When you have breast cancer, especially metastatic breast cancer—where the disease has spread to other areas of your body and becomes a kind of terrible roommate—your body goes through a lot of changes. For me, some were permanent, like the surgical removal of my breasts. Others were fleeting, like when I lost 10 pounds in two weeks, or lived without eyelashes for a couple of months. Some changes are reliable for their unreliability, like feeling too tired to meet friends for drinks when yesterday I felt fine. Or, thanks to a semi-full-time chemotherapy regimen, walking a constant gastrointestinal tightrope between constipation and diarrhea. Living with this disease, I have discovered that I can tolerate, and even ignore, a whole bunch of physical discomforts. So when I decided to remove my ovaries and go through menopause at 32, I figured I could handle it.
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