Feeling hot, hot, hot!

It’s been a busy week and I’m pretty shattered now, but I have to say it’s been pretty productive.

Tuesday was appointment day so Nick and I trekked down to the Marsden in Surrey in eager anticipation of my BMB (bone marrow biopsy)! I got there and gave blood to find out that I wasn’t due a doctor’s appointment after all. Typical because it was the first week that I had a few questions to ask, largely about the fact that I have been experiencing hot flushes for the last few weeks. Nothing hugely major in the grand schemes, but they make me hugely hot for a few minutes at a time and, in a rather lovely manner, bring me out in a nice little sweat sometimes! Now I know from what I have read that there is a chance of a transplant and chemo bringing on the menopause, and without going into detail, I won’t know if that’s me without hormone checks.

So, on Tuesday, I asked to speak with my lovely specialist nurse Sharon. I had assumed she would know what to do and what was happening, but what I had forgotten was that they don’t have that many young people going through their doors, and the chances of them being female and going into early menopause is even smaller! So basically she didn’t know much more than me, but sent off an extra blood sample to test those pesky hormones. Anyway, I got the results on Thursday evening and it looks like there is a chance that I am going through an early menopause. One result would suggest I am, and the other gives me a chance of reprieval! Anyway, Sharon wasn’t sure exactly what it meant or where I should go from here and has gone to the gynae specialist to find out more although I don’t really want a formal referral or it will mean more appointments down in Surrey – our petrol costs are going through the roof!

I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing. Myeloma basically put a kybosh (is that how you spell it??!!) on the idea of any more children – it wouldn’t be fair to have more knowing that they would probably grow up without a mummy for most of their life. It’s hard enough knowing that Sam and Rebecca won’t have me as long as we always expected, but at least with them we didn’t know that would be the case up front. If we hadn’t had children, maybe we would feel differently, but we have 2 lovely kiddies and are very lucky – and we wouldn’t push that luck. Anyway, so myeloma stopped the idea of more kids and so the menopause shouldn’t be an issue. But somehow it is. It makes it all so final. I think I need to try to embrace it (and hope it doesn’t last too long!) and then maybe it won’t seem so bad.

So, after seeing the nurse I went for my BMB. They had said I could have two lots of diazipam and that was good so I went in feeling much more relaxed about the whole thing. An then to make it even better, I was offered gas and air too! I had that when I had my PICC line put in for my transplant and it made a big difference. I think half of it is that you breathe better with gas and air. And you have something to bite down onto when the pain does kick in!! So for the second time, I have to say, it wasn’t too bad. I don’t think it will ever be pain free, but it was as good as it could ever be. And now we wait. Results come back on the 25th. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that.

In the meantime, I am trying to keep busy. I am currently arranging a Craft and tabletop sale in aid of Myeloma UK with the aim of raising over £500! That is in November and I feel really positive about it, as much as anything because we have great raffle prizes and should be able to make lots from that alone. If anyone is interested who isn’t local you can buy raffle tickets at £1 each at www.justgiving.com/DebFraserGascoyne. (Although if I’m honest, a lot of prizes are from local companies – but we do have wine, coffee makers, nando’s vouchers etc). I’m also trying to start organising a Glitz and Glamour Ball for November 2012 so we’re looking for a good venue in and around High Wycombe at the moment. No rest…….well just a bit!




About Deb Gascoyne

I am wife of one, mother of two and a person in my own right :-) I have used my diagnosis of myeloma to allow me to focus on what I CAN achieve and not what I can't. My blog is a way of me spilling out....it is for me more than you I'm afraid. But if it helps you along the way, that is an absolute bonus for me :-)
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3 Responses to Feeling hot, hot, hot!

  1. If you are indeed experiencing early menopause, try very hard to stay away from commercial pharma hormone support, IMO. There are several organic creams with black cohosh in them or with wild yam and they can be helpful in easing the steamy rises in temperature. That doesn’t help the sense of finality about kids and even ‘being a woman’ that having the monthlies changes now, but perhaps if you are thinking ‘green’ you can consider this your contribution to helping global warming as you are personally melting… (trying for a laugh here).


  2. At just turned 50, I’m a bit older than you Deb, but similarly younger than the majority of myeloma (male) patients. I too am going through menopause, which may have been brought on earlier due to the initial chemotherapy. It’s impossible to know. My bleeding stopped in April – prior to SCT.

    Yours certainly sound like menopausal hot flushes to me… Dr Jet! LOL! Mine occur during the day, but more at night. I’ll be writing about it in my blog if you want more details.

    Like with you, the Haematology doctors and nurses didn’t really know much more than a lay person about menopause, but I was advised to consider speak to my GP about HRT. This may be a better route for you than seeing a gynaecologist…?

    I can see how you might feel quite bereft – another loss, another grieving process. But on the plus side, think of the savings to be made with no more sanitary products to buy!


  3. I think transplant basically puts all the younger women into
    immediate menopause. At least, that’s how it worked with the women MM’ers
    I know. What you describe sounds just like a hot flash.The good news is that women who go through peri-menopause and then menopause can have symptoms for many years
    and it can be pretty uncomfortable. Not that an SCT is at all worth it but you will probably avoid all that nonsense. I cried when I had a nurse e-mail me and tell me that Tim most likely could not father children. I was quite “late” 2 summers ago and was a bit worried. On the one hand, the last thing we need is another child while dealing with MM. But it was still very hard to
    know that all that he’d been through had most likely made him sterile. It’s one thing to decide you are done having kids, it’s another to be told you can’t have kids. Once again, we must just try to find the silver linings.


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