Hot flashes/menopause

mssue Member Posts: 242
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Okay,since I haven't had a period since February of 2005 but had one a few days ago, lasting 6 days. Started out with spotting but extremely painful cramps,the cramps remained through out and the spotting turned to a light flow.Am I still in menopause?

And as for the hot flashes...I have had them for years but awhile ago I started having a flash then getting a chill. Then a constant onslaught of extreme heat. I started looking for some releif, I found Black Cohosh.
As far as the Black Cohosh is concerned, I did research and cross referenced it with other meds I'm taking but you know what,in thinking about it, the way ovarian cancer-along with other cancers run in my family my chances of reoccurance are pretty far up there.I think the biggest thing I was looking at was the fact that my BC hormone receptors were negative. So my cancer was not spurred along by hormones but by something else.The hot flashes I was having weren't flashes anymore, more like a ravenous forest fire burning out of control,they would start about 3 in the morning and last until 10 or 11 at night, seeming to get hotter as the days went by. This went on for several weeks,I tried to talk to all of my doctors,reg Doctor,Onocologist,Gynocologist,even told my Orthopedic-EVERYONE shrugged it off as if it were nothing and here I am getting to my breaking point-I had already asked all of them about the Black Cohosh,nobody seemed to care one way or the other or didn't know anything about it -then shrugged it off. It really did give me some releif for awhile, but since having a period I have slacked off and am maybe only taking one a day and actually skipping somedays. Now they are back to 'almost' regular flashes,2 or 3 spells a day.LOL - I can deal with that!!!I can't take the all day ones though,if they come back - I don't know what I'm going to do.

What does everyone else do-please tell me I'm not the only one having them like this(the allday ones),please....



  • 24242
    24242 Member Posts: 1,398
    Been dealing with hot flashes since treatments began. I too went back to irradic periods often stopping for long periods of time.
    Due to some of the thoughts I have kept through the years I have decided the less things I take the better and have managed to live though I thought I wouldn't make it with these hot flashes. I am so sensative to anything and everything so will continue this thought process and not convinced there is enough known about the things man is choosing to use to battle natural processes of our lives. I had hard enough time through entire treatment process that now I avoid taking most everything. I was in manufacturing for years and know that often production and processing can be the problem.
    I have been getting use to it all over the past 10 years and know now it is doable. Life is truly what we make it.
    Be good to yourself always,
  • pansylover
    pansylover Member Posts: 80
    for my hot flashes I take 800mg of vitmin E in the am and the pm..seems to help me.. I can not take BLACK COHOSH
    sad that ur docs don't care....

    hugs to u!
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Right after my hysterectomy, I had my own personal sauna in bed every night. I am now on Tamoxifen, and that SHOULD mean MORE, but for some reason, they have slackened. I am sorry, too, that the docs won't do anything....I could not take the Black Cohosh....ER+ and PRsort of +....BUT I have a friend that has much relief from this...same as you.

    Hugs, Kathi
  • Susan956
    Susan956 Member Posts: 510
    Hot flashes are one of those things that we women have to put up with that guys just don't get. Since treatment & taking Arimidex, I think my internal thermastat has gone up 5 - 10 degrees in general. I always used to be cold... but no more. The way I deal with them are trying to dress in layers... I know one day in a meeting the guy sitting next to me thought I had lost my mind... I must have put on and taken off my jacket 10 times in 30 minutes... but it has gotten better. I do take 1000 IU of Vitamin E. My onc (a lady) recommended it. It seems to help at least some. I can't take Black Cohash or the other menopause pills that are over the counter. They all induce increased estrogen levels and I am ER/PR +. Also, I think staying super hydrated...water...water...water... seems to help them as well. The other thing that didn't work for me but does for many women is a very low dose of a drug called Effexor (it is a very low dose of an anti-depressant). Apparently it works very well for some women... It wired me to where it was harder than ever to sleep... so it wasn't a good solution for me. By the way...sounds like you may need to find a more understanding group of Doctors.... I know my Onc being a lady seems to really work for me... She seems to understand the emotional and physical side of being a women so much better....

    Take Care... God Bless...

  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi mssue,

    It's dreadful that your docs blew this off! This is a serious thing that can complicate one's life in many ways and needs addressing. So, for your docs to do nothing, have no suggestions or advice is unforgivable in my opinion. Maybe check out a new gynecologist???

    I never had a lot of problems with hot flashes but had drenching night sweats for months after chemo ended. I never had another period, post treatment. Was quiet regular until that first chemo infusion fried my ovaries!

    I was reluctant to take anything containing phytoestrogens. My gyn. recommended Remifemin. It's a commerical "standardized" black cohosh formula which has been studied more than any other form of black cohosh. It works great for a lot of ladies and less well for others. One has to take it for at least 8 weeks in order to know what their best benefit is going to be, so requires some patience. You can go to: to learn more about it.

    I waited months, hoping the night sweats would just go away. They didn't. What they did do, after about 6 months of no periods, was become "cyclic". I'd get them every night for a week-ten days and then no more for a month or two.
    Then they'd come back again for another 7-10 day time. Finally gave Remifemin a try but couldn't really tell if it helped because of the cyclic nature of my situation. I'm not much for taking pills, so I stopped taking them. The intervals between the night sweats became longer and longer and now I only have one every 4 or 5 months and they're no longer drenching, thank goodness. (I'm 5 years out from tx now) I can live with that. They really decreased about a year after they began and my gynecologist told me that I was very fortunate. Trust me when I say that he didn't have to convince me! I couldn't have carried on much longer with that getting up in the wee hours to change my night clothes, etc.. Initially, they were so bad that I'd have to actually shower because I couldn't tolerate getting back into bed with what little hair I had re-grown being damp and sticky. I cringe to recall how uncomfortable that period of time was for me. And I know I'm not alone.

    Hope this product may be of interest/help to you.
    If not, don't be shy about getting the opinion of a different gyn.. I'm very fortunate in that mine is very understanding and a good listener and understands the grave importance of us bc girls staying away from estrogens. While my bc was hormone negative, it's still best not to take any

    Love, light and laughter,
  • katcam
    katcam Member Posts: 83
    i cannot take the black cohosh -my doctor said no. i have been eating soy nuts everyday and they really do help - i take vitamin e also, but i have to admidt i am not consistant with my supplements - usually take them 3-4 times a week rather than every day. i get the flashes and then the freeze also - i don't know how to dress anymore!! i read somewhere that if you put 2 tablespoons of apple cidar vinegar in hot tea and drink that before bed the hot flashes won't be as bad & may not even wake you up. well, i was desparate and tried it - i had the WORST indegestion i ever had in my life!! i don't think i slept at all!! lol.... good luck - hope you find something here that helps!!
  • mssue
    mssue Member Posts: 242
    Thanks everybody for your advice,Tara I too would like to be drug free but I have too much going on to go cold turkey.Hopefully though one day I will have been winged off of everything -it is alot less than it was though.
    Cindie and Susan I hadn't thought about vitamin E,I think I might try that. That was funny Susan,last week I had to take my Daughter and some friends to the Homecoming Parade,pick em' up at school drop them off at the meeting place for them to get ready(they were in it) as I looked down I realized how wrinkled my shirt was -OMG -I was suppose to go to the other end of town to pick 'em up afterwards.I wanted to see the Parade too.Instead I ended up driving home to change clothes but yet again.I had a rushed day and started having hot flashes when I was getting dressed,I must of changed 5 x .I finally decided on layering just in case,then it hit well it was time to go ugh I couldn't stand all the clothes so off they came and I grabbed something out of the drawer ,U guessed it the wrinkled shirt.I missed the Parade but got back in time to get the girls.It's crazy sometimes.
    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that gets the chills,but I don't think I could handle the vinegar in the tea either.Honey, I know you were desperate.
    Thanks Kathi,I'm glad yours have slackened off-I hope they don't resurface,Bless your heart.
    Hi Ink - haven't seen you for awhile,I'm glad you are doing better. Maybe it's the area I'm in but I did go to a new Gynocologist(a female) and a new Onocologist(another female). I will talk back with my regular doctor again on my next visit, in about a week and a half, about the Remifemin.You know I'll research it on the web too.But you are right,with my family history I don't want to take any chances.

    I think I'll try the vitamin E and talk to my doctor when I see him again.I really appreciate your insightfulness-God Bless You All and have a HAPPY DAY!