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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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Echoes of the heart

I had my echocardiogram done yesterday at Middlemore.  They said it looked good which hopefully means the Herceptin hasn’t had too much of an effect on it yet -hopefully I will get through the rest of the year the same way.

My surgery is probably the 21st April – it will be confirmed at my 2nd of April appointment with my breast surgeon (Dr BS).  Just as well I had this long recovery time between radiation and surgery as they wouldn’t touch me until this damn infection has completely healed.

I am a bit frustrated as OH and I had wanted to get away but between infection and losing my partial plate and having to get it replaced, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen until right after surgery. 

Other than that I feel fine – with losing all the “water retention weight” from chemo and then some, I actually feel really fit and healthy apart from the occasional niggle from Gertrude when I do a little too much or wear a bra too long.

I must admit I am a bit nervous about what happens with surgery.  If they autopsy the breast and find any live cancer in it or my nodes I may have to have more chemo., Hopefully after all the treatment I had it’s dead.  Dr H told me at my first consultation with him that they could give me a better prognosis after surgery and that if the chemo and radiation had got it I have an 80% chance of survival  and if it didn’t about the same percentage the other way – so now we just have to wait and see……I admit, IT’S SCARY!!!

I am just sitting at home waiting for the district nurse to come and have a look and change my dressing on my infection/incision site.  I finish my antibiotics today and am nervous of another flair up.  The site is looking good and continuing to heal well (the are using a silver anti-microbial dressing) so hopefully it gets completely healed with no further incidents.

The other things that are happening this week are the dentist and YD’s IEP on Thursday and I also need to go and see my GP (Dr BC)to get him to have a look at my big toe nail on my right foot  -I have had “die back” on all my nails from the chemo and some of them are quite loose – I need him to remove the toenail after I tried to do the job by knocking it on lounge furniture.

I haven’t seen Dr BC since he sent me to the breast clinic at the end of July last year.  I want to give him a big hug for being so “on the ball” and not treating me for longer thinking it was an infection – if he hadn’t been so fast in referring me to the breast clinic I would be in worse trouble now.  With the aggressiveness of IBC a month can make all the difference and I know from hearing some of the stories form the IBC support network how lucky I was to be diagnosed as fast as I was.  Lets hope that it was enough to give me a good outcome.

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