Tag Archives: cytogenetics

Creative chromosomes


Today, and I do literally mean today, my creative space has included an eclectic mix of stuff.

Some things in preparation of my hospital appointment tomorrow such as this coconut bread.  One for B, one for the staff on the day unit.  

A good few hours were spent browsing high risk myeloma on the internet. After further research, in the loosest sense of the word, it turns out that cytogenetics only show the chromosone 13 deletion, but alterations to other chromosomes needs FISH, an analysis method I ignored before my last but one pre-appointment last minute cramming and not but not as in the kind in a tank or the cod in batter that B suggested we have for tea earlier in the week and which, on further investigation before cooking fortunately, turned out to have passed its expiry date in November 2010.

Now if you come here for my craftiness you might want to pay close attention to the following because depending how it goes tomorrow there may be a test in the future! (Yes I know you thought I was going to say just skip along and pick up at the next photo but no I can be such a meany.)

So FISH (flourescence insitu hybridisation) shows t(14;4), t(14;16), and 17p13 (del[17p].  Got it so far?  Good.  There are also t(11;14) and t(6:14).

Now you don’t really want t(4;14), t(14;16) or del(17p) however if you do get them if you can also manage to have a low ß2-microglobulin this can mean a similar or only marginally worse outlook than usual.

‘Kay?  Right, what the heck are these t’s and numbers then, well –

Most of us have two copies of 22 chromosomes which themselves have a long and a short ‘arm’.

There are various positions on these arms which conveniently enough are numbered.  So del(17p) as it is commonly known is really 17p13.  17 is the chromosome number, p means the short arm and 13 is the position of the deleted bit.  The long arm is called q, in case you were wondering and not just for 17, every short arm is p and every long arm is q.

Chromosomes can also gain bits but I can’t seem to find any myeloma relevant additions so we will just skip that bit.

However stuff can also ‘t’ for translocate – t(4;14) meaning that parts of chromosones 4 and 14 had a little party or something and 4 went home with one of 14’s socks and 14 had 4’s purse.

Hello?  Still there?  Good, because now we have some good news in all this intermingling and deleting.  t(11;14) can mean nothing or even mean a little bit of a favourable outcome.

Right I think that’s enough for now since I haven’t fully understood hypodiploidy or how the plasma cell labelling index indexes itself in a way that’s different to plasma cell content in a bone marrow sample so let’s get crafty again.  Here’s a dress I started sewing together this evening…

Here’s the yarn I went out to purchase this afternoon (along with plain flour for my coconut bread as I missed it off the shopping list) because Shelly over at This Eclectic Life is doing the whole 150 afghans for kids with cancer again this year.  She is seriously crazy I mean all she gets from it is the satisfaction of knowing that she’s responsible for putting a smile of the face of a small child.  Geez some people!

Bud was very excited at the sight of the blue yarn when I got home however the little present I got him was this red Kong.  It wobbles like a weebble and you put treats inside and with enough encouragement they fly out.  Although he ignored it at first I am pleased to report that he played with it so much while I was sewing that he ended up panting. Although there were a few brief breaks when he came over to me to let me know that it was stuck behind something – the dress form, the laundry basket.

And just to thank you for making it through all the myeloma stuff to get to this point here’s a picture of Bud when I came out of the bathroom yesterday morning and walked back into the bedroom…

Other creative spaces are here.

How to live a long life

It’s okay we can all breath a sign of relief – this morning I discovered the means to a long life.  Since we got back off our hols I have managed to take Bud on a new longer walk daily.  It’s a circular walk and our turnaround point is the local cemetery.  WHAT?  It’s nice, it’s treey and there’s taps so since the weather has been hot/hot and muggy Bud can get a refreshing drink of tap water without me having to lug a bottle with us.

It also provides a liberal splashing of entertainment as there are squirrels and yesterday we saw a bunny rabbit.  Bud chases these, if he’s not too hot.  It’s okay he doesn’t chase them in an ‘I’d like to rip your furry little tail of way’.  He chases them in a small boy in the middle of town chasing a flock of pigeons kind of way.  You must have seen it.  A boy about four or five (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a girl do it now I think about it) spots a whole bunch of pigeons on the ground, he runs towards them unsure what they are going to do and when they start to fly off he runs that bit further so the rest  of them take to the air. He’s doesn’t reach out to catch them he just enjoys making them move.  Bud is just like this.  He doesn’t chase the squirrels at speed he just kind of ambles towards them until they move – I seriously don’t know what he’d do if one just stood it’s ground!  Last week he chased one and it ran up a tree and without a moment’s hesitation (as in the usual sniffing, pausing, sniffing) he cocked his leg up and wee’d on the tree – that’ll show that squirrel.

Our walk back takes us across a narrow path between two fields of crops, some sort of wheat, barley, oats – I don’t know what exactly.  I recognise sprouts and carrots in some of the other fields we pass by but with regard to arable crops well, that’s the extent of my knowledge, I know the word arable.  Actually today on our way back there were two guys on the edge of the one of the fields.  I initially thought they were farm staff seeing if the crop was ready to harvest but after a while I began to suspect this wasn’t the case. I’m pretty sure such checking doesn’t involve standing there in Bermuda shorts and a bright YELLOW shirt or tank top, smoking and looking shifty while stuffing handfuls of crop into a Wyndsors* carrier bag, then walking past every farmyard nearby and continuing on to the main road.  (* cheap shoe shop)

Yesterday it was hot, clammy and extremely overcast after rain in the early hours.  We were walking along a path which is slightly odd in that the fields either side start and finish off level but have a significant change in levels in-between.  The crops start at mid thigh level, on me, and then reach my waist on one side and ankle on the other.  Well Bud yesterday was tearing along the path which although three feet wide has about a foot of actual walking space.  Bud’s done this before in the wet, I think he must like the feel of the wet grass or something.  So there he is back and forward, to and fro – if he ran that fast after squirrels we might find out what he’d do if he caught one.  He veered to the left and then tipped over the side and ended up for about a nanosecond scrambling in mid air then regained his footing (only a teensy bit of crop was harmed) and took off again – vroom!  It was so funny.

Anyhoo, back to the point this morning I was thinking about this Friday’s hospital appointment which should include the result of the bone marrow biopsy and the cytogenetics (I’m unsure how long exactly these take, I think about 30 days).  I have to admit this has been playing on my mind a little.  My appointment is at 9:30 which is a bit early for B and would mean he only gets two hours sleep.  I tried to get another time but the central appointments line wouldn’t change it for me and I have to admit I forgot to ask at the day unit last Friday (hey, it’s not been on my mind ALL the time and B was regaling a fellow patient with my driving history).  A friend has said she’ll come with me (for the day out of course) and after mentioning it to B this morning he basically doesn’t mind.  The news will be the same whether he is there for not and he can phone me when he wakes up.  Not vice versa I can’t ring him or that would defeat the object of him staying at home – apparently!  Anyhoo I was contemplating the appointment as I was strolling through the cemetery past a row of headstones.  I stopped as some part of my mind registered that a few of the headstones all had the same engraving at the top.  I went back and stood in front of the five matching stones and this is what I noted.

There were 26 names into total – two of the occupants were in their 60’s, three in their 70’s and the rest were 80’s or 90’s – so that’s 80% over 80.  Now I have no idea how this compares with regular figures but it seems pretty high to me.  So, listen carefully now, here is how we manage this – WE BECOME MONKS!  Now I appreciate this may be easier for some of us than others but it looks like it’s worth it don’t you think!

Plus you get to pick a new name.  The gravestones included both the brothers’ religious name (I nearly typed monky name) and their original names and here’s my favourite ever monk’s name – although you have to appreciate I don’t know many so it might not be a good one but here it is anyway…


Fortunately there was no-one about to hear me.