Thursday, 30 April 2009

XBox 360 nightmare is over ! I cheated and went to ASDA today and bought a new one (£97 quid !). Decided that throwing more money into the current one was a total waste of time,effort...and money. Besides, it's Andy Jr's Birthday on Monday so i have my excuse...sorry, reasons :-) In my day your dad bought Scalextrix for you (them!) to play with, now it's an Xbox.. a sign of the times if ever you wanted one !

New Donor Recruitment Session at Kings Mill Hospital 25th June 2009

Yet another date for your diary. Thursday June 25th 2009.On this date between the hours of 3pm and 7pm Kings Mill Hospital will be holding an Anthony Nolan Trust bone marrow donor recruitment session.Please, if you are between the ages of 18-40 years old, in fair health and fancy doing something amazing, come along and get signed up to this fantastic cause which is being held in memory of little Joel Picker-Spence from Farndon who sadly died last November after a heroic battle against ALL (Acute Leukaemia).

Thanks :-)

Those nice people at N.I.C.E are looking at CLL treatments for the NHS

It appears that those wonderful folk at N.I.C.E (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) are currently looking into the use of Rituximab as a "first line" treatment for CLL. So far, this is what has been published about their findings:

I will keep an eye on their progress and report any further news on this subject (well i do have something of an interest in this !),i will let you know :-)


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Leora's Leukaemia and the world smiles with you !

"In the hope more people can save lives by donating blood to cure Leukaemia patients"

Monday, 27 April 2009

Why should you consider being a bone marrow Doh'nor ?

I recorded this short(ish!) video on my mobile the other day (recently edited to half it's original length !) and wanted to see how it looks and what people think about the content before i decide if i should post it up on YouTube at some point in the future.

What do you think ? Do i go on too much ?

Feedback please folks :-)

Arsenic found to attack leukaemia stem cells

The secret to the survival abilities of these cells has been unclear. But in a paradoxical discovery, a research team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that a tumor suppressor protein known as PML appears to be the factor that enables LICs to maintain their quiescence – the inert state that protects them from being destroyed by cancer therapies – and suggests that inhibition of PML is a promising target for new therapeutics.

Read the whole story here at the ecancer medical science website:

The leukaemia girl and the baby brother who couldn't be her saviour

this is a story that i find terribly sad because i know that the information about the stem cell collection is incorrect in some aspects.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time will know that i have reported about the work of the Anthony Nolan Trust Cord Blood collection service and the free service that they offer to new mums at the Kings College Hospital in London. Now i realise that the couple in the story wanted to ensure that the cord blood collected was used for their own child's treatment, but surely if the siblings cord blood was compatible then the ANT would possibly be able to match them and use the cord blood to treat the young girl anyway ?
I suppose the saddest thing about this story is that the couple allowed the hospital to dispose of the cord blood in the end, but had they been treated at the Kings College hospital they could have asked for the CB to be collected by The ANT and saved, perhaps to help another child with leukaemia ?. If nothing else, this just shows how much we need to try and get cord blood collection services in more hospitals in the UK

Read the story on the Daily Mail website here:

XBox 360 nightmare update !

I have calmed down a little since my post yesterday which pretty much reflected the way i was feeling about my son's X Box 360 ongoing reliability problems. Since the last post i have done some surfing (on the net, not the sea!) and found that yet again this is a widespread fault, and as i mentioned earlier it appears that the fix is limited to either sending the box back to Microsoft for an out of warranty repair (console is more than 1 years old and the 3 year warranty only covered the RROD fault), or i have to go and buy a "donor" console that has been put up on Ebay, then use its working (i will check that it does!) DVD/CD drive, and stick it in ours to cure the problem...hopefully :-).
As i post this i am just waiting to hear from a couple of local Ebay sellers to negotiate a donor machine....i will let you know how i get on.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Why Microsoft should go to the wall....and be shot ! :-)

XBOX 360.......what right have Microsoft to sell such a piece of junk ? The machine is the most unreliable console that I have ever had the misfortune to own. Ok, when it works, it rocks, but you are always waiting for the damn thing to break down, and when it does the options for repair tend to involve sending it away to Microsoft for repair.
After managing to sort out the RROD (Red Ring of Death !) problem that causes the 360 to overheat, spending money then on new games,wireless hand controls and a 20GB hard rive, imagine my annoyance when the bl**dy thing started to tell me that "To play this disk, put it into an xbox 360 console"....erm, well it IS in an Xbox console,but it appears to be knackered...again!.
Don't you love the way that computers place the blame on the user ? It tells me that i need to put the DVD (which it is not,it is a game!) in a 360, as if it is me that is at fault !...the cheeky git !.

If you do a quick search on the net about the RROD and read errors on the 360,along with sticking drive doors,broken door covers etc, it appears that consoles that work for more than 12 months without experiencing a failure of some kind are something of a rarity, and that in essence Microsoft are as good at releasing games consoles full of potential faults as they are at releasing operating systems that are finally bug free and "updated" around about the time that its replacement comes onto the market ! How the hell did Mr Gates get so rich selling such dodgy gear ?
As it now appears that the Xbox is yet again stuffed, i will shortly be selling it along with the various games,controls and add ons, and buying something a little more reliable....such as a 30 year old Atari :-)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Happy St George's Day !

I am rather prone to forget that the 23rd April is the date that is set aside for the patron saint of our great nation!, so before I forget again, here is a quick mention to remind you all ( along with a rousing picture!) to mark St George's day.Have a good one :-)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Do you have or know someone who suffers from CLL ?

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia.A Survey of patients.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Patients are needed for a Market Research Study
The Patients Voice would like to invite you to take part in a 40 minute telephone interview about your experiences with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia.

Please take the time to follow this link and answer a few questions about your condition:

Thanks :-)

June 23rd 2009.Put it in your diary !

Why? Well this is the date that has now been confirmed as the day that the Anthony Nolan Trust will be attending Newark hospital in Nottinghamshire (UK), to hold a bone marrow donor recruitment session.

The session will run from 3pm until 7pm (longer if response is good!), and details of the event are currently being supplied to the radio,TV and press offices around the local area to make sure that turn out will be as high as possible.So if you are aged between 18 and 40 years old, are in good health and fancy a day out in Newark (it is a REALLY lovely town on the banks of the river Trent), put it in your diary, get yourself over there on the day and do a really honourable and fantastically rewarding thing, get yourself onto the bone marrow donor register.It won't cost you a Penny, you will be furnished with tea,coffee and biccies, and their is the possibility that at some time in the future, you may just be able to give someone the gift of life :-)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

And this one is for Lauren,my horse crazy daughter !

I just love what the wizard named "Matt Pop" has done to this classic track. This guy is one of my favourite producers of remixed music. Click on the youtube feed to hear more of his awesome work.Nice one Matt :-). Hope you like it Lauren :-)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Funeral tributes to 15-year-old leukaemia victim

The family and friends of 15-year-old Ryan Henry packed out St Aldhelm’s Catholic Church in Malmesbury today.
The football mad pupil of St Augustine’s Catholic College in Trowbridge, where Ryan also played rugby, died on April 2 after a seven-year battle with Leukaemia.

Read the full article on the Gazette and Herald here:

Italian earthquake: British charity fears leukaemia research may be destroyed

Italy's worst earthquake in 30 years may have destroyed a British charity's vital research into a treatment for leukaemia.

Full story is on the Telegraph website.Link here:

Hope it's not as bad as was first feared.

Help...i think my flow meters are breeding !

Yet again I had another intense and fascinating day at work engaged in the nightmare that is "the hospital move". I found myself darting between fixing hospital beds when there was a sudden need for an extra few.Fetching and carrying everything but the kitchen sink from A-B via C,D,E and F (come to think of it i am sure that i did have a sink at some point!), then, after all of these fun and games in the AM, i found myself once more sat at a bench, but this time it was not 150 suction units (although i did some of those as well!), this time it was 100 or so Oxygen flow meters...oh bliss !.

I got to a point during the servicing of these suckers when i was convinced that they were actually breeding on my desk (eeuurgghh!), as no matter how many i seemed to be completing, more suddenly appeared for my attention. Eventually, after a couple of hours i managed to get them sorted, although as this is far from the end of the hospital move finale, i am sure that i will get to experience the fun and games of sorting out a few more hundred bits of medical gear in a short while.....can't wait !

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

This week I will be mostly sorting out suction units !

Oh bliss.Just spent the whole day repairing,maintaining and moving around suction units and oxygen flow meters for the new hospital move.In fact,today i have serviced around 100 flow meters and 150 suction units! Why ? Well as you can imagine, we can't "nick" the oxygen and suction units from the old wards when the patients are still hooked up to them (the staff/patients would get a little miffed at that!), and we can't supply new equipment to all of the wards in the new building ready for the arrival of the patients after their move.So we have to "recycle" the current equipment from one ward to the next, so that there is a full set of medical equipment at both sides of the journey from old to new, then, when the old ward is closed, we go in and remove the current devices, service them, and reuse them for the next ward move!.All in all a very time consuming but necessary operation. Unfortunately for me, i have been "turning around" a constant flow of both suction units (the yellow and grey devices with a gauge on the top and a filter at the bottom) and flow meters (the clear vertical tubes that they use to meter the amount of oxygen given to a patient).See, read this blog and you will learn all sorts of amazing things!......hang on, can i hear you snoring ? :-)

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Monday...Off to the seaside @ Mablethorpe

As non of us really knew what to do today, and as all of us dragged ourselves out of our beds well after 10am (whoops!), we decided to go out for the day somewhere close to home. After the traditional yelling and screaming (and the kids are even worse!) about not knowing were shoes had gone, who had moved mobile phones ( resulting in the mandatory "call it and follow the ring" malarkey), we made a flask of coffee, loaded up the kite (never used, but always taken....mmm!) we set off to make the 54 mile trip to the seaside.
Upon arrival we sat in the car enjoying the view from our favorite car park with it's elevated location, looking out across a rather grey sea under a rather grey be honest it was hard to figure out were the sea stopped and the sky began,but what the heck, we were on the coast, and the aroma of fish and chips was in the air.....lovely :-).
We took our amassed collection of 2 pence coins into the arcade, fed them to a variety off slot machines and came out 20 mins later penniless, but Lauren had managed to win (?) a nice plastic...thing so that was good. Oh happy days :-).
After a short stroll along the beach on the way back to the car, during which "mini me" decided he wanted to take his shoes off for a swift paddle, then decided that he didn't like wet sand,then decided that walking was not fun and hitched a lift with dad !, we set off back home and ended our bank holiday Monday with a traditional English supper.....from the local Chinese takeaway!.....lovely grub :-)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Sunday..time for an egg hunt then !

I took 2 of the kids (Rachel and Andy Jr...or "mini me" as we call him!)to a National Trust house just outside of Grantham,Linc's, to take part in the annual Easter egg hunt.Not so much an egg hunt, as a clue hunt!. Upon paying your £1.50 for each child, you are given a sheet of paper and a pencil, then sent off on your way to follow clues, gather random letters of the alphabet (which made up the names of spring flowers!), then return to the house to collect your prize...yes, you guessed it...a chocolate egg :-)
Even though it was a pretty overcast day, with the occasional rain "drizzle", i can honestly say that the walk around those fantastic gardens was so nice, and was a great way to get some fresh air and exercise whilst i am still suffering from this awful ruddy chesty cold...again.
Mission accomplished,clutching 2 chocolate eggs, we returned to the car, then drove home for a nice chicken Sunday dinner...lovely :-)

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Whoopee! blood test results came....but what do they mean !

Today,the postman..sorry, post lady, brought an extra special letter for me which contained (drum roll!) blood results :-).
The good news is that i now, after almost 4 months, have actually got them, the bad news is that apart from the results of my Cholesterol check (a very average 5.0) which i believe to be OK, i have not got a Scooby Doo (clue) what the rest of the figures are telling me :-( .Now i just have to wait until the 12th May when I get to speak to Tim Mooby (my new consultant) at King's Mill Hospital, that I will get the lowdown on what my current state of health this space ;-).

Also today (Saturday) whilst i popped down to the shops for some loo roll,milk and chocolate (this was to do some kiddie cooking with...chocolate crispies,yum!)I was suddenly overcome with what i guess would be termed an "impulse buy". Now i am not really the sort to do this sort of thing, but on this occasion it was quite spontaneous, and what is stranger is that it was not a piece of technology (my normal weakness when it comes to buying things that i could really do without), it was simply a picture, in the window of a charity shop in Sleaford, and it was of an image which almost made me cry when i looked at crazy is that ?
The picture is simple, and it is of a white dove descending from a cold grey sky.....that's all...but the unexpected and unexplained emotion that it stirred in me was immediate, and as such, i just had to buy it, for the princely sum of £5.99.
Maybe there is some truth in the saying that "A picture speaks a thousand words" after all :-)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Oh how true these points are !

I was sent this little ditty today by my cousin.I found myself reading it, then smiling, then grimacing, then smiling again :-).

See if you can relate to any of the points raised...i know that i could !


1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonald's ,KFC, Subway or Nando's.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gob stoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no video/dvd films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were NO lawsuits from these accidents!

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...
We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade', 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore

And so to the Bank Holiday ....thank goodness for that !

So here we are, it's Good Friday and the bank holiday has now officially begun, however i am (yet again!) suffering from an awful head cold, complete with sore throat, runny nose and headache...wonderful!.
Anyway, at least i haven't got to fight my way to work this morning, and as an added bonus i even managed to have something of a lie in also, not getting up until 08:20.....bliss !.
Now, i am lead to believe that Bank Holidays are historically supposed to be a time when folk get down and dirty...doing DIY (Do It Yourself!) repairs and maintenance to their homes and gardens.Me ? Well i am not one for spending my free time doing anything that can be left until another all of the work that is still outstanding in the kitchen,bathroom,living room etc,etc, so i will be actively trying to do now't (or "nothing" for those of you who don't speak Nottinghamshire slang!).

The hospital that i am employed at is currently in the throws of a major move, from the old building which it has occupied for between the last 25 and 60 years (depends upon which dept you are housed in!), to the new, ultra modern £320 million new hospital.
Of course it sounds quite simple doesn't it ? Build a new hospital, move all of the facilities and patients into it...job done.....or maybe not!.
The reality is that unlike most "corporate" relocation's, hospitals have to spend a lot of time "deep cleaning" the "New" building, before they can even consider moving patients and medical services into it. If you have ever had a look around a new building before the cleaners have had a go at it, you will be aware that builders are not really too concerned about the amount of muck that they produce whilst building a new construction, just as long as it is finished on time.Imagine then scaling up this scenario from a 3 bedroom detached home with 16 windows, to a 600 bed hospital with over 3000 of them!, each floor,wall,ceiling and surface must be cleared of dust and paint splashes, and the building has to be "clinically clean" in time for all of the medical paraphernalia and patients to be rehoused in the wards and departments.
This week i was engaged in the task of receiving, unpacking,building,testing and inventorying of 50 new hospital "Acute" medical beds, the ones that are electrically operated and are seen in all modern hospitals.The beds that we have decided to purchase are made by a company called Sidhil Ltd, who are a small/medium sized family business that are based in Halifax UK.The beds are coming in waves of between 20 and 40 at a time each week, and we have (i believe!) ordered approx 200 of them, so i guess that inventorying them will be a large part of my working days for the next few weeks!.
I have taken a few snaps of the work that is going on in the towers at KMH, these are where the new wards will be located, and these are currently the focus of more work and preparation than i guess anyone outside of the hospital could possibly be aware of.So,if you would, please spare a thought for all of the dedicated hospital staff that are engaged in this very intense, very physically demanding, but sometimes overlooked area of hospital life, and, should you ever find yourself in one of the wards of the "New and improved" Kings Mill Hospital, just remember just how much work has gone into making your stay a pleasant one :-).

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Blood test results update...update !

Well, after calling my GP's surgery today i found out that the Odyssey of my well traveled blood test results has taken another twist !.It appears that they have now finally arrived with my doctor, but (for reasons as yet unknown!), they went for a trip over to the Nottingham Trent University first!. It seems that my blood gets to travel a lot more than the rest of me does these days :-).
Oh well, hopefully soon the results will be in my hands, which is nice, s it seems that i will be the last one to get to see them !.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The mystery of the missing blood test...latest update !

After almost four months i am still not really any closer to finding out the results of my last blood test which was taken at the hospital that i work at in December 2008, however at least i now know why my GP's surgery did not receive them !.It appears that there is a surgery called "Mill View Surgery" in Mansfield, and so...yes you guessed results were sent to that surgery and not Mill View surgery in Sleaford!. Oh well, at this rate my next blood test will probably be being processed before i get the results of the one from 2008!.

This years holiday Plans.

To be honest, last years holiday was pretty much non existent.The trip to Gib and back in 9 and a half days cannot be really filed under the heading "Rest and relaxation", and i am pretty sure that my family would like to be able to have a bit of that this year after putting up with my (almost?) fanatical pursuit that was the Scirocco 2 Morocco trip in 2008.
This year then, we are hoping to be able to get some "quality" family time together somewhere in the UK,possibly Devon or Cornwall, but as of this moment we have not decided 100%.
I think that whatever or wherever we decide to go in the end, we owe it to ourselves to try and have as good a time as we possibly can,and as long as we manage to pick a week when the good old British weather decides to give us a little sunshine, i am sure that we will all benefit from the experience.
I will try my best not to get too annoyed at the blatant exploitation that is demonstrated by the great British holiday host, when they add a few hundred extra to their weekly holiday rate knowing full well that most of us are obliged to shell it out without choice due to us all being controlled by the school holiday system.I recently looked into the costs of some holiday cottages and found the price difference between the start of June (kids at school) and the middle of July (school holiday season!) was something around an extra £250 per week more! do these people sleep at night....probably on mattresses full of banknotes i would guess ! :-).....oh well, we will just have to bit the bullet and see i suppose.