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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

Not doing what I’m told

I got another cold this week.  My blood counts are falling slightly but my infection fighting white blood cells are still within the normal level so thank goodness I didn’t end up having to go to my old haunts Acute Oncology and ward 64.  It started off as a head cold earlier in the week and by Wednesday had moved to my chest, OH and MD have now caught the same bug so are not happy with me.

Because I had my exam on Thursday I thought it best to go to the doctors on Wednesday,  Dr BC, our GP, was not happy with me still intending to go and do my exam the next day.  The hassle of trying to get an aeggrotat pass or compassionate marking though meant going to the exam was the less stressful thing to do.  I didn’t remember a lot of details from my studying but think I have done enough to pass the paper.  The exam was worth 50 marks with 1 compulsory question and then a choice of any 4 out of 6 optional questions.  Looking at the exam I knew enough to answer 3 of the optional questions and thought if I had time I would come back and hope that the answers to a fourth question would come to me.  I didnt do a fourth question.  Not only would my brain not cooperate but the sensitivity from the xeloda made my hand susceptible to being rubbed by the constant writing from the pen.   Writing constantly for 2 hours had actually created a very sore spot on the web of skin between my thumb and index finger and I knew if I kept writing it would  actually blister – it is still sore today (2 days later).  I feel like I let myself down a bit by not finishing the exam properly and I know if I asked for compassionate marking they would give it but I am hopeful I will get enough marks to pass the paper regardless.  I will have to wait a couple of weeks for the marks so it will be interesting to see what I got.

After the exam I had the choice of making my way home or staying and hanging out with my classmates to celebrate the end of semester.  The judicious use of ‘cold and flu tablets’ meant my head although fuzzy was still functional  Again I did what I probably shouldn’t have and decided to spend some time with my friends.  After a shared afternoon tea we went 10 pin bowling, another something I probably shouldn’t have done, as it is using my lymphodema affected right arm.  I was wearing my lymphodema sleeve so I decided to risk it, knowing that I would have to do extra lymphodema treatment to my arm to make up for it.  Sometimes you just have to do things, knowing the risks and being prepared for them.  Bowling also exacerbated the sensitivity on the fingertips of my index and middle fingers and they are still a bit tender today.  The other issue is that because of the stance you take for bowling my xeloda sensitive feet also decided to play up.  I was wearing my comfortable shoes not the bowling ones but I still got blisters on the balls of my feet and have been barely able to walk the last two days.

Such was the price I paid for being naughty – but if I had the choice I would make the same decision again.  It was a fun afternoon doing something that I have not done for a number of years and one thing that dealing with ‘Gertrude’ has made me realise is that I need to grasp those opportunites when they present themselves.

As usual I am still waiting for scans to be scheduled – I get so frustrated with the scheduling department of Middlemore radiology.  they jsut dont seem to get their act together to give timely appointments.  Dr H has given them a time frame that ends next Friday so if I dont hear anything by Monday or Tuesday i will be ringing up.  I resent the fact that on top of dealing with my treatment I have to chase up appoointments that should have already been scheduled.  I know they are a busy department but their scheduling system leaves a lot to be desired.

Editted: the scan appointment came in the post today – scan on Tuesday. Glad Ive got appointment but still dont like that they leave it so long to schedule and then give you virtually no notice.  Just as well I havent got exam or anything else on Tuesday

My cold is gradually getting better, I can feel it lifting off my chest with the help of the antibiotics and if it wasnt for my feet I would probably be much more active today.  Hopefully in a couple of days both my cold and my blisters will have resolved themselves and I’ll be able to get out and enjoy myself.  Although I am getting out tomorrow to visit niece S.  I think I will have to get OD to drive though.

P.S I had thought about wearing my ‘ I have chemobrain what’s your excuse?’ tshirt ( as shown in my  blog header) to my exam to psych out all my classmates but decided to be nice 😀

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  1. Sis m

     /  June 24, 2011

    Ah a well earned break from studies, kick that cold to the kerb and enjoy what life has to offer, we will help you cope with the consequences.

  2. Karyn @ kloppenmum

     /  June 25, 2011

    Life’s for living. You can’t always be good – there’d be NO fun!

  3. I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. Xeloda’s hard, and the side effects are just weird. Keep lotioning and resting your feet when you can.

    Love to you!


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