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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

A week of it

A fairly eventful week although chemobrain is doing its utmost to raise me to new heights of forgetfulness.  OH and I were supposed to go to a meeting last Wednesday night, quite an important one, but because I didn’t write it on the calendar – we didn’t go.  OH is so used to me keeping track of things outside his work that he doesnt remember things  either.

I think I am going to have to keep a diary of what I have done as well – for the life of me I can’t remember what I did last Thursday.

It frustrates me so much that new information that it is important for me to remember doesnt get retained. but I can remember when my ex-brother-in-law’s birthday is off the top of my head or some other random trivia that I learnt years ago.  Its the stuff I’m learning now, the stuff that is important, that isnt sticking.

Although remembering old times can be fun as well.  Last Friday OH and I went out to spend time with C and L that are moving.  Amongst the other people gathered to wish them well was my old boss when I worked at the same place that OH still works (yes folks, it was a workplace romance that got me and OH together).  J and I had a great time catching up – he still sees OH regularly at work so keeps up with all the news – but for both of us it did not seem like over 25 years had passed since we were workmates.  Geeez I must be getting old.  I also caught up with a couple of other people who I hadnt seen for a while.  Unfortunately I had to break the news to them that “gertrude” had reappeared.

On Saturday YD and I went to the movies, and for a short wander round the mall.  Where it usually has been her that curtails the wandering, this time it was me.  With my xeloda-affected feet  I just cannot stand or walk for too long.

YD stayed the night but Sunday was a quieter day at home.

Monday was Uni as usual but I ran into problems when I found out they had changed the bus route.  Where in the past I could hop off my train, walk to bus stop and catch a bus that dropped me outside the campus,  now the new bus route nearest stop is nearly 1 km away.  Not good for my feet at all.

Tuesday we had our oncology assessment, saw one of Dr H’s underling Dr G,  the plan is for me to carry on with the xeloda,  it has been effective my tumour markers have dropped to nearly normal, my liver function tests are now within the normal range.  We talked about whether or not to do another scan to check on the size of the tumours and the thought is at the moment to just go on the blood tests and avoid the extra radiation from the scans for a while.  At the moment the plan is for me to stay on the xeloda but possibly reduce the dose so my feet are more manageable.  OH wanted me to minimise the effect Xeloda was having on my feet so they didnt decrease the dose – both of us worry about a lesser dose being less effective, but if I am on the xeloda long-term I need to be able to be on my feet more than I can manage at the moment.

As the doctor said we will try and keep me on the xeloda until it stops working.  I will recheck with Dr H when I see him next that this is the best plan.  One thing I didnt like about Tuesday’s onc. visit is that it reemphasised the fact that they have the expectation that the xeloda will only be effective for a certain amount of time.  They don’t mention finite times & dates but they are there in the expectation that I will probably have a couple of years at the most, more likely much less, on xeloda; and it just reminds me that I probably have a very finite time left.

Tuesday night I had my second Aqua Aerobics class with OD and although I am finding them quite challenging and feel totally worn out after doing it, I can feel it having an effect on my body, my muscles are getting a work out that they desperately need and its giving me a good cardio workout too.   I am feeling not quite as lethargic from the fatigue as I was.  I have to admit I am sleeping very soundly on a Tuesday night after the workout.

Today is Thursday – I’m going out to lunch with a friend today, and tomorrow before going to Uni I am meeting up with a fellow BC lady who I happened to meet by chance through a random game of Scrabble on Facebook.  She lives not far from me and also has mets – hers are to her lungs.

As you know from previous posts my fingernails have never really recovered properly from dieback that they suffered from my first chemo so to cheer myself up and in keeping with the ‘Look good, feel better’ philosophy  I wear nail polish.  Last week I found some cute ‘nail polish strips’ that while they are more expensive than painting your own nails are worth it for the convenience and the patterns.  A great pick-me up – flowers on my fingernails

flowers on my fingernails

I’m trying to do shorter blog posts than this but didnt know where to  break this one into smaller posts. – will try harder next time.

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  1. Anna H

     /  August 24, 2011

    Love the nails Jenny. Thinking of you often.

  2. I have an idea for October. Would you contact me? Thank you. http://blog.savethetatas.com/


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