Kate's Blog

Follow me if you will as I try to navigate through the ups and downs of my world.

I'm writing this blog to help me make sense of all that has happened - from my diagnosis with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while pregnant with my third child in May 2008
, through to my reflections on chaotic family life as I try to pick up the pieces of my life again.

The kids are so small, and I'm working hard to keep us all safe and to stay in remission.

Stay with me - it won't be all doom and gloom I promise!

Friday, 29 January 2010

To HRT or Not

Things are just crazy around here. I'm feeling absolutely shattered at the moment - lack of hormones, oestrogen in particularly apparently to blame - as I discovered today at the hospital. I've been taking a break from the HRT as things seemed to improve a bit in the hormone department back in October, but things have crashed even further into menopause than they were at the end of my treatment. All very depressing. I'm really having very severe menopausal symptoms which are disturbing my sleep and wrecking my days really. The aggressive treatment I received has led to an aggressive menopause.

I don't want to take the bloody bloody HRT - I've had enough of taking 'bad stuff', and I want to be as healthy and drug-free as possible. I don't want any of the potential side effects thank you very much. On the other hand, my oestrogen levels have dropped to such an alarmingly low level that if I continue not to take HRT apparently I'll need regular bone density scans to check for osteoporosis. Also, taking HRT would apparently have a marked positive effect on the desperate exhaustion I'm feeling, the sleeplessness and the swamping hot flushes which dog me night and day.

The problem is that I'm struggling - struggling with dealing with the kids, with managing my exhaustion and everything else at the same time. I'm only a year away from experiencing 'all they could throw at you' as the doctor today put it when describing my treatment. That treatment - the chemotherapy, stem cell transplant and radiotherapy still leaves its legacy today, and I had a newborn baby to attempt to mother through that experience as well as the other two kids. I never really rested then and I sure as dammit can't rest now. Perhaps struggling to stay off HRT is more than I can cope with now. HRT would undoubtedly provide me with some respite which I bloody need. What's a little weight gain, sickness and extra risk of getting various cancers? (yup, I could certainly do with that one!!)

If I'd gone into the menopause naturally I'd NEVER have considered taking HRT. But now everyone close to me, the doctor included, clearly thinks I'm crazy for even considering doing without it. But then they haven't had poison dripped through their veins for days on end. I know, I know -it got rid of the cancer, for the time being at least, but at some severe personal and lasting cost.

And, now I want another baby. Sort of. At least I would like the chance of having one. Most of all I'd like those good old hormones back. No-one's holding out much hope though. I think I had a bit of secret faith that my body might perform miracles, but now even I'm losing faith.

I don't know.


The Dotterel said...

Difficult. And I can't be much help. Although knowing someone in a similar situation I can understand a little of what you're going through. And I can also say that the HRT has made a big difference to her.

You'll do what's right for you, I'm sure.

Rebecca S. said...

Kate, it is just one thing after another right now, isn't it? I'm wondering if you could get a second opinion, like from a Homeopath or someone like that. Sometimes they can perform miracles with their treatments. Or is it possible to take the HRT for a while until things are better (you do have children to look after, so I understand your desire to feel up to it!), while you look for other options? My heart goes out to you. xo

Kate said...

Well, I am already seeing a herbalist and taking herbs every day, but unfortunately they're not having a huge effect. I think the symptoms are too severe. You're right - I might take it for a while to try to boost my energy so I can get fit and then try without when I'm feeling a bit better. Thanks for your sympathetic comments. I do really appreciate them.

Mummy mania said...

another awful decision to make.... you probably haven't read my new blog, but one of the possible issues of my new diagnosis is early menopause which fills me with horror - and reading your blog has just reinforced this. let me know what you decide....

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