They start in the morning but come infrequently until the afternoon. By evening, they plague me in waves, starting up my chest, overwhelming me with heat until I am literally dripping sweat.
I almost took my clothes off at my son's birthday party two nights ago (thus ensuring years of therapy in his future).
I am experiencing what some call "faux menopause." The chemo has shut down my ovaries, my periods have stopped and I am experiencing some spectacular hot flashes.
The night of my son's birthday (when, in my defence, I was under some stress), I also became convinced that my spouse was not being adequately sympathetic, that he just didn't get it, that in fact he was not being nearly supportive enough. And I told him so. Then I remembered that there are other menopausal symptoms. My poor spouse.
I have two friends who claim that they're respective partners have offered to go out in the middle of the night, in the thick of snowstorms to replace empty menopause-related prescriptions, such is the spousal fear of menopausal mood swings. My friends are both lovely women (and two of my heroes), yet they insist that this is true. Perhaps their spouses would like to form a support group with mine.
I know this is not the worst part of chemo just insult to injury, really.
To my menopausal readers: My respect for you for being able to function in the world while you go through this has increased immeasurably. If you are feeling less than sympathetic towards me consider this: If, as my doctor suggested yesterday, my menstrual cycle is likely to resume in a year or so, I get to go through menopause twice.