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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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  • SUSAN’S ARMY

    No Princess Alone button

Busy living

This post follows on from the quote that I used at the end of ‘Bigger not better’,  I haven’t written any blog posts lately because I have been doing exactly that- I have been busy living.  With my last exam on the 7th of November, and the side effects of Xeloda wearing off since I stopped taking it around the middle of October, my incresed ability to focus and get out and do other things has meant I have been very busy.  I have tried to do quite a bit of looking for Christmas presents, caught up with a couple of friends, started cleaning out the spare room for our ex-exchange student, or as we call her our french daughter C from France that was here in 2006, to use for 6 months  – she arrives the week before Christmas.  I have had appointments for podiatrist, dentist, lymphodema therapist and hairstylist.

I have gone to the Breast Cancer Aotearoa coalition AGM (at the beginning of November) where I did a practise run of my part of the presentation we were giving to the PONZ conference then spent two days at said conference (Psycho-social Oncology New Zealand) last weekend and did presentation again.  Myself and two other committee members presented on consumer involvement in working with the professionals as evidenced by the video series I took part in ‘Kiwi stories of Breast Cancer’ (My portion was on why I participated and some of the issues faced by other participants.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and it was interesting both from a patient/consumer point of view but I also appreciated it as a student studying social work how the support services work in the ‘real world’

I have continued to go to Aqua aerobics at least once most weeks and two weeks ago started another fitness regime as well.  Club Physical runs a ‘Cancer Wellfit’ programme which is a FREE ten week light exercise  regime with a personal trainer (half an hour twice a week) at the gym doing mild cardio and weights targetted at what you are capable of.  With having to cut back on my walking so drastically because of the xeloda side-effects, I feel I need all the help I can get maintaining some sort of fitness going into the next chemo regime.

When I have been tired from all the outings I have curled up and read a book – something I don’t do as much of during the uni year because of all the prescribed readings.

To top all this activity off today, being the day before I start my new chemo regime I went out this afternoon and bought a wig for when I lose my hair (in approximately 3 weeks time)

I think I’ll have a rest now 🙂

Update: I went to the gym early before my first chemo on Thursday  and graduated to 2 repititions of  the 4 weight machines I do, and graduated from recumbent bike to treadmill where I surprised the trainer by still walking very fast – natural walking pace 4.5km/hr for 10 minutes  – Well done me!!

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