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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

Pink October

I wrote this as a comment on another blog but thought I would reiterate my stand on “Pink October” here

“love your analogy of cookies – I guess my grade 3 Her2+++ IBC would be burnt mouldy crumbs. Like Joanne I am glad you mentioned IBC.
I dont like the over commercialisation of breast cancer awareness but I have noticed that the NZBCF is moving away from calling it awareness and have called this ‘Breast Cancer Action Month’ and are targetting raising money to support women with breast cancer and research for a cure and awareness. That is something I can get more behind.
As an IBC fighter/survivor: first diagnosed Aug 2008 remission April 2009, regional recurrence October 2009, and back to remission May 2010, I will wear my ‘ no they’re not real t-shirt – the real ones tried to kill me’ or other similar survivor shirts and go to events to raise awareness of IBC in particular. I will also wear my shirts to my uni course, and talk to people about my fight – A) to remind them that behind all the pinkness there are real people fighting the disease and B) to educate people that you can get breast cancer that doesn’t show up on mammograms and can develop without a lump as IBC is relatively unknown here in New Zealand. I sure didnt know it existed til I got it.”

To reiterate, when I got diagnosed there was no lump in my breast – just threads all through my breast and the nodes in my armpit and above my collarbone were involved .  The only warning I got was an itchy breast 2 weeks before my breast blew up with the course of a day (it looked fine in the morning) to be big red and funny looking very similar to the second picture on this page except even redder and more puffy looking.  I had a slight ache a couple of days before but had put it down to being ‘that time of the month’.  I was stage IIIc at diagnosis which is the closest you can be to metastatic without being Stage IV and I could not have got diagnosed any sooner than I did – unlike a slow growing lump IBC is fast growing and undetectable until you get the physical appearance of symptoms.

No lump , Doesn’t show up on mammograms, still  Breast Cancer!!

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