Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Varied Old Week!

Before Christmas, I spent a lot of time making extra special Christmas tree decorations for close family and friends and the Tiger was neglected. I really want to finish this during 2013 and here it is at the beginning of 2013 on 2nd January before I re-started it.

I'm also endeavouring to take more photos of Flossie. For some reason, over the last couple of years she disappears whenever I try to take photos. I don't know if she doesn't like the flash or the sound the camera makes when you operate the zoom. Either way, I've decided that this year I must try to take photos of her as often as I can to try and make her see that the camera isn't something to be frightened of.
She's actually very photogenic, so it's worth persevering with. I will be trying to take more photos of Minstrel ....... and I think his black and white colouring makes him a different sort of challenge!

On Friday evening, Mum and I visited my brother and he is much better. It turned out that he didn't have septicaemia and the clot in his vein has gone down. Rowena did find out one piece of information; apparently, during the original operation in November, his thoracic duct was nicked! Although it was grafted, there is a slight question as to whether all these 'infection like' symptoms and the swelling round the neck wound have been caused by leakages from the thoracic duct! The doctors at Queens are trying to get more definite information from Barts but it is annoying that Queens didn't originally have this information.

And on Thursday, I wrote a letter of complaint to a hospital. Not about Paul, but about my Mum. On the 4th-5th December, she was in our local hospital to have a die test on her bladder as her routine check had shown that her bladder looked a little inflamed. This routine check is because she is in remission from bladder cancer, originally diagnosed in 2005. However, within 4 days of coming out of hospital, Mum was covered in a red rash ...... and after a visit to her doctor, she was told she had scabies! She can only have got it in hospital! She was very upset about this, especially that she might have passed it onto us. Added to which, when Paul was initially ill, and very poorly, she didn't want to visit him whilst there was any possible chance of passing it onto him. In the end, she didn't feel able to see him until the Saturday before Christmas; all very distressing. It will be interesting to see the response to my letter. Mind you, Mum had her follow-up appointment on 2nd January and thankfully she's been given the all-clear. This is such a huge relief that I can't possibly begin to describe the relief.

Then Friday ....... I spent a frustrating morning going round and round the website of HMRC to complete setting up both myself and John as self-employed. I was trying to find out how to set up the payments for Class 2 NICS ..... but they certainly make it hard to find the information you need!

And finally, I spent a lot of time on Friday investigating the best approach to take in setting up a website for John's Candle making business as The Candle Cellar. So far, I've only set up a business page on Facebook but he does need a website as well. I will try and blog about how I get on, but by the end of Friday, I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the information I'd found :)

And after all that ...... perhaps another photo of Flossie is called for :) Unfortunately, it shows th main problem with flash; alien eyes :)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

More Positive Post Bank Holiday

Well ... just found out that Paul has had three scans of his neck today! Perhaps scans are like buses. None for ages and then they all come together! Seriously though, the scans show that the blood clot has gone down, which is good. The neck swelling is the lymph glands in his neck. This could be because of the normal response everyone has when they get bad infections; their glands go up. It could also mean that the lymphoma is mutating into a more aggressive form which is not so good and can only really be determined by yet another biopsy. They really aren't sure but for the moment the antibiotics will continue for 7 to 10 days and they'll see how he goes. Thankfully, he slept better last night so feels better in himself. Rowena feels more positive that they are doing all they can, so that is good.

One other good piece of news. My Mum had a die test on her bladder on the 4th December because her latest checkup revealed inflammation on the lining of her bladder and they weren't happy about this. Mum had bladder cancer diagnosed in 2005 but, because she went to the doctor early enough, it was caught and merely needed treatment with primarily the German measles vaccine and she was cleared within a year and just has to have regular check-ups. Today she had the appointment to follow up this die test and happily everything is OK. No return of the cancer which was my biggest worry. The doctor said the inflammation might just have been the result of a urine/bladder infection that Mum wasn't even aware of or might even have been caused by the original cystoscopy check which can be an irritant for some people. Anyhow, it was a huge relief for me and a huge relief for Paul and Rowena as well.

Note to Self ... Don't Get Ill At Weekends!

Seriously .... just don't!

Paul had a scan on his neck on Monday but even my sister-in-law, after watching a few scans being done, could tell that the operator wasn't very experienced! He couldn't find the clot! Only muscle! And there's Paul with a swelling on one side of his neck and not looking particularly muscley elsewhere!

The Consultant wasn't happy with the result and said he'd put a call out for a more experienced person to do one on Tuesday. However ...... oh yes ...... Tuesday was the 1st January and a Bank Holiday ....... and they couldn't find anyone! They do admit that Paul's situation is very much 'of concern' but they couldn't find anyone ....... and I thought hospitals were supposed to staff themselves regardless of weekends and Bank holidays? Clearly not!

So, you have been warned. Just make sure you can plan any major A & E situations for Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm! OK?

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Beginnings?

A New Year and perhaps a New Start for my neglected little blog! Why have I neglected it for so long? Well .... since about August, John and I have been putting a lot of effort into his candlemaking business. You can see some of what we've been up to on the Facebook page I've set up; selling candles as The Candle Cellar.

Also ..... if I'm honest, I was beginning to think I was talking to myself pretty much and why bother! However, I've been reconsidering this in the 'quiet' period you get between Christmas and New Year and realised that I actually don't care! I merely want to record the handicrafts I do and the walking John and I do and that is an end in itself!

Also ....... this New Year starts on a slightly bad foot as on the 5th December 2012, my very dear brother was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and it has changed my outlook in many ways.

Anyhow ..... not only has the blog been neglected but our walking has as well! In December, I even ended with something I've never had before ..... A Bad Back! And I realised that not walking regularly was a possible contributing factor. So, today we had a little walk round 'Our Patch' over in the Lea valley Park. It was a beautiful day for walking, although everywhere is very muddy because of all the rain we've been having. We walked for about 1.5 hours and covered about 4.5 miles. It certainly cleared some cobwebs!

There is so much wildlife over in the park that it really lifts your spirits. And my spirits do need lifting. I am sorely worried about my brother at the moment. Whilst walking, my thoughts constantly stray to saying the words in my head 'Please God, let him get better'.

He is actually in hospital at the moment. At the end of November, he had some lumps removed from his neck and on the 5th December, he was told he has lymphoma cancer but that it is treatable. However, he then proceeded to develop a very bad infection in the wound that was initially just a solid mass of infection that pressed on his jugular vein and has caused a clot. He did come out on Christmas Eve but just last Saturday, he went back into hospital with suspected septicaemia. He has been having alternate bouts of severe shivering followed by drenching sweats. On Sunday, they determined that it wasn't septicaemia but today they are wondering whether the shivering and sweating is a function of the lymphoma cancer. The swelling on his neck actually got bigger on Saturday as well, which they were very concerned about. He was due to have a scan today to check that out but I haven't heard any more on that.

All in all, I am worried sick about my 'little brother'. It certainly makes you sit up and re-think exactly what is important.
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