Hey! I’m here! I’m still alive! Whoopie!
I’ve been busy these last few months. Let’s see, what’s been going on?
I decided to stop taking Tamoxifen back in August. I just could not do it anymore. For one thing, I could barely see out of my eyes because I was so swollen they were almost shut. I also could not breathe. And I spent most of my time sleeping. It was really strange and awful and finally I decided that I would rather be dead than spend the next ten (TEN!) years taking this gnarly drug.
I knew that stopping tamoxifen would mess with my survival odds. I ended up going to this site called Cancer Math and plugging in my stats. Guess what? My odds of survival stink anyway. Too many positive lymph nodes. It’s scary to see it on the screen. That I should possibly be dead already but there it was.
But here was the interesting thing, stopping Tamoxifen according to CancerMath would take 6 years off of my life. But getting my ovaries removed would add the years back.
I had my blood tested in July and I was testing post menopausal. Chemo messed up my ovaries bad. Fried them in fact.
So I decided to get my ovaries out. I had a baseline ultrasound this summer that found a nasty looking cyst on my right ovary anyway. I’m done having kids. The ovaries are kaput anyway and if it really makes my odds of survival better, why not?
So I had the surgery in September. It was fairly easy. Two tiny incision on either side and a tiny hole in my belly button. It was all good except that for about eight days after surgery, it felt like I was being stabbed on the left side of my abdomen whenever I moved! Stabbed hard with a twisty knife. If I was reclined, I was absolutely fine but if I sat up or moved at all, the pain shot to a strong NINE. It was rough. Pain killers didn’t even touch it.
So I watched a lot of tv. I binge watched Scandal which I found to be mostly good. I wish Olivia Pope had more facial expressions than *constipated* but otherwise, it’s a good show.
I swear I could not even stand up for more than a minute. It was really, really unpleasant.
And then one day, I was suddenly fine. Almost no pain at all. My husband thinks there must have been some internal glue that dissolved over night because it was a miraculous recovery.
Still, I spent 10 days inside my house. Seriously. I did not set foot outside of my front door for ten days. And to be honest with you, it was kind of nice. I understand now why people become agoraphobic. It’s nice to just be in your house, in your pj’s with people coming to visit you. It was pleasant. Really pleasant. A girl could get used to just staying in the house. What the heck is wrong with me, right?!
It was different from getting chemo. The day after chemo, I’d have to go back for my neulasta shot. Then there were check ups and all that. I was out and about with chemo. With this surgery, it was nice to just stay home. really nice. Almost too nice.
Anyway, back to the ovary removal. I was concerned that there would be more menopausal symptoms with the ovaries gone but it seems they were truly, truly fried because, if anything, my symptoms have improved. Less anxiety, less hot flashes. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in fact. I feel pretty good. I feel more like myself than I have since I was 12 and got on that hormonal roller coaster. It’s pretty awesome to not feel cray-cray every month.
And I am trying a different anti-hormonal drug, Arimidex. I have had some joint pain but it is easily fixed with Aleve. Other than that, I feel pretty good which is a nice way to feel especially after the 8 months of feeling like a truck had run over me on Tamoxifen.
Quality of life matters to me. I am not being glib when I say I’d rather be dead than spend 10 years feeling like something my cat bashed around and then pooped on. And I was useless. On Tamoxifen, I was an invalid. Who wants to be that? Not me.
Especially if this cancer free stuff is simply a respite. Because you know what the first line of defense if I end up with cancer in my organs or bones? Tamoxifen. I’m not going to torture myself when I actually have the potential to feel good. Does that make sense?
A lot of other stuff is going on. We went to Disneyland! I assistant directed a play! I got a new preschool gig! I found more of my shoes! But I’ll have to wait until later to tell you about it. I have to go make this Cheeseburger Casserole. It looks yummy and I am intrigued by the pickles in the ingredients.
I will let you know how it turns out.