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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.
  • 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

I had a cold…

…and feel like I lost a week.

After resting to get rid of built up fatigue,  I had high hopes for last week.  It was the last week of Uni classes before exam/study leave and I had booked a haircut and colour. I managed to get to the haircut but that was about the sum total of what I achieved last week.

Last Sunday I developed a headcold. One of those ones where your nose turns into a faucet and nothing you can do to turn it off.  One of the more light-hearted moments of my week was seeing the look on the pharmacist face at our nearest shopping mall pharmacy,  (Our usual pharmacy isn’t open on a Sunday and OH and I were out – shopping for a video camera) when I asked for some cold/flu tablets to stop my nose running. ” Are you on any other medications?”  he asked.  “Yes , blah, blah blah (….long list)” He looks at me (“what?”) “I’m on chemo for metastatic breast cancer” “OOh!”  – not the usual answer they get to that question and the poor man was a bit flustered.

My headcold continued with my nose only slightly bought under control by the tablets.  The funny thing was that my fatigue had lifted, and the rest of my body felt energetic but my head couldn’t keep up and felt like it was totally ‘non compos mentis’, ‘totally out to lunch’ as it were.  I ended sleeping most of Monday, going to my haircut in the morning then sleeping Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday , instead of going to my uncle’s funeral, was another day spent in bed.  If I stood for too long I would feel very light-headed. 

Thursday was the day that I finally felt like I was turning the corner.  Thank goodness!!  I debated whether to go to the Doctors or ring the hospital as you are supposed to when you are unwell –  but I wasn’t running a fever and having been through chemo twice before and ending up in hospital quite a few times with infections related to low blood counts – I am getting quite adept at gauging if I need medical attention or not.  It was definitely a headcold virus, not the flu or anything and I knew that if I stayed at home and kept warm and away from other people’s maybe more serious cold/flu germs I would be OK.

One thing that has annoyed me this week, partly because I have been home more to answer the phone is an anonymous Insurance company recorded message cold calling asking us to change our life insurance.  Now remember I’ve got metastatic cancer so no insurance company other than the one I have always had a small policy with is going to want to touch me with a ten foot barge pole.  Three times this last week I have answered the phone to a recorded message saying how we are wasting money with most life insurance companies and if we leave our name and number after the beep they will get back to us with a ‘very competitive offer’.  No name of company mentioned unfortunately otherwise their head office would be getting a call from me.  I usually just hang up on these sort of phone calls but this week I let it run through its spiel twice and waited for the beep – I left my name and number but also a little message about how I thought it was pretty stupid and insensitive for them to be cold calling with a recorded message and that I really didn’t think it was appropriate for them to be calling me as I have metastatic cancer and they wouldn’t want to insure me anyway and if they would like to call and apologise they could.  ‘Do you think I’ll get a call??’ – I think not.

One thing I did accomplish in the last week is writing a very abbreviated version of my journey so far to go on the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition website  and OK a press release to go out about the release of the videos in July

My ‘Get Out Gertrude’ story on BCAC here

Now my cold has finally dissipated I hope to use the time off before my exam to both study and get out and get some more gentle exercise – going for walks on the fine winter days if I can, and trying to get back into my ‘Pink Pilates’ program.  It’s a fine day today so I may drag OH out for a walk round the botanic gardens or somewhere.


Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum

     /  June 4, 2011

    Pleased you’re feeling like you’re over the worst of your cold. We got hit by a tummy-bug this week – so I feel like we’ve wasted it too. Pink Pilates is meant to be great – hope you’re back there soon. 🙂


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