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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

It’s not my holiday

The holiday I am going on next week is a very important one.  It has been two years since we first came up with the plan and because of treatments and other time constraints we couldn’t do it until now.  I have pushed my oncologists to allow me to take this trip but it is not ‘my’ holiday.  It is YD’s.  She wanted to go to Dreamworld and she wanted Mummy to be the one that took her.  Because of her autistic tendencies , as far as she was concerned it wasnt going to happen unless Mummy was coming with her.  So we have made it happen,  OH and MD are coming to do a lot of the actual looking after her at the theme parks(Dreamworld, Seaworld and Australia Zoo – MD will go on a lot of the rides with her) because I know I will just not be able to keep up with her.

With the amount of fatigue I am feeling I am worried about how fast, or not, it will wear off on my week off xeloda.  People have been advising me I can hire wheelchairs and/or mobility scooters.  I really dont want to go down that route but I might have to – I really hate that thought!!  I will push myself because this is such an important holiday for YD but I am concerned about how I will handle it.

The  things I want to do for myself on this holiday are meet up with P another IBC lady,  see my sister and niece and meet up with old family friends who used to live down the road from us.  I also hope to have a few minutes each day to myself to swim in the apartments indoor heated pool to get my exercise/fitness back up.  With the issues with the xeloda side effects on my feet there are not a lot of other exercise options.  I also want to spend a few minutes each day alone on the beach where I can just sit and breath in and out.  I doubt the beach will be deserted but by alone I mean without anyone I know.  Hopefully OH and I will get a chance to do a few things by ourselves if we leave YD with MD but it is very dependant on YD’s behaviour.  She is so excited about this trip but I am so aware that that excitement can turn, very easily,  to over-stimulation,  and overwhelm her.

This holiday is going to be hard work for the rest of us, but if we can pull it off and give YD the holiday of  a lifetime it will be worth it.


The second of my weekend outings was to a surprise party for a family friend’s fiftieth birthday.  L and her family first came into our lives as respite carers for YD in 1997. Her daughters and OD and MD are much the same ages – so for the few years that YD went to stay at their house once a month – it was an easy transition for her.  L is now the manager of the residential service houses that YD lives in, and I found it easier to help  YD make the decision to leave home knowing L, and  knowing that she had YD’s best interests at heart.

A few weeks ago I got a Facebook private event invite from L’s oldest daughter N – surprise party! – although YD has her own Facebook profile (which she manages with help but makes her feel more like her big sisters) and could have been invited through Facebook as well N decided wisely to only invite OD and myself through Facebook and let us fill everyone else in on the plan. 

Ok – here’s where I’m trying to figure out how to tell YD that we were doing something without letting the cat out of the bag .  YD likes routines and structure and likes to know well ahead of time what we are doing when she comes home for the weekend visits. 

ME:   ok -next weekend instead of mum seeing you on Sunday you are going to stay Saturday night.

YD: why?

ME: because I’ve got to go to S’s on Sunday afternoon for her hens party

YD: Why aren’t I invited?

MD: because we will be talking about sex

YD:  OOH yuck, I don’t want to go!

YD: what are we going to do on Saturday?

ME: we will probably go out somewhere – I haven’t decided where yet – depends on the weather (helps we have had a few summer storms lately) but don’t worry we will definitely go out somewhere -probably at least shopping on Saturday afternoon (to buy L’s present- see I was trying not to lie)

– and that was as much as I could tell her til Saturday afternoon when I picked her up.  If she had known she would never have kept it a secret and with L popping in and out of YD’s house all the time to check on things we just couldn’t risk it.  So I also had do all the preparation work in what we expected of her behaviour on Saturday as well

Once we told YD she loved the idea but when we got to the venue it was a little bit hard to keep her confined to a small area until L arrived – we couldn’t risk YD wandering around outside when L was due to arrive – it would spoil the surprise. Once L arrived it was fine and a great night was had by all.  I didn’t have the same issue as Friday night of saying I was fine because I either knew people or I didn’t and we tended to be a bit ‘cliquey’ as that is what makes YD happier as well – having to interact with people she doesn’t know throws her a bit.

Happy Birthday L – so glad to have you as one of YD’s other mothers  – sorry for lying to you last week.