Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Turned Up the Heat? | Halifax, NS Breast Cancer Survivor

We sat in the cafeteria, catching up on the past few days.  We had had lunch together daily until I started my treatments.  Since I've headed back to work, Dy and I haven't had the opportunity to catch up over lunch, but today we jumped at the chance.  We talked about work, her kids, life in general.

Then I felt it.  The warmth.  All over.  It can't be that warm in here, I thought, we're in an air-conditioned building.  In a moment I stopped listening, curious as to what was happening.  Suddenly, my arm felt clammy and it dawned on me.  Dear God, I think I'm having my first hot flash!  I said it out loud.

Dy smiled a knowing smile.  She's been there.  For her, a side effect of chemo; for me, it's likely a side effect of Tamoxifen.   

I started taking Tamoxifen in June, once I had finished my radiation treatments.  It's one pill that I take every day.  There are lots of side effects to be on the look out for, some not pleasant, but I trust my oncologist's opinion that the good outweighs the bad.

I remember years ago when Mom was having her hot flashes.   We all sat at the dining room table, Mom's roast beef and mashed potatoes piled high, plates passed around as we each served ourselves... peas, carrots, gravy.  Suddenly, Mom jumps up from her chair and leaves the room.  She darts around the corner and we hear the door to the garage open.  Ahhhhhh, it dawns on us... another hot flash.  We laugh, not able to sympathize.  Moments later, Mom returns.  Her cheeks are flushed, but she smiles, picks up her fork, and continues her meal.

My hot flash was slight, hopefully they will all be so easy.  As I cooled off, Dy and I finished our meals, sharing stories now consisting of work, her kids, life in general, and cancer.

email:  karenk{at}


  1. Always Praying for you Karen!! You ate 10x stronger then I would be! I admire that!! Wish I could give you a hug! xo

  2. and how you can now sympathize with your mother????? great timing to have dy there for moral support! love you! smh

  3. How well I remember those days spent in the garage in the middle of winter, five minutes at a time, and it went on for years. Now you realize just what I was going through! Hope it doesn't last too long.