I have been quiet while having to deal with some health issues related to the hormone therapy.
I found out today that I will be having a total hysterectomy end June/early July. The sincere hope is that once my ovaries are gone, my hormones will settle down and I can get back to feeling like myself again.
In the meantime, the hormone therapy has more or less crashed my entire system. Because stopping the hormone therapy is not an option (the shot lasts until May), I have had to be treated with medication for the side effects. Almost 4 weeks later, I seem to be finally starting to get to a functional point.
I say functional. The psychiatrist who is treating me calls it ‘presenteeism’–it’s one step up from absenteeism. Instead of being absent from my life, I am there, just not really participating.
To be perfectly honest, I have never felt worse in my life–including during chemo, radiation, and after surgery. And I feel helpless to do anything about it, I can only manage it.
Slowly, the mental health issues are improving, but unfortunately the physical ones are not. I am exhausted. I am ready for bed at 6 pm after a full day of work. It takes almost 12 hours for me to feel refreshed. When I am awake, my energy is fairly fleeting. It has improved a little in the last week (likely due to the medication), but it is still very restrictive. I also ache all over. If you have ever had aches from a fever, that is what I feel like all the time. That in itself is exhausting. Usually by 2 pm I have to take some ibuprofen to take the edge off. I also have frequent headaches and right now the hot flashes are fairly frequent.
At least now, I have a general time frame to aim for when things might get better. I say might because there is no way to know how my body will respond to surgical menopause versus chemical menopause, but there is a good chance that without my ovaries causing fluctuating hormone levels, things will stabilize and be more controllable.
This also makes very real for me something I have been avoiding–I will never have children. It was highly unlikely before, but this makes it an absolute ‘no’. In many ways I am grieving for the children I will never have, and I have to acknowledge and give myself time to do that.
To be perfectly honest, I am not really sure if I ever would have had children or if it was something I wanted to do, but I took comfort in having the option. There is a lot more to that, but there are some things I need to keep to myself :).
I do have some dance news.
After I decided to stop dancing, I did go and advertise for a partner in the area where I live. The response, I am sad to say was two offers for sex and one guy who was genuinely interested in dance, but who also was looking more for a relationship. It was disappointing, but not really more than I expected, to be honest.
I had a fairly significant breakdown shortly after making my decision.
As part of that, I spent a lot of time discussing dance and what it means to me with my health care professionals. They encouraged me to reevaluate and to talk to another dancer in the community. They also pointed out that since my system was so depressed, no matter how much I might want to, I would never be able to see the good side to dance, only the bad.
It took a lot of talk, both with an amateur dancer who has also had breast cancer and previously danced pro/am herself when her partner was unwell, and talking with Boss, in addition to the health care professionals.
In the end, I decided to start writing. I wrote about what led me to dance, what I enjoy about it, what I want from it, where I am, where I want to be, what I think of pro/am, how I want to learn–in short, 10 pages about dance, going through everything.
It was the most comprehensive evaluation of dance I have ever done, and it occurred to me that throughout my sickness I have had to reevaluate almost every area of my life–but I have never reevaluated dance.
It was long overdue, and it revealed a lot about what I really want and it is quite different from what I was doing and the direction I was going.
I don’t want to say more on that for now, but the evaluation is on-going.
One of the biggest obstacles I am encountering right now is actually the lack of energy, but I hope it will get better.
We shall see. But now I seem to have something of a timeline for when this nightmare might end.
And so I fight on…