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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

    No Princess Alone button

End of Semester – nearly!!

One semester down only 7 more to go.  It isn’t quite the end of the semester but Friday marked the last assignment due date, we have one more week of lectures and then exam study break and exams.   I am so pleased with myself for actually getting here. I got my assignment back that I had got my extension for around the 4th of May issue and got another ‘B+’ for that so I am really pleased that as tired and as sick as I’ve been that I’m doing so well.  I bought myself a bead for my ‘other significant things’ bracelets to celebrate reaching the end of the assignments due part of the semester because I do think it has been a major achievement.  Even though my last vinorelbine was on the 22nd of April I have still been experiencing the post chemo ‘blahs’ as I call them.  I’m still very tired , had a cold I cant seem to shake off and the peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage  due to chemo causing tingling in my fingers and feet) has actually seemed to be getting worse not better. This unfortunately is not unusual and can continue to get worse up to 3 months after chemo.  The other bad news about that is it never completely gets better.  Most of the periperal neuropathy I have got is actually from the original taxotere chemo regime the vinorelbine regime has just made it worse.  I have had major issues with getting to sleep because of the way my feet tingle in the night – which can’t be helping my tiredness levels.  So this week while Iwas having my herceptin I mentioned it and they have given me more medication to try and help me control it and get some sleep.  I rattle when I walk the amount they give me pills for everything.

It’s things like this that make me realise how much my life is never going to be the same.   I was no stranger to pills before all this – Neurophen was my best friend when I had a tension headache – but there was the fact that I controlled that intake and it wasn’t an every day thing.  At the moment I am on codeine and amitriptyline for the neuropathy, Omeprazole (Losec) for acid reflux (another chemo/post chemo side-effect courtesy of vinorelbine) and sometimes for the residual node pain in my chest tramadol and panadol (thankfully that one has decreased significantly since the vinorelbine stopped – I guess the pain showed that the chemo was working).  Oh how I’d love to go back to the days of not having to worry if I’d had my pills in the morning – I am by nature a forgetful creature and I pay for forgetting by suffering the consequences if I dont remember to take my Losec etc in the morning.

Our Samoa plans are on track we have just finalised our accomodation – we are staying in a few different places for example here and here.  I am so looking forward to this break – this has been another thing that was on my ‘must-do’ and I am so happy that OH and I are doing it as a celebration of me acheiving remission for the second time.  There are other trips on both mine and OH’s lists but we have said as long as I stay in remission we will put the other trips off until after MDs and possibly OD’s weddings which we will have to help pay for in the next 2-3 years.  Next year we also have to take YD on her postponed trip to Dreamworld – it is what she had wanted most for her 21st birthday but with me still in treatment -it wasn’t going to happen that way.  I feel I’m being a little selfish putting my Samoa trip ahead of her Dreamworld trip but it comes down to this.  If  I am not well enough next year (i.e. that Gertrude has come back yet again) OH with help from MD, OD or both can take her – whereas if I dont go to Samoa then I may never get to go.  As much as we hope we have licked Gertrude for good this time – it does colour our decisions around things like this.

I’m so looking forward to a weekend without assignments hanging over my head.  OH wants to go to the movies tonight and other than that I intend just relaxing.  I slept 13 hours last night.  Exam revision can wait!!

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