Monthly Archives: May 2011

YAY – I got a new keybbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbboard!

Buddy helped unbox it…

he got a thank you…

‘I don’t fink much of these new dentures’



Yesterday I had crumpet morning, noon and night.  Well breakfast, late lunch and tea…


Well what sort of crumpet did you expect it to be?  After B purchased some last Saturday I have found that they are an extremely non queasiness inducing food.  My aim is to appear on one of those programmes about people who only eat one food eg, baked beans or pickle flavour Monster Munch – YUCK!

Again this week I didn’t produce a Creative Space Thursday post.  I’d like to say it was  because I was at the hospital, which I was, or too queasy, not so much yesterday but it was actually because I thought, with the unwavering optimism that all crafters experience in the face of overwhelming incompleteness, I could actually finish my crochet patchwork baby blanket yesterday.  At 23:10 last night I had to call it a day and retire to bed.  At 04:45 this morning when I was extremely hot in bed (sigh yes, yet another, nudge nudge wink wink joke) – turned out I had a temperature of 38.1 – I was considering another type of edging completely for the blanket, maybe something a little spiky.  When B got in this morning at 06:40 he came upstairs to check I was okay as I’d left the kitchen in a bit of a state.  Now I like my kitchen sparse so the state was a bottle of lime cordial, bottle of soda and the thermometer and it’s holder strewn on the work surface.  I’d had a bit of a dash back upstairs as I NEEDED the loo – I’ve been a bit bunged up – could be all the crumpets I suppose.

Anyhoo back to the edge.  Originally I intended on the blanket having a fancy lacy border.  This is how it looked yesterday morning before we (me and the crocheting) went to the hospital armed with a crochet pattern book and a 100g ball of 4ply white yarn and 50g of double knitting in deep red…

I did three rounds of the deep red and then opened the book to pick my fancy border.  I tried this one…

and then this one…

and then I put the book down and picked up the blanket and proceeded to work round the edge in the white – answering the quizzical look of the lady next to me with ‘I’m just gonna go round with the white.’  There’s nothing like stating the obvious.  Due to the white being 4 ply and the rest of the blanket being double knit I increased in every other stitch on the first round and then did the last row as well to make it wavy – yes, in case you were pondering on whether the general non flatness of the border was on purpose.

So this morning, after laying the blanket on the floor for a proper look, I decided to carry on with the edging – this decision was in no way swayed by there being only another 20cm of white to finish the last round.  Then I did a final double crochet edging of red. Viola…hang on, that could be a flower, er, tada…

There is a little extra openness in the corners…


Oh, and in case you were wondering my temperature has stayed down today and I feel generally well other than a little tired.

Oh, oh and tomorrow we are finally going to get a new keyboard so that I can ‘b’ as often as I like.  We do have a laptop so I have been able to borrow ‘b’ from there but I find it really hard to use.  I keep catching other keys – I am putting this down to being a typist and my fingers flying over the keys at the speed of light because it couldn’t possibly be my delicate little digits being ham fisted.

Nappy time!

As I mentioned  in my last post I did a lot of kipping last week and I felt way more queasy than previously.  Some of the extra napping could therefore have been a result of the additional Cyclizine I was taking to ward off this queasiness.

Some of the new queasiness could possibly be associated with taking a prophylactic {snigger} dose {snigger snigger} of Aciclovir since the Friday before starting this cycle last Monday.  I have always found it possible to eat something even if it was just dry cornflakes.

Anyhoo, I napped on Wednesday, I think, other than my bum bag busting and walking Bud and something craftery I can’t actually remember what I did on Wednesday.  I certainly napped on Thursday when I got back from the Royal.  I remember this distinctly because B perpetrated an act so heinous I surely could have reported him to Amensty International.

I was curled up on the settee when B advised me that he was going to take Bud, who was curled up behind my legs, for a walk.  B said later he realised I was tired because I didn’t get off the settee to wave them off (what can I say, I come from a family of wavers – it’s all I can do not to wave to B when he goes to the toilet). Despite this he left the TV controls on the floor at the other end of the settee than the one my hands were at AND he left Dickinson’s Real Deal on the telly – ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!  I managed to raise my head and locate the controls and then it flopped back onto the cushion and I closed my eyes and hoped sleep would come quickly – fortunately it did so we’re still married.

Friday I took Bud for a longer than usual walk and then had a kip from which B had to rouse me to go the Royal to get the Doxorubicin detached.  Now we normally go for lunch if we go on a Friday but since when we left the hospital it was raining and cold we came straight home and guess what, I had another nap.

I napped Saturday before going to Auntie Ann’s. I got through yesterday without a nap but I did only get up at 10:30.  And today I napped after getting home from the Royal where I got my second to last Velcade.  I am at this moment however feeling quite perky.

Auntie Ann phoned about half an hour ago and confirmed that I sounded perky, if slightly breathless as I had been tormenting Bud when the phone rang.

Speaking of Bud I thought since doing an impressive doggie impression of an emergency siren on Thursday night whilst running from the front window through to the lounge causing his Auntie Pat, who was visiting, to exclaim ‘Was that him?’ the urge to visit with the little doggie down the road had ceased. However during the phone call from Auntie Ann I had to excuse myself to find out what the noise was emanating from our bedroom.  I thought Bud must have fallen off the bed or got tangled in the duvet but no, he was standing staring alertly out of the window at well, the tail of said doggie which was just visible above the vegetation.  How did he know it was her?  He’s only seen her once!

Woody photos

I have been so tired the last couple of days.  I actually fell asleep at Armchair Yoga on Tuesday and woke up to the second half of a snort which I could only assume was mine.  However I managed to not only remember it’s the day of the month to take pics but also to take them…




I didn’t get round to posting a Creative Space Thursday so here is where I’m up to with my patchwork crochet baby blanket…

I am now liking the randomness, and here’s my crumpled cross stitch…

Here’s where Bud is up in his Creative Space with the rawhide bone I gave him on Tuesday…

As you can see he’s not started chewing it although he is picking it up and parading it round when anyone calls by or we return from a trip out.  I’m taking this distinct lack of effort as a sign of his distraction with the femme fatele down the road – except Bud thinks she lives in the wood, which is good as I really don’t fancy taking a trip down the road to extract him from the neighbour’s letterbox.

Me bum bag’s bust

Fortunately the drugs supplied by the NHS are working waaaaaaay better than the bum bag.  It’s had a dicky zipper since I first acquired it, but with a bit of fiddling by my crafty hands it has always been restored to working order. However today it must somehow know it’s days are numbered (this being the second to last day of the last cycle of Doxorubicin) and it’s given up the ghost.

(And yes, yet again I am posting a picture that involves me in my jim jams)

I do have a daytime non NHS bag too, something I acquired in the 80s and never used, that I found in the built-in cupboard behind the wardrobe (nearly but not quite in Narnia)…

but this one isn’t really the bum bag equivalent of jim jams.  If I got stuck with the buckle in my sleep I’d know about it so I may have to apply masking tape to keep the other one closed tonight.  Gosh I hope we don’t get burgled I’d look a sight!

Mind you getting a good nights sleep will be a bonus.  If dogs really do age seven years for each human one Bud is a love or rather lust struck teen.  I mistakenly thought that his whining at the porch window last night was a complaint about not having had a walk yesterday.  Today however when he was still grumbling after his second walk today the penny dropped – we had meet a neighbour and their dog in the wood opposite our house on Saturday and his dog had been in season.

So after the speech about the financial responsibility of bringing off spring into the world didn’t work I’ve spent half an hour trying to tire him out playing with the stuffed ‘cushion’ I made him for Christmas and he is now curled up in his basket surrounded by stuffing.  I don’t even know how long female dogs are in season for and whether it is a sufficiently short enough period of time for me to be able to put up with Bud whining in the garden, whining at the garage door, whining at the porch door.  He’s whining nearly as much as I did this afternoon when my left hand shut the door to his treat cupboard on my right thumb.  Don’t worry it’s only a tad sore – the frozen peas, or more correctly petit pois, worked a treat and they went well with the lamb steaks we had for tea too.

Let’s get to the point

When pondering a big decision isn’t aided by knitting a tea cosy what’s the next logical step?  Well it would appear it’s to do something that has crossed my mind several times since getting the material for the bedroom curtains (which I still haven’t finished).  Having three slightly cream walls and a very, very, very slight shade of brown on the fourth it did cross my mind that the white bed linen I’d bought previously would go well with the curtains but neither would complement the emulsion.  So on Thursday I suggested to B that we redecorate the whole house.  Now I anticipated some sort of protest, to be honest I anticipated a significant amount of protest and the response I got was…

‘That would mean covering up the things (stencilled squares and diamonds) you put on the walls.  Would you not mind?’

Just when you think you know your husband he pulls a stunt like that!

Bearing in mind that I did all the decorating previously, well not wallpapering – I tired that twice, the dislike was mutual.  I moved all the furniture and made the soft furnishings, the only involvement B had was taking me to and from the shops where he may or may not be involved in making a decision.  Let’s face it there’s only so many times men, well most men, can look at a selection of colours called The Maine Collection featuring shades that are so subtly different from off white as to be barely perceptible to the naked eye, before blurting out ‘They all look the same! JUST PICK ONE!’  So B’s reaction surprised me purely because he will have to be more involved this time round.

Now one of the things I’ve wanted for a long time is a new banister.  Our current one started off mahogany and became white.  One of the things B did get involved in previously was painting some ceilings – he’s 6’ 2” so he was perfect for the job.  One of the ceilings he painted was the hall/dining room.  This ceiling is over (barely) the banister.  Despite ME getting ear ache from his mother eg. ‘You must remember to cover the banister!’ ‘Yes, because I’ve never painted anything before so I would never have thought of that by myself.’  (We all know I only thought that and really said through clenched teeth ‘Yes, of course we will.’), this didn’t happen – I can only assume that I was out at the time B committed this heinous act.

And do you know how easy it is to get a deluge of nearly white but not quite paint spots off a mahogany banister – of course I’m being a tad sarcastic – it’s neigh on impossible.  So after trying various distressed looks (on the banister although I probably pulled a few faces myself) in an attempt to avoid painting it, we painted it, yes WE, because I wasn’t going to be the only one to faff about performing contortions with a paint brush all by myself.  We were both going to have to be punished for his sin.

So whilst in B&Q getting roofing felt for the shed a few weeks ago I picked up a brochure on joinery to look for a door for the cupboard under the stairs (again I have mentioned this umpteen times over the YEARS only to have B agree with me since getting Bud that it would be a good idea).  Guess what, it had a stairing section in it and not just a stairing section but a section suitable for a competent DIYer.  Well B did finish the shed roof over the Royal Wedding weekend.  Here it is…

(I actually stained the battens and then I had a rest)

Me: ‘So it says in that B&Q brochure I picked up that a competent DIYer can do some of these banisters.’

B:  ‘I don’t think so.  You’re not up to it now and I can’t do it.’

Now we saw above, just up there – go on take another look at his handiwork I’m such a proud Mrs B – that B has managed to provide our shed with a waterproof topping.  I may have said before B isn’t Mr DIY, in fact when Auntie Ann called that weekend and I said he was on the shed roof, she said ‘I’ve got to see this.’, and I am so impressed with the job he did.  As to whether B is ready to tackle a banister or not – well, you decide.  This is the inside of the shed roof…

Hiding from myeloma

When we got home from the Royal yesterday B was getting changed and Bud was lying on the bed taking it easy after giving us a riotous welcome (we had been out six and a bit hours of which five and a bit were actually at the hospital). B threw his clean T-shirt over Bud’s head and he didn’t move.  He did it again, Bud still didn’t budge.  The third time not a twitch.  This is exactly how I felt about myeloma by the time we were leaving the Royal.  I wanted to cover my head with a T-shirt and deny all knowledge of it.

We didn’t get to see the Prof, despite what he said last time, however we did get to see a very nice lady doctor that we had seen before.  When B expressed his surprise at this she did say we could see the Prof but we said it was okay. (I must remember, amongst all the other things I haven’t yet told you – Boxing Day part 2, Daughter of Cujo part 2 and how to get a fantastic deal on your phone bill – about the old block one time who wanted to see the ‘top man’.)

When we asked about the donor transplant (oh, note I said ‘the’ and not ‘a’ that must be a subconscious leaning towards having one) and them not being common place with myeloma she said that not many patients are young/healthy enough to even be considered for an auto (own cells) transplant let alone an allo (donor cells).  Aggressive treatment is the best option for young patients.

One of the things I had never asked about previously was cytogenics and whether I had any of the chromosome deletions that can signify that the myeloma is aggressive.  I knew that this wasn’t run on my first sample two years ago and the doc is checking what happened this time as the sample is sent to the Liverpool Women’s’ Hospital for further analysis.  I figured this would help with the transplant decision.  The doc mentioned FISH and I said that I’d seen that on the internet but that was a FISH too far (well Thursday night it was) and when I got to this things stopped making sense so I stopped reading.  Apparently if I turn up with anything from the internet I need clarification on they will be happy to do the clarifying.  Anyhoo further in-depth analysis, such as cytogenics and FISH, are the key to the future of myeloma treatment being personalised to the individual patient.

My paraprotein level after the second cycle of Velcade/Doxorubicin was ‘not detectable’ –WOOHOO!  So we went from not detectable in November ’10 to ‘detectable but not sufficiently to quantify’ on 31 December ’10 and 15 in the sample taken on 9 February ’11.

And, if you remember, I didn’t want to know the percentage of myeloma plasma cells in the bone marrow biopsy from February – at the time of getting the results the doc said it was high and that was enough from me.  However in light of having to make a further decision I asked.  It was 90%.

By home time I was all myeloma-ed out.  I didn’t like biology at school.  One year I came sixth in the biology exams whereas in physics and chemistry I came first, without trying.  I don’t naturally have a biology orientated mind.  Now I suppose I could become the perfect patient and do the same as two old ladies I overheard do – ‘You just tell me what to do and what tablets  to take doctor and I’ll do it.’ and it alleviate this problem.  I could be googling knitting and ohhhing and ahhhhing over the complexity of patterns and my FISH could be battered with chips and mushy peas.  However since I don’t think that’s gonna happen I guess I’ll have to get use to uhhhhing over x-rays, tissue samples and case study descriptions and my FISH deciding what treatment I need and if the myeloma has mutated.

After leaving the Royal at 3:45 I was lacking my usual enthusiasm in relation to food and we decided not to go for a meal (much to B’s relief as he had literally nodded off whilst I was getting the Zometa) or to get our youngest nephew’s birthday present, but just to go home and get a takeaway for tea – although by the time we got it 21:00 I guess that could be classed as supper.

We didn’t get cycle four started yesterday.  The Velcade and Doxorubicin was prescribed for Monday. I think this was possibly because this is the day they usually start, whereas mine have always jipped the system and started on a Friday.  There may also have been a delay with the notification from the doc to the pharmacy because they had to check the dose was the same as I had put weight on since I was weighed four weeks ago! A Friday start had suited me well because I got to have B at home to cater to my every whim, hold my ball while I had a shower at whatever time I wanted and, the big plus, it’s shorter.  What?  It is!  We all know that weekends pass by quicker than week days.

Cross Panel Ironing

This week my creative space comprises…


a crumpled looking cross stitch (that would be because, Lorna, I don’t use a hoop as  it slows me down)

a fence panel I painted today and for which I got chastised by B as he had expressly forbid me to paint any of them, and

the corner of my sewing room is ironing free!  It had to be done, I think the hankies had started breeding.  That Levis Strauss bag has been there since March and I haven’t, as yet, mithered B about moving it – as yet.  Once the baskets are back in the garage I might have to start.  The ironing board is back in the cupboard for the first time since early February.  I won’t lie I didn’t do it all, B said I didn’t need to do his works T-shirts so I didn’t, however I did tell him not to take his sweat shirt off at work.

AND Bud has had two walks today since I was up early-ish we were both breakfasted and walked by 9:40 – that’s AM.

However it is now 17:38 and I’m already showered and in my jim jams, but that’s okay because we’re only having soup for tea as B has been for a tooth filled, so when I sit down later if I keel over for a sleep I won’t be creasing anything that will need ironing.

Other creative spaces are here.

Blooming ‘eck

Last Thursday when I went for my PICC line care I asked if the shingles thing would delay the next cycle of Velcade and Doxorubicin due to start this Friday.  When I subsequently spoke to the haematology pharmacist on Friday it turned out that I would need a clinic appointment on Friday in order to begin the next cycle anyway.  My clinic appointment had come through for 20 May.

On Monday the pharmacist rang to say that I now had a clinic appointment on Friday and as, from my description, it sounded like the shingles would be well and truly cleared up by then we would probably be able to start cycle four, this being the last one.

However the clinic appointment turning out to be this Friday rather than in an extra weeks time has caused a tiny bit of an issue.  I intended on sorting out my list of questions relating to a donor transplant to ask at my appointment and basically other than the initial questions which popped to mind after my last one (about three) I haven’t as yet compiled a full and exhaustive list.

I asked B if he had anything he wanted to know and he informed me today that we would go through my list of questions tomorrow – so that should take all of 30 seconds then.

However although I don’t have a list of questions that could affect a life or death decision (wow bit strong but I guess that is basically the top and bottom of it, or at the very least a life pro-longing decision with the slight chance of the ‘c’ word – cure – depending on the donor cells) I do have this…

Yes, its a tea cosy.  Not for us, since our tea pot, which had to be brought down from the back of a top shelf looks like this…

I had to remove it’s top for photographic purposes and shoot it from above as it was still showing it’s bottom!

One of the sisters from the Day Unit at the Royal was making a couple for her cousin to put in the Marie Curie shop she manages as she is having a tea cosy bananza in June, I think.  I had previously provided some wool for a loopy sheep pattern she was doing – aren’t I good?  Well actually I was given the wool by a neighbour, so, not really but when I needed a small knitting project I thought why not do a tea cosy. The pattern for which was free and can be found here.

I’m not too sure how well this will go down on Friday…

Prof:  ‘Do you have any questions?

Me:  ‘Yes, do you like my tea cosy?’

Knitting to catch up to

I have been neglecting my inbox and blog reading for the past while to the point where my inbox overwhelmed me. Although I have skimmed my blogger list to check everyone was still alive at least I wasn’t getting much detail.  And got panicky several times when blogger told me I wasn’t following any blogs.  So over the past couple of days I caught up with everything I think.  Well in relation to my inbox I filed a load of stuff for future reference (Garfield daily comic strips), deleted a bigger load (it’s not like I’m going to knit everything suggested by Berocco, Lion Brand or Knitting Daily) and actually replied to some.

Whilst doing so neither my current cross stitch or crochet were a suitable companion. I needed some simple knitting that I didn’t have to look at.  So I thought I’d share my project with you…

‘I’m not moving.  This is my sunlight and I’m not happy at sharing with that.’

‘Sigh.  So you want me to move so you can take a photo of whatever the heck that is?  There better be a biscuit in it for me.’

So what is it?  And yes I know that that looks suspicously like a crochet hook.  I could have knit the red bits but the crochet instructions seemed a LOT quicker and the green circles were crocheted anyway.  I wonder if I could get Bud to model the finished item.