Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Chinese toothpaste and that well known medical term- " Oh Bugger"

The good news first- solar panel system now up and running and has heated water very effectively in its first afternoon. Hope this keeps going. Always an immense sense of satisfaction building some yourself and then it actually works ! ( not always the case in my experience). But this time- built a low cost system( I reckon about £1200 in total) which does in fact heat water at no cost and with low installation cost payback time should be much reduced- particularly if gas goes up again. So a good one. The reference to Chinese toothpaste is that the solar panel kit is made in China but distributed through a UK company. To connect the heat pipes to the main collector the kit contains a tube ( like a toothpaste tube) with white thermal silicone ( to make for good connections) with the instructions in Chinese. In the trade this is referred to in a short hand way as Chinese toothpaste.

The bad news is that I've just heard today my paraprotein has jumped up 4 notches and stands now at 11. So in the past 5 or 6 weeks its actually gone up from 5 to 11- not a good result and as I see Huw my consultant tomorrow we'll need to look at what all this means. And if my neutrophils haven't gone up then I suspect at the very least I won't start my 5th cycle tomorrow( Remember- I did tell you I've never completed a 5th cycle in any of my various treatments!). Many thanks to Don ( who I don't know but thanks for the nice email)who reminded us that studies are now showing that low dose dexamethasone with Revlimid is as effective if not more so in some cases. Unfortunately I had already been put on low dose dexamethasone but my paraprotein seems not to have read the recent studies and so isn't following the script. I'm also feeling my ribs pretty sore and don't know yet if this is to do with climbing ladders or to do with my myeloma ( I broke ribs coughing in the early stages of my condition). I'll follow up when at clinic tomorrow. But, as the medics say in highly technical language- Oh bugger!!

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