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    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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Preparing for round 3

Deep breaths…. tomorrow all going well at the oncologist appointment, I will get my first batch of capecitabine tablets.  I have spent the last few days making the most of the good weather and good health and getting out and about when I can.  We had YD home all weekend as it was her birthday,  and I also thought that it would be good if she had a whole weekend with me if side-effects from the chemo curtail our time together other weekends.

I have to admit as the time comes closer to start the chemo I worry about whether I am going to be fit and healthy enough to keep doing all the activities  I do now.  University, spending time with YD etc.  I guess all I can do is try to keep things as normal as I can.

I have reprioritised a few things.  I decided I would resign  as the local AFS (Student Exchange) chapter newsletter editor as I have been doing that since 2003 and as it is voluntary but requires working to deadlines  I decided to minimise my stress a little more by giving that up.  I figure the stress of working to uni assignment deadlines will be enough. The flowers at the top of the post are a thank you from the AFS committee.

What I have done to prepare is try to keep my fitness up by walking everyday,  getting a manicure and pedicure to get my hands and feet in as good as possible shape for the  bad side effects that will affect them. They call it hand-foot syndrome – numbness, tingling, pain, redness, or blistering of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet – sounds like fun doesn’t it. Ooops: edited to add due to this expected side effect I had to get my wedding rings cut off.  They were too tight to come off easily, and I thought it was better to get them off before my hands were swollen and painful.  They are rejoining them at the cut and I will wear them around my neck for the duration.

I spent time in several phone calls from the hospital making sure I had all my relevant information and appointments.  This time around I have assigned a specific oncology nurse specialist in addition to my oncologist to ensure I get continuity of care and who I get in touch with directly if I have any concerns regarding my health and/or chemo side effects.  I must admit its things like this that make me realise that this time is different than my first two rounds “this time- its serious” (not that it wasn’t before)

I’ve pulled out my “My Health”  folder which I take to all my appointments when I’m in active treatment and rearranged it to be ready.  I take it and slot in any blood test forms, other chemo information, and appointment forms I am given at each hospital visit .  Its one of the things that helps me keeps organised.

It did depress me somewhat that it is pressed into service once more.

I need to get to the hospital early tomorrow to have an ECG to check my heart is still good.  I have found out one of the possible, but not usual, side effects of this next chemo is angina and myocardial infarction (heart attack)  – gee , could I possibly put in an order not to have one of those!

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4 Comments

  1. Best of luck! I’ll be thinking of you and crossing my fingers for maximum effectiveness with minimal side-effects.
    Love & hugs 🙂

    Reply
  2. Anna Hynds

     /  April 11, 2011

    Our thoughts and prayers go with you Jenny. Kia Kaha

    Reply
  3. Diane Dotchin

     /  April 11, 2011

    You are such an amazing person Jenny.Wishing you all the very best and lots of love as you go into round 3

    Reply
  4. Thinking about you and sending lots of love my dear!!

    Have you seen this? http://xelodasideeffects.blogspot.com/

    My kiddo used it on my feet (actually just the right one) for her school science project and it works!! it immediately took away redness and burning. I think the callousing even decreased. It’s worth a try.

    Reply

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