Wednesday, 5 September 2012

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all

The last month has brought me to a complete stop in some ways, especially the ability to sit and write. With my final chemo came the lack of motivation to say anything except " I feel like crap" and I was not sure that is what I wanted to write, but I just did. Yesterday I opened up my blog like an old friend and realised how much I missed thinking about something other than how I was feeling at the moment. My intrinsic negative view has been blocking the light of the great things that I get to do in my life and the places I go and of course the people who surround me.

I attended recently a appointment at the cancer clinic with my oncologist to have the " Tamoxifen talk".
It seems with my type of cancer, which is hormone receptor positive, the next step is a medication for  five years to squash my hormones. The chemo in all its glory has already stopped my monthly cycle and gifted me with what I can only refer to as " inferno flashes". I know people reading this already know about " inferno flashes". You are just sitting there and all of a sudden its like someone flips a switch and you are on fire. A hot burn from your belly to your head. I think someone should invent a mattress with heat sensors that adjust to cool when you feel like you are going to burst into flames at night. Now my understanding of my new little friend ,which I will take for the next 1826 days, has as it's number one side effect, hot flashes. God help me! My recollection of earlier conversations with my doctor is that it will also reduce my chance of cancer recurrence by 40%. I think I will get going on my mattress invention. Although words like stroke, blood clots and endometrial cancer come up and make the hair on the back of my neck rise, I balance the risk and think "how the hell did I get here." The impact of how real this all is finally sinking in. In the cycle of grief I am not sure which stage I am.
I think I have been rolling it all up in one neat package for months. A massive mess at times, letting brave get in the way of sad.

The doctor then announced the fact I would now be discharged from the cancer clinic. I was lymph node negative and therefore policy states I should be followed by my family physician. In my head all I could think was but.. but... but..."I have cancer". I felt a little abandoned right then and there, like when you go in one of those revolving doors and spin really fast coming out confused and dizzy. She did reassure me that she would still be my cancer doctor and be there if I needed her. I still needed her.
I go back in three months to check in around the Tamoxifen and its side effects. Just before I left she brought up about doing a clinical trial. I had heard about some when this all started and she had brought it up when we first met. I was interested. It would mean being followed for several years at the cancer clinic and if the drug was helpful then I would benefit from that. Win win for me. I had stated several years ago and in  recent times, that my goal is to outlive my mom's all who died before the age of 69. I was blessed with a adopted, biological and step mom but cancer took them all.  I don't think the thought of having a long life is a bad one although I have no control in the end.  Cancer is teaching me just to live the best life possible, now I have to figure out what that means.....hmmm
So that was two possible pills in my life for the next many years. I was someone who only took the occasional homoeopathic remedy or vitamin. I did have a little blue friend however that has been helping me sleep for the last few months. Much needed at times and very helpful. I do want to be on as little medication as possible though. I decided a few nights ago to stop taking my blue helper. He was teeny tiny why did he have to go? I had always been a great sleeper, I wanted that back on my own I think.  So for the last two nights, I have laid there half asleep, exhausted beyond words. It reminded me of when you are a kid and you pretend sleep when your parents walked in the room to check. I did however doze occasionally, in between sheets on, sheets off, stick my rear and legs out for air...repeat. The magic of my blue friend is alluring but I am going to try and ride this one out, unless it just does not work.

Today I go to talk to a  cancer surgeon about the future of my left breast and its insistence on being lumpy and dense. Then Friday I see a plastic surgeon about building me one. I am just gonna say I feel another blog coming soon...just saying....


  1. Glad that your energy is improving...miss you.

  2. Yet again, Sondria, another lovely blog on how "it just is", you are keeping it real. Lack of motivation, the thought of 5 years of tamoxifen is bound to be daunting, the process of visiting the doctors for your breast reconstruction with the 101 questions that go with it, again overwhelming. Give yourself permission to not be perfect, it's OK to feel what you feel. The drug trial is a win win for you, simply because you will be followed at the cancer clinic and so far it has proven to be a good medication. Your mini-get away's are good for your moral so keep doing that before the next surgery. Remember, you have family and friends that keep you in their prayers daily, hugs ma soeur, je t'aime

  3. Sondria, your sincerity is truly moving. Be true to your feelings,and don't worry about trying to put on a brave face all the time for others. It's "you" time that's important. You need to focus on reducing stress in your life, and doing whatever it takes to get better. If you're not comfortable being discharged from the cancer clinic, let them know you really prefer to continue follow up with them. Take control of your health care, be proactive, and don't let them put you on the back burner.
    You are an amazing, strong woman, and you inspire me to be better in my life. Thank you.