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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


That was actually the term my oncologist used at my appointment on Wednesday to check my progress and give me the next round of xeloda tablets. You’ve got to love it when they use real ‘medical’ terms like that.

It was in reference to my CA 15-3 tumour markers in my blood – with the first two cycles my tumour markers dropped rapidly – the blood test for my third cycle shows it has basically stayed the same.  Dr H. says that as we get closer to the normal range (<30 – I’m currently in the 40s) it is quite often the case that the results will start ‘bobbling’ – i.e go up and down but not fall further than below 40.

He says that is why it is so important to do another scan, because even though my tumour markers are low they are not a true indication necessarily of what is happening.  My tumour markers have always been low even with widespread cancer in my lymph nodes the first time. 

So we live in hope that this next scan – which was ordered after my second round but still not scheduled ( which he has now given them a specific time frame – that it must be done in the next two weeks) will show that the xeloda is working on the tumour in my liver and that nothing else is showing up anywhere else.

He has given the go-ahead for us to book the Dreamworld trip but has warned that depending on what the scan shows I may have to cancel my ticket at the last minute.  but he agreed that it was better to get everything booked now.  He was pleased that I had thought things through and tried to arrange it for the week I am off Xeloda at the end of July.  So all going to plan we, (Myself, OH, MD and YD) will be in Queensland from 19th – 26th of July arriving back just in time for my next oncology appointment on the 27th to start my 6th cycle of xeloda. 

If the scan shows something that necessitates a possible change of chemo we will do that in August.

Going at this time does mean I miss the 1st class for one of my second semester papers and the 2nd class of the other but I can afford to miss a class then, where as later in the semester it becomes harder when assignment due dates etc have to be taken into account.

Bobbling sort of describes my life in general at the moment too.  I have some good days where I feel ‘normal’ and energetic and get things done like Wednesday (onc appointment then staying in to do some study at Uni and pick up an assignment -B+ for the ‘family violence’ assignment I had struggled with in this post) Thursday (doing 3 loads of laundry before going out to lunch with a friend – thanks JMJ) Friday (visiting travel agents and getting this trip organised) and some days where I struggle (Tuesday tired and forgot completely about a lunch date with AW after her exam) Yesterday after sleeping 11 hours of fractured sleep between 8.30pm Friday and 11.30am Saturday (got woken up by MD at 10pm and didn’t get back to sleep til 1am, then had to get up for tablets but only stayed up for an hour – long enough to eat breakfast and have tablets and went straight back to sleep) all I wanted to do was sleep the rest of the day too – it’s quite scary being that tired/chemo-fatigued.

Today is a better day, what a pity I have to spend some of it studying for my exam on Thursday.  I know I could apply for compassionate marking or an aegrotat pass and get a passmark for the paper as I have already got an A- and a B+ in the two assignments worth 50% of the paper but I feel I should do the exam.  I want to pass the papers and know that even chemo-impaired I gave it my best shot.  I should find out soon what my marks are for my other paper that was totally internally assessed – I’m just waiting on one last assignment mark for that.

I have to say I am looking forward to the time after Thursday.  No worries about Uni or anything until the 18th July.  I might actually have the time and energy to catch up on  a few other things 🙂




Leave a comment


  1. Bridget

     /  June 18, 2011

    just had a read of ya blog (as i do most of the time even tho i hardly ever comment)
    and just wanted to say, man you are one smart cookie… I would have been stoked to get those kinda marks in assignments… in general…very very impressed, that with all you have going on in ya life, you still focus well enough to do really well at uni!

    and also you seem to be doing a really good job of gauging where u are at at and giving yourself lots of rest and making things balance.. go Aunty 🙂

  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum

     /  June 18, 2011

    Time and energy….ahhhh, what pleasant ideas you have. Hope all works out and you can have the Aussie holiday as planned. 🙂

  3. Marti

     /  June 18, 2011

    I too hope you get to go on your planned vacation and that you feel well enough during it to enjoy yourself!


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