Thursday, April 24, 2014
Day 691 of 1825 - Two Years Post Hysterectomy
Of all the procedures I went through - core needle biopsies, lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy, chemo and radiation - my hysterectomy was the hardest. To this day I am still feeling the effects.
And I don't like it.
I realize that menopause is a natural state for women as we age. It's not a disease and it's certainly nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of. But when you hit menopause instantly rather than letting your body transition in its own good time, the changes can be very hard to handle. At least, that has been my experience.
I don't want to sound like a complainer here. Menopause is better than cancer any day! But I will be 50 years old in just five days and I feel terrible. I feel like an old woman. An old, FAT woman.
I have neglected this blog for a variety of reasons. Mainly, I am very dissatisfied with my new "normal." I am out of shape, forgetful and more nervous about a cancer recurrence than I was about my initial diagnosis.
I wish I could report that my life returned to normal and everything is wonderful but that would be a lie. There are many wonderful things about my life, and I am very grateful! But my life is not what it was. And it is still not what I hoped it would be once I finished my treatments.
I continue to take tamoxifen every morning. As you can see from my countdown, I am about 38% through my 5 years of hormonal therapy. My next appointment with my oncologist is in June - two years after starting tamoxifen. We'll evaluate how I'm doing and decide whether or not to switch to an aromatase inhibitor. I know these drugs are not a walk in the park either.
So I have decided that during this 50th year of my life, I need to really take some serious action to get myself to a place where I am happy, healthy and less anxious. I've read my previous posts and they all say the same thing but I've done nothing about it. I am definitely in a rut and I want OUT!
One thing I did earlier this year was consult with a local cancer survivorship program. They have support group meetings, free yoga classes, all kinds of events and lectures -- everything I need to help me rebuild my life after cancer. They also recommended a licensed clinical therapist who specializes in cancer survivorship.
I made an appointment and will see her on my birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Nothing like seeing a therapist on your 50th birthday. ha!
I will try to do a better job of posting some updates. I realize there are very few of you (if any) who read this blog. That's okay. It's meant to be my own way of documenting my recovery and (hopefully) survival.
Either way, it's time for me to stop ignoring the fact that I had cancer and start reclaiming my life.
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I just stumbled onto your blog. Your story has many similarities to mine, although I have lobular cancer. I start radiation (thankfully no chemo!) in two weeks and the tamoxifen after the radiation. I am worried about the onset of menopause, but you are right, it is better than cancer!!! My cancer was diagnosed by the Paredes center as well. They are so wonderful there. Hang in there and stay strong!!!!! TraceyReplyDelete
Hi, Tracey. Hope you're doing well. Have you wrapped up radiation treatment? If you are into yoga, check out avaniyogastudio.com in Chester, VA. Thanks for leaving a comment here'Delete
I have just found your blog. I had IDC (invasive ductal carcinoma), when I was only 38. I was operated, got chemotherapy, radiation and have been on Tamoxifen for less than a year. I totally understand your problems, and I am fighting with the same issues: menopause (I am only 39) and weight gain, hot flashes and constipation. However, I am trying to battle these. E.g. I started taking private fittness classes from an expert. Even though I have not lost any weight (in fact gained) but has gotten a lot stronger, with a lot more stamina, and my body has gotten leaner. I feel that I could not have been able to put my life back together if it was not for professional help. So I can only encourage you seek professional help, do not give up the fight, and find something in your life you can focus on other than cancer. Keeping my fingers crossed for you: Anonymous from HungaryReplyDelete
Glad to hear you are staying strong! This is not a journey for the faint of heart. Thanks for the encouragement!Delete
I am someone who periodically checks your blog to see if you have an update - a fellow BC who is a little ahead of you in the Tamoxifen taking journey. Here I was, at age 45, thinking I was finished with my monthly cycle but it seems not. Like you i have all the issues of menopause which is further complicated by the fact I have severe arthritis in my lower spine which makes exercising difficult.I am just wondering if the current talk of taking tamoxifen for ten years now was something you were likely to be discussing? I, too, seem to have become more anxious about new symptoms and the possibility of cancer recurrence. Please keep us updated from time to time so we now that our cyberspace friend,Jennifer, is still doing okay.ReplyDelete
Thanks for checking in. Hope you are feeling good and staying strong!Delete
Hi, Catherine. As you can see, I've moved on to Femara. We'll see how it goes. My doc is starting to talk about 10 years of meds instead of 5. No clear plan yet. I'm still shooting for 5.ReplyDelete