Heat Waves

Options
kew
kew Member Posts: 24
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm 49 and just finished my chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The chemo brought on menopause and hot flashes. I have probably 1 an hour.

My doctor says I should avoid soy and black cohosh and other things like that.

I'm taking vitamin C and E, but still wake up several times a night.

Any suggestions? Any insight as to how long this will continue? Will I get over hot flashes in time?

Comments

  • cruf
    cruf Member Posts: 908
    Options
    Hot Flashes
    Hi! Everyone is different ! Some people get hot flashes and they don't last long. I had my mastectomy on Sept. 11,2000 and have had hot flashes ever since! I was on Tamoxifen for 5 years and then femara for 8 mos then Aromasin for 1 1/2 years and had constant hot flashes. Have been off all meds for 1 year and still get them. Sometimes they are more often than others but they're still there. My GYN said I may be the type of person who will always have them. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT! As I said, you're just beginning so don't panic. There are some meds(,antidepressives, neurontin etc) that help some so if yours stay bad, maybe you can ask for a trial of meds. Good luck and let us know how you're doing. HUGS!!! Cathy
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Options
    Flashes of Heat!
    Hello Kew,

    It does get better with time. Each of us is different and your expierience will be somewhat unique to you. Mine lasted about 6 months and are now thankfully gone. A cool towel at the base of my neck helped a lot. I also purchased those scarfs that have little water beads in them that you can keep wrapped around your neck when the hot flashes are particularly strong. Be sure to tell your doctor because there are meds they can give you that may help.

    Hugs to you,

    RE
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    Options
    RE said:

    Flashes of Heat!
    Hello Kew,

    It does get better with time. Each of us is different and your expierience will be somewhat unique to you. Mine lasted about 6 months and are now thankfully gone. A cool towel at the base of my neck helped a lot. I also purchased those scarfs that have little water beads in them that you can keep wrapped around your neck when the hot flashes are particularly strong. Be sure to tell your doctor because there are meds they can give you that may help.

    Hugs to you,

    RE

    Flashing here too!
    After a surgical menapause for suspected ovarian cancer (fortunately a false alarm) and going on exemestane for the breast cancer, I learned what hot flashes were. I guess I lit up about every twenty minutes day and night at first. I still get them now a few years later but it is more like once an hour. A great sense of humor helps. A wet washcloth and a sip or so of ice water helps more. Hot flashes are an advantage at my house in the winter time. My husband saves money by turning the heat down in the winter, but I can make it to the bathroom and back without getting cold feet just by waiting till I am suitably "warmed up". It's too bad that isn't much help in the summertime! I have learned to wear layers that peel off quickly. If I dress slightly lighter than I think the weather suggests, I'm more comfortable than if I dress appropriately, especially in warm weather. Those "cool max" atheletic shirts or the look-alikes from WalMart really work nicely when the weather is hot and humid. There are PJ's made from cool max fabric, but I just stick to the summer shorty cotton ones. Something as long as a Tee shirt would suffocate me. A fan in front of my easy chair when I read and a ceiling fan over my bed when I sleep help too. I never found one of those special scarves with special beads in it. But a few years ago I found a bunch of microfiber white and blue towels in the auto goods section in WalMart. I thought they would make good sweatrags for the gym. Lo and behold, they hold a ton of water without dripping. On a really hot day (like this past Saturday when I had to be outside for a few hours and it was about 92 in the shade), I wet a towel down and roll it up and tuck it around my neck like a cowboy kercheif. It keeps me cool for hours, even if the water is room temperature. It was over 93 Sunday and I took a three mile hike. The towel kept me cool for the whole hour I was out. I try to pick the color that matches or contrasts nicely with my outfit, but I'm more interested in keeping cool on days when it is hot than staying fashionable.

    Your doctor is right to warn you to stay away from the soy and herb remedies for hot flashes. It won't kill you to eat tofu once or twice a week,but those soy supplements are too much like estrogen pills. Black cohash is similar in effect. If your cancer is estrogen positive, soy and black cohash may fuel your cancer's reoccurance and growth. Some anti-depressants and some meds for epileptic seizures have been shown to work for some women without having estrogen-like effects. I decided against them so that I wouldn't have to deal with even more meds than I take now. But look into them if life is impossible. Good luck finding what works best for you!
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Options
    I agree...
    I agree with cabbott! I went through surgical menopause in 2000. My doctor at the time, put me on premarin, which helped with the hot flashes. However, this same doctor "forgot" to tell me to stop taking the premarin, the day she gave me my bc dx. It ummm, never occurred to her. My family doctor told me to stop.

    So, I stopped premarin abruptly in July, and have been having frequent and extremely uncomfortable hot flashes since.
    Lots of fans and cool washcloths!

    Hugs to you!
    CR
  • nsejean
    nsejean Member Posts: 4
    Options
    hot flashes
    It's like going through menopause a 2nd time around for me. I soak to the skin esp the first 5-7 days after treatment. Nights are particularly bad because I wake up with the hot flashes. I was told to ask about an antidepressent that seems to work for a 6 year breast cancer survivor from the Uplift support system through the American Cancer Society. A lady at church gave me one of those hand held fans and some have sprays with water you can use. I sleep with a fan close by and keep cotton shortee gowns or pjs which do help. Hope this helps.