Monday, February 29, 2016

Welcome To Womanhood

My good friend Deanna said that in her comment to my last post. Welcome to womanhood. If you've read the post, you know that it's about the emotional outbursts I've been experiencing from Lupron in my system. To understand Deanna's comment, you have to understand Deanna and me. Our relationship is, shall we say, politically incorrect. We like to make inappropriate comments to get laughs. We're both pretty good at it, and we like to make each other laugh with lines like that.

Deanna is funny. That's one of the highest compliments I can give anyone, and it's one of the least of many admirable qualities that she possesses. I could go on and on about her like I have so many others, but I'll restrain myself this time. Your turn is coming, Deanna.

Here is my response to her comment, in the form of a question: Is that what a man wants to hear from a woman? Welcome to womanhood? That's just what you want to hear when you're not feeling so masculine. But I know Deanna loves me. More than butter, she says. That's a lot. So it doesn't bother me. In fact, I love it because she gave me this idea!

Her comment reminded me of another one I received last Sunday. I was at Walmart, looking for a T-shirt to wear under a jacket. I wanted it to be orange or blue, to go with the colors of the cross pendant I also wore. I prefer orange, but they didn't have any in my size, which is a men's small these days. I can also wear a boy's large, but they tend to be too short. At one point, the lady who was helping me held up a 2XL, and asked, "Can you wear this?" I opened up my jacket and said, "Look at me." She replied, "You are a tiny man." Is that supposed to make me feel good about myself?

But who am kidding? I am a tiny man. Getting tinier every day. I'll be downright skeletal if they put me on chemo. I work out, but Lupron makes me weak. Sometimes I need to carry my dog who's had recent knee surgery up a flight of stairs because she's not allowed to climb stairs during her recovery. But I'm afraid to try that now because she weighs more than half what I weigh. 67 to 124. If she squirmed and I fell, it could be disastrous for both of us.

Welcome to womanhood, huh? Who am I, Caitlyn Jenner? Actually, I kinda am. I'm pretty sure Caitlyn and I get the same shot. Lupron is widely used in gender reassignment. The night before my first shot, I watched a Frontline documentary called, "Growing Up Trans." About little boys that you would swear are girls, who identify as girls, and little girls who identify as boys. Transgender girls are given Lupron shots when they start to go into puberty to keep them from turning into men. That's an early step in gender reassignment. Welcome to womanhood indeed.

It's the emotional side that really gets me, though. I never did get a good cry that I thought I needed yesterday, but I know it's coming. Probably over something really stupid. I can't force it. It has to happen on its own. But it's bound to come, and at an inappropriate time. I just hope I don't take it out on anyone. I have to make sure I don't.

We're not really talking about womanhood so much as menopause, are we? The hot flashes, the emotional roller coaster, the loss of libido. What I'm really getting is a small taste of what my wife has dealt with for the last 15 years. At least. But my version, while shorter lived, has a distinctive edge to it. A weight. It's more than a nuisance. It's a reminder of why it's there. Sometimes when I cry, it's because I really have something to cry about. Other times, not so much.

Here's the kicker. I just got the results from my blood draw yesterday. My PSA is 1.42, down from 4.00 on November 5th, and 15.8 last April. So the Lupron is still working. There's no going back now. This coming Tuesday, I get to go in and get my next Lupron shot. I suppose I should get some spike keels too. Welcome to womanhood.

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