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  1. Colleen T Fogarty
  1. Correspondence toColleen T Fogarty, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, 1381 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, USA; colleen_fogarty{at}

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Finally, just as it is becoming an environmentally unfriendly lighting option,

Beginning tamoxifen gives me empathy for the incandescent light bulb.

The tiny inner filament heats up, reddening.

The hot glow spreads, heating up the bulb

until the surface glows with heat and shines with light.

Upon extinguishing, the heat fades from the filament,

gradually dissipating from the bulb.

I feel a tiny locus of heat deep inside my body.

Oh no, again?

Before I can answer,

warmth fills my whole body

until my skin glows with heat, glistens with sweat.

Gradually, it dissipates. I have no control.

Unlike for the light bulb, for me there is no switch.

When will I glow again?

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.