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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

To ‘Mixed Nuts’

“Mixed Nuts” is the facebook group we created for our year of the BSW degree

To my dear ‘Mixed Nuts’ family

You are all so diverse and I think mixed nuts was a great name for our group representing the unique ‘flavours’ we have all bought to the group

I just want you to know how much yesterday meant to me and I was so glad so many of you turned and said such lovely things about me… I felt so much love in that room.

my lovely gifts and cards

One thing I had wished I had said last night that I didn’t think about until I was talking to V at the end was  that you all indicated that you were all so amazed ‘that I had kept coming  to Uni with  everything else that was going on in my life’.

What you don’t realize is that it was for my own sanity.  I had my oldest daughter when I was 22 and had my youngest when I was 26.  When my youngest (YD) was born with a chromosome deletion my identity became first and foremost ‘YD’s Mum’.   When your child with a disability gets a label so do you… especially if you try to be assertive and get the services for your child that they need.  YD left home 8 months before I was first diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, one of the rarest but the most aggressive forms of Breast Cancer so I went from YD’s ‘Mum’ to the new ‘Label’ of ‘ A Cancer Patient’ in very quick succession.  University has been the first time in many years where I have been Jenny, a university student and recognised as myself rather than ‘the Mum’ or ‘ the patient’ and that has saved my sanity in this journey I have been taking.  Thank you all for seeing me as Jenny first and foremost, even though those other labels were still there they were not the most prominent one.

Thank you again for showing the love and being my family the past 2-3 years.  Go well and I am sure you are all going to be absolutely amazing Social Workers

Love to you all


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  1. Karen

     /  July 26, 2012

    I heard about your blog from a friend of a friend who also has IBC. Your previous post was inspiring – it’s amazing how you can explain things to your youngest daughter, and how she processes things through drawings.

    You’d make a fine social worker, and I’m sorry if that won’t be, at least not now.

    I also found grad school helpful during a difficult time.

    I am uncomfortable with how people come out in droves when there’s possibly sad news online – so I hope my comment isn’t unwelcome.

    Take care – and best wishes to you and your family.

  1. “Cause I’ve had the time of my life…” – a celebration of Mum’s schooling era « Get Out Gertrude!

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