wet…and not in a good way

One of the worst long term side effects of my cancer treatment has been the night sweats. It’s related to my ongoing Tamoxifen therapy, which lowers estrogen levels in the body, and keeps estrogen from feeding breast cancer cells. One of the very common side effects is night sweating. It’s not always bad, and sometimes I can go weeks at a time without much of an issue, but sometimes, like last night, I wake up drenched in sweat. And not just once…three fucking times. When I say drenched, I mean literally soaked and dripping sweat, have to get up and change my clothes…drenched. Have to flip the pillow over. Will need to change the sheets tonight. Etc. It’s so frustrating, not to mention gross, and it is really bothering me recently.

I have one more year of “mandatory” Tamoxifen therapy. As of August 2018, I will have put in my five years. But in 2013, studies were published which found that 10 years of tamoxifen is better than 5 because it:

  • lowered the incidence of breast cancer coming back (recurrence)
  • reduced the number of deaths from breast cancer
  • improved overall survival

So I feel like I have to keep taking it, but…I don’t want to keep taking it. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I’m going to keep taking it, obviously. At least until side effects outweigh the potential benefit, which seems unlikely since the potential benefit is extended life. I love my life very much, and want to continue living it. That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t want to vent sometimes about how much cancer fucking sucks.

something i feel strongly about

Breast cancer awareness.

Women need to be performing their self breast exams EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Feel your breasts but also really look at them. I first noticed something was off when I saw my nipple inverting as I just happened to be changing my shirt in front of a mirror. I started feeling my breast and noticed small ridges deep in the tissue. It is often said a tumor will feel like a pea or a marble, but that isn’t always the case! If it seems weird, get that shit checked out!

DON’T WAIT.

You are not too young to have breast cancer. Don’t buy into that shit. I was diagnosed at the age of 33 and I had clearly had cancer for several years prior (due to the advanced nature of the cancer). I have several friends who were diagnosed in their twenties! Cancer doesn’t care how old you are.

If you feel something weird, get it checked out. Don’t let doctors tell you “you’re too young…” Speak up! Fight to be heard. Insist upon a mammogram. I know it isn’t always easy to stand up to authority figures, especially experts, but nobody is a bigger expert regarding your body than you are. Remember…you’re the one who lives with the consequences if the medical professionals are wrong. The NP at Planned Parenthood told me there was no way I had breast cancer, as did my primary care physician, but I insisted on getting that mammogram. And it saved my life.

Don’t know how to perform a self breast exam? Go here.

Have questions? Hit me up.

Looking to donate funds to finding a cure? Please consider skipping Komen and donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 91% of donations go to research and awareness as follows: 88% to research and 3% to awareness.

I’ve been told I come on a bit too strongly about this issue, and that is makes some people uncomfortable. If that discomfort saves your life, I’m very good with that.

xoxo

tribute

Over the past several days, I have learned of two ladies in their 30s passing away from breast cancer. I didn’t know either of them personally, but I’ve known of their struggles, and I’ve been wishing them well even though they didn’t realize it. I’m wearing this bracelet today in their honor. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel extremely grateful to be here still. Why did I survive and they didn’t? Will it get me in the end? These questions have been plaguing me since I learned the sad news of these ladies’ deaths. I don’t know the answers. What I do know is that I am going to make the most of every minute I get. Be grateful. Be thoughtful. Live, love, and laugh often. Dream big. Take chances. Make stories.

xoxo

just putting this out there

Being upset with someone for having to cancel plans due to their chronic pain condition(s) is extremely shitty and selfish. Trust me, I’m a lot more upset about it than you are, bro. You know, since I’m actually the one in pain. Being disappointed is understandable, but being passive aggressive about it is just fucked up. Thanks for making me feel worse than I already do. 👍🏻

A random act of kindness (day 20)

Back in 2013 during the middle of chemo, D and I went to see The Joy Formidable in concert and I got really sick. The venue had limited seating, so we were stuck standing, and I was so dizzy that I thought I was going to pass out. In fact, at one point I did faint in a bathroom stall. I was desperately trying to hold it together in order to not ruin the evening, as D was so excited to  finally be seeing one of his fave bands. Right when I was about to cave and bail, a guy offered me his seat. I started feeling much better once I was able to sit and we were able to make it through the show. That guy saved our night, and I’ll always remember how kind he was. ❤️