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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

long time, no blog

Apologies to those of you who have been waiting for the next post on my blog.  Feeling great physically last week, I made the most of it and got busy.  We had OD’s friends M&M wedding last weekend and so I spent most of last week sorting out an outfit.  Including creating a hat to go with my brown and green outfit – hat, ribbon and feathers all from Spotlight (artistic design my own)

Wedding hat

Wedding hat

 I also realised we hadn’t organised a wedding present so that took up most of one day after radiation.  Although I was on the go a lot I also found the heat and activity made me pretty worn out by the late afternoon and a couple of afternoons I even had a nap before tea.

I am glad I did that last week . I really needed to be able to have a “normal” week after the more enforced inactivity of being in hospital. 

 I have been told today by the radiation therapy nurses that it would be better if I didnt drive my car for the remaining radiation treatment weeks.  The reason for this is the seatbelt is rubbing against where they are targetting my supraclavicular lymph nodes (the ones by my collarbone) and the skin is getting a little aggravated.  I also have a bit of skin breakdown in the fold under my breast – I am not allowed to wear my bras any more and have to wear these makeshift croptops with dressings inside covered in aqueous cream.  Although I did break the “no bra” rule for the wedding.   Both my collarbone and breast are more painful but I actually feel way more normal than I did duringchemo.  When I was asked by people at the wedding how I was; I think they were a little surprised when I answered “Really good!” with a big smile on my face but I explained that I am feeling so much more like myself now that the chemo effects are wearing off.  The pain can largely be controlled by painkillers and as long as my head is not involved and I can think straight I can deal with things much better.

I will take the train up to the hospital (train to Newmarket and bus to hospital) I could get my girls or OH to take me and Sis M has also offered but I want to retain some sense of independence.  OH is already coming with me on Friday as it is time for an oncologist review as well as the actual radiation.  I do prefer him to come to those sort of appointments so that we can compare notes afterwards and make sure we both heard the same thing.

The other thing that happened last week was the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly rung about the story that I had written for their competition last year.  It is going to be published in a couple of weeks and they wanted firstly to get an update on what’s been happening since I wrote the story in November.  They  also wanted to organise some pictures to go with the article.  I am sending in a couple from home: of the family, and me before I lost my hair, but they also wanted me to meet up with their photographer for the main article photo, so today I had a “photo shoot” in the Domain after my radiation.  Hopefully they will be able to get one good shot out of the myriad ones he took.  Haven’t smiled/posed so much since our wedding day – just wish I still looked that good 🙂

Will confirm the publication date and post in one of the next blog entries

I think I have got you up-to-date with most of the important developments over the last week.  I will be blogging more regualrly from now on.

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4 Comments

  1. jayne

     /  February 11, 2009

    Wow! So much been happening for you.. Makes me tired just reading it all, Lol Hope you are taking time to ‘catch your breathe’.
    What a great hat, hope you had some pics taken at the wedding too.
    Not long now for your article, I’ll be getting one of the first, – hot off the press, after all your one of my biggest fans.
    Fingers and toes crossed for good news tommrrow.
    Hugz, Jayne. x

    Reply
  2. Marie

     /  February 11, 2009

    I have been thinking of you and wondering how you have been going with all of this Jenny.
    I do not often say any thing but letting you know I have been here

    Reply
  3. Heather

     /  February 14, 2009

    Good morning,
    As with Jayne, I felt “phew” with all that you are getting on with in spite of the wretched “Gertrude”
    I too thought the hat looks great. Very styly.
    Thinking of you regularly. In between the school stuff which tends to take over a lot.

    Anyway.
    Keep on keeping on.
    Our love and best wishes to you
    Heather

    Reply
  4. Jenny B

     /  February 17, 2009

    I have been told today by the radiation therapy nurses that it would be better if I didnt drive my car for the remaining radiation treatment weeks. The reason for this is the seatbelt is rubbing against where they are targetting my supraclavicular lymph nodes

    In reply to above post. You may be able to get a dispensation for not wearing your seatbelt on medical grounds. Lots of bikers in the 80’s got one claiming they could not wear crash hlemets because they got claustrophobia. If all else is well you should be able to.

    love from Jenny and family

    Reply

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