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  • All about Gertrude

    Gertrude is the name we decided to call my cancerous breast hence the title of this blog. Although I had to keep my breast through chemo and radiation due to the nature of IBC - once it 'blew up' it no longer looked like my breast and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. Calling it Gertrude was a way of seperating it from myself. This main page is where I write about the general goings on that relate to Gertrude, there is another page that are more a diary of treatments etc This blog is a public blog so although I am being very honest about my battle with Gertrude I have "changed names to protect the innocent" - because everyone can see it if you write comments on the blog pages please use the same abbreviations for other family member or friends that I do. Please feel free to ask questions if you want clarification because then other people who might have been wondering the same thing can read your question and our answers.
  • Abbreviations

    OH- Other Half (Hubby), OD- Oldest Daughter, MD- Middle Daugher, YD- Youngest Daughter, SB- soulja boi MD's fiance in the army (now ex fiance), OD's R OD's partner, BS- Breast surgeon whose initials just happen to be BS as well, BC- our GP (family doctor), Dr H- my medical oncologist, all other friends family etc will be referred to as initials etc
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  • SUSAN’S ARMY

    No Princess Alone button

Reflections on an infection

It’s 6:20 am on Friday and I have just seen the sunrise out my window. Looking towards the domain gates the sky was all orange and pink over the trees – very pretty!

Well I’ve been in hospital for two days now and getting used to the idea that I will be in for a couple of days longer.  I didn’t realise how bad I was feeling until I felt is much better. It was such a gradual slide from tired to very tired to sick that I didn’t realise until it got bad.

The next day after the IV antibiotics had started to take effect I felt so much better. I haven’t run a temperature at all but they say that sometimes when your white blood cells are low your body isn’t actually fighting infection enough to actually cause a fever. The reason I am in hospital is my white blood cell count is too low to fight the minor infection that I have in my portacath incision and I need IV antibiotics and injections of GCSF to boost my white blood cell count. I’m learning lots of new medical terms like how white blood cells are called neutrophils and when you are low on them you’re called neutropaenic…

I’m being a very impatient patient – the enforced bed rest (captivity!) will probably drive me nuts before I leave. I’m not allowed to go for too much for of a wander or anything because I’m not allowed to expose myself to unnecessary germs – for the same reason, OD hasn’t been able to visit me, as she’s a bit sniffley. My first day was spent in a mixed room that had men and ladies in it and I was in a bed closer to the door with the curtains shut half the time. Yesterday about tea-time, I got shifted to a female-only room and I have a bed by the window so feel a little less claustrophobic.

Part of me is having trouble with the fact that my life has changed so dramatically in the last two months. The person that has to resign herself to being in hospital seems a long way away from the pereson I was at the beginning of July before all this started. I have to learn not to get too busy on my good days. I probably overdid things on my first chemo cycle and that is why things got on top of me so quickly this time.

I had hoped to work during the third week of this cycle but that’s now doubtful. I was just going to work one shift on a non-busy day just to see how I went but I am going to have to flag that away and just concentrate by getting my strength up before the next chemo cycle.

This afternoon MD and YD are coming up to visit me. We thought that it would be better to show YD that I’m fine (well, relatively speaking LOL) and I’m not too sick and there’s nothing to worry about rather than have her stressing that I’m too sick to see her. Part of me feels guilty about being in here (stupid – I know!!) but the fact that OH et. al. have to come up and visit me instead of us all relaxing at home just bothers me.

I’ll probably write another missive from the hospital if I’m in longer than Sunday (I get to go home once my white blood cells start rising again) and I’ll get OD to type it in again. Thanks to OD for typing out for me on the blog and for being able to decipher my handwriting enough to do it (note from OD: I’ve had almost 21-odd years of practise!).

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1 Comment

  1. LORI FRECHTMAN

     /  September 28, 2008

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I so enjoy following your treatment through the blog. What a great idea. I work in the oncology ward as a patient liaison at Overlook Hospital here in Summit, NJ. I’m not sure if you knew that or not. Everytone reacts differently to treatments. I have a former patient who in now a good friend who did not get sick at all from her chemo. One thing I have learned is that attitude makes a huge difference. I can see that you have kept your wonderful sense of humor. That should help you and the whole family get through this ordeal. The cup can either be half empty or half full and I know your cup is half full. I am curious as to how many patients are in a room. Here we have 1 or 2 to a room for inpatients. Is medicine socialized there??? Take good care and keep up the wonderful example you are setting for all of us. XXOO

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