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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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  • SUSAN’S ARMY

    No Princess Alone button

3 years

Today is the third anniversary of the day I sat in a Drs office hearing the news that meant life as I knew it would irrevocably change.   This year it has hit me hard emotionally that 3 years down the track I am now battling mets.  I look back at last years post and the year before and they were so full of hope for the future being cancer-free.  Unless I get a spontaneous miraculous remission that isn’t going to happen now.  I havent lost hope entirely but this week, especially still suffering aftereffects and delays of trying to combine a holiday with  on going treatment,  has made me think about quality of life issues,  and I thought about the fact I now understand why some people choose to stop treatment and just concentrate on quality of life not quantity.

Now dont worry I’m not giving up on treatment yet but it is something I am thinking about for the future.  I am hoping I don’t have to make that decision too soon.

I have been honest with my uni friends that I am struggling this week,  that I’m not the usual cheerful happy ‘girl’ they know,  people usually percieve me as being very positive cheerful and optimistic and that is because when I am at uni, that is who I am.  Also out in public I come across as someone who is generally happy,  that’s because the days I feel yuck both mentally and physically I tend to stay home.  Like wise I become very quiet on the social media side of things, saying less via Facebook, Twitter and my blog.  “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all”

Talking about saying something nice – the Breast Cancer Network did a really lovely story on the BCAC web video series.  The editor happened to be sitting beside me at the launch – in between two of us that had participated which I think made it even more real for her – the most recent issue isnt online at their site yet but I thought I would share a line in the article where she talks about me announcing in the video that it had spread to my liver.

“it was a sad and poignant moment when Jenny annnounced on screen that her cancer had spread to her liver.  Annabel’s had spread to her bones and Brian, the only man, diesd three weeks ago from metastasis.

It would be easy to have pity for them, but what I felt most was admiration, admiration for their ability even at one of the worst times in their lives to put their needs aside and do somehing to help others with breast cancer.  And it was clear that whatever else Jenny has lost on her journey it wasn’t her sense of humour”

Upfront U Kaiora Magazine issue#98 August/September 2011

And thats the thing – as long as I can laugh and find the joy in things … I won’t give up.  As long as I can feel I am doing something in the world …I won’t give up.  As long as I can be me… I won’t give up.

but part of being me is also allowing myself times to say 3 years ago my life changed irrevocably and quite frankly it sucks big time.

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5 Comments

  1. It does suck, and I’m sorry you (and I) are going through it.

    Reply
  2. Katharine

     /  August 3, 2011

    You’re blog is very inspirational, even on your rough days (weeks). Nothing wrong with feeling crap and telling people about it, very therapeutic.

    Reply
  3. Sis m

     /  August 3, 2011

    I will help you laugh along the way – Luv u lots sis

    Reply
  4. Cheryl

     /  August 4, 2011

    I have only known you with this cancer. I have admired your view point of the world and this cancere issue. I have always believed that where there is hope there is always a way. Your way has been public and positive which I am sure has helped many people. Not many of us could say how we would deal with it if it was us. Your strength and courage shines through Jenny on the good and bad days. Kia Kaha is what is said for us down here in Christchurch and it is such a powerful saying. Kia Kaha Jenny.

    Reply

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