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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

Live long and prosper

I thought this was a very suitable title to the blog post as for the first time since I got diagnosed I feel like I really have a good chance to live a long life.  It also lets you in on a little secret – I’m a closet Trekkie.

OH and I went to see the new Star Trek movie last Saturday and it was excellent.  We have been on movie “dates” the last two Saturday nights (saw “Wolverine’ the first time).  This is because it is away of me having some time out of the house without doing anything too strenuous. 

 I am doing all my exercises and the mobility is returning and the pain easing.  I went to my first “Pink Pilates” session at the physiotherapists on Monday and that was very useful as she did a whole lot of measurements to gauge exactly what movement I have in my right arm.  I have a very mild touch of lyphodema – just a little bit of fluid collecting around my wrist so she gave me some exercises to do to counteract that and ensure it doesnt get any worse.  One of the most interesting things was that she noticed straight away that I wasn’t breathing properly – I was shallow breathing and probably have been ever since Gertrude “blew up”and became painful.  I need to retrain myself to breathe from my diaphragm.  I go back on Friday where she will give me a exercise plan and then I will probably see her once a week or so for her to revaluate where I am at and make any changes to my exercise regime.

I have been feeling very tired the last couple of weeks so I am just following my body’s lead as to what to do and when to sleep.  If I am not disturbed I sleep from about midnight til 10.30-11.30 am most mornings although last Monday(week and a half ago) the fatigue was so great I slept until 11.30 am, got up  then went back to bed at 2.30pm and slept til 5pm and then went back  to bed at 8.30pm.  Towards the end of last week I started to feel more energetic so have started doing a bit of housework, tidying, doing loads of washing etc mainly using my left arm for anything heavy.  The physio says to try to walk 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes but the weather is not condusive to going for walks around the block.  So yesterday I met MD at the mall at Manukau and we wandered round there for an hour or so.  I figure that exercise is better that sitting on my butt at home. 

MD is in the middle of planning her move to Christchurch to be with her Soulja Boi.  They have had their relationship officially recognised by the army and have put their name down for a army house.  If one is not available by the time she moves (first week of July) MD will board with one of SB’s army mates that does have a house until a house becomes available for them.  If it is going to be more than a year they may look at some other sort of flatting situation. 

With me having had such good pathology results means that MD can go to Christchurch and not worry about me – we had talked even before SB got posted to Christchurch and they had got engaged that I wanted them to do what was right for them and not change anything on account of me but it had been weighing on them about moving so far away if things weren’t good with me. 

It does feel strange MD moving quite so far.  Even when OD left home and went flatting while she was at university she was still in the same greater metropolitan area and we could see each other frequently without having to make elaborate plans.  YD and I are already making plans to go down to visit MD for her birthday in October.  We hadn’t told YD until this last weekend that MD was moving, because we thought it would be easier for her to process once my operation etc was out of the way.  MD and I had already decided that YD and I would go down then as we thought it would be easier for YD to accept if she knew that we would see MD in October and then again in December when MD and SB will come up for Christmas.

I am getting used to putting ‘Cushla’ in my bra everyday and most people think I have had reconstruction they can’t tell the difference between ‘new boob’ and ‘Cushla’. My left side with the reduction I call ‘new boob’ and my right ‘no boob’ .  It is about three weeks until I get my other mastectomy bras and silicon prosthesis – just in time for our trip to Australia (end of June).

When I was first wearing ‘Cushla’ regularly I would sometimes take it out while I was sitting in the lounge in the evening as even the pressure of cushiony wadding was painful on my new scars.  This led to me occasionally misplacing it when it had fallen off the coffee table beside my chair on to the floor,  OD said “Mum, you’ve really got to keep better track of your boob” which just about had me in hysterics as it is something you never expect to hear out of someone’s mouth.  She suggested if I kept misplacing it we may have to invest in one of those whistling key finder devises.

Life is different in so many  ways now – it is going to be interesting to see where I go from here.

Leave a comment


  1. I am enjoying your website – learning as much as I can about IBC as my cousin has recently been diagnosed. I have linked to your site – I hope you don’t mind.

    🙂 Anita.

  2. jenny

     /  May 15, 2009

    if you come South in October let me know. We’ll have to try to link up somewhere.
    Glad to hear things are looking good for you x

    love the idea of a whistling key finder devises for your boob LOL


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