Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Devil You Know

The past few weeks have been filled with a back and forth debate in my head between logic and common sense.  No makin' fun of me and saying a woman with common sense & logic is like a $3 dollar bill (I've heard it before!).

While I do have common sense, in all honesty Maude and I choose to exercise it when convenient.  So there.   Logic?  Totally different story.  Never been my strong suit, and when you factor in that I'm a woman (who used to have a period) now in menopause, well let's just be honest: logic is out the freaking window 99% of the time.  And I'm at peace with that.

What I have been debating, researching, talking about and wrestling with is whether or not I REALLY want to take an additional hormone suppressing medication.  I pull a hair out of my chin almost daily now, I'm not in the business of wanting to shave my whole damn face.

I discovered after my surgery (because as previously mentioned I don't often use common sense) that having my ovaries removed at age 40 causes all kinds of other issues, aside from just the daily joy of menopause.  It's loads of fun for the whole family!

Aside from reducing my risk of breast and ovarian cancer (eliminating that baby entirely) and uterine cancer ('cause I had that worthless POS yanked out too) I'm now signed up for increased risk of bone loss, heart disease, glaucoma (although a legal excuse for me to finally try marijuana…..not that I would….well maybe in a brownie) and joint pain.

Do you know what happens if I take another hormone suppressing drug?  Magnify my risks above by 10.  No thank you.  Had I known the risks of the complete hysterectomy, I'm pretty sure I would have done the exact same thing.  No doubt about it. 

But now we're splitting some very gray hairs here…..I  have a 10% chance of breast cancer coming back.  With hormone suppression therapy it drops to 5%.  FIVE PERCENT.  If it would 100% guarantee me a get out of jail free card, I'd take it.  And be glad.  And put up with all the crappy short and long term side effects.

But it doesn't, and it won't and to be honest Id rather roll the dice, put all my chips on black and hope to hell I win.  The short and long term side effects in my logical, common sense opinion, do not outweigh the benefits.  I'd rather risk it with the Devil I Know.

That devil was a slow growing hormone receptive cancer, one whose ass I started kicking the day I decided to live a healthier life, months before I ever even found it.  A life that, to this day, I continue to lead.  Regardless of how many other medications I'm told to take, my life will still be filled with annual screenings of my breast tissue to see if that little devil has come back.  Pill or no pill, I'll be checked.

Believe me when I say this (unless genetics reveals something entirely different) I hold the firm believe that farting around with my hormones for almost 20 years with varying methods of birth control, combined with the fact that I had a fairly sedentary lifestyle (and 50 extra pounds of fat all over my body) and then just top that off with the heaping pile of processed soy products I ingested for five months and you've got the recipe that I know is what caused those nasty old cells in my old boobies turned into cancer.  You'll never convince me otherwise.

I, Amy Maude Little, have a 90% chance of cancer not coming back, I'm a million times healthier than I ever was before, have done everything I can aside from taking another pill to mess around with my hormones, do not see the benefit of 5% reduction in risk so I can end up with such severe joint pain, glaucoma, bone density loss or heart disease that I can't run or exercise or be healthy the way I have learned to be.

No, I'm not taking another medication destined to cause more health issues for me.  I'm done, ready to move on, but continuing the fight in my own way, on my own terms.  

The way I see it, I've got the same chance of getting it now that I had before when I got it the first time.  And I'm physically not the same but in a very good way, and in my heart of hearts I know that IF I were to get breast cancer again I'll kick it's ass all over again.  And I'm not afraid.

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