Between a Rock and a Hard Place

You probably don’t want to read this post. It is full of frustration and indecision and fear. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day or good mood so seriously, you don’t have to read this. But I have to write this. I have to get all this out of my head and throw it into the universe. I am secretly hoping by doing this that I will magically be shown the path I should take. So here goes.

I had my doctor’s appointment on Friday and I got what I wanted, hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Only now I am afraid to take it. Let me start with the doctor. I have seen her a few times but I don’t really feel comfortable with her. I can’t be positive but she looks like she has had plastic surgery (face lift kind) and something that plumps lips. And she has blonde hair that looks dyed. I feel like I am looking at a Barbie doll. I am not questioning her competency or intelligence but it made me uneasy looking at her.

Secondly the office was really crowded and she was running rather late (I thought) for a 10:00am appointment. Things felt rather rushed I realized later. She asked me about getting tested for the breast cancer gene, how I wanted the therapy delivered and we talked the cost of bio-identicals. Bam, Bam Bam.

When I climbed into bed Friday night I realized I had made a pretty big decision in a rushed and ill-informed manner. I panicked and then told myself it wasn’t set in stone.

We were very busy Saturday, lots of errands and by the time we got home I was exhausted. I laid down on the bed and started crying. The fact that I am in a lose-lose situation hit home. I suppose an important fact I should add here is that my mother died of breast cancer at the age of 33. There can be no doubt that colors how I think.

And now it is Sunday morning. Spouse and small child went up to Phoenix for the Nascar race so I have the whole day to myself. I am still in my jammies, still in bed with my name on a homemade blueberry muffin. (Just waiting to digest my thyroid meds, about 1 hour.)

So let’s run through some scenarios:

SCENARIO ONE: I get tested for the breast cancer gene, find I have it and decline HRT. Now I get to continue to feel miserable and hear the ticking time bomb ALL THE TIME.

SCENARIO TWO: I get tested, don’t have it and take HRT. I feel better but still worry because frankly it seems like nothing conclusive has been discovered about HRT and cancer without the gene.

SCENARIO THREE: I don’t get tested and take the HRT. Will I still feel better? Or will all the worry about probably triggering cancer cells (if I have them) cancel that out?

SCENARIO FOUR: I don’t get tested and I don’t take HRT leaving me right where I am now. All I can do is hope that once menopause kicks in I feel better. Let’s say that takes another 2 1/2 years at most. (I’ll be 55 then, surely I will be in menopause?!) I have already survived 2 1/2 years of this craziness. My biggest fear is that the mood swings and irregular periods and hot flashes are going to get so much worse before subsiding. That is what triggered looking for help in the first place. I am afraid I am going to get worse and have the summer from hell. Life is too short to lose a whole summer if you don’t have to.

SCENARIO FIVE: I accept the crazy situation and move to a one room cabin (two with the bathroom) up in the mountains on a lake. I walk around the lake and do a photography project where I take a picture of the same tree everyday and document the changes until I am done with this phase of life. There are no inconveniences and keeping warm with just a woodstove is a piece of cake. I eat healthy by default only shopping at farmer’s markets and local places. I sleep when I am tired and hardly ever have to clean as it is just me. Okay, this isn’t a viable scenario but it is in my head so I am putting it out there.

And then there is the as yet unknown scenario. I think about how the anti-depressant made me so sick and wonder if I should try St. John’s Wort? Studies appear somewhat inconclusive but it is used a lot more in Europe. And yet I find myself hesitating. Has anyone out there used it? Can you share if it worked or not?

My biggest fear is what happens if I run out of hope? If have nothing left to try? I like to think I will be okay just soldiering on. If I continue the yoga and meditation and 10k steps I will survive one day at a time. And one day I will wake up and it will be like magic, my energy and enthusiasm and patience will be back.

For now I am holding tightly to that hope, it seems that is all I can do.

As for today, I will survive. Later I will get dressed and go to the library and pick up the copy of “Enchanted April” that I requested. A trip to Italy this afternoon seems to be just the thing. I have lots of happier posts to work on too and I figured out my next sketchbook idea which I am excited about. I will enjoy the peace and quiet and not having to cook. I’ll take a nap if I feel like it.

And now I wait patiently for the universe to send me my answer. Thank you for listening.

11 thoughts on “Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. Well, you didn’t ruin my day or my good mood. I feel like offering all kinds of good advice, but I don’t know if my advice is any good and anyways, most people don’t like to get advice unless it is what they wanted to do in the first place. I do like your cabin idea, but it may be difficult to implement. And you can feel free to vent to your blog readers any time. Picture me and others listening patiently and without judgement.

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    1. Thank you so much! You should offer all that good advice, you never know where what one needs to hear is going to come from. You could provide some tiny key piece of information that makes all the difference! Feels like the more I learn the more confused I get though! (That could just be my hormonally addled brain.) Scenario 5 is a long shot and even if I were rich and had a cabin there is my son to think of. I guess I stick with scenario 4 as long as I can. 😞

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      1. Yes, I thought of your son and husband when I read Scenario 5. One piece of advice I wanted to give was get tested: forewarned is forearmed. But if it would only make you worry, then perhaps that is bad advice. Also, there are MANY different anti-depressants. There might be another one that would benefit you. I’m on Celexa myself (actually the generic, Citalopram, I add in the interests of accuracy).

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      2. I was wondering if it would be worth it to try a different anti-depressant. I will put that on the something to think about list. I think if I was younger I would get tested but now I feel like my odds are the same as anyone my age. And what would I do if I knew? (besides worry). I am really not interested in a double preventive mastectomy and I already get a mammo every year and keep a regular hand on my lumpy breasts. I have had a few ultra-sounds to check out lumps that worried me, I don’t smoke etc. So I am not sure what I would do differently if I knew. But I really do appreciate your help and who knows, after letting things percolate in my brain a bit maybe I will get tested. Or ask my primary doc what she thinks, what difference it could make. Who know how much I don’t know about any of this! πŸ™‚ Thank you my blog friend!

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  2. First of all, I hope you feel better soon. I’m guessing we are close to the same age. I know what you’re feeling. I am using the Merina IUD, but not for birth control. My tubes are tied and it would be an immaculate conception anyway. I have it because it has hormones in it. Just a touch. I also use antidepressants. I’m not saying you need to. But I will say that if you weren’t happy with the doctor, it’s ok to get a second opinion. And your insurance should probably pay for it if that worries you. I just had the breast cancer question come up recently because of a sore on my breast. After worrying anout it for a few days I decided that the worrying was more damaging to my mind than what the actual results of the test would be. No matter what happens, just remember to breathe and it will work out how its supposed to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. It always makes me feel less alone to know others are going through something similar. So much contradictory info these days makes choices harder. I keep wondering how women survived in say the 40’s and 50’s. Did they really all just tough it out? Were their symptoms less severe? There is so little info about menopause in the past!

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