'Early' Breast Cancer, Early Menopause

Hi - first off, I’m new but not new. Gained loads of support back in the day from this site and now I’m back but not because I’ve got my cancer back. Feels really odd looking back to now be asking this question but anyone out there who has an opinion, thought or idea, it would be really helpful to have some input.


Basically was diagnosed at 36, had surgery, chemo, radio and 5 years tamoxifen. 11 years on from diagnosis and I’m now hugely menopausal. (Again. lol < feel like a pro after did it on tamoxifen in my 30s)!


Thing is, since I did five years back on my own normal hormones and no reoccurence, secondaries, etc. (touch wood) I REALLY want to do HRT. Apart from the vanity issue (yes, I would like to feel like a woman for a bit longer - currently feel like a grumpy nothing with a fine crop of chin hairs and my hair falling out on my head (again) I’m worried about my bones. If I have got another 30 years ahead of me like a normal woman who hasn’t had this kind of assault on her body in her 30s, how can I do that if my spine collapses out of osteoporisis?!


I saw an endocrinologist (because my thyroid packed up after chemo - coincidence or not, doesn’t matter - and been taking thyroxine since I finished treatment) and he a) confirmed my peri-menopausal-ness, b) got in touch with my old onc c) who said HRT, it’s up to her. So none the wiser. But both reckon early menopause is down to ‘stuff’ - my mum did hers at a more reasonablly later age (and this stuff is usually genetic apparently).


It would not be an issue if I was 50 but I’m 46 and basically I don’t really like anything being like this. I should be celebrating 10 years and looking forward but I feel awful and really miserable. No amount of positive thinking can counteract it cos it’s hormones, innit lol :slight_smile:


Anyway, there’s no one I know in my situation and I’d really like to know what folk reckon. It almost feels like ‘is this it then?’ Horrible. :frowning: The kids I never thought I’d see leave primary are now 12 and 16 and that’s fab but now they’ve got a grumpy mum and my partner has to put it up with it all. I literally think, yeah, whatever and want to cry. 


HRT or not HRT, that is the question. 


PS if your first instinct is to tell me I should be ‘grateful’, please don’t. The last 10 years have not been a breeze (cancer, losing job, feeling crap, picking myself up a 100 times) and I’m perhaps just wanting a  bit of normal now. Is that worth more than ‘just’ clocking up the years and maybe risking the HRT? 

Hi there

I’m a firm believer in quality of life. Life really is too short to be unhappy and if you want normality in your life, then good for you, take the HRT. Any age is a bad age to diagnosed with the horror of breast cancer, but somehow the younger you are, the worse it seems. I was diagnosed in my mid thirties also and gave up the tamoxifen after 2 years; reason, I felt like a dried up old prune! I have no regrets regarding my decision and IF the cancer returns, I certainly won’t be blaming myself for not taking the drugs.


If you are concerned about your bones, then that’s another reason to take the HRT? After all, the doseage is small isn’t it?? You need to weigh up the pros versus the cons I guess and I am sure some ladies will tell you to keep away from HRT altogether. But the truth is, none of us know how long we have on this earth and I think the time we have is precious., therefore try the HRT?


I wont tell you to be grateful, God how patronising would that be! Grateful for getting cancer and then suffering  the effects of the menopause, there’s nothing to be grateful for there is there?


Sounds like you have had a rough ride, you deserve some happiness and normality in your life and the kids a mum who isn’t grumpy all of the time. Never underestimate the impact of all of this on your partner either. 


Best of luck 

Naz x