Thursday, December 15, 2011

Menopause and Me

My breast cancer is estrogen positive. That means my cancer is fueled by estrogen. Not all breast cancer is hormone driven, but mine is. My oncologist had tried a hormone drug called Tamoxifen when I first was diagnosed. After three months of taking that, the tests (MRI, CT, bone scan) showed that it had not stopped my cancer from growing. That was when they had to induce menopause in me (to shut down my ovaries) and give me hormone drugs for post-menopausal women. With the wonder of medicine, I was given a monthly shot of Lupron to induce menopause.

After I heal from my mastectomy and thryroidectomy, I will have to have a oophorectomy (listen to the pronunciation). Yes, it is a funny word. I had to have the doctor repeat it twice and spell it for me. What does it mean? I have to have my ovaries removed. Why? My ovaries produce too much estrogen. My Lupron shots work to shut down my ovaries, but it is not a long term solution. Keeping in mind that I also have hepatitis C, strong medications are not good for my liver.

Menopause is not fun. Sometimes, I get annoyed very, very easily. That is when I need to physically remove myself from the situation that is annoying me. In other words, go upstairs when my family is downstairs. Sometimes, I just want to be by myself. I need some space, is all. Sometimes, I get angry over the littlest thing. Are you looking at me! Sometimes, clumps of hair wash away when I take a shower. You have to see these clumps of 7 - 10+ hairs to believe them! They scare me! Then there are the hot flashes, which one time made me look a little OCD. Sometimes, I want to eat but don't want to eat anything. Sometimes, I just want to cry. Not cry because I am sad or depressed. Just cry to cry. That's when I ask my husband to show me a sad, sad movie so that I can just cry.

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