Hot Flashes During Cancer Treatment
At 3:30 (am!), the third one of the night has already hit: hot flashes.
Though I knew it was only a matter of time (because chemotherapy for F-Bomb Breast Cancer puts women into menopause), I was holding out hope that I might actually avoid one side effect of chemo: hilacious hot flashes. Nice try.
Lots of people (too many, in fact) have asked, “Have you had any hot flashes…YET“? There was a little part of me (ok, a big part of me) that wanted to jump up and down and say: NO…NOT YET!!! Maybe, just maybe, I won’t get them!!!
I can just imagine the chemo saying: “Na-Na-Na-Na-Naaaaaah-Na!”
They started two nights ago, though I didn’t exactly know what they were at the time. I woke up (like I am apt to do virtually every night), looked around our room, listened to The Husband and Buzz snore on either side of me, tapped my feet, counted sheep and hoped for sleep.
Then, I noticed that I felt really warm. Did The Husband crank up the heat, I wondered? Geez. H O T. I took off my little skull cap that I wear every night to keep my bald head warm (our daughter, Finally Five, calls it my “thinking cap”). Still hot. Then I shed my pajama top so that I was laying in my tank top. What on earth was going on? I managed to go back to sleep (sort of dozed, actually) and didn’t think much of it.
It occurred to me yesterday, when Dr. Henry Han at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic (no, I didn’t have to wait outside on the curb before seeing him: Silver Lining!), asked: “Have you had any hot flashes…yet?”
Ohhhhhh, that’s what’s happening.
Now, these aren’t the sweats of the sacred sweat lodge variety originated by the Native Americans (that include guided prayer, chanting, drumming, and spiritual cleanliness). This is more like: OMG, I’m on F-bomb fire. Call 9-1-1….Noooooow!
Tonight, 3:30 am. Here we go. Bye-bye, sleep.
I woke up to an over heated bald head. It felt so hot, in fact, that I thought I could fry a couple of eggs on it. …then toast a piece of Almond Bread and steam a pot of tea…all using the heat of my head.
In the meantime, off came the pajama top, socks, blanket…
As soon as that image was complete, things turned cold. Really cold. In an instant. Back on with the thinking cap, pajama top, socks and blanket…and the shivering started.
Really? REALLY? Oh, and I am WIDE awake. Good times here at Brookside.
The most effective way to manage hot flashes is through hormone replacement therapy, usually using estrogen. However, that isn’t going to work for me because my FBC is Estrogen Positive, which means that my cancer is fueled by this hormone. So I’m obviously not going to add it to my body.
Since today is chemo…did I forget to mention that? Sorry. Yes, today is my third round of chemo. A Silver Lining is that as of today I will be 50% DONE. Though I’ve always considered myself more of a 90% kind of gal (quite competitive before FBC), I’m THRILLED with 50%!
Anyway, though I’ve already researched some options, I’ll ask my Oncologist what he thinks would be best to relieve this hot-cold-hot-cold cycle. Though I’ve been immune to all other side effect eliminating options (i.e., for sleep and nausea, no drugs or alternative therapies have worked), a girl can continue to hope (SL!).
Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.
– George Carlin