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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

So far, so good

Had a very positive day at the oncology appointment.  I got to see Dr H my leading oncology doctor (half the time I see his underlings).  He was very impressed with my weight loss and also said it was definitley ok for me to get my teeth fixed now.  He is pleased with the way my infection site is healing but does want to see me again before my surgery.  Usually at this point in herceptin chemo they dont see you for 3 months and just “ok” you for the herceptin treatments in between, but he wants to see me again before the surgery. It’s because of my history of infections and also because he wants for me to get a echocardiogram done.  It’s just to check the herceptin hasn’t had to much effect on my heart – that’s it only major side effect.

He thinks the radiation has definitely had some effect.  They can’t tell me much more until the surgery is done because only then will they know for sure how effective chemo and radiation have been. 

OH came with me to the Oncology assessment and afterwards we went to Manukau and I picked up my pandora bead for my bracelet to celebrate finishing radiation.  The radiation burns are healed and I can actually wear a bra again.  Still need to wear the larger bra I bought after Gertrude appeared as Gertrude is still slightly larger than my other breast.  I can only wear the bra when I need to (i.e. going out of the house) as Gertrude still gets a bit aggravated from the close confines (gets a bit redder and puffier as a result of the lymph vessels getting blocked)

I now have five beads on my bracelet.

from left to right in picture below:

radiation bead, hosptilisation due to infection bead, diagnosis bead (breast cancer ribbon bead), I heart(love) U bead from YD at Christmas, and taxotere chemo bead


my grown up version of cancer beads

my grown up version of cancer beads

The only other beads I hope to add this year are surgery bead (April), herceptin chemo bead (August), and most importantly an N.E.D bead (no evidence of disease – what they call remission now). If everything goes according to plan I will then just add a bead every anniversary of N.E.D status being achieved

Leave a comment


  1. jayne

     /  March 18, 2009

    Great to hear GREAT news, the bead bracelet is beautiful too.
    I’m sure It must hold lots of sentimental value as well.
    Things are definitely looking up all round eh, well Friday tommrrow, yeha and then you can look forward to a relaxing weekend.
    hugz, – Jayne.

  2. jenny

     /  March 21, 2009

    i love your grown-up version of cancer beads, such a cool idea.


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