As I listen to the news and take in all the panic that descends when a storm is upon us, I can’t help but think of another huge storm, this one a year (plus four days) ago. My first year in Cancer Land bookended by a couple of big snowstorms.
I saw Dr. D, my oncologist, on Wednesday and spoke with him at length about how to move forward. The plan right now is to let this current dose of Lupron run its course (it should be out of my system by the end of April) and then retest my hormone levels. If those levels are low enough, no more Lupron shots. He does, however, want me to stay on the Aromasin the entire time I am weaning off the Lupron. He does not think that will be a problem. If my body is in menopause anyway, then there’s really no issue. But if my hormone levels are still high, the Aromasin may trigger a menstrual cycle. If that happens, I have to stop the Aromasin or get a Lupron shot. Confused? I know. Sometimes I think it makes sense, sometimes it all feels a little too experimental.
The only really annoying side effect of the Aromasin is the joint pain. But Dr. D thinks it will resolve itself over time. I’ve had a lot of pain in my hands lately, I’ve been noticing it more because I am teaching myself to knit. I had this crazy idea that knitting would be a fun little hobby. When I was in junior high, my grandmother taught me to knit, but I didn’t stick with it. It’s funny, though, I watched a couple of YouTube videos, practiced a bit, and it kind of came back to me — the basic stitch, at least. A dear friend gave me some beautiful yarn for my birthday and I have enough rows now to think that whatever I’m doing could easily be a scarf… But my hands. It’s painful and then they go numb. Maybe if I limit myself to short little knitting sessions? I tend to get obsessed with creative pursuits. I want instant gratification.
When I was talking to Dr. D, he made a reference to the next four and a half years. It’s kind of weird to think I’m already about six months into my adjuvant therapy. I know I’m incredibly lucky. The only thing I have to do is take a tiny pill every day for five years. And yet, every time I swallow that pill, I am reminded of how cancer came to call. And while I want to type out the words about how much that sucks, I can’t. Somehow I made it through the worst of it, and in the most unexpected and sometimes bizarre way, I can honestly say my life is better for it. And soon enough, I may even have a new scarf.