I took a giant leap forward in my journey to return to “normal” this week: I put on a bra. Yes, for the first time in 2 1/2 months, I was able to expand my wardrobe past the five large, baggy shirts I’ve been confined to wear to conceal my braless status. If you’re a man, you have no idea what this means to a woman. After all, we wear this confining contraption for men and fashion and a host of other reasons.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with the bra. I love the lift a bra gives but I hate underwires. I love the clothes that a bra allows me to wear, but I love the freedom leaving the bra behind gives me. Wearing a bra on brand new skin when it’s over 100 degrees out isn’t necessarily the best plan, but I managed to get through it without needing any new skin. I did ache a little after work. It wasn’t the best feeling in the world, but it was time to rejoin the world as a “properly” dressed woman.
I’ve started meeting with a nutritionist to deal with the weight issue. Surprisingly, I do not eat enough calories in the day, but even so, I find it nearly impossible to lose a significant amount of weight even when I make the effort. I have seen an endocrinologist and the medication I am on for my thyroid is keeping my levels fairly normal, so we are keeping on that track until I have a 3-month checkup in November.
My energy level increases every day and I feel better each day in general as well. I started taking Tamoxifen a week ago and it has delivered the four side effects I really could do without – road blocks to energy level (fatigue, but so far not as much as the radiation delivered), upset stomach/ZERO appetite, headaches and hot flashes. Hot flashes in 100+ degree weather is not fun. Having zero appetite when I’m supposed to be eating MORE makes it very difficult to make myself eat, though I’m trying to eat as the nutritionist instructs. Upset stomach and headaches do not help me get motivated to exercise, but I’m pushing as much as I can. I’ve been told these symptoms should dissipate over the coming weeks. I certainly hope so!
I also need to be patient with myself. I’ve been on a rush to get back to normal, but after four work nights in a row of not getting home until after 8 pm (and then trying to eat right) I was exhausted. The rest of my life will have to unfold a little more slowly if I want it to unfold for the long haul.