I just feel like ‘talking’ today, so I’m gonna just start typing and see what comes out. Consider yourself warned.
Life has slowed me down for the day. This body of mine has slowed me down.
I am on a drug called Tamoxifen. It is prescribed for women who have had ER+ cancer. I’ve committed to taking it for 5 years, I am 1 1/2 years in. It is protective against cancer, but comes with side effects.
Even though it blocks the receptors of estrogen, which is why it is prescribed for cancer patients, it also raises the level of estrogen in the body. We all know unbalanced hormones can wreak havoc on the body, both physically and emotionally. I am doing ok emotionally, a bit down & ‘quiet.’ Most of my struggle lately is physical, which really if I am honest about it, eventually ends up effecting me emotionally.
These upset hormone levels are causing multiple ovarian cysts to form and shrink with each cycle. Some of the cysts stay small and behave, but during some cycles they grow large (4- cm) and push on other organs in the body. Where the ovaries are located, there just is not much room to add another 4 cm mass, so it makes itself known in the form of nerve pain in my hip area, a gut that looks 4 months pregnant, and can cause extreme pain during digestion/elimination. It causes me to wake up 4-5 times a night to use the bathroom, as the bladder is also in that area and these cysts can be space bullies.
Yesterday evening and today have been my worst days for pain. If this continues my plan of action is to have shots that shut down my ovaries temporarily. It may be the way to go, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. It would mean instant menopause. Maybe that would be ok. I am already having some of the most dreaded symptoms of menopause-hot flashes have gotten much worse recently, another beautiful side effect of Tamoxifen and sign that my hormones are whack. I am going to commit to praying for wisdom in this area, to know if I should move forward with the shots or not. I was at this point 3 months ago, but then the most painful symptoms behaved for a while, so I wait.
This is all part of my new normal.
It really is tiring to still be adjusting to a new normal. You would think that I would just get it and submit to what is, but it is an emotional battle. Oh man, that feels so familiar as I type it. I know I have said this numerous times before. Ugh.
On one hand, I feel so extremely grateful for life, and so thankful for this body of mine and how God designed us to heal and mend. I feel quite content when I really think about what could be and what is.
But finding contentment in the midst of physical pain is a challenge for me. I like to feel good. I like to feel like I have energy. I don’t like that my new normal includes a daily nap, and if I don’t get one I am checked out of life by 7 or 8pm. I keep thinking “if I just eat right, if I just exercise, if I just…” But I am finding that even doing all of those things, I am not able to “fix” my physical symptoms. They are drug related and drug induced.
I write this not just for my own therapy-ha-but to keep a record of the on-goingness of it all. I also know that I am not alone in these struggles. I asked on my personal FB page about other survivor sisters who are on this drug & what they are experiencing. I had so many respond with their own struggles & symptoms. It broke my heart. One sweet, strong sister ended her comment by saying “I went from feeling great to feeling tired & old.”
So now what?
Well, for today, I am marinading in these verses I read last night:
2 Corinthians 12:10-12 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
~I am going to continue to work on opening my pouting, clinched fists & claim the verse above, that “when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~I am going to take my opened hand and allow the God of the Universe to hold it, and we will sit awhile today.
~I will be ok with the sitting, and listen in the stillness to the voice of the one holding my hand.
~I will give thanks for my weakness, for it causes me to stop and hear.
~I will rest in the fact the “He knows the plans He has for me.”
~I will feel his supernatural power as we hand hold, and use it to calm the fear of pain that I have.
~I will not feel guilty for resting, but thankful that I have the time to rest.
~I will think of others I know in far worse circumstances than I am in, and I will lift them up to the Creator.
~I will do these things because I will have the time, thanks to my weakness.
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”