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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

Exasperation vs Aspiration

The last post I wrote was written in exasperation because of the daunting thought of them doing yet more  tests to check whether my latest aches and pains are another recurrence. 

 There were two other occurences this week that I found questioned my levels of exasperation vs aspiration.  I saw our GP (family doctor ) ‘BC’ on Monday for the first time in quite a few months and he heard for the first time that I was going to Uni full-time this year.  He has been my GP since I first moved to this town when I was 19 and he was just starting out in his Dads family practise as a GP so we have known each other for close to 30 years now and he has seen me through all my pregnancies and has seen me when I was my most stressed out when YD was continually sick etc when she was younger.  His attitude was one of disbelief that I wouldn’t be using this time with YD having  left home and myself being in remission to just relax.  I had exactly the same reaction to the news I was at uni from a local shopkeeper whose shop I have frequented and that I have become friendly with for about the same length of time the following day.  These two people have seen me at my most down, most stressed over the past 20-30 years and can’t believe that I want to put my energy into continuing to help others by doing a Bachelor of Social Work (majoring in Health Social Work). 

I didn’t have time to explain it to the shopkeeper as he had other customers waiting but I did go into it with more depth with ‘BC’ and he did see my point of view.  I want to do what I did with other parents on a more informal basis in the past and apply it to the wider health field especially now I have had my own health issues and have seen other people in hospital overwhelmed by the professional jargon and navigating the ‘system’ etc and I see that is where my strength lies as a Social Worker. 

 The other side of me studying is that in fact I am doing something for myself in doing it,  it gives me a focus, an aspiration, a feeling that I am doing something worthwhile instead of just sitting around waiting for the cancer to come back.  That if I get through the next few years without another recurrence I will come out of my degree with something useful that I can then go on to use in my life because if the cancer doesn’t come back in the next few years the chances of it ever coming back rapidly diminish again so I can get on with having a Social Work career.  Even if the cancer does come back and I need to have regular treatment, it doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to die of it anytime soon and I could be in and out of treatment managing cancer as a more chronic condition for 15-20 years.  I cannot spend all that time just being a ‘cancer patient’.

I have had the good news today that 3 other woman with IBC , two just out of initial treatment, one with a recurrence after 3 years have reached the land of remission (or NED as they call it in the States – No Evidence of Disease) so despite my exasperation I think I’ll stick with my aspirations.


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