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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

1st week, 2nd Semester

Well its been an interesting week.

Monday started off with my first class for my Tongan Language paper.  Its going to be interesting to see how I go in this paper.  We have two assignments of 1000 words (in Tongan) that we need to do – there is no assignment due dates set yet so I am hoping that both of them are a bit later on in the semester when I have more of a grasp on the language.  We had to do a spoken introduction in Tongan and one of the things we had to say was describing ourselves as old women or men in a self derogatory manner as a mark of deference/respect towards the teacher – for me the old woman description is more accurate than for the rest of the class. LOL!!

We tried the slow cooker out for the first time on Monday and had delicious beef bourguignon for dinner when I got home from Uni – I can see this being very useful in the winter months of this semester.

Tuesday was the first of my ‘free’ days during the week – I spent it getting my haircut and doing errands and shopping as well as getting as organised as I could printing out lecture notes etc for my two Wednesday classes – made a big wokful of  pork chinese rice risotto so we can have the second half warmed up for tea on Wednesday.  I didn’t sleep well on Tuesday night partly due to getting a case of the ‘what ifs’  due to the significance of this week in the “Gertrude’ scheme of things

Wednesday was an interesting day but very long.  Our first lecture is at 8.30 in the morning – thank God I’m taking the express train.  As it was the first week we didn’t have any tutorials so we then had a 4 hour gap between lectures in which I spent a couple of hours wandering around Newmarket with a couple of Uni friends AW and JZ (JZ has just started this semester).  Usually my Wednesday schedule will go more like 8.30-10.30 ‘professional communication skills’ lecture, 11-12  ‘professional communication skills’ tutorial, 1.30-2.30 ‘Lifespan development’ tutorial, 2.30-4.30 ‘Lifespan development’ lecture.  Originally LD tutorial wasnt going to be until 4.30 to 5.30 and for half the class it is still that but I’m fortunate that mine has been changed so that I can get home at a reasonable time.  Due to the long break between classes -some people had found other ways to amuse themselves during that time and it made for an interesting diversion in the LD lecture when you have a person that is a wee bit ‘tiddly’ not behaving quite as she should. 

I had a splitting headache by the time I got home just by nature of it being such a long day and it was good that OH could just microwave his half of the risotto while I waited for the headache tablets to kick in.  I slept like a log going to bed quite early that night.

Thursday came and I kept to my  plan of trying to be more on top of organisational things.  I went into university early, catching my usual early express train and helped JZ finish organising her enrolment and guide her a little bit through CECIL our online Uni portal for getting lecture notes etc.  We had our ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ lecture and found out we don’t have any formal tutorials even though we had to register for one, this makes things a lot easier for me to keep having my herceptin treatment every three weeks on a Thursday afternoon.  I spent the rest of the afternoon accessing the readings for different courses and printing some initial ones out using the university printers – it cost the same but it is faster than printing them out at home.  I still struggle to read a lot on the computer of the readings they have scanned and put into PDF format and find it easier to print them out and read that way.  This exercise in trying to be more organised was disrupted by a fire drill in the library – where we had to leave whatever we were doing and go outside for a few minutes.  AW asked if we had been compensated by any sight of hunky fireman but unfortunately not. As OH and YD had their usual six-weekly Thursday evening haircuts we organised Thursday night’s dinner to be soup and pizza.

Friday morning was taken up with blood tests.  The fact I had to have blood tests this week and have my first oncologist visit for three months next Tuesday did play on my mind a little.  I am still having some pains on my IBC side – some twinges worse than others and I started to have aches in my hip as well – if you  haven’t had IBC or some other aggressive cancer it is hard to describe how easily your mind jumps to “bone mets?”.  There are several other possible reasons for all the pains, so although I will have to mention them to the oncologist,  I am pretty sure that I am still keeping ‘Gertrude’ at bay.

 I spent the rest of the day shopping and doing housework and organising into folder the readings I had printed out the day before.  I cooked lamb shanks in the slow cooker for tea.

I was feeling really proud of myself for keeping to at least the first week on my organisational plan and hope I can continue how I have started.  3 of us have said we should go for a walk around the block in between tutorials on Wednesday to counteract all the sitting we do that day.  I would like to think we will stick to it but only time will tell.

The only black spot on this otherwise very productive week is that I have woken up this morning (Saturday) with a very chesty cough.  I have cancelled my Sunday outing with YD that was supposed to happen  in the hopes that having a quiet weekend will get rid of it and that I will be good to go again on Monday.

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