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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.
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    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

Ok I’ve had my holiday season – bring on chemo!!

Well the last two weeks have flown past and no blog update – tut..tut!!

I haven’t had chemo for the last two weekly appointments as my white blood cell counts, neutropils in particular, were too low.  For my scheduled Christmas Eve chemo my neutrophils were only 0.31 and for my scheduled New Years Eve chemo they had only climbed to 0.75

It was sort of nice to have a reprieve from the slight chemo side effects over Christmas and know that could just enjoy my children being home – and also that I could do a lot of the christmas dinner preparation myself as well.  The hospital has been really good each time and rung me first thing in the morning to tell me not to go in for chemo as my blood results had come back too low and saving us a trip in.  The past two weeks have been enjoyable but slightly tiring.  We had MD and SB up from Christchurch with their puppy from the 18th of December until yesterday the 4th of January. YD was home for the 24th to the 28th December – I dont know whether it was a result of her being home or my low blood counts but when she left on the 28th I suddenly felt extremly tired and had a nap in the afternoons as well as sleeping well at night.  MD and SB went away for a couple of nights and left us dogsitting around that time as well.  The other ‘interesting thing that happened to me over the holiday period is that when I went out to lunch for my birthday (New Years Eve) I tripped over the curb and fell heavily on my mastectomy side.  My handbag dug in underneath my ribs and left me totally winded. A couple of bystanders thought that I was having a heart attack the way I was gasping for breath but we reassured them I was just winded.  I had a very quiet rest of the day – when we had finished lunch OD, MD, SB and YD went in one car and OH and I went to the movies.  I was very sore when I woke up the next morning, and closeted myself  in my room for most of the next two days as I couldn’t handle being ambushed by a puppy if I ventured down to the lounge.  By Sunday the pain had subsided and I could join in with things a bit more again.  We think I probably pulled and/or bruised some of the scar tissue in the fall – we were also very worried about how my lymphodema would be impacted by this but even though I grazed my palm I don’t seem to have any more lymphodema than usual.

I am hoping that the blood counts will be up in the appropriate bracket this time for me to have chemo because as much as I don’t enjoy having chemo I would rather the cancer didn’t grow or spread elsewhere.

My bone scan came back and apart from a small abnormality to the right of my breastbone everything else is clear.  Dr H said it isnt unusual to have a localised reaction in the bone by the node but at least it shows that it hasn’t spread anywhere else.  I do appreciate seeing Dr H as I know when I see him he usually has the answers as to what my treatment will be and doesn’t beat around the bush.  We talked more about the treatment plan which was good and put my mind at ease.  At the moment we are looking at me being on the vinorelbine /herceptin combo until April with another scan in February to see whether it has worked well.  If it has worked we will stop the weekly vinorelbine in April and I will continue on with Herceptin every 3 weeks  only unless something flares again.  I hopefully won’t be as tired now the house is quieter and my blogging should return to schedule now I’ve got the peace and quiet to write. 

 I am going to chase the University up this week as they still havent given me an replacement appointment for my admission interview that had to be postponed so hopefully within the next few weeks whether I’m going to be a uni student will be resolved as well.  I was talking to a friend of MDs whose mother is also going through cancer treatment at the moment that the key is to focus on the positive things that are happening in the future to combat the times when Chemo and other treatments gets you down.  

Someone I know died last week and when I feel at all sorry for myself at the moment I kick myself and say “What are you so down about? you are still here!!”

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  1. Jenny

     /  January 5, 2010

    Good to hear you are still being very positive. best thing for you, I reckon. I have got Isaac, Sheryl oldest boy, coming down for the next 10 days.

  2. Hetty

     /  January 5, 2010

    Hopefully you gain lots of energy in the new year, lots of positive energy and lots of luck with the chemo and everything else.


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