Who needs flipping hormones? When you first encounter them, they sprout hair in embarrassing places, they pop pimples out on your face like they’re making fairy bread and you suddenly need deodorant. You find yourself obsessing about your hair, the opposite sex, your weight and the stupid clothes your mother makes you wear that makes you look even more like a dork than your stupid hair and it’s just not fair! The world is a wonderful, magical place when it isn’t conspiring against you, which happens more and more often and it’s just not fair!
As you get older you settle into some sort of rhythm and the swine hormones lull you into a false sense of security. But, one day it all happens again. They sprout hair in embarrassing places, while making you lose the good stuff that’s supposed to be there. Your weight goes bananas (at least that’s what I’m blaming it on). The world is a wonderful, magical place except when it’s conspiring against you, which happens more and more and it’s just not fair!
When the chemotherapy forced me into early menopause, once I’d got over the transition period, I was glad to be there. Trouble was when the hormones first waved goodbye I knew that the world was against me. Life was meaningless. The family were ungrateful, miserable, uncaring mongrels and they were lucky I didn’t have access to a firearm. Thankfully, the day I first popped on an oestrogen patch, they suddenly changed their attitudes and became their previous, loving selves.
I was glad to see the back of those pesky hormones. I guess I still had enough to keep the body functioning but not enough to rattle my cage. Oestrogen? PAH! Who needs you? Well, it turns out – I do!
The kind of cancer cell foraging in my ribs is oestrogen-receptive. One of the ways to keep it under control is to starve it of oestrogen. They have pills that do this for you. (Modern medicine is marvellous.) Unfortunately, the first pill they put me on inflamed my wrist tendon which made (and is still making) life a bit more difficult. I changed to a new inhibitor pill. The tendonitis is slowly improving but what’s the point? Life is conspiring against me. I don’t see the point in making any effort because no one appreciates it and it doesn’t achieve anything. I find myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. Sometimes all I have to do is look at the hat!
This week I had an agent do a flip on me. She said she’d be very happy to look at my manuscript. Then within 24 hours she changed her mind. Why? Because I thought it only polite to let her know I’d sent the ms to one publisher already. I did it because the publishing editor already knew and liked my work. Turns out this is a big no-no. The agent won’t take on anyone who has already submitted, whether the publisher rejects or accepts said manuscript. All I can say is that after I’d uncurled from the foetal position, and the sobbing had subdued, it was lucky for everyone that I don’t have access to a firearm.
Then I saw Dr P, my oncologist, yesterday. “How are you?” he said in his usual kindly manner. My eyes welled with tears. “I’m miserable,” I said. Then I was mad with myself…And then I was mad with the doc…Then I wanted to cry again… He said, “Let’s take you off the inhibitor for a couple of weeks and see if you feel better.”
On the way home I told the Old Boy I had a sudden craving for something chocolatey and sweet. For dessert I ate half a big block of chocolate and the rest of the night bouts of nausea rolled in like waves, interspersed with the occasional wave of anger, or utter misery.
Flippin’, flamin’, mongrel hormones! Can’t live with ’em and having trouble living without ’em. It seems mine are particularly attached to me. They refuse to let go of their hold on me and it could literally kill me. Can you shoot hormones? Would it help if I had access to a firearm?