oncology recap

I had my yearly oncology appointment yesterday. It’s still weird to me that I only go once a year. It makes me feel nervous.

The short version is that he wants me to start Lexapro to help with some of my menopause side effects, and also to help with my depression/anxiety. It is sitting at Walgreens waiting for me to pick it up. I suppose I’ll start it tonight if I can manage to get out of the house later. Fingers crossed it goes over better than the Effexor did.

He wants me to go back on Tamoxifen (or a similar drug) at some point, but told me to take the next six months to allow my body to continue to recover from the hell it went though with the hysterectomy/oophorectomy. So I go back in May to deal with that.

Considering all the bad news I’ve gotten recently regarding friends being diagnosed with cancer, I will take the pills and be happy I have that to fall back on.

Oh and it occurred to me yesterday that I’m a six year survivor! How about that!

truths

As I sit alone, drinking, and waiting on some girlfriends to arrive:

  • I told D tonight, after breaking the news that our friend has stage 4, inoperable, pancreatic cancer: I’m so glad I got my ovaries removed. I don’t care that I look older and fatter as long as I get to spend every possible moment with you and the kids.
  • He whole heartedly agrees.
  • He’s making an appointment for a physical tomorrow. No more fucking around. I can’t live without him.
  • We’re going to increase our life insurance too.
  • I have my yearly appointment with my oncologist tomorrow afternoon, and I just feel all fucked up about it now. What if, what if, what if?
  • Pins and fucking needles.
  • It feels like my employee who is leaving has started to phone it in a bit, and that sucks. Not even because I care about the work shit. I just thought we were cooler than that. And I guess it feels like I’m going to miss her, but she’s not going to miss me. So I guess my feelings are hurt.
  • I feel like I need to touch base with hard ass Jenn. I’ve gotten so fucking soft.
  • But…fuck that. Life is short. I’m happy now, and happy Jenn is softer. That’s just the way it is.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.

How have you changed so far in 2018?

2018 has been a difficult year for me, both health-wise and career-wise. But, as always, I have come out on the other side better for all of it. My motto for the year has been: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

From a health perspective: I have eliminated my chance of cervical and ovarian cancer, as well as drastically reduced my risk of breast cancer recurrence. It was a hard road to recovery, but I’m here now, and while there are some shitty side effects, I don’t regret my decision to have the surgeries.

As for my career: 2018 has been the most litigious year yet. It has been stressful as fuck, but I continue to learn and grow as an attorney. I am a better attorney today than I was on 1/1/18. These experiences have emboldened me, and I have started taking more complicated cases as a result. I take more chances. I have more confidence in my abilities. I am grateful for that.

Every time a medical professional sees me topless for the first time, they always say something like, “Oooh those are cool,” referring to my mandala “nipple” tattoos. It still takes me by surprise, because I forget about it, but it also makes me giggle. They are pretty damn cool tbh.

you know what sucks?

Having to manage all of these fucking medical issues that have conflicting needs.

My psoriatic arthritis has become more of a problem recently. For example, I woke up today around 3:30 am because my hands and wrists were hurting like crazy. My current meds just aren’t working as well as I’d like, but the meds that do work have a cancer risk, so I haven’t been able to take them since my diagnosis.

I had my ovaries removed to reduce the risk of my cancer returning, which puts me at risk for osteoporosis. I need to do high impact exercises to help protect my bones. Unfortunately, doing high impact exercise is bad for my already fucked up joints.

I just feel like I can’t fucking win. I’m constantly having to make a difficult choice when it comes to my health/my body.

August blog challenge: day 14

What’s your dream? How has it changed over the years?

My dreams/goals (whatever you want to call them) used to be very specific: I wanted to find love. I wanted to be a successful lawyer. I wanted to go here, there, everywhere. You get the idea.

Nowadays, my dream is simple: I want time. I want to grow old with my husband and see where this journey takes us. I want to see my kids grow up and see who they become. I want to meet their kids, if they decide to have them. I want to meet whoever they decide to spend their lives with. Yes, I want to travel and experience new things, but more importantly I just want to be around for whatever happens.

Being diagnosed with cancer at 33 changed the way I think about my future. It’s not about the little details so much anymore. I just want to have a future that I get to spend with the people I love most. That doesn’t mean that I’m not working toward a variety of goals, but it does mean that for me, in a big way, it really is more about the destination than the journey. My dream is to live to be a little old lady. I want to sit next to my husband, and watch our grandchildren open Christmas presents. I want that very, very much.

Next year I’ll be 40. There was a time when I wasn’t so sure I’d make it this far. I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had, but I hope I get a lot more.

burning the fuck up

I’m hot flashing like a mf today.

And I woke up like 5 times last night from night sweats. I’ve started keeping a towel next to the bed. That’s how ridiculous this shit has gotten.

Luckily, I contacted my doc and she called in a prescription for Effexor, which is supposed to help a lot. It’s an anti-depressant, but apparently is used for this issue as well. I’ll be picking it up on the way home. I’ve read some things online that suggest it works quickly. God I fucking hope so.

I took Effexor once before several years back, so I know I have a good two weeks of nausea and headaches to look forward to while I adjust to the meds.

Yay!

Menopause is such a fucking delight let me tell you.