I’ve become convinced in the past eight or nine days that women are truly Super Heroes. I don’t know a lot about super heroes, but my understanding is that they possess (or believe themselves to possess) a super power.
Why I Think Women Are Super Heroes
I began taking estrogen blocker (EB) number 2 on July 25. I had discontinued EB number 1 on March 30 due to unbearable side effects. On July 29 I realized that the unbearable feeling in my lower abdomen was the same feeling you have just before your period starts. You know: sore uterus that feels like it will explode, bloating, transitory headache, back ache, tiredness in your lower limbs. All with the added bonus of hot flashes.
I haven’t had a period in about 12 years. Of all the things I might retrieve from a pre-menopausal self, periods aren’t one of them. For no reason whatsoever. I wasn’t ever interested in fertility, and in fact had my tubes tied, so it was always just a biological exercise that ruined a lot of underwear.
By July 31 I was miserable. My uterus ached no matter how much raspberry leaf tea I drank. By August 1 I hated myself, my body, and the growing hysteria in my chest. All I could think was how do women get anything done? I mean, I understand because I’m sitting here working despite the discomfort, but it makes the 19th century practice of getting the vapors so you could spend the day in bed make a lot of sense. Sadly, most of us don’t have the luxury of bowing out of our lives for a period of time. Homes have to be kept, children raised, jobs done, relationships nurtured, and on and on.
We are super heroes because while we are in physical (and often mental) discomfort up to anguish, we are told by the world that we really aren’t as anything as men. Well, we are more emotional, right?
Simon Biles & All Female Olympians
At the same time, the world has more deeply learned about Simone Biles. I read her profile in the New York Times on July 25. She has so much going on. Hard to imagine that someone could put so much energy into something like gymnastics and be a complete person. She is one of the super heroes we can use to remind ourselves just how complex and strong, and mostly amazing, women are.
This morning on my local NPR station (KNKX) they listed the Olympians with Northwest ties. I went through the list and there are 30 women representing the US, and 23 women representing other countries (but having ties to the PNW). Watching them, and their male counterparts proves them all to be super heroes, but I particularly admire the women.
Tying This to Knitting
Ha, you knew I could, didn’t you? First, I meet the nicest people through knitting. Cynthia Willard of Just Desserts is sending me Lemon Anise biscotti. She probably remembers what it is like to have your uterus ache! When she asked if I would like something baked, I did not hesitate. Another super hero!
Second, I have been a little distracted from my knitting, but I keep plugging away, even if at a slower pace. I am making headway on each of my current projects. Jeane of Elemental Affects just sent me a teaser skein of Bulky Cormo. Un-freaking-believably bouncy and yummy. Look here for something off my needles by next week. I know what it will be! 4 oz/112g, 132 yds/120 m. 3-ply worsted spun. I love everyone who sends me yarn to play with.
When You Are Tired of Being A Super Hero
I sent a message to my oncologist on Monday, April 2. She got back to me within a couple of hours telling me to quit taking the EB for “quality of life.” We had discussed that being of paramount importance on our last appointment when I agreed to try Tamoxifen. She is among my super heroes for remembering and honoring that my lovely day-to-day life is more important to me than three statistical percentage points less risk of developing cancer again within five (maybe it was 10) years.
Also many thanks to Mitch for assuring me that my reasoning was sound and that I should take whatever steps made me happiest. There is a reason we are celebrating 33 years of a very happy marriage (and 38 years since our first date).
I am also really happy with myself for choosing not to endure, but rather to speak up for what matters to me most: the ability to enjoy my days, enjoy my lovely life with Mitch, and pursue my knitting, writing, and teaching!
P.S. Believe in yourself. You do have super powers!
Makkah Cowl (not knit by me) coming soon!