I’m almost embarrassed to admit I only know the song “Changes” by Black Sabbath by watching the hilariously inappropriate animated series Big Mouth. It’s a show about a bunch of middle-school kids going through puberty—changes to their bodies and how they related to the world; overactive sex drives; hormone monsters; anxiety mosquitos; depression kitties; talking vaginas; and the such. There is nothing funnier than Maya Rudolph as Connie the Hormone Monstress. The show opens with a cover of “Changes.” I totally relate to the lyrics, “I’m going through changes.”
As part of my treatment plan for breast cancer, I take a tiny white pill every day that successfully launched me into early menopause. The type of cancer I had thrives on estrogen. So, no more estrogen. I have an Anti-Hormone Monstress. I’d like her much more if she was voiced by Maya Rudolph.
I was hoping for a few more years before I changed. They told me about the side effects—hot flashes, mood swings, joint pain, weight gain, etc. Here is what they didn’t tell me:
- I sweat in places I didn’t know were possible doing absolutely nothing other than breathing. I look like a glistening crazed maniac with pools of sweat underneath my eyes.
- You can measure my irritability on the Richter scale:
- 1-2. I love you, but the sound of your chewing makes me want to impale my eardrums with the spoon you’re using to eat your cereal.
- 3. Any words that leave your mouth will be met with complete distain and exasperation.
- 4-5. If I could legally run you over with my shopping cart, I would. Consider yourself lucky I can only imagine lighting your face on fire with my sweaty eyes.
- 5-6. I want to turn your cereal spoon into a shiv.
- 6-7. My vocabulary consists of every conjugation of fuck, which I string together to strangle you with like piano wire. But that’s only if you’ve really pissed me off.
- 7-10. We’ll just have to wait and see. There’s only so much my mood stabilizer can do.
- Weight gain isn’t just a number. My perky fat rolls are now a droopy testament to cravings that alternate between greasy, sugary yumminess to greasy, crunchy happiness.
- The switch to my brain is controlled by my eyelids. Before menopause, my brain would switch off the moment my eyes snapped shut. Now, closing my eyes zaps my brain to life and every single thought I have is electrified and replayed over and over.
- My depression, anxiety, ADD, and menopause compete in cage fights for the title of Brain Fog Champion of the World.
- My talking vagina can be one cranky bitch sometimes.
- I spryly get off the couch only to walk like my 80-year-old mother-in-law across the living room.
I’m going through changes, but if it means no more cancer, I’m good with it. Ok, maybe not good, but I’m fine with trading in estrogen for another day with my family.