over the last few days i had started happily drifting into Denial, beginning to believe, like everyone who was happy for me, that this was over. but then that small bit of me that annoyingly maintains self-awareness insisted on asking why, although i had filled the prescription, i have not yet taken a single tablet of arimidex.
my oncologist had mentioned months ago, in passing, that her patients tell her that it makes them tired, that it makes their joints hurt, that it makes them feel old. i was in chemo. i wasn't listening. except i guess i was.
the plan is to take arimidex for five years. my tumor (yes, my tumor) like a majority of breast cancer tumors, is estrogen-sensitive, meaning it needs estrogen to grow. younger women who have not yet gone through menopause take tamoxifen, which cruelly throws them immediately into a forced menopause. since a woman's body continues to make a small amount of estrogen in ways other than through her ovaries, women who have already gone through menopause take an aromatase-inhibitor, which soaks up every last bit of estrogen.
there are one-hundred-year-old women out there with more estrogen than i will have.