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  • 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

Christmas time is here again.

Am I chancing fate by posting on the 21st “Well I’m not in hospital this year for Christmas?” LOL

Those of you who have been with me throughout this journey know that last Christmas I ended up in hospital with an infection in my portacath.  That was at the end of my Taxotere treatment and we had thought  I was through the worst only to have my white blood cell count decide to take more of a dive than usual or more correctly not return from its usual post chemo dive of severe neutropenia.  I ended up in there from the 23rd of December to the 1st of January

I had my bone scan on Wednesday last week and then my chemo last Thursday where I got my blood count results from post first round of vinorelbine/herceptin all my counts except my white cell count were slightly down but still  in the normal range.  My white cells of course are not behaving themselves and were lower than they normally are, especially my neutrophil count which is the one they keep there eye on the most,  It was 1.25 not quite the 0.03 that it used to go to on Taxotere but just below the range that they consider appropriate for chemo treatment they usally like it to be over 2 (normal range is from 2-8) if it goes under 1 they consider it too risky and that I am too prone to infection to give me any more.  We are hoping that the neutrophil count steadies at the over 1 mark otherwise this could have implications for me continueing on this chemo for a long period.  I have another blood test on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s chemo session so it will be interesting to see what that says.

The other news from the chemo front is that last week was my first vinorelbine only chemo . The nurse used only about half the bag to flush the vinorelbine trough compared to the whole 500mls they had used the week before and when I questioned that they said it should be ok – unfortunately it seems I am one of the ones that need it flushed with more as I have had a reaction further down my vein where there is a red tracking area approximately 2cm down from the injection site that follows my vein for approx 1.5 cm and is painful.  I rang the hospital and they said to make sure it got flushed more this week.  We have Auckland Hospital as one of our speed dial numbers and as they show alphabetically – its the first on the list.  I really dislike the fact it has to stay on there.

OD was my chaffeur and I felt so well after chemo that we went to the shopping centre on the way home. I had less queasiness on Friday than the week before but then unfortunately I developed a migraine type headache on the Saturday and was slightly nauseus.  Luckily this cleared enough to pick up MD and SB (and puppy Halo) from the airport as they are up for two weeks for Christmas, we also picked up YD so she could meet them at the airport too and bought her home for the night.  YD is coming home for four days over Christmas.  OD is living at her R’s house the majority of the time now but will be home for Christmas Eve night as well.

I have felt good today have regained my appetite – seem to lose it a bit from Thursday to Sunday then eat normally Monday to Wednesday.  Could end up losing some weight on this “chemo diet” LOL  I am not on the steroids that caused weight gain last time so it will be interesting to see what happens there – Iwouldn’t mind if I lost a few kilos

It does get to me a little bit that for yet another Christmas “Gertrude” is trying to take the centre of attention but I am hoping that after chemo Christmas Eve she won’t spoil the rest of the plans too much.  We are planning the cooking of the ham and turkey around the chemo timeframe on Christmas Eve and the rest of the food we are having is salady stuff that can be prepared  on Christmas Day.  We are having our big Christmas meal later in the day than usual as OD has been invited to her R’s family’s Christmas lunch so she will be here in the morning and then disappear for lunch and then her and R will be back for Christmas dinner at our house.  We are having the extended family here for Boxing Day evening so I am hoping that I am good for both of those even if I have to rest earlier in the day. 

I probably won’t update blog again until after the 29th which is when I have my next medical oncology doctors assessment and hopefully the results of my bonescan.

So to everyone Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

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1 Comment

  1. Diane dotchin

     /  December 21, 2009

    A Happy Christmas to you and all the family Jenny

    Love Diane


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