Chris Wilmers

Low Grade Myofibroblastic Sarcoma – A Head and Neck Cancer

Jun
07

I was diagnosed with a sarcoma under my tongue in 2015, during tests for another medical inquiry, so was very lucky it was picked up relatively early.

However when I tried to find out more information I was very frustrated, there’s very little out there as this is only recently recognised as a distinct sarcoma, so this is what I think I know but it’s not gospel and you need to cross question your specialist!

It is a rare sarcoma with less than 100 cases recorded – whether this is worldwide, UK only or USA only I don’t know. The most common site is the head and neck (tongue and oral cavity) but it can appear elsewhere.

It has a high local recurrence rate of around 40-50%, but this is directly influenced by the margins surgeons are able to take. It has a low recurrence rate of metastases of 14-15%, mostly in the lungs but also the limbs and abdominal cavity. Recurrence seems to mostly happen in the first 36 to 48 months, though one paper states 6 months to 4 years. Recurrent sarcomas are often of a higher grade.

 

Like a lot of cancers, cause is unknown but there seem to be 3 suspects;

  1. Previous trauma
  2. Silver clips – whether these are dental or medical clips, I can’t discover, but dental seems most likely.
  3. Auto immune problems

 

I have vitiligo, and previously suffered from mild psoriasis type rashes and chronic rhinitis (strangely these disappeared after chemotherapy some years ago!), so #3 would seem to be implicated if there is truth in the suspicions.

 

I had a hemiglossectomy and free SCIP flap recostruction in April of last year losing the front right side to the mid line; it is a long operation and recovery times vary but I was only in hospital for a week, drip fed for 6 days and able to eat  most foods by mid July, though some foods are no longer worth the effort and I have to remember to take smaller bites!  My speech is affected but I can make myself understood and my family is highly amused by the fact that I sound mildly drunk after a few minutes conversation.  I am now about to undergo a further operation to reduce the bulk of the SCIP flap, in hopes that my eating and speech functions will be improved.

 

I hope this will be of help to anyone faced with a similar situation.

 

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Winnie The Pooh Quilt

Mar
27

At the request of younger son (he’s only 44 bless him) This WHIP is well on it’s way.  I first tried to take illustrations from the original books, but for various reasons that was unsuccessful, so I then went to the web and pulled off some kids’ colouring pages, which have worked well for redwork panels I think, although I had to enlarge some.  It’s now reached the stage of being backed; because it will be used as a lap quilt rather than on a bed, I’ve cheated somewhat and used fleece for the backing and now it’s ready for some free motion quilting………

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The Surgical Quilt

Mar
26

IMG_2374

The Surgical Quilt

The Surgical Quilt

The name of this quilt is a result of far too much interaction with far too many surgeons over the last 3 years, and a tribute to their fantastic treatments. It goes as follows;

 

1 Notice a problem –  in this case an overflowing sewing room

2 Diagnosis – a growing lump of offcuts from various projects

3 Decide on a solution

3 Plan a course of action

4 Cut

5 Shape

6 Position

7 Sew

8 Pad

9 Bind

10 Contemplate a serviceable end result

 

I’m so pleased with myself, I’m planning two more, one will be a bookcase quilt, the other another hexie quilt.

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Pasta and Meatballs

Aug
31

This will serve up to four people, depending on appetites.

 

1 Pkt penne (29p, Lidls)

1 Pk Tomato Passata (35p, Lidls)

1 pt/500ml Boiling Water

1 Onion

2 Cloves garlic or/

1 heaped teasp Garlic Granules (£1, Sainsbury’s)

1 Carrot

1 Heaped teasp Dried Basil

2 Heaped teasp Dried Oregano

1 Beef Stock Cube

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Pack Meatballs (£3 Morrisons)

1-2 tablesp Oil

Finely chop the onion and fry gently in the oil.

Grate the carrot and garlic very finely and add to the onions, cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat.

Add the tomato passata, boiling water and the herbs and stock cube.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 45mins.

Add the meatballs and simmer for another 45-60 mins.

Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the penne, drain and serve with the meatballs and sauce

 

NB If you have rosemary and or thyme in your store cupboard, add a pinch of each, this does deepen the flavour but is not essential.

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Tom’s Celery Soup

Aug
23

This is so simple and cheap to make, and I would urge you to try it even if you don’t like celery (which I don’t).  It came as a great surprise when Tom told me what I was eating.  It will make 7-8 srevings.

 

1 Onion

2 Carrots

1 Head of Celery

1 Chicken Stock Cube in 1 litre boiling water

2 Medium Potatoes

1-2 Tablespoons oil (I use rapeseed oil, also called canola I think)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Crusty bread

 

Wash the celery stalks really well, there’s nothing worse than gritty soup!

Chop the onions and fry in the oil.

Chop and add the carrots then the celery.

Chop and add the potatoes, the stock cube, water and salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil then simmer for about 45 minutes.

Liquidise or use a stick wand to get a creamy consistensy – you may have to add a little more water as it’s sometimes quite thick.  If the celery is really stringy you may want to pass it through a sieve, but I don’t bother.

Eat!

 

If you want to spend a bit more to jazz things up, you could use a little white wine and sometimes I add garlic granules but the soup tastes fine without either of these.  It freezes well if there are any leftovers, or can be added to something like bolognaise sauce for extra flavour

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test sewing post

Aug
22

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test quilting post

Aug
22

this is a test quilting post

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Test Knitting post

Aug
22

this is a test knitting post

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