bud’s behalf for this is that I assume that those of you who receive an email didn’t get the pics, even though the original post and revision were timed at 23:57 I don’t think wordpress would say ‘Hey, Paula wanted pics with these they are fully embedded we should just hang on!’

Oh and I forgot to say that I cheated and crocheted the ears rather than knit the loop stitch.  And is it just me or does Danielle remind anybody else of Matt Lucas?