Double Bile Duct Bypass

Turned at Day surgery for my “minor” operation this morning, with the operation scheduled for about lunchtime.

I was asked if I could find my own way to X-Ray, just so they could confirm my collapsed lung had recovered on its own (this involves going back out of the building and re-entering via the main entrance, so you can get to somewhere around directly under where you started from, as the reception and ward for day surgery only have internal access to the operating theatres!

After that they did the usual array of stats tests, chat with anaesthetist, registrar etc… only towards the end of this when Susan was asking about when she should phone to see how things went, and the registrar said it would be better if he phoned her did I start to realise this was maybe a bigger op than I had understood!

In fact I was in theatre for about 6 hours, and taken straight to High Dependency, which explained why I hadn’t been told to go to a ward in the morning.

(Obviously I’m not writing this on (or even close to) the day, as I was pretty much completely in another world with Morphine and (Although  we did not know this till 2 weeks later) a hallucinatory allergic reaction to one of the drugs.


Endoscopes and CT controlled biopsies

Two procedures this week (neither of which I can recommend!) followed by even worse news.

Starting with the endoscope – after they had administered the local anaesthetic and got me in the very uncomfortable posiiton required for this procedure, the surgeon the took 10 minutes to replace the newly installed canula, which he had taken a dislike to. He then tried for a while to start the procedure install the stent before abanding the process as the Pancreas area was to decayed.

Next decision was to take a biopsy of a lymph node on the back of my lung to check whether the cancer had spread to this inoperable location. This involves lying on your front on the (hard and narrow) CT scanner table while they mark out a target on your back and gradually insert a long “needle” into your back checking at each step with another CT scan. This goes on for about 1/2 hour, with continual command to hold your breath.

Eventually you are told that it is vital that ou hold your breath, just before they press a button and take a tissue sample. I defy anyone to hold still while being stabbed in the lung. Finally they remove the “needle” and administer yet another CT scan to check whether the lung is OK – of course it had partially collpased, for good measure.

At the end of the week, they came up with the result – there was inoperable cancer in the lymph node, and hence no point in considering an operation to remove the cancerous pancreas. All they could offer was a “lesser” (I niaively thought small) operation to perform a double bile duct bypass, giving me an estimated 8-12 month life expectancy. Let out of hospital to return (confusingly) to the day surgery unit next Wednesday.


After a week of testing out the Ultarsound, MRI and CT scanners at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary,I got the bad news that I have Pancreatic cancer where the enlarged pancreas is squeezing the bile duct and hence the jaundice. They’ve let me home for the weekend to digest this news and then I go back in next week so they can try and install a stent via an endoscope.

Ken taken ill

After a week of tummy upsets, I went to the doctor this afternoon and as she thorugh Iooked a bit jaundiced was sent straight to A&E for possible blockage of the Bile duct.

In the meantime Tilly has been identified as having a detached ligament which can’t be re-attached and she needs to lose a lot of weight before they will consider surgery. (Not that she was really overweight in the first place!)

Tilly goes lame

While out for her usual lunchtime run around today, Tilly suddenly went lame in her rear left leg and could put no weight on it.

A visit to the vet raised fears that it was bone cancer (fortunately unfounded).


We have purchased 4 acres of woodland near Innerleithen so we can indulge in some nature conservancy, and also have a memorial to Susan’s parents. We hope to be able to build a woodland workshop, along with providing homes for birds and bees.

Access is strictly by 4×4 – about 1 mile up a steep dirt track from the nearest road, ending in a sharp turn onto an even steeper road!

Chicken Demise

The other morning we found one of our hens with no head, and 2 very distressed cockerels.

One cockerel never moved (although there was no obvious injury) and died the next day. The other cockerel wandered around looking lost for a few days and then died overnight.

Currently we suspect the Stoat that has been around the garden. A few days before the chickens were attacked, we watched him rolling a dead rabbit up the hill, like it was a log. No signs of injury to the rabbit either – how do they do it?

Moorfoot CC Website

Moorfoot Community Council now has a website!

I have now created a website for Moorfoot Community Council, this time using Joomla!

For Standpretty, I’m using ModX, which gives me a good deal of control of how the website works, but for the Moorfoot Community Council website, the ability to use standard tools, such as JEvents for a calendar and Kunena for a forum, lets me get that up and running very quickly.

I’m hoping that some of the other councillors can be persuaded to write articles for tehwebsite, and currently that seems to be simpler to set up with Joomla! than with ModX.

I’ll revisist this from time to time as I get more experience with both CMS tools.

Moorfoot Community Council

Ken is now a member of Moorfoot Community Council.

At the Moorfoot Community Council AGM on 3rd February, I volunteered to be elected to the Council.

Not sure what I’ll be doing yet, or even for how long this post lasts, since I haven’t seen a constitution.

In the mean time I’m looking into setting up a website so that the activities are more visible to the area.

Standpretty Weather Station

Standpretty Weather went live on 25th December 2009!

Standpretty weather station is now in operation. The station uses a “Fine Offset” N96GY to continuously monitor temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind data.

The information is available on here and on both Weather Underground and the Scottish Weather Network.

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