Pretty Little Magic

Dear Tamoxifen,

You better do all you say you are gonna do. I was told that you are responsible for keeping my slow-growing cancer at bay for the next 10 years. All I have to do is take you! That’s pretty simple. As in any relationship, I hear that you are planning to give me hot flashes, vaginal dryness, discharge, or irritation; and decreased interest in sex. Of course you will. If it’s not weight gain, it’s gotta be sex drive and everything else so intimate and personal.  Well, since we will be getting to know each other, I am going to accept you with an open mouth. But I really need to know something first.

Tell me why I didn’t acknowledge all the side effects of the birth controls I took when I was younger? I never put the pressure on Depo Provera or “the pill.” I didn’t care that breast cancer was a major side effect. Osteoporosis was the big scare, not breast cancer. I was poppin’ Tums like crazy to make sure my bones were made of steel.

I don’t mean to hold you to such high standard, but I’m just a little more cautious…. scared… worried…. concerned….. Psych! No, I’m not. I’m not any of those emotions. I’m just not ignorant anymore. I’m watching you.

But I wasn’t watching for side effects this weekend when I had a couple cocktails then ate three bags of Combos, a Pop Tart, and some pizza. Don’t care about all the plastic I’m ingesting every time I drink from a bottle of water… or use the microwave… or slave over cleaning with chemicals.. I’m sorry I don’t smoke or do any recreational drugs to admit that I ignored those warning labels too.

You know what, Tamoxifen? I think I’m gonna just take [you] for the team because I sound ridiculous. I beat myself up daily about taking my medicine, but I’m too lazy to cook myself a meal with fire, on a stove. Too lazy and too snobby to drink water from the tap, that is regularly tested and can be publicly verified. I’d rather drink plastic pieces from a deteriorating plastic bottle because it is much more convenient, and “sealed”… with a kiss! HA! Didn’t really notice the smell of bleach, or the oven cleaner. It only ate away at my fingers because I forgot to wear gloves.

Anyway, you win. I will take you with pride, Tamoxifen. You have this cute little bottle cap that makes me smile every time I see you. And you are allowing me to live with a better piece of mind. Your benefits outweigh your risks. It’s no longer a benefit to take Depo Provera just so I won’t get pregnant. I freakin’ got pregnant anyway! It’s a benefit to see that “oopsie daisy pregnancy” come to life. So, thank you Tamoxifen for protecting me from cancer for now. I will handle the side effects as they come, but this time with a new awareness.

I am older and wiser now. And to the depths of my soul, I will continue to remind myself not be prude. Not now. I will choose my battles more wisely.


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