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  • 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.
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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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    No Princess Alone button

the week that was

A week has gone by since I last posted.  Gee, doesn’t time fly when you are having fun.  Except I wasn’t, not all the time, anyway.

After writing this post about new doctors, I get a letter to give my next appointment times, which is tomorrow (to get my next lot of xeloda all going well). When I rang to confirm, which in itself is a bit weird because I usually just get an appointment card,  I enquired about which doctor I would be seeing.  to my surprise, the scheduler informed me I was back under Dr H.  Not that I mind that, but what was the previous visit about then?  The scheduler can only put it down to the person that had been doing the scheduling while she was away had got it wrong.  I am definitely supposed to be staying with Dr H.  Oh , you’ve got to love the vagaries of a public health system.

I have struggled this last week healthwise,  the chemo side-effects were kicking my butt, and I struggled with fatigue and that ‘pesky side effect’ – even when it was under control, there was residual ‘uncomfortableness’.  I slept a lot and struggled to do my last assignment due for Uni – which was due in yesterday.

I also struggled with the assignment – on intervention in a family violence scenario – as it pushed some of my personal historical emotional ‘buttons’.  It was hard to get my head into the necessary academic scholarly mindset and write purely from a objective point of view.  I got it in on time but I have to say it was probably one of the assignments I have struggled the most with.

The one redeeming feature of this last week has been the good news that OD and R have got engaged.  I will be Mother-of-the-Bride approximately this time next year  all going to plan.

OK and now for the TMI files – if you are a guy and reading this and don’t want to think about the inner workings of the female body –STOP READING NOW!!

ok – you have been warned! If you are still reading…..well…..

When I was first diagnosed in 2008 I was 45 years old and premenopausal,  my cancer isn’t hormone driven (i.e. it doesn’t feed/grow on estrogen or progesterone) so I have not been put on any hormone inhibitors.  My periods stopped after my second cycle of taxotere/herceptin back in August 2008 – I actually got my period the same day as the chemo infusion for my second cycle.  If you really want to feel absolutely crap, try that for a mix LOL.  I didn’t have another period for 22 months (June 2010) I had a few, then they stopped again in December last year.  Guess what arrived yesterday… along with excruciating cramps etc.  So how much is chemo side effects and how much is related to this? God only knows.  Quite frankly I would happily be menopausal at the moment.  Isn’t dealing with ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer enough?

I wrote about this because its  not something that is openly talked about.  If you are premenopausal and your cancer isn’t hormone driven – your doctors are as in the dark as you as to what effect chemo etc is going to have on this aspect of your natural cycles etc.

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  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum

     /  May 23, 2011

    Gawd. It just goes to show how much modern medicine doesn’t know. Hope the intense horridness is short-lived. Pleased you got that assignment finished – a personal victory, don’t you think?
    Take care.

  2. feistybluegecko

     /  May 23, 2011

    Good for you for highlighting this – there are so many side effects that I call the dirty secrets of chemo. The nausea, fatigue, hair loss etc are all well known, but the dreadful constipation for example is a terrible secret seemingly only shared on cancer forums! In some ways I found that the most difficult side effect and management of it tended to result in the opposite! One extreme or the other!!

    It is rotten that your cycle decided to play up, and I cannot imagine the extra misery and pain it brought. I do hope that it is easing now.

    What an incredible achievement to submit your assignment, and such a challenging one during all of this,. No one can take that away from you!
    Take care, warm hugs
    P xx

  3. Fascinating! I had no idea! Mine went away in ’07 and hasn’t been back — well, I did have those pesky ovaries taken out and all, but whatev!

    Yuck. Sorry I missed that before — but WOW.

    And if I haven’t congratulated you yet on the engagement, I’ve been remiss — CONGRATS and HURRAH! A year — no problem!

    • jaydub26

       /  May 28, 2011

      You missed it because I didnt link this one to FB – for obvious reason 😉 LOL


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