A Milestone

Five years…   I have officially completed five years of Tamoxifen, the drug used to block estrogen receptors in my breast tissue.   I remember that first day August 18, 2005…just before a 1000 mile trip to Taos, NM to begin a yearlong writing project…less than two weeks before the devastating Hurricane Katrina 300 miles away…

But  that little white pill was the only thing on my radar.  I would need to take it twice a day for five years.  Now,  just after discovering that my breast cancer may have been triggered by the hormone replacement therapy pills I had loyally taken for five years.

“Do you know how hard it was to put that first pill in my mouth?” I asked my soft spoken oncologist this morning.

He smiled.

“I cried off and on the whole first day. And didn’t really stop until I got to Taos.”

Maybe sharing that magical town with creative people was the diversion I needed.

However before leaving NM I hear of a powerful hurricane heading toward the southern part of my state.  In the time it took me to drive home,  Katrina had hit, the levee had broken and large parts of New Orleans were underwater.

My fear of Tamoxifen subsided, and life continued to unfold.  The routine of taking pills was now just that–routine.

However, this morning there’s something new.  It’s  sparkly and twinkling, like a flicker of the big picture.


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