Smack Down—and a Reality Check

Posted on November 19, 2014. Filed under: Cancer, Lending Color to the Otherwise Absurd | Tags: |

If you’ve been reading this blog on a regular basis, you know I have had a “hate relationship” with my estrogen-suppressant. The drug is supposed to minimize risk of breast cancer recurrence. But no matter how many doctors tell me that estrogen is not my friend, I will never believe them. Since 2010, the drug has caused one dingbat episode after another: the fuzzy-headedness, fatigue, achiness, sweat-inducing hot flashes and mood swings that are known best by pregnant and menopausal women. This summer, I had two root canals and learned that I lost another inch in height. Since my bone density was previously excellent, I chalked this up to another estrogen suppressant side-effect. I did some research and learned that the mean little pink pill reduces my risk from something like a whopping 2.4 percent to .8 percent. Not worth it!

Within weeks, I was feeling like my NOT old self. I had energy, clarity, and pain meds collecting dust on the back of the shelf. I was bouncing up and down stairs, and feeling great. I was dancing around my office, getting postcards printed for my upcoming feature at the Green Mill, trying to memorize poems, creating email blasts and social mediating 24/7.

No more Emily-lite. Fully-leaded Emily WAS BACK. The all-great-and-powerful Emily didn’t require 6 to 8 cups of water a day. She didn’t need to exercise. Or sleep. Or wash her hands a million times a day. No, SHE WAS INVINCABLE!

Even when congestion tip-toed into my head a few days before the show, I counted on a trip to the Minute Clinic, the ensuing antibiotics and a session with my acupuncturist to KNOCK it out of me. The show must go on, and it did–with a round of applause. WhooHoo! I did it.

On Monday after the show, the germs rallied and I hit the wall with a thud. I was back, yes, but I was back to pulling bedsheets up to my neck and sucking down cherry cough drops (menthol and eucalyptus are underrated) like they were M& Ms.

OK, I’ve learned my lesson. We are on week #2 of all sorts of pharma-wonders. I am going to bed BEFORE midnight and drinking buckets of water. Even tea. Even powdered packets of vitamin C. I’m spraying crap up my nose and doing what I’m told, but, and I’m still hacking like a college dropout with a computer major. I’m sure I’ll beat this thing eventually, but I’m not going back to suppressing my estrogen. Hear that!

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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..

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