Oh, Hormones, You Are Merciless…

Yeah, they just don’t quit. I’m a swamp when I wake up. More hours of daylight seems to mean more hot flashes. Flashes, did I say? ‘Flash’ implies something that lasts a minute or less. I’m having hot episodes.

I like to think that I’m feeling the side effects so acutely because there’s so little cancer left, and those crazy little hormones gotta go somewhere and do something. I used to try to follow a policy of not sweating the small stuff. Well, now I sweat all the stuff.

But I can stand it. It’s life––messy, sloppy, not always tidy or comfortable or presentable, even kinda smelly.

Love (and sweat) like you’ve never been hurt (or cold); work (and sweat) like you don’t need the money (for anti-perspirant); dance (and sweat) like nobody’s looking (horrified).

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13 thoughts on “Oh, Hormones, You Are Merciless…

  1. The one advantage I found when my I went bald, was that I cooled down much quicker without the insulating properties of a head of hair!

    But hot flushes are preferable to cancer.

    • It doesn’t seem to make much difference for me, although I suspect it’s the dosage And yeah, I’ll happily tolerate all of it rather than cancer!

  2. I get a hoot out of wellness articles that claim my iPhone or the light in the hallway is “decreasing the quality of my sleep.” Quality? I wake up every 45 minutes during the night, drenched. To get 8 hours, which I need to do, I have to budget 9 hours in bed. I think it’s working… if only my feet would warm up along with the rest of my body…

    • I hear you. I don’t remember the last time I slept through a night without waking up at least once, usually two or three times. Then there are the occasional bouts of insomnia. That’s rare for me––if they ever make sleeping an Olympic event, I’ll medal in every event and then turn pro. But every so often, I’ll find myself wide awake at Ungodly O’Clock, and still not sleepy at Stupid O’Clock.

      What the hell, it’s a living.

  3. I hear you. I don’t remember the last time I slept through a night without waking up at least once, usually two or three times. Then there are the occasional bouts of insomnia. That’s rare for me––if they ever make sleeping an Olympic event, I’ll medal in every event and then turn pro. But every so often, I’ll find myself wide awake at Ungodly O’Clock, and still not sleepy at Stupid O’Clock.

    What the hell, it’s a living.

  4. Sweaty ? That’s me 😀 That’s when I dance, and I don’t care if people are horrified (thanks to my hero : Pat C.). Last time, at the end of De Staat concert, I girl gave me a kiss even though I was drenched. So let’s sweat, so the toxins go.

  5. I had hot flashes for years…. like over a DECADE…. before they discovered my cancer, and I’m convinced that was connected. They were so intense my partner could be clear across the room and spot it happening to me – beet red, sweating so hard it dripped from my hair like I’d climbed out of the shower, and they would go on and on and on… We went to Franz Josep glacier, and I’ve got a photo of me standing at the mouth of the glacier in a singlet while everyone else is wearing padded ski jackets and gloves and hats and I wanted to build a house on the ice and LIVE there. Nights were a misery; we bought this special mattress that’s supposed to suck away the heat and spread it around (which never quite worked that way), and it was a regular routine for me to get up in the night and just go walk around to cool off, both me and the bed. Chemo bald didn’t actually help that much, either; everything from the scalp down roasted while the top of my head and ears froze. Nearly three years, hair is back, the flashes have finally started to fade away, I can sleep (sometimes) with my partner snuggled up against my back and his arm around me and not want to kill him. I’m only slightly ahead of you on this race, Pat, and this is me, waving back and saying good news, it gets cooler up ahead!

    • I had hot flashes when I entered puberty. It’s rare but not unheard of. I had no idea what they were and I didn’t tell anyone, as I had other, more urgent things to contend with––I had also started wetting my pants. Years later, I learned this happens to some girls when the hormones start rearranging themselves. I wish I’d known at the time because it would have saved me a lot of embarrassment, and more than a few punishments.

      My hot flashes started in my late 30s but they didn’t get really bad until I passed forty. I had a hot flash on a transAtlantic flight once and I had to reassure the flight attendant who witnessed it that really, there was no need to notify the pilot that a passenger had taken ill. After I emigrated, a blood test showed I was peri-menopausal in my mid-forties, so I started taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and that saved my sanity. HRT did put me at slightly higher risk for breast cancer and gynaecological cancers like this one but if I had it to do over again, I’d still take HRT. It’s definitely not for everyone but for me it was a godsend. I took it for ten years and then weaned myself off it.

      For the benefit of anyone reading this who might be able to use the information: One of my favourite gps, Dr Panja––known as Dr. Ayan (his first name) when he appears on the BBC (for the benefit of my UK friends)––told me that I could try filling the void left by HRT with soya supplements and evening primrose oil. However, once I was through menopause, I was fine…until I got cancer the first time. After the hysterectomy, I discovered menopause all over again. But it was pretty mild and had died away by the time the cancer came back. Then I started taking hormones and ‘Jeez, can we open a window?’ became my mantra.

      I’m afraid that, unlike you, I’m going to be overheating routinely for the foreseeable future. The side-effects are going to continue for as long as I’m taking hormones–I thought they’d wear off eventually but I was wrong. However, the hormones are kicking my cancer’s ass big-time so I can tolerate having a crazy thermostat that suddenly and without warning goes to eleven.

      Wasn’t that fascinating? Aren’t you glad you got out of bed this morning? I know I am.

    • Oh, and in case I haven’t mentioned it lately, I appreciate your sharing the benefit of your experience with me more than I can say. Our respective routes through Cancerland have slightly different terrain but thanks to you, I was far more prepared for the chemo experience than I would have been otherwise.

      You helped me so much. It was only after I finished chemo that I fully realised the degree to which you had helped me prepare for it. I should tell you that more often.

  6. And thanks to you when I had a scan recently, the word contrast was mentioned. Thanks to you, I got the injected version in the back of my hand. Strangely the side effects were heat and a feeling like I peed myself. Luckily the kind radiographer warned me ahead of time of these effects. So thank you Pat.

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