I had my penultimate Lupron shot. Yes, my second to last jab, on the right hip this time, with a syringe of Lupron stored in a package decorated with a photo of a smiling African American man, whom I am to assume is to represent a prostate cancer patient. Because, you know, both women and men love it when we get our hormones turned off by Lupron. It’s a party!

Lupron made me infertile by disrupting the signal between my pituitary gland and my ovaries. Yeah, I know, I talk a lot in my blog about breasts, a secondary sexual characteristic. However, the ovaries, primary sexual organs, are also commonly involved in breast cancer treatment. That’s because a lot of breast tumors, including the ones that were discovered in what was formerly my right breast, grew in response to progesterone and estrogen, two female hormones.

I could complain about the fact that a big part of my breast cancer treatment has been both a surgical and chemical warfare on my femininity. Remove my breast, then remove my lady chemicals. Go ahead, make me a man!

I’m not going to complain about this. Yes, losing a breast is a big deal. But that happens to many women, regardless of the hormone responsiveness of their tumors. Having had tumors that are progesterone or estrogen responsive is actually a positive prognostic indicator. Reducing hormonal activity is something that can be done to reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence.

Chemically induced menopause is rough. I can tell you this first hand. Menopause symptoms, on average, are worse. I can tell you this, first hand. At the peak of my menopause symptoms misery, I had about 50 hot flashes EVERY DAY. Does that sound intensely uncomfortable? If yes, I have done an effective job in describing it. IT WAS RELENTLESS.

Currently, I experience almost no menopause symptoms. Also, I do not menstruate. And it is impossible for me to get pregnant. In other words, I am in a state of bliss.

It is likely temporary. Lupron does not permanently shut down my ovaries. In six months, my body will be adapting to the absence of Lupron. I will be 49 years old. At that time, I may become fertile again. My menopause may pause! Thanks a lot, menopause! Let me get used to you for two years and then throw a wrench into the works!

Yes, Virginia, I’m going to have to start thinking about birth control again. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

The last time I took a pregnancy test was at least five years ago. I knew it was unlikely that I was pregnant, but things were not as usual, and I wanted to be sure.

Based on my family history, I am likely to go back to a peri-menopausal state after I discontinue my Lupron shots. In other words, it unlikely that I will be able to conceive, but still possible. My last method of contraception was an I.U.D, which I loved, but then had to have removed, because it secreted female hormones, and I am not allowed to have those.

Yes, I know that I am solely responsible for contraception. And I have talked to my nearly 50 year old husband about perhaps, just perhaps, getting a vasectomy. The first time I raised the issue was when I was 37 years old. I did not raise it again until I was a breast cancer patient, nearly 10 years later. Neither conversation went particularly well. In my husband’s defense, I probably raised it too early the first time, and the second time, he was likely stressed by the prospect of his wife dying.

I may be a two time champion of menopause achievement. It is not a title that I particularly relish but I guess they are far worse things in life to bear, like CANCER!!!!