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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

and off we go again

Thanks everyone for supporting me through my mini meltdown last week – I feel much better having got it all off my chest, and can face the coming weeks of treatment. 

I got my appointments yesterday in the mail – I have my pre-chemo assessment appointment with the oncologists next Tuesday and start on the chemo next Thursday. 

It looks like I am going to be on the vinorelbine(navelbine)/herceptin combo for now which is a once a week IV treatment.  I feel so much better now I know it’s starting after feeling in limbo for the last couple of months since they told me the cancer was back. 

The good points about it being a weekly treatment are that I will be getting smaller doses at shorter intervals than my taxotere chemo which was a large dose every three weeks so hopefully the side effects while constant won’t be as strong.  Reading up on navelbine there is a good chance my hair will only thin, not fall out completely which will be good although I’ll probably have to wear my hats anyway.

I haven’t got my bone scan appointment yet but will discuss that with the oncologist on Tuesday. 

The bad points about it being weekly is again the side effects – we dont know how I am going to react to it and coming into Christmas I am trying to get as organised as I can before I start the chemo.  My first chemo is on OH’s birthday (he’s 55 on the 10th) and with it being weekly it will also fall on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve (which is also my 47th birthday) I said facetiously to OH “oh Yay – Happy Birthday to us!” 

the 10th (next Thursday) is also YDs end of year school BBQ and prizegiving so hopefully I will be well enough after chemo to attend that.

I’ll know more of the plans after my oncologist appointment on Tuesday but just knowing that it is starting is lifting a big weight off my mind.  I can deal with anything as long as I have a plan!!

In the mail yesterday I also got an interview for University admission but it clashed with my oncology visit on Tuesday so they are rescheduling the interview.  I am going ahead with enrolment even if I only manage to do one or two papers the first semester. 

My chemo appointment on Thursday also clashed with an appointment I already had with the vascular surgery team to review my portacath scarring (and now we will also be looking at what my options are should I need IV chemo long term.  If I am only on the IV chemo til February and then switching to oral Dr RB thinks they should just be able to use my left hand /wrist but if I have to have stronger doses in future we may have to look at some other sort of port).  I had to ring the schedulers to confirm the chemo appointment anyway so asked if it could be changed and as it is only a short chemo needed (about an hour) they could switch me to an afternoon appointment. 

So the plan is that I will catch the train up and go to the VS appointment in the morning and OH will meet me up there at lunch time in time for my chemo to start at 1.30pm  he wants to be there for the whole thing as he is a bit worried about what side effects I could have with it being a new chemical.

Once we know how I am handling it,  I will possibly get the train up each week but then alternate between OH and other friends and family picking me up afterwards.  I like taking the train as it gives me that last vestige of independence.  I don’t like relying on other people and it has been hard to accept people’s help through this.  OH is the same.  I promised a friend yesterday I would try harder at accepting offers of help.

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  1. Cheryl

     /  December 1, 2009

    You can face this! Please accept help. People don’t normally offer it if they aren’t prepared to help you. How often do you do for others? You expect your friends to accept your help don’t you? I am down here wishing you no side effects. That it will all be a walk in the park for you. Wishing you the best of luck!

  2. jayne

     /  December 1, 2009

    …having dates set in concrete must be a relief, glad the university is rescheduling too.
    Despite everything I’m certain Xmas will be better than the last for you.
    It has to be, you have two important birthdays to celebrate as well.

  3. Diane dotchin

     /  December 1, 2009

    I read your blogs and you truly are an amazing person.
    With you in spirit all the way
    Lots of admiration and Love

  4. Christine Williams

     /  December 2, 2009

    Thank you so much for sharing so much with all who are able to read your blog , it was so good to have a ‘catchup’ and we must do it more often.


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