The holidays are here. I’ve been on a roller coaster ride. Turns out Tamoxifen (which I will be taking for the next 5 years) wreaks havoc with your hormones and makes you very moody. DUH. I had sort of forgotten that in the midst of focusing on the other, more concerning side effects, such as heart attack/strokes and uterine cancer. I woke up the day after my first day of Tamoxifen (Dec. 6th) crying, and have been pretty much crying at the drop of a hat ever since.
I’m taking Tamoxifen, because my breast cancer was estrogen positive (ER+), and Tamoxifen stops your body from producing estrogen which in essence “feeds” the cancer (if there’s any still lurking around in my body). So, by taking Tamoxifen for 5 years, I will “starve” any potential cancer cells that may have eluded the chemo and surgeries. That, in and of itself, completely freaks me out: the notion of some random cancer cells still lurking around in my body. I had approached this whole thing with the idea that because it was Stage 2 and there were no lymph nodes involved, that there was not, and would never be any other cancer in my body as it had not metastasized and was unlikely to. But then when you are given a course of treatment of a drug that you will take for 5 years, just to be on the safe side, it makes you reconsider. Plus, the hormone imbalance is making me so emotional, that I’ve been very focused on the negative and not my usual/normal positive outlook.
Hence, I haven’t been blogging. I can’t stand all the negative stuff I’m thinking, and am not interested in sharing it with you guys, either. But, the Tamoxifen seems to be leveling out a bit, and I’m feeling more like myself today.
I’m puzzled about what to say about my breast cancer. Am I cured? Do I speak of it in the past tense? Am I a survivor? It’s a puzzle. Not sure when you decide to state what you are. I think I will take a plunge and be proactive and decide to say I am a cancer survivor, because I need some control over what’s going on with my life and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let this disease own me.
I was talking to a friend the other day, telling her how freaked out I am by the mastectomy scars. She had such a great take on it. She said “But it’s your badge of courage, how cool is that?” and I really want to start to feel that way. Right now, I’m falling into a lot of negative thoughts about the whole thing, and would like to start pro-actively taking it on so that I can break through and feel like myself again.
No tips or hints from me today, guys. I’m just hanging in there and trying to crawl out of my funk, plus all this holiday cheer is driving me nuts, as I’m not feeling particularly celebratory these days. More later. I promise to get my MOJO back.