hot flashes, not again

Lately, I have had that familiar feeling of sudden warmth wrapping around my head and shoulders. It is not the intense heat that I experienced while I was on Tamoxifen® from 2005 to, I think, 2007. The hot flashes from Tamoxifen were definitely severe, ranging from an instant sauna covering my head and shoulders to all over heat and a sense of anxiety that felt as near to a panic attack as possible. The frequency was about five daily with some days better than others. Most often they would start and end my day. One time I was at a meeting in the middle of introducing colleagues, and suddenly the sweat started pouring down over my eyes. My friend said no one could tell, but I headed to the restroom to towel down my head. My hair was wet by the time I saw myself in the restroom mirror.

My husband suffered the intensity of, as he called it, my broken thermometer with much accommodation and patience. One minute I was opening all the windows in the car on a cold morning and hanging my head out the passenger side, and the next I wanted the heat on. Thankfully, we drove to work in the darkness of early morning, so no one else was around to witness the sight. At night, it was a series of throwing off the comforter, opening the window and turning on the fan to closing the window, turning off the fan and pulling up the comforter. I stopped counting how many times I ran that cycle, and somehow my husband managed to fall asleep. It would wear me out. Yet, I was lucky; I knew other women in our support group who said they had night sweats affecting their entire bodies, making them change the bedding in the middle of the night.

So, after having asked my husband several times recently, Did it suddenly get warm in here, he said to me tonight, Don’t tell me you are having hot flashes again. I know the visions of my head hanging out the window are still haunting him. I have not yet admitted anything in the hopes that what I’m feeling is just a fluke or, at worst, a very mild version of the former.

Excuse me while I hunt for my hand fan.

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© 2004-2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.


One response to “hot flashes, not again

  1. I’ve been having hot flashes and ‘cold flashes’ (shivering, what fun it is…), sometimes alternating from one to the other. I’m starting to wonder if the cancer – perhaps especially the hormonally sensitive ones – mess with your internal thermal regulation. Anyway, my sympathies – sucks, doesn’t it?

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