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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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  • SUSAN’S ARMY

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Anniversaries

Today is the anniversary of when “Gertrude” blew up (red, hard, hot and funny looking) and that I realised I had a problem. 2 weeks earlier round the 7th July I had started having an extremely itchy boob which I had put down to a reaction to washing powder residue in my bra or suchlike. So today a year ago was the first inkling I had that something worse was going on inside my breast. Looking back I remeber how naive I was that it wasn’t anything serious – at worst a bad infection. I am lucky that even though my doctor was also convinced it was an infection, heĀ had the good sense to send me to a specialist breast clinic when the antibiotics didnt work.
I have a whole lot of new anniversaries that will forever be in my brain.
21st July “gertrude” blew up
4th of August – what was the anniversary of OH and my first date (when he was 27 and I was 19 – 27 years this year) is now going to be the anniversary of the day I got told I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
there are also other little dates like the date I started treatment (chemo) 29th August, the date I had my mastectomy 21st April.
Out of all these dates the one I am looking forward to and the only one I will celebrate and hopefully for many years to come is the 28th April – the day I was told there was no evidence of disease – that I was NED.
I am still feeling a little like a cancer patient than a cancer survivor because my Herceptin treatment doesn’t finish until the 14th of August, but I hope to be a cancer survivor for many years to come. I wish I could be 100% certain on this but with IBC it is not a certainty and that little and sometimes not so littleĀ “what if” I am learning to live with.
As I wrote that last sentence I had the realisation that this is what this time for me is all about – learning to live – finding my new path in an altered way, but still in the great adventure that is called my life.

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Routines

Sorry people still haven’t sorted my photos out enough to do my travelogue blog post.
I have had a busy week
MD left on Monday and some of this week has been taken up with her texting me to chase up info for her on the web. She is not online down there and the “family” plan we have on my mobile gives us unlimited txt and phonecalls. She is doing really well and has sourced a lot of her house stuff from outlet stores and the like.
I have also spent time with OD at the sales up here. We went shopping a couple of days in the ‘end of season” sales – best buys spending $128.50 at farmers and getting 2 pairs of trousers, skirt, tailored blouse, 2 cardys and 3 other tops in their “50% off lowest marked price sale” LMP was already 50% off so 75% off RRP – excellent.
My main focus this week has been trying to get back into a more normal routine. I have been making OH wake me up when he leaves at 7am for work – getting up at 6.10am when the alarm goes off for him would be just a little too early.
I was talking to my physio this week and she is really pleased with my progress. I feel my fitness and strength levels are back to what they were before Gertrude appeared. Not peak fitness but what my normal fitness level was then.
My old work got hold of me this morning and asked if I wanted to work some hours in a couple of weeks time and I said “yes, please” so now I feel my life is getting back to some sense of normalcy.
One thing that I still dont feel quite normal is wearing ‘Pruscilla’ – the weight and the look is right and I feel comfortable wearing her but for one thing – when it is cold the side of ‘Pruscilla that is against my chest warms up but the exterior side does not, when I rub my arm against my ‘breast’ my brain is expecting it to be warm and it is sometimes quite cold and I give myself a fright so to speak!
I will do the travelogue next week and with links to my facebook album so you can see them all