…seems to be the story of my life right now. It’s become a daily, sometimes hourly, struggle to find a comfortable body temperature. So much so that I frequently find myself looking around a room and wondering “is it hot in here, or is it just me?”. The culprit…..hot flashes.
My hot flashes have unfortunately come back with a vengeance as of lately. If you remember back to last summer / fall, I had was about 2 months into taking tamoxifen when I was really struggling with hot flashes as a result of the change in my hormones. After talking with my doctor, we came up with a reasonable compromise. I would continue taking my tamoxifen…despite my every desire to quit…and he would allow me to lower my dosage.
I started out at 10mg every other day back in September. It’s taken me almost 7 months, but I’m officially back up to the recommended dosage of 20mg every day. It’s been about 4 weeks and I’m definitely feeling the effects of the devil drug screwing with my hormones.
There’s about a 0.2 degree range that I’m actually comfortable in right now. The hot flashes come on in waves so strong that I break out in a sweat in a matter of 10 seconds. Fortunately, they seem to be more intense throughout the course of the night in the privacy of my own home. Unfortunately, that means I’m waking up with sweat dripping down my back, legs, boobs, etc about 6 times a night….and it’s every bit as disgusting as it sounds.
I’ve always been a “hot” girl. Life pre chemo and tamoxifen still involved a personal struggle with finding a comfortable temperature zone, it was just a fraction of the size of an issue as it is now. Not only are the hot flashes frustrating, they’re also embarrassing at times. Welcome to my life….
In talking to a few co-workers last week, I had a hot flash come on so strongly that I almost passed out. I had to brace myself on a filing cabinet for fear of falling over because I was so light-headed. And for a few seconds, I thought there was a very good chance my poor co-workers were going to get a front row seat to the remnants of last night’s dinner vomited all over the carpet. And I haven’t even touched on the sweating yet. After regaining my balance, I had to excuse myself to go get a fresh change of clothes, because I had sweat dripping down every inch of my body. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.
I was at least wearing dark clothing so any noticeable sweat was concealed…which unfortunately is not always the case. I was being interviewed (for something I’ll talk about in one of my next few blogs) recently and literally had to put the interview on hold because I was having such a bad hot flash that I started to sweat through my shirt. The camera man asked if I had gotten something on my shirt to which I replied and let him know it was just boob sweat as a result of an untimely hot flash. Talk about humiliating.
I’m hopeful as my body adjusts to the increased dosage, the hot flashes will subside a little. I’m not naïve enough to think that they’ll go away entirely, but would definitely welcome a slight reprieve.
Photos from 71 weeks post chemo are below…you can see my attempts at actually styling my hair