Life Goes On

Hiya to everyone, i’m new to this site. I had breast cancer 6 years ago when I was 31. I had the tumour removed, followed by chemo and then radio. It was non eostrogen receptive grade 3. At the time I had zoladex injections to try and protect my ovaries. Not long after my chemo finished I was told I was pre-menopausal.

I’ve now just been told I’m in full menopause and am only 37. I don’t have children and at the moment i’m single. I guess I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for me.

The thing i’ve noticed about breast cancer is that there can be other complications to our lives as a result of the original diagnosis. I also have lymphoedema and under active thryroid as a result but they are under control.

My GP wasn’t that helpful when I asked what I can do for menopause other than HRT (which of course i’m reluctant to take). Does anyone have any advice for a 37 year old lovely lady who is struggling not to believe that life is passing her by becuase of early menopause.

All advice welcome.

Many thanx xx

Hi, I was diagnosed at 45 and had pretty much an overnight menopause on account of chemo - periods just stopped with the first cycle, no hot flushes to speak of. They confirmed I was post menopausal 3 months after the end of chemo. TBH, I had asked my surgeon if the treatment would make me menopausal and when he answered yes I was happy as I wanted my periods to stop. However, I had not banked on the emotional trauma this would cause me. I was referred to a menopause specialist as I had completely lost my libido and I was having panic attacks as I was all over the place; I also had no focus or concentration.

I could have had HRT as my cancer was hormone negative, but as I had no hot flushes or other physical symptoms it wasn’t necessary. I use a very low topical oestrogen pessary once a week and this stops the dryness and had stopped the panic attacks etc within 10 days; I also have a low level libido, not brilliant but it’s there. I found my lack of libido incredibly distressing as I have been married since my mid 20s, although no kids by choice. I had some counselling to help me through all this.

When I found out I was post menopausal and I lost my libido I just thought “was that it?” as everything had just shut off overnight. However, you will eventually find that you are no less of a woman for being in this situation and if you put your mind to it you will be able to focus on other things - in my case it has been to become self employed and to do some p/t study. I have also learned to live in the day which helps. I have joined a yoga class on a Monday morning where all the other ladies are over 20 years older than me - the one thing I have in common with them is being post menopausal. One or two have also been affected by BC, but they are full of life and very cheerful so they give me hope.

Hi there

I actually haven’t posted in quite some time, so no-one on here will probably know me, but I’m 31, 1st diagnosed at 27 and again at 29 with the same cancer and treatment as you. On my 2nd round of chemo, my periods stopped after a month, in August 2006.

I am in menopause but still get the odd bit of spotting, but like you, I’ve no children. I never gave much thought to having children and I’m still not sure I would want them even if I could, but I guess what annoyed me was the fact that the option had been taken away to have my own, but there are so many children in the world that need homes, that I would consider adoption if it was something I wanted that badly.

The only advice I can really offer in terms of practicality is get fans!! I don’t mean people that adore you, but cool air fans *lol* I suffer quite a bit from flushes. Not so much now, but my surface temperature would sky rocket so I have a fan in my home, 1 on my desk in work and a handheld that I don’t leave home without!

Some suffer from night sweats and I did for about 2 - 3 months, but that was partially due to chemo. If you do, the trick is to regulate your temperature. Try and not go from very hot to very cold in seconds as that increases it. I did the trick of going out to the garden in the middle of the night and gave myself a cold for a month. You live and learn right? :slight_smile: Some of the girls on here have chillow pillows which apparently help too, but I was the opposite and found a really hot bath helped.

My emotions would run riot at times too, but I would always give myself a stern talking to, to remind myself it was my hormones. Pretty much feels like PMS.

Like most things, maintain a healthy diet, exercise and it does make it easier! There are herbal treatments you can get too from most chemists that can help, but I didn’t take them, like evening primrose oil, but the best sources of advice I find are on boards like this from women going through it and for menopause, your gynacologist.

I think we all get the life is passing us by feeling now and again, but the thing to remember too is everyone has something to deal with in their lives and it all affects us differently. Its a pain having to strip off in the middle of the night because of a flush, traipse to the hospital for checkups and scans and wear an elastic sleve because of my lymphoedema or even have an itch on my scar, but this just makes us who we are and a hellova lot stronger because of it!

Good luck with it and just think… no more period cramps!! :slight_smile:

Moira P