Thanksgiving with a side of hormone therapy

I might be getting the hang of this tamoxifen thing. Or not. It’s probably too soon to tell for sure. It’s been about a week and a half and I think not taking my afternoon dose too late is key. For some reason if I take it closer to bed time I have what I perceive to be restless leg syndrome. I don’t actually know what restless leg syndrome is but I imagine it feels like your leg muscles get all tense and spasticky. There are some hot flashes but it’s getting so cold now that it doesn’t bother me except at night when I can’t ever be satisfied with the covers on OR off, or even half on/half off. I also feel kind of joint achy or arthritic, especially first thing in the morning when I’m doing the zombie shuffle-walk into the kitchen. I’ve been trying to take walks (not zombie) because that seems to help with the achy joints. This Thanksgiving weekend though has been mostly about watching tv and movies. I love Disney movies, but my daughter says I have an unhealthy obsession with watching Tangled which is so not true, I’ve only seen it about twenty-two times. I hope everyone had a wonderful carb loading tryptophan extravaganza like I did.

So speaking of my new hormone therapy which I will be taking for the next ten years, this is the list of potential side effects associated with Tamoxifen. I saw weight loss on there and got all excited but then saw weight gain lower down the list. Bastards. It’s a pretty shitty list really.

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Regarding my smashed up Friday the 13th car, it’s looking like Tomas will be able to fix it.  I never doubted it because seriously he could construct an Optimus Prime out of any five random items found in the kitchen junk drawer. Before the crash I asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said give him something to fix. Ask and you shall receive.

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Eff You Friday the 13th

The only thing this Friday the 13th was missing was Freddy Krueger. Apparently fate believed cancer was not enough of a challenge this year so on Friday the 13th, fate saw fit to allow me to crash my car. I rear-ended a minivan half a mile from home. I don’t remember anything about it except slamming on my breaks and the impact and freaking the fuck out. Everyone says “well at least nobody was hurt, that’s all that matters.” Who are they kidding? That doesn’t stop anyone from freaking out. It’s traumatic and scary and depressing. With the exception of bruises on my arm, stomach and knee, I am fine but I feel as though this was some cosmic reminder that my life is precarious, like some promissory note from hell that can be called due at a moment’s notice.  And like the fates are warning me not to get all cocky now that chemo/radiation is over. I guess I’m lucky because somehow my airbag didn’t deploy so I could have been hurt worse, and thank God my daughter wasn’t in the car. She doesn’t know it yet but I’ve decided she can get her driver’s license when she’s 25.

Shifting gears to my health (see what I did there?), I’m mostly getting stamina back and the radiation burns are healing but I wish my hair would grow faster. Maybe I need some Rogaine (holy shit I did NOT just say Rogaine.) Is there a Hair Club for women? And before you say Biotin I need to find some without soybean oil. I’m boobless, kind of hairless, and now carless. #effcancer #nocar

The Finale and My New Baby Bird Feathers

Well today was the grand finale and I even got a diploma.  I wanted to cross out radiation and put “third degree burn” therapy based on my armpit from last week.

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I was all proud and happy and when I texted Tomas he said “cool now you can get a job as a radiation patient.” I saw my oncologist Monday and he said I will start Tamoxifen (hormone therapy) in two weeks and will be on it for several years. I asked about follow up scans and he said not unless there’s a problem. And what constitutes a problem you may ask? Any symptom that is new, unexplained, persistent or progressive. Huh. Well since I’m pushing 50 I notice all that stuff ALL THE TIME. I was hoping for something a little more specific but I guess this is my new world and I’m going to have to find a way to live in it.

On the hair front there’s good news, bad news and worse news.

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The good- it’s growing in pretty fast now, the bad- it’s all gray and still kind of bald at the temples, not unlike Bobby Hill (and it’s kind of growing in fauxhawkish too). The worse- my hairdresser said I had to wait a few more months to color it or it could come out orange. Right now it looks and feels like baby bird feathers.  Gray ones. I suppose I don’t want to end up with a head full of orange bird feathers.  She texted me a bunch of photos about gray hair being all awesome and trendy.  Who knew? Here’s an interesting article
However, I’m still coloring it as soon possible, as soon as I’m out of the orange danger zone.  I guess I’m not that trendy. #grannyhair