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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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    No Princess Alone button

Back at home

Well, they sent me home from hospital early – I was due to be discharged yesterday or today but they were a bit short on hospital beds so let me come home early. (Friday night)  Poor OH has had to dress all my radiation areas and my incision/infection site.  Our dining room table is covered with piles of the different dressings – OH does like to be organised LOL 😀

dressings, dressings and more dressings!

dressings, dressings and more dressings!

I am struggling a little with the pain but have good painkillers but can’t move around too much as the dressings on the radiation (Gertrude) side can’t be taped in place so are prone to moving around if I move around to much. 

I am now under the district nurses who will see me every day or every second day for dressing changes and supplies for OH to do them at home. At the moment the radiation site need to be dressed twice a day.  They should heal gradually over the next couple of weeks now I have finished radiation.  The radiation can keep having an effect for a week or so after actual radiation finishes so it may get a little worse before it gets better.

This coming week (Tuesday) I have my assessment with the medical oncologists to set me up for my next Hepceptin chemo which is due this coming Friday.

I have definitely lost my teeth (top partial plate) but I am not going to worry about getting a new one until I can get out a bit more.  This week I am just going to limit myself to doing the necessary things. 

Toothy(toothless) grin and dressing

Toothy(toothless) grin and dressing

My story appears in the NZ Woman’s Weekly this week – I am so glad that I had the “photo shoot” for it before I lost my teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. M (of M&M)

     /  February 22, 2009


    Good to hear you are back at home (minus the teeth).

    Saw the article today, you looked gorgeous. Any idea when you’re going to get to go away for your holiday?

    Dad’s doing okay, we’re hoping he will be able to do his rehab at home, which will mean he will probably be out of hospital by the end of the week. We will find out tomorrow if he can. He had his phone stolen today from beside his hospital bed! Scumbags!!! Who nicks stuff from hospital patients?!? Scumbags!

    Anyways, gotta go do some work.

    Have a good one, I’ll catch up with you soon.

  2. jayne

     /  February 22, 2009

    …and I too am so impressed with your story published in the w.weekly. I have six people wanting to borrow my mag, haven’t got the heart to tell them to buy their own!! You and family have ‘celebrity’ status now that your story is out. You give others hope and strength who are also facing adversity.
    Good on OH too, I bet he does as good as a job as any district nurse or doctor and I sure know where to come now for any first aid I may need.
    Rest up Jen, you’ve more than earned it.
    Hugs, Jayne and family x


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