I am filled with fear that the hormone therapy is having very negative side effects.
I did end up going to see the doctor again today about my sinuses and he prescribed some antibiotics as the weekend made clear that they are now quite likely infected. With some luck, I should start to feel better by Wednesday.
But my fear is that the sinus infection is really only going to clear up the pain and pressure in my sinuses, but that the fatigue and achiness, and general listlessness and depression will remain.
I do expect some side effects from the hormone therapy, but at the same time I have to be able to have some quality of life and at least right now I don’t have that.
I am willing to believe that some of what I am feeling is due to being sick, but at the same time it would be naive of me to think that it is all the sinus infection.
My biggest concern is that I am pretty sure the hormone therapy is making me depressed and that to counter that it will be necessary to take anti-depressants. I want to be clear that it is not the stigma of mental health that worries me, but the need to add yet more chemicals to my body to counter the effects of chemicals I am already forced to add to my body. On top of that, anti-depressants have their own list of side effects and I am limited in those I can take because of the hormone therapy. It’s just a big overwhelming mess and a road I really don’t want to go down.
But if I am realistic with myself, I am struggling a lot more than I should be right now. I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I have started a new (old) position at work and I can’t seem to generate any excitement about it. I go to practice dance and I wonder what the point is and I have no interest in what I am doing. I am going through the motions like a robot. I am working on a masters in a subject I usually feel very passionate about but can’t seem to motivate myself to do the readings or assignments. I am usually very consistent about getting to the gym and doing strength training but I have no motivation for that either.
And while it seems like I am doing a lot, I have not been able to do even half as much as I was able to do previously. I am very frustrated with that. On top of that, despite being on the medication to promote weight loss for 4 months, my weight has barely budged–even with good (and prescribed) diet and regular exercise.
As time goes by, I find myself wondering more and more if I should just accept that the life I knew is over. I should just be resigned to being overweight and heavy and feeling terrible.
So many people have been so supportive, but I feel rather guilty when they tell me over and over that I am so strong and brave for fighting and conquering cancer. Yes, I was able to be strong and brave and had great support, but it seems that the price you pay for beating cancer is to feel miserable for the rest of your life. That is the truth of my experience. I am constantly beat down by my health no matter how hard I work to make it better and I am tired.
In fact, I am honestly completely exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well since my last shot to the point where I have been waking frequently throughout the night. I was almost able to stop taking my insomnia medication (a big step back), but now I am finding it necessary to increase back to a full dose to see if that helps me sleep through the night.
I am not completely sure where to turn for this. I almost have too many doctors. Is this a problem for the oncologist? My family doctor? The mental health nurse? It seems like if I go to one, I will be referred to another. I am not scheduled to see the oncologist until April, and I am to see my family doctor next week. Because of the sinus infection, I feel like I have missed far too much work due to illness, which is one of the issues I was sent back to this position to fix.
Regardless, it is obvious to me that I cannot continue living like this. Part of me want to wait a couple days and see what goes away with the sinus infection, but the other part is very concerned that nothing but the pain and pressure in my face will leave.
I find that I am constantly trying to find something to get excited about–whether dance or work or school–and everything keeps falling short. Once again I had a lesson where I found myself unable to concentrate and Boss had to repeatedly make changes to what we were working on. At one point, I had a hot flash so bad while working on a standard exercise I had to push Boss away because I felt like his body heat was suffocating me. That said, we do have a section of a rumba routine to add to the waltz routine from last week.
I just want things to get better and stay that way for a while.
That isn’t too much to ask, is it?