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chemo pause !

Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2004

So I went through chemo back in 2004-2005. Had all the usual side effects, and went through chemopause (about 15 years early in my family!) Never had hot flashes, but recently I've been sooo tired, had trouble sleeping, can't remember anything, and I figured out that hot flashes are waking me up at night and I'm getting about 4 hours of sleep, and it's been going on for months. Gee - no wonder I'm tired! So I went to my family doctor, who is the head of a teaching center for family medicine. She told me that because of the cancer, I couldn't take hormones, which are the standard treatment (blah blah blah - I knew that!) and plant hormones are just as bad (duh!) It's just menopause - should only last a year or so!

I was floored! She had nothing to offer me! She didn't seem to realize that I'm so freaking tired that I shouldn't even be driving and that I can't imagine going on like this! I wasn't there just to say "hi" - I'm desperate!

Since I've learned about about effexor for hot flashes on this board, I asked her about it and got a prescription. I'm still so shocked-mad-amazed that I'm not sure if I should even go to a family doctor - who are we suposed to see? I can't go to the onc for a pap, or every little thing - who do you see?


NorcalJ's picture
Posts: 192
Joined: Feb 2008

Hi Jill,
It's too bad you got that kind of answer from your doc---especially a woman! How about seeing an OB/GYN? I love it when they have a nurse practioner in the office---usually easier to talk to, but can still prescribe. Either way, I'd get another opinion until you get someone who's actually listening and not giving you a canned answer. You obviously know yourself. Trust your intuition.
Good Luck,

chenheart's picture
Posts: 5180
Joined: Apr 2003

I agree with NorcalJ~ if you can be seen by a Nurse Practitioner, you might find the compassion and medical care you need.

Yes, menopause is self-limiting, but that doesn't mean dismissal and a non-caring attitude by your family physician. Compared to other conditions he may see in a weeks time, yours may indeed not measure high on the Richter scale, but your menopause is affecting your ability to sleep, function normally and drive! You do deserve to be heard, and taken seriously!

Don't give up! You fought the Beast and won...get out there and fight apathy!


CatheS's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2006

If you are looking for a non-pharmaceutical solution, try promensil (plant matter) which is available at a health food or vitamin store. Good luck. C

Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2004

Thanks for your comments! I think I will ask my onc for a referral to a gp who specializes in cancer patients - there must be someone like that out there! I've avoided using a gyno for general care - I want a physician that treats my whole body and not just from the waist down! ;-)

I looked into the Promensil recommendation - the research from Sloan-Kettering Cancer center indicates that it is ineffective for hot flashes and that red clover has plant estrogens, which I need to avoid - just an FYI.

thanks again,
Jill D

Jadie's picture
Posts: 728
Joined: Mar 2004

I hope the Effexor works for you but it gave me hotflashes (or I stayed hot all the time). I had to quit it and go on zoloft.

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