Sunday, February 25, 2007

Think positive thoughts for us

I have long coveted the neighbours place, a rather dilapidated villa on a very nice piece of land. Have been itching for two years to rip out their kitchen, rearrange their bathroom, finish off their downstairs area and build a stable block in the front paddock.

This afternoon they came over to tell us they were renting it out and going elsewhere as it was too far from town for them. I made them an instant offer to buy it. Husband went slightly pale but I was spot on with the price as a Real Estate Agent had just told them that it should be marketted at 20 thousand more than I offered, so realistically I offered them the best price they are likely to get (and full price if you consider that they won't have to pay commission if they sell now to us).

The male of the partnership would have taken it, the wife won't - she wants to keep it - but over a glass of wine she told me that I would love the view from their bedroom window in the morning and what room would make a good office.

Think positive that they will accept my rather precipitous offer once they have had a think about it.

Friday, February 23, 2007

the broken car - remember 3 weeks ago!

I think my car may finally be officially fixed. This is with four further days back in the workshop after it was originally fixed, but we are probably done now. Seems to be some very poor quality control and workmanship going on in that mechanics (this is a largish supposedly reputable company BTW who managed to damage a power steering pulley, spill about a litre of oil all over the engine and engine bay and not wipe any of it up, and break the air cleaner filter housing. They have trouble saying the oil was already there since they had the motor in a million bits, but they reckoned the other things were already like that. Oops guys, the only way the power steering pulley can be damaged is to drop the motor on it's side or apply a crowbar, since you had the motor out and are more likely to have applied a crowbar than me I would suspect it might be something you did.. and if it had been an existing problem the power steering wouldn't have worked and I might have noticed)

Anyway he can adjust his attitude quickly... I'm hanging out to lodge this with a court - no longer the Small Claims court though, I'm going to take it to the District Court now and I'm going to call all the reporters in town to advise them of the time and place when I do so they can all report on what a shocker of a business this is. Have a few more extremely dirty plans up my sleeve, I don't get mad - I get even! (once upon a time I worked for a crap boss. I left in fairly short order. Over the next year I also managed to find the six best members of his remaining staff nice new jobs where I had gone to work cos the boss was much nicer and the pay was better. They managed to bring a few existing clients with them too - quite a few actually. He escaped personal bankruptcy by the skin of his teeth and is probably selling something dodgy door to door these days.)

Anyway back to the car thing. Husband has a meeting with them on Monday actually, in pretense of mediating between the idiot mechanic and the furious wife he is discussing it by himself (that is without my input) with the owner of the business, though he likes the court idea too...

I'll name and shame then unless they start getting a lot more contrite quite quickly.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I really am going to take a submachine gun to someone

Oncologist gave me some pills he thought I should take.

I thought about it and decided to take them. No big deal I thought (he gave me that impression too).

So I've taken five days worth.

And I have got steadily worse pain in all my joints. Today all of me really hurts, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists neck - every joint I have and some places I wasn't aware I had moving parts in hurt too. Today I can't sit down comfortably - which is wonderful as standing up hurts quite a bit as well and so does walking. Lying flat isn't much use either.

I had a look at the brief fact sheet that came with these pills. It's not listed as a side effect that needs urgent attention. So I get on the internet and have a quick search. It comes up just about straight away "25% of patients report some joint pain, from moderate to severe. Symptoms can be ongoing"

That's just lovely. I also found out that in cases like mine there was a positive effect in around 10% of patients. Those odds really are a bit slim.

I haven't taken them tonight.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Just something horse related

I have a little mare, Ali, who is a strange little soul. I would think she has been treated fairly roughly in a past life. Sweet girl most of the time though and quite nicely put together.

Anyway she went to visit a stallion for a fair while last year and had a lovely time. But when we picked her up they said at the stud "have you noticed Ali's head shake" which I hadn't, but then when we went down to the paddock to see her she was flicking her head flat out. They said she had been doing it a lot. Very odd. So we took her home and she stopped just about immediately. So I shrugged and put it down to a change in local herbage or something.

On Sunday she was playing "I'm a little toerag" games. Yes she was delighted to see me, she would mug my pockets to see if I had anything to eat, let me touch her all over, huff down my neck, have cuddles, no problem. But when I tried to put the halter rope round her neck she cleared off and wouldn't come near me until I put the halter down again. So after half an hour of playing silly games I walked her into the yard, pinned her in the shelter and applied the halter. Then I made a fuss of her and let her go.

The next morning I look out the window and there is Ali headflicking like crazy. Now I'm confused... she was fine, what the hell is wrong with her? I'm busy writing an email to that effect to someone for comments and suddenly it hits me... it's the halter. She never wears a halter at home normally but she wore one a lot at stud for ease of handling. The same halter she is still wearing - it's got a tag on it with her name on it so the horse transport people didn't drop her off at the wrong place (okay I'm paranoid I know but I didn't want her going to the wrong stallion).

I'm guessing the tag swinging either amuses her or irritates her.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Itching and sneezing and eyes watering

but the hay is in the shed. Neatly stacked, layered with salt and enough for the winter unless it snows or something untoward.

Always feel fairly satisfied when we have the hay sorted out. Must be the cavedweller in me, I feel happy when we are ready for winter, when the freezer is full, the pantry has a selection of cans the firewood is stacked and dry. The stock up for winter thing is so ingrained that I will have the urge to preserve things in the next month or so. I'll try to talk myself out of it. Instead I might turn some meat into ready made stews and similar and stick it back in the freezer for rapid meals on cold winter nights.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

F#*&%@& health professionals

As my regular readers know I have an ongoing battle with the big C. Most of the time I am winning, or at least I am not losing ground... (I should statistically speaking be dead by now but it wasn't on my agenda so the funeral arrangements are OFF)

Anyway I have been contemplating this for a month or two or three or six. Nearly two years ago surgeons in Auckland figured I was so terminal I wasn't even worth biopsying and closed me back up. It was only the other week that they admitted that to me. Nearly two years later my only health problems are those caused by surgeons and extra heavy doses of toxic substances into my bloodstream (chemo that is, but a hard drug addiction would not necessarily be more harmful I think occasionally - and would probably be a darn sight more fun). Yes I still have cancer but not to any degree much greater than I did two years ago - and it is less than what I had initially in 2000.

In October 2005 I told them all to sod off and I wasn't having any more chemo that wasn't likely to work anyway, they could give me a ring when they wanted a new wonder drug tested. I had to tell them repeatedly to sod off over three months as they kept sending me appointments. After that I gave in and went and had a scan (had always intended to do that anyway, was just sick of it all) - and I had another one six months after that which showed some growth in the main tumor they keep monitoring. So they zapped that with some radiotheraphy and that did exactly what it was hoped it would do - reduced the thing to a quarter of it's size.

So over the last two weeks I've been scanned and inspected by the Gynacologist and the Oncologist. And right now I am furious.

There is a thickening in the scar tissue (that's where they have sliced me up the middle twice) that wasn't on the last scan. The radiologist recommends further investigation. The Gynacologist wants to biopsy and look at surgery or radiation for this new bit if it proves to be cancer. He is willing to consider giving my insides a good going over as he wonders why some of those unbiopsied bits haven't done anything and thinks it wouldn't be unreasonable to have a look at them. They may not be cancer. It is perfectly common to have cysts on your internal organs. He does however freely admit that he is not an Ovarian cancer expert, his speciality is a bit different and he has me on his patient list because he is the best there is in this area, not the best all round.

So today I get to see the Oncologist. This guy is apparently God - ask anyone who knows him. Actually I quite liked him until today, now I want to take a submachine gun to him. (would be something immensely satisfying about laying waste to a heap of hospital staff somehow). He might as well have not seen me today. He finds the biopsy idea "pointless" (his word) surgery or radiation "a waste of time" and his best recommendation is I have some more of the chemo that didn't work last time. When I said it didn't work last time he said "well there is a small chance it might this time" I was then shuffled out of the surgery and told to come back in two months - the implication was get my act together in the meantime and line up for some more systematic poisoning.

As time goes by I feel more and more that this is a slow growing cancer, and that long term control is within my grasp if someone would just do something about it (cut or zap the thing out). They are so close to figuring out cures using gene therapy (and as this is a hereditary type I am a sitter for trialling these and possibly getting a cure - there is no cure at the moment, only control). Why can't these so called experts look outside their own tunnels. There is no indication that any chemo will work, lets look outside the square.

Might be time to get a second opinion... the guy I would ideally like to see is in Christchurch, it might be worth the plane trip.

And the next time someone tries to fob me off I'm going to hit them.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Someone is trying to tell me something

About a month ago I went to open a new bank account with an institution I don't normally bank with. There is a method in that madness I sell a bit of stuff on Trademe and hate fishing through the usual bank accounts to find payments from people. Not sure why I decided on a new institution but the fees were low.

First I went into the local branch where the man behind the counter told me it would take an hour to open an account and he wouldn't be doing it today. Rather irritated as I have had mortgages approved in less than an hour so I fail to see why it would take so long for them to take some of my money!

So I sent them a wee email pointing that out and that they could be losing potential new customers all the time with an attitude like that. They replied promptly and politely. I could do it by mail if I liked. Sounded reasonable enough to me so I filled in the forms, enclosed a copy of my passport and the latest power bill and a cheque for my initial deposit and sent it off.

That was 12 January. Last week I made enquiries about the state of my account. Guess what they have lost the application, including my cheque. They suggest I stop the cheque (will cost ME $30 so I don't think so). They suggest I should go into my local branch and open an account there...

I think I will stick to the bank I know.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New Years resolutions come late

Been doing the budget. Since we spent a bit more than we made last year figured it was time to pull our heads in. This is mindblowingly boring. Glad I only manage a household, not a company or a country say. All those little incidentals add up rather fast.

Anyway - just thought I'd share that with you before I go back to the spreadsheet.

Monday, February 05, 2007

One of those weeks

Last weekend we got the broodmares back from stud, hopefully both in foal. It was a day or two that didn't go entirely to plan (but more about that later when it does resolve itself)

Then on Monday - a public holiday in this corner of the world - we went to Paeroa to pick up a cat we have acquired, another burmese, a girl named Zena. The pick up went according to plan, we had a coffee with the nice people parting with the cat put her (and her cage and her three beds, large scratching post and incidental belongings) in the car and headed towards home.

Shortly past Waihi the car stopped and refused to start again. It had lots of petrol, it had been serviced recently, it is only five years old damnit! Cellphones being the great invention that they are I called my mummy, cos that's who you always call when things go wrong, and she got in her wee car and came and picked us up - which was nice of her as she doesn't like driving very far.

So we got home, let the poor little cat out of her cage and husband got his big bloke 4WD and hired a car transporter to go and collect my car. He dropped it at his work to organise to have it repaired at the guys round the corner from there. The same guys who did the cambelt when it needed doing a year ago....

Guess what - the cambelt (the one that was replaced a year ago) is a dud. The damage is immense and there is going to be a pretty nasty argument if it isn't fixed for nothing. I am NOT happy. In fact I am so not happy about that that I really had better not say anything but the words Small Claims Court come to mind.

On the subject of courts - something else to be not happy about - husband got a letter yesterday from the Court Collections division. It said they believed he had unpaid fines. "Bullshit" he said and rang them up. A somewhat unproductive discussion took place - they insist he owes $685 from December 1996 and they can't tell him what it was for - but (get this) they have decided he does owe it and they will do everything in their power to recover this money including taking him to court for non payment of fines and attaching his wages. Have written them a terse letter explaining that since he has never received a summons, a judgement or anything like that he fails to see how he can owe this money, particularly as they are completely unable to supply any details! Watch out for him on Fair Go!

Horse was on the mend but has a swollen fetlock again this week. Along with little Ali and her swollen knee which has got worse since she has been away at stud (she has always had a slightly swollen knee) I wonder why I bother with horses.

New cat is settling in well too, beginning to terrorize the other burmese who has his nose right out of joint, has had her bum smacked for walking on the bench and is very talkative and friendly.