On oct 22 i started my next new med. it is another aromatase inhibitor, to replace the one that turned me into PMS Girlzilla a few weeks ago. i had been taking a break to clear out and stabilize before starting the next thing. it’s hard to know exactly what “stabile” is anymore. the first three days this week i was nonfunctional—too exhausted to get off the couch and too brain-fogged to even read the newspaper. yesterday i popped into some kind of speed mode and couldn’t stop moving, even rearranged the furniture. my brain didn’t quite get on line, though. among other things, i caught myself dialing a phone number into the number pad on the microwave.

i am six months out of chemo, but in the meantime i have been on tamoxifen (discontinued due to “cognitive dysfunction”), had abdominal surgery, and also plunged into instant menopause. it’s hard to know what is causing what here.

i feel like i am a shadow of my former self. and that is not all bad. i read in Louise Erdrich’s Shadow Tag that the meaning of the ojibwe word for mirror, waabaamoojichaagwan, also means shadow and soul. its translation is “your soul is visible and can be seen”. which is the gift of cancer. all of my cultural identities, my ego, have been whittled away until i am left standing in my most basic form.

i am turning a corner here. i have accepted the fact that i will not be going back to work as a nurse. and i have started a new career, as an author and speaker in the area of spiritual growth.