Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hold that menopause

I mentioned in a previous post one of the oncologists I saw suggested starting ovarian ablation & estrogen blocking drugs now, rather than after chemo, since my chemotherapy has been soooooo delayed by this darn wound.

Well, scratch that.

For one thing, it would really only cease one, maybe two menstrual cycles at this point -- not really worth it. Additionally, chemo will effectively put me into rapid menopause anyway, often known as "chemopause" by those who've experienced it.

So the other oncologist (a woman) thought, why torture me more now for such a small benefit? Had anyone known the skin necrosis would delay things this long, yeah, sure, it might have been a great idea. But since no one did predict this holdup, that shipped has pretty much sailed.

So we're hitting the pause button, however briefly, on menopause.

It's kind of weird knowing that right now as I type this I am PMSing for probably the last time. The last of my eggs has been released, the last time I'll bleed is approaching. While I wouldn't say I loved getting my period I did love what it represented...the cycle of life, the particular gifts of being a woman. Even if one never conceives children it is always there, a symbol of potentiality, of promise. Menstruation is a connection to Mother Earth, to the lunar cycles, to the wild side of our own natures. Monthly bleeding connects all women...as does the natural cessation of that bleeding.

But there is nothing natural about what will happen to me now, and that makes me sad. I wasn't looking forward to menopause...admittedly, since I knew HRT was out of the question due to my blood clotting issues I was even a little fearful of "the change" -- I watched my mother pretty much go deeply insane for a while at the onset of her menopause. Still, I had hoped that maybe I would be spared that...maybe somehow with some herbal supplements and such I would manage to muddle thru it with some modicum of grace.

But that was supposed to be about 10 years from now. It was supposed to be a gradual process. I was supposed to even have the option of giving birth to another child, perhaps -- or at least the illusion of that option.

I will miss getting my period...both biologically and psychologically. I will also miss it spiritually, strange as that may sound. I will miss knowing every month that my body was making a fresh start, a cyclical reminder to me that all things are possible.


Anonymous said...

I don't think that's weird at all - I totally understand how you feel. A little bit before my hyst/ooph surgery I had a Tampon Burning Party - I have pictures of it on my blog if you want to see: http://myblip.wordpress.com/?s=tampon+burning+party

I never knew that estrogen affected the body's ability to clot blood - wow.

I'm so sorry that you're dealing with necrosis - I've seen pictures and it looks terribly painful. I hope it helps up quickly! Good luck..

Brenda said...

I did not stop my period until after my 5th session of chemo. Strong hormones or something. Even then I kept spotting until the last session. But its different for everyone. The hot flashes from chemopause were pretty intense. But mine are letting up now, leading me to believe that maybe I'll get my periods back. I kind of hope so. I rather miss them.

sallymandy said...

Hi K: and thanks for visiting recently. I'm catching up on ALL your posts that I've missed.

I have similar thoughts about ending my periods even through natural menopause. I'm not quite there yet but they are changing and I know it's the beginning of the end. There's something about fertility that is very life affirming and I will miss it.

But I'll be thinking of you, as I do often. Many good thoughts, prayers and love sent your way.

Jeffrey said...

Very interesting read, and something I will relay to my menopausal wife! She has recently done her hormone test for http://bodylogicmd.com/bioidentical-hormone-therapy and is very eager to undergo treatment. I hope others do their research and learn about this natural option.