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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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  • SUSAN’S ARMY

    No Princess Alone button

All systems are go!!

After the “interesting” time I have had lately, I was ready for some good news this week.  Tuesday was the day that I got it.

At the oncologist assessment I got told the following – The CT scan I had in hospital showed that the cancerous internal mammary node has shrunk so much as to be negligible which means this chemo is working.  The echocardiogram on my heart showed minimal damage from the herceptin which means I can stay on that.  The other good news was that, whatever it was that caused my cold/breathing difficulties, it wasn’t whooping cough so it was just some weird virus that affected me more because I was immune compromised.

As this chemo is working it means I will finish 6 cycles of it but instead of having the vinorelbine every week I will have two weeks of it then miss the third week (which I have been tending to do with low blood counts anyway) I have just started my 3rd cycle on thursday so the next cycles until April will look like this.  This Thursday I had vinorelbine and herceptin, next week I will just have vinorelbine and then the following week I have a break from both.

My friend JMJ was the voluteer driver for this weeks treatment on Thursday.  I am trying to spread the driving around between friends and family so that OH doesnt have to take me every week.  I don’t feel too bad during and after chemo but I am just queasy enough to not feel 100% comfortable driving home.  JMJ rather enjoyed seeing what chemo was like and it was great having a bit of a catch up while the chemo infusion was taking place. 

The other piece of good news I got on Tuesday had to do with University.  The oncologist gave me the go-ahead to do full-time study and catch the train to class (easier than driving on the motorway at that time of the morning )- I had asked him if either the train or sitting in class was bad for my weakened immune system and he said no as long as I take sensible precautions.  I have found antibacterial wipes that are wrapped singly and I keep a few in my purse all the time.

I had a meeting with a University staff person on Tuesday afternoon and they confirmed that I can do full time study and just take time off for treatment as needed as long as I let my lecturers know what the situation is.  The classes for the first half of the year work well as Thursday (my chemo day)  is the one day I don’t have classes.  but I may have to take time off on the odd Tuesday off for my assessment appointments. Or other days here and there for other tests/appointments.  Because my vinorelbine treatments only last for the first few weeks of the semester (It starts in two weeks time),  I wanted to try to do the full time course.

I feel like things are finally starting to be on track for me.  I  haven’t got the appointment for the brain scan yet but I am working on the  assumption that it will  not  sh0w any problems.

OH and I are starting to make plans for the rest of the year – its YDs 21st birthday in april – unfortunately falling while I am still having the vinorelbine treatment.  We have promised her a trip to The Gold Coast in Australia to go to the theme parks there.  We are looking at taking her in the September school/uni holidays or just before depending on my uni workload.  OH and I will also have a holiday just for ourselves in Samoa in July.  It’s another destination that has been on my to-do list as my father although NZ European was born there and we are going as a celebration of me getting through the recurrence. 

The other interesting thing happening is OD is moving in with R into their own rented house (OD is still going to be living quite close by -in the same part of town) in a weeks time.  OH and I will officially be empty-nesters.  Although OD has lived away from home before we have up to now had at least one of the three at home.   Its going to be interesting adjusting to OH and I being on our own completely.  I’m looking forward to this next stage in our lives.

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3 Comments

  1. BRO

     /  February 12, 2010

    Things look like on the improve !!

    Reply
  2. Diane dotchin

     /  February 12, 2010

    Great news Jenny.

    Reply
  3. Cheryl

     /  February 20, 2010

    I am absolutely thrilled for you! things on on the up and up!

    Reply

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