Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I might even finish the edging of the mourning shawl today.

Otherwise, little to report. I phoned our local B&Q, hoping that a gnome or two might linger. The nice young man who answered sounded surprised, and said that they had never sold any such thing. Perhaps the higher-ups at B&Q consider Royal Naff as not-quite-Edinburgh.

On the Japanese shirt front, I am waiting for news from Loop – they are expecting more Madeleine Tosh yarn “in April”. They have promised to phone, but I look at the website most days anyway. This morning, when I tried to go there to include a link, the website seems to be down -- maybe they are updating it.

I haven’t yet got Starmore out to address the question of an Aran sweater for my Games entry.

And that’s about it.


We are having an election to the Scottish parliament next month, even more tedium-inducing than the royal wedding. The Big News yesterday was a survey on the subject of issues which people felt were important, or didn't: with prompt access to a specialist when cancer was suspected, coming out near the top of the list.

C. had that, and a fat lot of good it did her. The specialist – at the Western Infirmary, which is Edinburgh’s leading cancer hospital – did an inadequate examination and sent her away with the assurance that she didn’t have cancer. He suggested that a colonoscopy might be a good idea in six weeks time or so, when someone or other got back from holiday. That was in early October. She was diagnosed a month later when she was taken in by ambulance as an emergency. Cancer was all over the shop, by then. The operation was on 9/11, British style.

Oddly, to my mind, no blame seems to have attached to that silly man in all the anger which has swirled around since, directed at God and at the blameless GP. I don’t suppose the outcome would have been much different, but she would have been spared the suffering she went through in October, which was considerable. When someone brings my husband a picture to consider, the first thing he does is look at it. C. had lost a lot of weight by early October. She was skilful at dressing to conceal the fact, but a cancer specialist is meant to be able to look, just as my husband is in his different way. And weight-loss is a major symptom, I gather, of almost all cancers.

I’ve probably said all this. By now, I am as cross at C. and her daughters for not being cross at that specialist, as I am at the man himself.

Today I composed a web page in MS Word and then, here on Blogger, worked on the "Edit HTML" page. So far, I haven't had to replace any paragraph breaks -- but the final "Publish Post" hurdle remains.


  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    I'm sure you've looked online but just incase here is the link
    out of stock atm I'm afraid

  2. You are right to be cross. Too many medics seem to lack the knack of observation, and I am aware of quite a few people who had been "bothering the doctor" and getting polite reassurances, until it was too late. What the answer is, I don't know, unless it is to use being bolshie as a survival tactic.

  3. And there is always the issue of many people still being in awe of their doctors and not even asking a question because they are afraid to do so. There is one doctor at our medical centre I refuse to see. He is, quite simply, a bully.

  4. Donice1:07 PM

    I have ordered Madelinetosh yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool online a couple of times, and they seem to keep a good stock of it. I don't know if it is worth it to have it shipped from the U.S.
    I lost my own sister C. a few weeks ago to a rare cancer, that for a while was dismissed as "something like a kidney stone in the salivary gland". I am so sorry for the loss of your husband's sister.

  5. I've been cross for five years at a surgeon that gave my father hope after 50+ years of disability. That failed surgery, a second failed emergency surgery, a horrid recovery that resulted in a major stroke have left my father bedridden, half blind, groping for words and meanings--and my parents on the brink of bankrupcy. It was irresponsible on the surgeon's part and irresponsible on my parents' part to believe. Truly one of the most painful things in my life. Keep questioning. Keep researching. Know your options. Keep writing! I love reading you daily.

    On a happier note...my 13-year-old son happily wears a pair of Madelintosh socks I knit for him years ago. It is yummy stuff.

  6. You are allowed to be cross-- one thing I have learned about doctors is that they don't know everything....They are very good at sewing you up and setting bones, but when it comes to the more murky stuff...

    A close friend of mine survived childhood cancer to only have it come back when he was 34. He was in Rome at a conference when he felt a pain where his childhood cancer had been removed. The pain remained steady and he said he instantly knew "the tumor was back."

    He got back to the states and the doctor kept fussing and saying that it was likely a problem with the sutures and mesh that was put it there to help his abdominal wall, but my friend KNEW and he insisted on a scan and biopsy.

    The cancer was back. Luckily they caught it before it had spread and again removed the tumor. He's in remission now and is well. But I think that outcome had a lot to do with the fact that he was unwilling to take the doctor's word for it...

  7. The whole area of patient v. doctor is a tough one and I don't want to go there right now. Instead I will reflect on your computer issues - last year when I was travelling so much I was also travelling back and forth between my Mac and my PC. I still haven't untangled all those word documents and email messages. And recently I have been trying to transform my entries on my 2 blogs into one big PDF document. The texts I've managed, the photos I haven't. It's one of those annoying situations where you keep trying to get somewhere and one obstacle after another keeps cropping up. Hopefully it's not life-threatening.

  8. Theresa I8:09 PM

    I recommend St Enda from Starmore's Aran Knitting. I just completed it for the second time. The first time in wool and the second in a cotton/modal blend. It looks impressive but the pattern is easy to memorize.

  9. Will you be designing your own Aran sweater? Starmore's designs for younger people tend to be simpler and chunkier. I suppose her Celtic knots might not be deemed to be Aran, as such.