Night Sweats - Menopause or Something Else?

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Rookerbird
Rookerbird Member Posts: 100
edited June 2011 in Ovarian Cancer #1
I had not gone through menopause when diagnosed, so my menopause was surgically induced in September 2009 with my hysterectomy/debulking. I had an easy time of it...mild hot flashes, no extreme mood swings.

A few months ago, I began having really heavy night sweats. If it could be a hot flash that would wake me up, I could walk around a bit or take a cool shower. But I don't wake up until after it's happened. It's like a fever-breaking kind of sweat...so much perspiration that I must change the sheets and wash the mattress pad. And when it wakes me up, my heart feels like it's in a clunky, random pattern.

Is this menopause-related? If so, why is it getting more extreme so long after my hysterectomy?

Could it be something else? I am not on any routine medications except Doxil, steroids for 7 days following Doxil, and a daily multi-vitamin. I take hydrocodone occasionally for pain.

On a separate note, I have had two odd episodes of nausea in the past week. Both times, I had no "warning" symptoms such as queasiness or discomfort. Just all-of-a-sudden realized I was about to be sick. This morning, the vomiting was with an empty stomach. I try to drink water any time I wake up in the night, so all I threw up was a bunch of water. Very weird.

Thanks for your insights, ladies! I will see my oncologist again on June 16.

-Kathy

Comments

  • kellyh33
    kellyh33 Member Posts: 287
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    Nigth Sweats
    Hi Kathy,
    First let me say I not the one with OVCA, my mom is. However, I am nearly 44 and for the last couple of years I wake up a couple of times a month completely soaked. I too have to change the sheets and my pyjamas. For me it is peri-menopause, I would assume for you it would be menopause. I also get nauseous the week before my period but I don't throw up. Try not to worry but definitely mention it to your oncologist.
    Kelly
  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,382 Member
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    kellyh33 said:

    Nigth Sweats
    Hi Kathy,
    First let me say I not the one with OVCA, my mom is. However, I am nearly 44 and for the last couple of years I wake up a couple of times a month completely soaked. I too have to change the sheets and my pyjamas. For me it is peri-menopause, I would assume for you it would be menopause. I also get nauseous the week before my period but I don't throw up. Try not to worry but definitely mention it to your oncologist.
    Kelly

    Night Sweats
    Kathy,
    These symptoms sound exactly like what I went through about 3 months after my surgery. I can't, however, account for why it has taken so long for your symptoms to kick in. Fortunately you will be seeing your doctor soon. Hopefully s/he will be ablt to shed some light on this. As for the nausea...I assume you're not pregnant.
  • Rookerbird
    Rookerbird Member Posts: 100
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    kellyh33 said:

    Nigth Sweats
    Hi Kathy,
    First let me say I not the one with OVCA, my mom is. However, I am nearly 44 and for the last couple of years I wake up a couple of times a month completely soaked. I too have to change the sheets and my pyjamas. For me it is peri-menopause, I would assume for you it would be menopause. I also get nauseous the week before my period but I don't throw up. Try not to worry but definitely mention it to your oncologist.
    Kelly

    Thanks!
    Thanks Kelly and Tethys! Guess it's menopause-related. No clue why it's gotten worse so long after my hysterectomy (which makes pregnancy a medical impossibility, so that can't explain the nausea...)

    I remember that before my surgery, I was having lots of tests. CT scans, x-rays, kidney tests, all kinds of blood work. The hospital kept doing pregnancy tests. Day after day. Negative, day after day. Finally, the day before my hysterectomy, I talked sense into the tech who was doing a PET scan. "My chart shows I wasn't pregnant yesterday, and I'm having a hysterectomy/oophorectomy tomorrow, so let's skip the pregnancy test." She concurred. :)
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676
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    Thanks!
    Thanks Kelly and Tethys! Guess it's menopause-related. No clue why it's gotten worse so long after my hysterectomy (which makes pregnancy a medical impossibility, so that can't explain the nausea...)

    I remember that before my surgery, I was having lots of tests. CT scans, x-rays, kidney tests, all kinds of blood work. The hospital kept doing pregnancy tests. Day after day. Negative, day after day. Finally, the day before my hysterectomy, I talked sense into the tech who was doing a PET scan. "My chart shows I wasn't pregnant yesterday, and I'm having a hysterectomy/oophorectomy tomorrow, so let's skip the pregnancy test." She concurred. :)

    Maybe you need to have your heart checked
    Rookerbird: The most worrisome part of your post is that you wrote your heart was beating in a "clunky random pattern"--so would you say you had an irregular heart rate?

    I don't want to give you unnecessary worry; however, heart attacks in women often present without chest pain--only nausea and sometimes sweating. I would explain everything to your family doctor and see what the doctor has to say.

    It's the irregular heart rate that bothers me the most. The night sweats could have another reason because it really doesn't fit to have menopausal night sweats at this time.

    LQ
  • Rookerbird
    Rookerbird Member Posts: 100
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    Maybe you need to have your heart checked
    Rookerbird: The most worrisome part of your post is that you wrote your heart was beating in a "clunky random pattern"--so would you say you had an irregular heart rate?

    I don't want to give you unnecessary worry; however, heart attacks in women often present without chest pain--only nausea and sometimes sweating. I would explain everything to your family doctor and see what the doctor has to say.

    It's the irregular heart rate that bothers me the most. The night sweats could have another reason because it really doesn't fit to have menopausal night sweats at this time.

    LQ

    Having My Heart Checked
    Hi LQ -

    Excellent advice! I have a cardiologist who I have seen just a handful of times for a minor arrhythmia that is managed with a pill I take on an "as needed" basis. Saw him yesterday, and he is checking out a number of possibilities. He doesn't think it's menopausal.

    My blood pressure is extremely low (98/60 yesterday) and he says a drop in my blood pressure would explain cold sweats and nausea. But, he's wondering if a drop in blood pressure might be due to an arrhythmia that occurs in my sleep (usually, there's no missing it!), or the cancer, or something else. He's asked my oncologist to run blood tests to check for a port-related bacterial infection (which he thinks is unlikely, but wants to rule out). And, he's got me wearing a heart monitor at night for the next 21 days.

    My heart function/condition is good, based on a recent echocardiogram my oncologist ordered because I'm on Doxil.

    So, no answers yet, but we're gathering data.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
  • carolenk
    carolenk Member Posts: 907 Member
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    Having My Heart Checked
    Hi LQ -

    Excellent advice! I have a cardiologist who I have seen just a handful of times for a minor arrhythmia that is managed with a pill I take on an "as needed" basis. Saw him yesterday, and he is checking out a number of possibilities. He doesn't think it's menopausal.

    My blood pressure is extremely low (98/60 yesterday) and he says a drop in my blood pressure would explain cold sweats and nausea. But, he's wondering if a drop in blood pressure might be due to an arrhythmia that occurs in my sleep (usually, there's no missing it!), or the cancer, or something else. He's asked my oncologist to run blood tests to check for a port-related bacterial infection (which he thinks is unlikely, but wants to rule out). And, he's got me wearing a heart monitor at night for the next 21 days.

    My heart function/condition is good, based on a recent echocardiogram my oncologist ordered because I'm on Doxil.

    So, no answers yet, but we're gathering data.

    Thanks,
    Kathy

    Night sweats
    Dear Kathy

    I am glad you got to the doctor ASAP. I didn't even think about the port as contributing to your symptoms--I hope you don't have a port infection. I would think you would have a fever if that was the case.

    Thanks for letting us know the rest of the story.

    Carolen
  • Rookerbird
    Rookerbird Member Posts: 100
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    carolenk said:

    Night sweats
    Dear Kathy

    I am glad you got to the doctor ASAP. I didn't even think about the port as contributing to your symptoms--I hope you don't have a port infection. I would think you would have a fever if that was the case.

    Thanks for letting us know the rest of the story.

    Carolen

    Port Infection?
    Carolen -

    You're right...normally a person with a port-related bacterial infection would run a fever. But I've been on steroids, which could suppress symptoms. I spoke to my oncologist's nurse yesterday, and she said port-related infections are rare, but they do happen. They'll do the blood cultures on Monday when I have my other lab work. They will do one draw from my port, and one draw from my arm or hand. Oh, how I love my port! Even if it is an infection, all would be forgiven. :)

    -Kathy
  • LaundryQueen
    LaundryQueen Member Posts: 676
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    Port Infection?
    Carolen -

    You're right...normally a person with a port-related bacterial infection would run a fever. But I've been on steroids, which could suppress symptoms. I spoke to my oncologist's nurse yesterday, and she said port-related infections are rare, but they do happen. They'll do the blood cultures on Monday when I have my other lab work. They will do one draw from my port, and one draw from my arm or hand. Oh, how I love my port! Even if it is an infection, all would be forgiven. :)

    -Kathy

    Good bye, Kathy
    I am so sorry to hear the news that Kathy is gone. I appreciate her detailed account of her journey. Seeing that it was clear cell that she was dealIng with, she fought a brave fight. My heart breaks for her family.
  • Tina Brown
    Tina Brown Member Posts: 1,036 Member
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    Good bye, Kathy
    I am so sorry to hear the news that Kathy is gone. I appreciate her detailed account of her journey. Seeing that it was clear cell that she was dealIng with, she fought a brave fight. My heart breaks for her family.

    Night sweats
    I sweat so badly during the night that it wakes me up 2 or 3 times. My night clothes are so damp that I have to change. My hair is dripping with sweat and my pillow is wet. It only happens at night. I went through the menopause 7 years ago. The only thing I can think it is is THE CANCER. My onc once told me that the energy that the cancer cells give off can cause you to sweat.

    Tina x