adriene hughes pictured at the pugent sound, washington state

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

survivor book

Sweaty Little Balls

I found this picture of myself the other day. And boy did I cry! I thought of myself topped off with a tiara, all smiles, indulging in my internal happiness. Good times. I cried over many things, but mainly a moment of pathetic loss over my hair and my lackluster attitude. I remember being happy when that picture was taken.

For the rest of the day any little thing would set me off. I would cry in the car. I would cry brushing my teeth. I was aware my hot flashes had increased, and lurking in the background was an undertow I could not recognize. Then it came to me: my tears breaking without a moment’s notice were my menopausal swings! Then I had to laugh because thank you I am not bitchy, just weepy. Weepy. I had to laugh because despite the fact that I was, and am, experiencing what every woman knows is the inevitable, even in those hot moments nothing is worse than chemo. What else can I do but laugh? These sweaty moments are amusing to me, not painful, and the tears of unexpected grief are simply a gift, just a wash of experience endowed in a way that is diminished by the powers of chemo. Because let me tell you there is nothing worse than chemo. Nothing. Never can I look back on this time and complain about some unsettled sacrifice or source. I will always remember my personal tiara. May those rhinestones of internal happiness catch me smiling and laughing from those sweaty little balls balanced tenderly on the tip of my nose. Menopause. Really, it’s bad but it’s not that bad.

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