Tomorrow, my friend Mackenzie and I will be interviewed by News Channel 13’s Ginny Ryan on our experiences with breast cancer as young women-thanks to Holly Anderson from the Breast Cancer Coalition for setting this up! I’m looking forward to it because I’m hoping it can inspire young women to become more in touch with their bodies and more in tune with all aspects of their health. With Breast Cancer Awareness month in full swing, I’m getting pretty sick of the “get your mammogram!” crap, because that only applies to women 40 and older… What about those of us in our 20’s? Mammograms don’t do jack shit for us. I went to urgent care for a lump in my arm pit in JANUARY, and was essentially told that because I’m not overweight, not a smoker, and don’t have a strong family history, this lump was unlikely anything to be concerned with, but was instructed to “keep an eye on it”… That was in JANUARY. I was diagnosed with aggressive invasive breast cancer in April. My story is not unique. I know so many young women who were essentially told that because of their age, their “little problem” was probably nothing. Yes, breast cancer in young women is rare, but it’s becoming more and more common, probably due to the fact that our environment is full of xenoestrogens, garbage food that is so widely available and harmful chemicals that are in everything from plastic containers to the shampoos we use, that wreak havoc on our developing bodies…. So, yes, it’s rare, but it seems as though everywhere I turn, younger and younger women are being diagnosed with this disease. So. I am looking forward to the interview. I’m going to have to be really conscious of my language tho, since my inclination to swear like a sailor on the subject of all things breast related is pretty strong these days.
I am so grateful Mackenzie and I crossed paths, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence either.
After a lengthy discussion with my oncologist yesterday, I decided to begin Lupron injections to create a true menopausal environment in my body, so that I can eventually take an aromatase inhibitor instead of the tamoxifen. This might be TMI but the last period I had on the tamoxifen was the most miserable experience I’ve had in a long time-I’m pretty sure my ovaries had box cutters in their hands and were trying to slice their way out of my body. I was essentially crawling around the house on all fours for about 4 hours, in tears from the pain. Finally I decided, fuck this shit, I’m taking a hydrocodone from my surgery. In general, tamoxifen seems to make me pretty miserable. And I’m sure menopause at 27 won’t make me shit rainbows and see the world through rose colored glasses either, but I’m willing to try a different drug to treat the hormonal aspect of the disease. So. I’ll be doing Lupron injections once every 28 days (Mackenzie said she used to turn her injection day into her “treatyoself” day, so I might just do the same). Once my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels get to a certain place, I’ll be able to switch to an aromatase inhibitor (aromatase inhibitors are only available to post menopausal women, hence the need for the Lupron injections to put me in menopause so that I can take the aromatase inhibitor). So, Lupron, then aromatase inhibitor, and then a bone density pill to counteract bone density loss. I’m not thrilled with the idea of all this. But I’m willing to give it a try for the time being.
Puppy love makes it all better.