15 June 2012


Well this is fun! I have to take 1,825 pills. Not all at one time of course - they’re taken over a period of five years.  After all the treamtent us cancerisits patients have been through - chemo, radiation, surgery, you’d think that a pill a day would be a cakewalk. But it’s not. Taking a pill a day is actually something that is quite difficult for me.

The act of taking the pill isn’t a big deal; it’s remembering to take it that’s hard. Halfway through yoga class, mid-downward dog, I’ll start wondering if I’ve taken my daily pill. Or yesterday’s daily pill for that matter.  Often I haven’t. Perhaps it’s because I don’t enjoy this little pill that has thrust me into menopause with hot flashes so severe that it feels like my insides are melting. But take it I must, as it interferes with the activity of the estrogen that canceritis cells need to grow.

In an effort to be more efficient I put the pill bottle in my underwear drawer thinking my daily pill could be paired with my daily undies. But I still forgot. So I went to the drugstore to if I could find a solution. I wandered over to the ‘accessories’ aisle and come across a revolving display stand that was garnering a bit of attention. A couple of whispy haired senior gals were spinning the stand slowly, plucking off packages and bringing them up close to their little faces to read the fine print. I realized that the thing in their wrinkly hands was the thing that I needed – a pill organizer.

Instead of making me happy, it made me really depressed. Did I really need a cheap plastic container with the days of the week on it to organize me medication? Sigh. Yes, I did. The seniors were fumbling around with the various models, tasting the lids for maneuverability, and testing how well it slipped into a handbag. Some containers were small, but others were as big as a paint set, with little compartments for morning, noon, and night. 

I reached over the little people’s heads and grabbed one, which was the size of a ‘Crunchie’ bar. It had seven compartments, one for each day of the week. The seniors looked at the case in my hand, then up at my face. ‘That one doesn’t close so good,’ said one of them. I tested it, and it seemed fine. With her eyes she motioned to one up higher. ‘You’ll be wanting that one.’  So I reached up and grabbed it, and it was pink! And, at half the size of a Crunchie bar it fits discreetly in my drawer, where it is surrounded by my panties (which do not have the days of the week).

I wondered if the seniors were curious about why someone so young and lovely as myself needed to take a pill every day. But they didn’t care. I was part of their club now, and didn’t have time to give it any more thought because there in the chilly air-conditioned store,  I was starting to sweat.

Tomoxafen. 30 Down. 1,795 to go. 


  1. Orangedale20 June, 2012

    The little organizer is a God send; I know..............I use them all the time ,because I didn't know from one day to the next if "I did or I didn't" take my pills (I take several to make it even more confusing!!)
    I don't envy you the hot flashes..............I acquired them naturally due to my "advanced age" and believe it or not ............didn't know what I was having for a while. Thought I was just minding the heat more......like in the middle of January and I had the fan blowing in my face, at the desk while I did charts and everyone else shivered!! Then , I went on HRT< and went that route until it was deemed to be unsafe for man or mouse!! So, back come the hot flashes, with an axe to grind; I still have a few but not so many!!

  2. Funny thing is - I used to look forward to really hot summer days. But now every day is a hot summer day, no matter what time of year. Last week there was a heat wave, and I was watching everyone walking down the street dripping with sweat thinking 'AHA. Now, finally, we're all on the same page!'

  3. Anonymous15 July, 2012

    Our local drugstore was out of pill containers so I asked my husband to pick one up when he was out. A clerk helped him find one just like the photo above. He bought it even though the clerk worried that I might get confused with two Ss on it... That struck me as so sweet and funny -- makes having to track pills a little better.

    1. Thanks - that's a lovely story! Those sweet moments keep us going.