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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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    No Princess Alone button

Downs and Ups

No chemo again for me this week… the strangest thing happened and instead of my neutrophils rebounding as we thought they would with no chemo the week before, instead they actually went lower – sliding from 0.9 to 0.5 which meant definitely no chemo for me this week.  I hadn’t felt like they were down that far, in fact I had been commenting to C about how I had so much more energy with not having chemo.

I have my next oncologist appointment on Wednesday so we will have to discuss where we go to from here.  Do we decrease the dose, carry on with the dose we have got and  hope the neutrophils behave themsleves enough for me to get adequate amounts of the chemo even if we have to miss the odd week or do we switch to the only other chemo I’ve got left to try.

I must admit it worries me a little that if I am not having chemo it is giving the tumours a chance to grow some more,  but hopefully if it is having that much of an effect on my blood count then it will still be knocking the tumours back as well.

My hair is taking longer to fall out than we expected but this week when I have been rubbed my head I have had a palmful of short hairs coming off. My buzz cut is looking very patchy.

my patchy scalp

But I have a variety of hats to cover it up with such as these turbans that I found in a young womens fashions store.  I’m obviously ‘on trend’ for Summer LOL

one of my trendy turbans 🙂

My face is looking a little rounder from the steroids causing water retention but other than that I’m quite happy with the way I look when I am out and about.  Having gone through hair loss before definitely makes it easier this time.

The upside of not having chemo for the last two weeks means I have felt a lot more well and energetic over the Christmas /New Year period.  I have had more energy to go out shopping with YD and C while YD was home for a few days for Christmas.  I travelled to the other side of Auckland to help MH (one of my uni friends) celebrate her 50th birthday on the 30th and celebrated my own 49th birthday with a lunch out with family on the 31st.  Apart from having to take my regular pain killers I have felt rather good.  And to a certain extent you ignore pain and discomfort if you are busy or having fun.

Today is the first day of 2012  – I am both excited and a little concerned about what the next year will bring me.  But I am already starting to plan my 5oth birthday party for 364 days time 🙂

Happy New Year Everyone!!


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  1. Antje

     /  December 31, 2011

    Keep up the great spirit!
    All the Best for 2012. I am following your blog for a while and hope you keep your strength. I found this the other day on one of the websites:
    “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”

  2. I know what you mean Jenny but HappynNew Year nonetheless !

  3. Jayne Muir-james

     /  January 7, 2012

    ..had a fiddle again this morning. See, perserverence, I have a ‘little’ of what you have. ( this box thingy would not come up last night) battery low, maybe? Anyway safe trip next week to chch, will be thinking of you (all) x


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