Sara was diagnosed with grade 3, stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma in July of 2021 at age 31. She began writing poetry during chemotherapy and decided to share it on Instagram. You can find her poetry here: @saralou.writes.
My breast cancer was hormone positive so upon completion of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, I began my five- to 10-year drug cycle. I started taking a drug called tamoxifen as well as getting an injection every 28 days called zoladex to put my ovaries to sleep. I have been in medical menopause now for six months and my most common side effect is extreme hot flashes throughout the day and night.
One weekend, my husband and I were visiting my brother and his family. We were driving to the beach together and it was quite hot in the car. We made a stop and I frantically got out of the car because I was dripping wet from a terribly intense hot flash. When my brother asked me what was wrong I told him I was having a hot flash and I needed some air.
Later that evening he told me it made him uncomfortable when I had talked about my hot flash and I looked at him puzzled. He asked for clarification on what a hot flash was and I explained medical menopause. He had thought when women had hot flashes it meant they were “turned on” and didn’t know why I kept mentioning how “turned on” I was in front of him and his family.
I later told this to my mom, who is going through natural menopause and we laughed to hard we started crying together. It was by far the best thing to come out of my medical menopause experience so far.