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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

The chemo caught up with me

After having such a busy weekend last week and a busy beginning of the week with Uni (although I had needed to have a nap on Tuesday afternoon).  I had my oncology visit on Wednesday and picked up my new batch of 140 tablets  to start taking on Thursday.  On Wednesday night I had been given free tickets to “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber”  and as I love the ‘Phantom’ etc (as all my Youtube links on Facebook on Thursday will attest to),  even though it made for another late night, I couldn’t turn the tickets down and took SisM with me.  It was a wonderful performance of all my favourites, so I don’t regret going, but I think that is part of the reason that when I started to take my Xeloda on Thursday the side effects hit me harder.  The nausea and the other pesky side effect started making themselves known immediately, although I managed to get them under control with my trusty pills, it still added to my genearal lethargic mood and tiredness.  On Friday , after I had gone out in the car to run a few errands, I realised the hand-foot syndrome was more noticeable too as my hands were a bit reddened and sore from holding onto the steering wheel.  Just as well I have already made the decision to take the train as much as I can to Uni etc.  Today I got up at 6-30, had breakfast and my pills, and then went back to bed at 10 am and slept solidly until 1pm.  I am trying to listen to my body and when it told me ‘sleep’ that’s what I did.  It is now only 6pm and I feel like crawling back into bed again.  I will do so after dinner and my night-time chemo pills.  I’ve had to cancel dinner out tomorrow night for Mothers Day and we’ll just have takeaways at home. 

Added to that is that I have been in a bit of a weird mood emotionally, not down but a little sentimental and teary over a few things.  It’s been good and cathartic in a way to let myself feel that instead of pretending to hold it all inside.   The upshot of all this, is I just want to say to everyone “I’m glad you are in my life” whether you’re friends or family or fellow cancer survivors – you have all made me who I am today.  I have even had this conversation in person with OH, after being together 29 years (married for 27) we probably don’t talk about stuff like this often enough. 

In regards to my fellow cancer bloggers, I sometimes think I should make this blog more serious like some of theirs pushing education, advocacy and awareness of the need for more research.  I sometimes don’t think I am doing enough of that stuff, but this blog primarily is about both my battle with ‘Gertrude’ and rediscovering normality.  My normality sometimes includes being that advocate for change, for awareness, but a lot of the time my normality is just about my family, friends and activities -my ‘normal’ life or as normal as it can be with ‘Gertrude’ in it.

Leave a comment


  1. Cheryl

     /  May 6, 2011

    Hi Jenny
    I am pleased that you are listening to your body and sleeping when you need to. that is an important step. Don’t go changing the way you present this site, because you should be pushing the education side of IBC. It is very informative and educational the way it is and I am pleased to hear that you are having those conversations and the emotional tears too. It is too hard to hold it in and it is good to be letting it out. Your strength is still there whether you get emotional or not.
    Any way I also want to let you know that I have also got a greater understanding of the whole IBC process and through your eyes we have seen what it is like for an IBC survivor and battler. I remember reading that you didn’t like the term battler
    Anyhow I am wishing you a recovery fromthis next episode.
    Regards Cheryl

  2. Angela

     /  May 6, 2011

    Love you Jen-sleep well.XXX

  3. Hi Jenny,

    As one of those “serious” advocate bloggers, I want you to know that I do what I do for all of those who can’t, or shouldn’t be right now, or whatever the heck else… When I was in treatment it was all about normal too, and what my experience was. That I am well currently is something I don’t take for granted, and as long as I have the stamina I do what I can.

    As another survivor put it (who was NOT dealing with treatment!) “I’m on this side of the grass, so I have a responsibility, the way I look at it”.

    I read every one of your posts, and I am so glad you are taking care of what is important! Most especially that is you.

    Have a really good sleep,


    • jaydub26

       /  May 6, 2011

      Thanks Elizabeth, Listening to how all of you were fired up after the NBCC conference, made me feel like I should be doing more here in New Zealand but right now I just don’t have the energy for it. I’ve got to concentrate on Uni assignments and myself, not necessarily in that order for the next little while.

  4. Marti

     /  May 6, 2011

    I hope you don’t change a thing about the general content of your blog. It’s a wonderful “day in the life” kind of account that I always find interesting and to which I can always relate. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day, even if it will be more low key that you and your family had originally planned.

  5. Kathy Hegarty

     /  May 6, 2011

    Hi Jenny,
    Your feeling sentimental and teary seems to be a part of the rollercoaster ride we are on. It appears and then disappears without rhyme or reason and it is good to express it during both the ups and downs as that is what friends and family are for.
    I hope you and your family have a great mothers day.

  6. Honestly Jenny, I don’t know how you do all that you do while dealing with treatments! I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear in my comment…my view is that anyone who is currently in treatment is wise to let themselves “off the hook” for anything other than getting well.

    My own motivation is remembering what that was like, and wanting to do my part for those still in the trenches as well as creating a better future. I can because I’m able-bodied and not dealing with treatment.

    When I was in it, I took care of myself first. I encourage anyone in treatment to do this, never mind advocacy or anything else!

    I’m glad you’re doing what you love, and pacing yourself.


  7. I feel the same way sometimes, as you describe about feeling that I should blog more about education and advocacy, but I blog about how it feels and what ticks me off. I know that sometimes people just need to know that they are not the only ones feeling something and going through something. That is why I blog. That is why you blog. Keep it up, and prayers to you as you tackle this monster.

    Shelli G.
    The Dirty Pink Underbelly


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