|Photo by Parris Blue Productions|
***warning: "female" issues are discussed below***
My mock-PMS symptoms got worse, and now seem to be better--if only I could eat a celebration cupcake. Have you ever met someone and the first thing you thought was "Whelp, I am not going to like her."? Enter my new OBGYN--she has great references, seems to be doing well and is probably a nice person. But I have been pretty crazy this past week and she seems to enjoy the Botox. I don't mind pap smears, I actually like vaginas a lot and want to be sure mine is in tip-top shape (since my boobs went AWOL, I want to keep my ovaries in line). Also, there is a risk of developing ovarian cancer when taking the estrogen blocking pill that I will begin in August, after I complete my Herceptin infusions--it is a small percentage. Also, because my tumors were estrogen positive I am at a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer anyway--if I wasn't in the 'childbearing' age group it would be recommended that I have them removed, which I may still choose to do at another time. Anyway, I needed an exam and a primary doc so I went to see her. I had 3 mini-meltdowns of crying and not being able to catch my breath during my hour visit--so I am sure I came off as a crazy person (I did tell her I was a therapist...not sure if that hurt or helped my situation).
After I was on the table, feet in the stirrups she asks when my last chemo was. Then she says that she isn't going to do an exam because in her experience when they are done so close to having finished chemo the results come back as needing more tests and it is because the cervical cells turn over.....which I strongly feel could have been told to me prior to the stirrups. Then she peeks over the paper skirt I was wearing and tells me "You are going to think I am crazy" (well at least then we would be in the same boat) "but when you get out of the shower I want you to insert Crisco in your vagina and on your inner labias"..............................yep. Is that too much info? Does that make you uncomfortable? Well think how I felt. So as a result of chemo (and the menopausal state I am currently in) the vagina does some funky stuff and apparently the Crisco will help bring it around (like mayo for your hair?). But I am not making cookies down there, so I am going to pass.....for now.
Then, while I was in a fit of tears, she suggests I start an anti-depressant/anxiety medication. Not really in the place to refuse, as I was wiping my snotty nose on my sweatshirt sleeve because I couldn't find the damn kleenex I had in my hand earlier and had rubbed into shreds. She stated that it has also been shown to decrease hot flashes (and the panicky feeling I get at night when I wake up with one). I am aware that many of the symptoms I have experienced off and on are similar to PTSD, which makes some sense considering cancer and treatment was both a trauma to my mind and body....and since my hormones are all crazy, something that may help even them out (or at least trick my brain into thinking they are) may be in order. I am going to try it for 30 days and see what happens---if I stop breaking into fits of tears, fall asleep before 4:30am or have the energy to work out (once my body decides to cooperate)--or even 1 out of 3I will be happy. I can worry about getting back to my natural rhythm when my hormones kick in and I start a cycle again.
I will continue to see the Crisco Queen and see how it goes---for one reason: she told me that she is amazed how oncologists don't tell patients what a hard road it can be after chemo. How the shock to your systems is tremendous, and comes out of a no where because you think it is all behind you, afterall you survived chemo. How she understands the amount of pressure that I put on myself to get back to "normal".