Wednesday, February 11, 2009

These pesky hot flashes

Normally, hot flashes occur when women get the 'privilege' of going through menopause. However, us lucky cancer people get the 'privilege' of getting hot flashes for other reasons as treatment messes with our hormones. They (being the doctors and nurses) tell us that hot flashes are normal during chemotherapy because this interferes with normal ovarian status - basically it shuts them down. Then they stick you on Tamoxifen, which causes hot flashes as well. Then when you are through treatment, you can get the privilege of going through menopause with hot flashes again normally.

Now for someone who is always cold, hot flashes can be useful on a ten degree day in January but they are very annoying during a heatwave (I mean who needs an internal heatwave during a heatwave?). They are also very annoying when you are nice and comfortable sleeping and all of a sudden you feel like the oven was cranked up to 450 and you are sleeping in it? You wake up! So much for a good night's sleep. (And we know lack of sleep causes general crankiness and crabbiness so it is clearly not a good thing to go without.) Another question is if you are outside on a cold day, and get a hot flash, can you get hypothermia at the same time???

When will these end? Well, let's see, I have another year at least of Tamoxifen and its little personal heatwaves. Then I may continue on Tamoxifen so they may continue. Or I might switch to another form of hormone therapy for another three to five or eight years, which may or may not have this pesky side effect. Or, if I don't continue to have hot flashes, when menopause occurs naturally, I get to have them all over again. I can't wait. (Maybe I'll start spending time in Antarctica during the summers.) Can you tell that I was woken up last night by a hot flash? (And then my back hurt so I couldn't get back to sleep.) Not that I am crabby or anything but time will tell. I will just continue to 'enjoy' this 'privilege' for the coming years.

A friend sent me a rebuttal to yesterday's topic of Wal-Mart. Apparently, they have tried successfully to convert the American consumer into being greener. Well, that is all well and good but if you read down to the end of the article you can read about the discrimination and wage lawsuits they are dealing with.

This morning my big adventure is to go to physical therapy (or physical terrorism as I have heard it called - does it hurt when you bend this way? or if I do this?) In some ways I am looking forward to this but am reserving judgment. Also today I have to go to work and to do some volunteer work. I will be busy all day. I have a list of things I must do today as well (because I have chemo brain and keep forgetting them so I have to write them down).

Yesterday I had a job interview. I am not sure how it went. I will know if I get a call for another interview. But I did get to get together with friends for lunch which was nice. Now, time to get moving instead of procrastinating on the internet all day.

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