Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Still Searching for Normal
On Sunday I was going to post about how good I felt because I thought I could just see normal around the corner. I went for a morning walk. I have four routes around my neighborhood that I generally follow. There's the quick walk around the neighborhood that takes me past my son's middle school. There's the slighter longer walk that I think of as a big rectangle. There's the walk to the library - longer than the other two and has the advantage of an uphill walk on the way back that really gives my legs a work out. And there's the LONG walk that I only do on weekends when the weather is nice. I've not clocked it yet, but I think it's at least a couple of miles and it takes me well over an hour to complete.
As I've been getting back into my walking routine I've been sticking to the quick walk, the one by the school. I never seem to know when the dizzy spells will hit and I didn't want to get sick while walking. On Sunday, I decided to go for the slightly longer walk. I figured that if I did get sick, I could always stop and sit down if needed. So off I went. I clocked it. It's 1.67 miles and it took me just over 30 minutes. Yea! I didn't get sick. And I felt great. Normal's just hanging out around the corner.
Well, Murphy (yeah that dang Murphy hang's out at my house way too much) was laughing at me. On Sunday night we met friends for dinner, drinks and the hot tub. Note to self: apparently tamoxifen doesn't like some drinks and doesn't think too kindly about hot tubs either. Not only did I get sick, but I ended up hyperventilating and had the chills - that's a switch from the hot flashes. It was embarrassing and frustrating.
Yesterday, I could breath without scaring everyone, but I was exhausted, dizzy and still having random bouts of nausea. At one point, I wanted to close my office door and crawl under my desk and just sleep. I know, I could have gone home. The library would have still been there, but I'm trying to save my leave as I don't know how much, if any, work I'll miss due to the radiation. And my third graders are finishing up a research project. (I'm not a martyr - really - I just feel guilty when I miss work, because really - I don't think I'm ill enough to justify being out.)
This morning, I'm still feeling the after effects. I've been nauseous since I woke up at 4 a. m. That's a little different. Usually the nausea passes after a minute or two.
I did google the side effects of tamoxifen AGAIN. This time I found out that it can cause weight loss - the first time I googled it, I found out it can cause weight GAIN. Depending on which site you look at - alcohol and caffeine make the side effects worse or it can have no impact at all. And there's a whole laundry list of other side effects that I could experience. I hate reading those things. Because then I feel like my mind will play tricks on me and I'll think I have them, even if I don't. I guess I just need to keep track of what's happening to me. Everyone is different. My side effects might not be the same as someone else. Over all, I'm still glad I'm taking tamoxifen and not going through chemo.
This weekend I'm going to try an experiment. I'll cut out all alcohol and caffeine for a week. I've read that for some women that can help with the hot flashes. If it does, then I guess I'm going de-caf for the next five years. If it doesn't then I'm going back to full strength coffee.