Jul 17, 2012 - 10:45 am
When approaching the end of treatment, I was concerned about some of the reported side effects that I might face as the result of chemo and especially radiation. Painful sex, burned bottom, painful sex, vaginal stenosis, weak bones, painful sex. I really wasn't concerned about going into immediate menopause. "That I can handle," I thought.
Weeeeeeelll . . .immediate menopause has rocked my world beyond recognition. Confusion, lack of focus, severe insomnia, complete and total lack of sex drive, outbursts of extreme anger, fatigue in the afternoon, joint pain . . .and the list goes on. At first, I thought some of this 'crap' just might be a side effect of radiation and it was a matter of transitioning and accepting my 'new self.'
Well the symptoms have only intensified with time and this 'new self' is NOT acceptable. I started researching a bit more and had my first visit with my new GP who explained to me most of it is due to immediate menopause, which is far more challenging than aging naturally or having a partial hysterectomy. At that time we started exploring the idea of bio-identical hormone replacement. She contacted experts in the field throughout the country to make sure someone with my history and current condition is a viable candidate for success with this therapy. I researched on the internet for days. And have decided that the risks outweigh the benefits for me. We decided together to move forward and I begin the hormones, a very low dosage of estrogen and progesterone, today.
I wanted to share this just in case there are those who are living with these symptoms and find them unbearable. Not everyone is a good candidate for HT. But I have heard from many, many women that it improved their lives, not only a little, but a difference of night and day.
I will keep you posted as I move forward. I am looking forward to having some more of the old Angela back. And my husband is MORE than ready. When I told him that my doctor told me my vagina walls seemed to be tightening due to the radiation said, "I wouldn't mind having a shot at telling you the same damn thing!" :)