I read your post and it all sounded so familiar.
I was dx August 2012 and had a WLE followed by FEC 100 then radio. It's been a long and bumpy road to get back to something like my old self, but I have to say that the biggest and most far reaching impact has been on my sex drive. I can actually recall the onset of the dwindling of it, because it started soon after I started chemo. At first it was just a change in the sensations that I experienced during love making, then it became more and more difficult to become aroused (the physiological responses to stimulation were severely impaired). When I mentioned this to my GP she effectively said that it was to be expected after all that my body had been through. She actually thought it was probably psychological, and that it was probably connected to my own self-image in light of my altered appearance. But she was 100% wrong. I was always active and very willing (often the initiator) in the bedroom - before, during and after all my treatments. But since the chemo knocked out my ovaries, and then the Tamoxifen then Anastrozole carried on the good work of killing my oestrogen supply, I have found that the desire to initiate sex has just been completely switched off. And now I find it almost impossible to experience orgasm because no amount of stimulation can produce the sensations that used to be the normal response to such stimulation.
I assume that these changes to my body's responses would normally have taken place over several years, after the onset of menopause. And I assume that if that's the case, women who have a 'normal' menopause don't notice these changes to their responses quite so dramatically as I/we did, because menopause can take several years from start to finish. But the chemical menopause that I/we were plunged into, is much more clearly defined, and therefore it's effects are felt much more dramatically.
And all this, for me, has been the hardest thing to accept. I went from being a normal sexual being, whose public persona was closely linked to a healthy active female libido, to being what I think of as a de-sexed version of myself - I no longer felt sexual or sensual or even particularly feminine. Which in itself makes me feel much older. I used to say that I feel about 20 years older since all this began 2 years ago. I initially hoped that when I finished my Anastrozole that I might get my old responses back, but the evidence suggests otherwise. I am essentially now post menopausal, and as such, my muted responses are part of the new (older) me.
But, having said all that, I no longer feel the loss as keenly as I did when I started my thread "Tamoxifen & Libido." I went through a 'mourning' phase for my libido and my 'push-button, guaranteed orgasms', and although I am a changed woman (I wonder if that is why the menopause is called 'the change'?), I am now getting to know and like the new me. My son told me recently that I have my 'glow' back, which is heartening. And a friend told me I have my mojo back.
So although I probably haven't lifted your spirits as much as you might have liked, I hope that you will take some comfort from knowing that you are not alone in feeling this way, and that you will eventually find some peace with the new you and not let your loss define your future happiness.
Please feel free to message me if you'd like to chat more.
Thanks Jo I think the hidden effects is fantastic - went to the afternoon tea on Wednesday last week - was very inspired - Thanks
I hope some of your fellow forum users are along soon with support for you as I am sure you will not be alone in this. I have put for you below the link to the area of this website where intimacy is discussed further, also please don't hesitate to ring the helpline the staff are here to support you through this.