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    If you have popped over here from my facebook page could you please add comments in the blog rather than on the link on facebook itself. I dont want to worry YD unnecessarily Thanks. You can now use your facebook log in so you dont need to enter extra details if you like
  • 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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    No Princess Alone button


I spoke too soon when I wrote the “feeling of the day” on Monday.  I had had a touch of diarrhea on Sunday and Monday and when it carried on into Tuesday I thought I had better ring the oncology department.  When I rung they said my routine blood test on Friday had showed my neutrophils had bottomed out again so they wanted me to go in to have more tests.  I actually drove myself into Auckland Hospital because I was feeling fine other than the diarrhea. If I had to stay in OH would have come through with MD to get the car but after doing all the tests they gave me some medicines to “bung” me up more and let me go home.  They said my neutrophils had started to naturally climb (since last Friday) so I should be fine.

It looks like I am just going to have to put up with this sort of side effect until December when I go off the Taxotere part of my chemotherapy.

I have made a couple of big decisions about my hair – as I have not lost all my hair and also because I am actually very comfortable in my own slightly bald-headed skin – I have decided not to buy a wig and just wear hats and scarves when needed for the duration.  I have also decided I will keep my hair very short after treatment.  Because my hair looks good either very short or very long and looks very frizzy in the interim, I have decided to not grow my hair long ever again.  OH is a bit sad because he really liked my long hair but he ultimately understands my decision.  I am actually getting my hair trimmed tonight when OH and YD get their haircuts.  I think YD is going to be quite amused by mummy getting a ‘buzzcut’

I have been getting quite worried about the fact that ‘Gertrude’ hasn’t responded quite as much as I would have liked.  I have joined a IBC support network and so I wrote an email to the mailing list to get some feedback as how much respoonse other people had got when they had similar syptoms and similar treatment.  I have had two responses from people with very similar stories to mine and they both say that significant decrease in swelling didn’t happen til nearer the end of the initial chemo treatment.  It has put my mind a lot more at ease. Both of them are about 6 months further along in their battle so it is a great comfort to me hearing their stories.

I am going to work next Tuesday (the morning shift) partly becasue I just want to be a little bit normal but also because I want to see how “Gertrude” reacts to a more normal active day before I have my next assessment on Wednesday so that I can see if Gertrude swells as much as she used to when I worked or whether there is significantly less swelling.  We are going to talk more about what is going to happen next in my treatment – surgery? radiation?

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