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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.
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    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

I’m not strong

The only way I know how to be strong is to know when to admit I’m not.

As a natural introvert I have retreated into myself to deal with the double whammy of my treatment expectations being changed (see the blog posts entitled a week of it and life and chemo )  and the death of two BC friends in the last month.  I shut myself down and did not engage so much in social media: twitter, Facebook or blogging.  I just needed time to process things internally.  Whereas in the past I may have let myself sink into depression or as my husband used to call them ‘blue funk tail spins’, by beating myself up for feeling weak and for feeling sad, I have learnt to allow myself time to feel the sadness but also know that it will end and that I will be fine again.

I have also been quite sick with the flu and I know that hasn’t helped me weather the emotional storm that well either

Allowing myself that time to recover (both emotionally and physically), and also going to counselling at the Cancer Society on Monday and allowing myself to burst into tears about it really helped.  And it helped me with being able to deal with the news I got at my oncology assessment yesterday.

Given that even on the reduced dose of 4 tablets (2000mg) morning and night I am still having major problems with my feet from the side effects of Xeloda they have decided to reduce the dose to 3 tablets (1500mg).  But the biggest news was that the scan that was going to happen before Christmas has now been bought forward to happen in the next 6 weeks because my tumour markers have started to rise again.  This could mean that the Xeloda has already started to lose its effectiveness and that the cancer is growing again.

My tumour markers have always been on the lower side of what can be expected with aggressive metastatic cancer so there is no immediate cause for concern but the fact they have started to rise does probably mean that they will look at changing my chemo.  I do have very few chemo options left – xeloda is the 3rd chemo treatment I’ve tried in 3 years so what I will probably do is still ask if  can have the summer off chemo and start the next chemo when my tumour markers (and tumours) start really impacting on my health,  At the moment the chemo is making me feel sicker than the actual cancer, and if I can feel good for the next few months and not be on chemo it would be good.

I have an assignment due the end of next week and  my uni exams are the 28th of October and 7 th of November so I am not sure how much time I will get to blog before then.

Emotionally and physically I’m not feeling too bad right now so don’t worry about me too much and I will update you as soon as I can about what the next blood tests / scans show.

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2 Comments

  1. Marti

     /  October 4, 2011

    Jenny,
    I’m so sorry to hear that things are tough right now. I hope that you’re feeling better soon.
    ((Hugs))
    Marti

    Reply
  2. Jenny I think strength comes from exactly what you said about allowing yourself to feel sadness, and all of those emotions that come from dealing with this disease. We just have to feel what we feel, as uncomfortable as that may be for others. Thinking of you. Rach

    Reply

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