Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Focusing On The Positives

Nope - not PEACE! Lupron Shot #2
I could feel it starting in my chest and arms. It was like a warm, pulsing wave slowly working its way up to my head. The walls in the studio began to close in on me. I took a couple of deep breaths and told myself to hang tight - the feeling would pass.

But it didn't. The warm wave had turned into the feeling of hot lava flowing upwards into my face.

"Jack, I'm having a hot flash."

He looked at me unsure of what to do with me.

I knew what I needed to do. I needed to find some air, fast. I stood up and peeled my short-sleeve sweater off, leaving it in a heap on my chair. I walked over to both doors on my side of the studio and opened them. It was so much cooler out in the hallway. I checked the temperature in the studio - 75 degrees.

"Jack, I'm dying. I need some air. It's too hot in here. Can we please lower the temp in the studio? Seriously, make it 60 degrees or something. I'm dying here."

He was more than excited to lower the temp in the studio - the colder the better. Every day we argue over the temp and generally settle on 73 degrees. A few degrees to warm for him; a few degrees too chilly for me. I have a feeling we'll be agreeing on the temperature for awhile now.

I flopped into my chair. Jack grabbed a folder and waved it furiously in front of me. The cool air felt wonderful. The fire in my face was finally starting to subside.

"Oh, Jack," I said with dread. "I've become one of those women. I've become a crazy menopausal woman. Oh my gosh. Look at me. I'm turning lights off, slamming doors. I'm one step away from putting my head in the freezer. It's happening to me. It's really happening."

"I just want to stare at you. I mean, I feel kind of rude, but this is really interesting," Jack said with his eyes wide open.

"Keep staring. It's going to get better. I think I'm going to have a crying jag in about 30 minutes. I guarantee it. Just you wait."

Sure enough, about twenty minutes later, I started crying for no reason at all. Literally. Crying. Without a reason. It was pure ridiculousness. A hormonal squall had been unleashed in my body. Good gracious.

For the record, Jack deserves a medal today. If today is an indication of what's ahead of me, it's going to be a long five months as I go through this treatment*. And since Jack is stuck with me for four hours a day, it will be a long five months for him too. Jack was a real trooper and handled my crazed state of being very well.

I'd just like to say that I'm sorry for every time I made fun of a woman in menopause. I don't remember making fun of any women in menopause, because I always knew I'd be there someday, but if I did I'm truly sorry. This is awful. Ridiculous. Yesterday, I received Lupron Shot #2, so I have a feeling that my body is accepting and reacting to the shot. In the mean time, I'm going to try to focus on the positives:

1) I know there is a deadline - in five more months I should be cured of endometriosis (although I recognize there is no "cure" per se, at least this will kill it for the time being), so I just need to hang tight.

2) I have understanding family and friends who will let me have my freak outs and understand that this is temporary.

3) I have a co-worker who knows how to turn a folder into an instant fan. That's a bonus.

4) There's a full fridge/freezer only a few steps from the studio, so if I need to stick my head in there, it's available.

5) ???

What other positives am I missing? Care to add to the list?


--Erin


*I'm currently receiving Lupron shots to treat severe endometriosis. Lupron is a chemotherapy drug used to treat prostate, cervical, and breast cancers and endometriosis. The drug works by removing estrogen that feeds the cancer or endometriosis. Complete estrogen removal is also known as menopause. JOY! 



4 comments:

  1. It will get easier! It stopped my cycles, so no PMS etc for a time. Big plus for me. :-)
    I received Lupron shots while going through a year of chemo for a different cancer. My doctor prescribed it in hopes of protecting my remaining ovary. (I lost the other to cancer a few years before.) God is good because I'm now holding my little miracle baby in my arms!

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  2. Jesus is with you every step of the way, Erin! Between the breaths you take and the beginning of the surge of the hot flash, He's there. This didn't come as a surprise to Him though it definitely blindsided me :( and I'm sure, you!

    He can bring glory out of your suffering. He has with me, and so many others. Stand firm in Him, and I will keep asking that your suffering not be wasted and that He shine brighter from your life, with every hot flash.

    I'm so proud of you, sistah-soldier.

    Michelle

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  3. Erin, first thing that came to mind was, "This too shall pass". I'm not trying to be funny - it was the one reminder that helped me get through the difficult times with 3 children under the age 4 and their growing years (especially when Michael was traveling).

    God is in complete control - He will carry you through this journey. One thing I do when I have to endure something that is hard is sing praise songs. When I had to have a spinal tap during the process of diagnosing my MS, all I did was sing praise songs. It didn't take away the pain, but it did take away the fear (I'm extremely afraid of needles). Singing praise songs took the focus off of me and what I was going through and put it where it belong - on HIM!!!

    You are an amazingly, strong woman and God knows it. He chose YOU for this journey. What is going to be your testimony? What does God want to do with you through this? We often tell God, "Use Me" so now is the time to let Him use you!

    You are a great role model for many women of all ages.

    Many blessings and many prayers!!! Judy

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  4. Go to Bed, Bath & Beyond. They have $5 electric fans (perfectly sized for your work desk and night stand.) Believe, they will save your hot flashing life. This 52 year knows where you're coming from.

    Robin

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