Monday, October 12, 2009

Today in history...

Today is an historically auspicious day both internationally and personally. Here are just a few of the significant events from this day in history:

  • In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue and landed in North America , er ... the Bahamas?  Wait a minute!  Did I already know that?!  Maybe I did but conveniently forgot a fact that didn't fit easily with my preconceptions.  I'm like that sometimes... all American and stuff.
  • In 1609 the Children's rhyme Three Blind Mice" was published in London.  Without that happy little rhyme we wouldn't have an ironic costume for Danny to wear some Halloween-Yet-To-Be-Determined.  
  • In 1792 Columbus Day is 1st celebrated.  In the Bahamas?  I'm just sayin'...
  • In 1969 Yoko Ono suffered another miscarriage.  I have no reply to that.
  • In 2006 the Estrogen Reign over my body ended in a relatively bloodless coup by the removal of my ovaries. 

You would think I would miss them wouldn't you?  My ovaries, that is.  Really, though, not so much.  Sure, they were handy to have around when I was trying to get pregnant.  But after that they sort of become a liability - always hanging out with their implied fertility...   Who needs that kind of pressure?!

I remember when my oncologist recommended I have them taken out.  I was completely unaffected.  Take 'em!  I wasn't really all that attached.  My ovaries had played a roll in the the second most traumatic event in my life. Sadly, my cancer diagnosis ranks a distant third behind my ectopic pregnancy and ruptured fallopian tube.  Finding out about Danny's blindness sits firmly at the top of the list.  

Long story short, with the potential of ovarian cancer looming in my future, I did not even hesitate to have the little suckers ripped out!  Too harsh?  Well, to quote Dr. Seuss, "I do not like green eggs and ham.  I do not like them Sam I Am!"  I certainly considered them to be green!!! 

Actually, I do miss them... or at least their estrogen.  Let me tell you, every horror story you've ever heard about menopause is completely not exaggerated!  The night sweats?  Gah!  The night sweats are soooooo much worse than I ever imagined!  Which isn't a bad thing if you like to sleep in a sauna, swim wake in a puddle of your own sweat and compulsively change linens in the wee hours. 

And the "flushing"!  Obviously that term originated with a man.  No menopausal woman in her right mind would refer to it in such a minimizing way.  It's more like standing in the heat of a kitchen on Thanksgiving Day if Thanksgiving were held on the 4th of July in Death Valley... and the kitchen were not a kitchen but hidden pockets of invisible heated torture everywhere. you. are.  Yeah.  Now that I think about it, "flushing" sums it up fairly accurately. 

You know, it wasn't so bad when I was bald from chemo.  I'm a head-sweater which is bad enough if you have nice thick hair and completely bites when your hair is so fine it already molds to your head and neck.  So, I really kind of liked the whole bald thing.  I'd be hanging out, minding my own business when a slow burn would stoke itself somewhere deep inside.  I can't even explain where the heat originates.  Perhaps as low as my feet, maybe somewhere in my chest cavity...  but it certainly ends within my head and neck.  When I was bald I could feel the sweat beads pop out of my scalp like popcorn, slowly at first, then with wild abandon.  Pop.  Pop, pop!  Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop!!!! But all I had to do was wipe my head with my hand or a towel.  Ah... sweet, blessed baldness.

These days I just keep cutting my hair shorter and shorter in futile attempts to stave off the perpetual bad hair day.  Gah!

There is hope, however.  My oncologist prescribed Effexor to treat my hot flashes.  It's a mild anti-depressant with a happy side effect of reducing hot flashes and mood swings.  Hurrah!

Since I don't remember my original point I should probably stop while I'm ahead.  To sum up, many years ago today Columbus discovered the Bahamas, Yoko had another miscarriage and I lost my ovaries.  And menopause sucks!

Got it?

Good.  My work here is done.

1 comment:

jojo said...

Argh... have to have my ovaries removed in November due to BRCA2. Had a taste of chemopause last year - not looking forward to the more permanent status of menopause. (remind me that it's a small price to pay vs. having varian cancer!) I'm interested to see how the effexor works for you. Please be sure to share your thoughts.