Better the devil you know

Health warning – stop here if you don’t want to hear an emotional rambling.


Ok, so the last two weeks have been pretty horrendous. I’m not really sure where to start but I think that I’ll start at the beginning….being a fan of the Sound of Music and all that!

I’ve mentioned before that I think that having the coil removed has had a major impact on my psychological wellbeing. I am now pretty convinced about it….it’s either that or I am slowly losing the plot and becoming an emotional wreck. So, really, I prefer the idea of it all being down to the coil. Ever since I had it removed, it has caused me issues. I have never been someone who is totally calm and collect. Those who know me may even suggest that I am fairly passionate (otherwise known as having a bit of a temper at times!). But while I had the mirena, I seemed to manage most things, most of the time. And I should have been fairly content with that. But me being me, I wasn’t. I wanted something more. I wanted to stop having to wait for 2 hours for a blood result once a month..some people are never happy and perhaps I am one of those people, despite having spent my life trying to say I’m not.

So, in August I had my coil removed (small apologies to those people  reading this who feel I have become too personal!) I was fed up with having to wait around for pregnancy test results when most people involved were convinced I had gone through a forced early menopause. For those of you who aren’t aware, chemotherapy can send a woman’s body through an early menopause – that seems to be what has happened to me. What that also means in reality is that ever since my stem cell transplant in 2011, I have been having the hot flushes of a 40/50 year old. It means I have known as much about this physical change as my sisters who are 10 years + older than me. It means that even if we wanted to have another baby, we now couldn’t . It is just another example of how myeloma sucks.

I decided to try to take the power back through having my coil removed. In my eyes, this would prove to the medical profession that I had really gone through the menopause, mean that I could stop the pregnancy tests, and hopeful make life a little bit easier. In reality, it has caused havoc. Since I had it removed I seem to have become miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I know that lots of things are making me think in my life…things haven’t been easy in lots of different areas ( I can’t really go into many of these now that this blog is more public than I had first envisaged). There seems to be a build up of so many different life ‘circumstances’ at the same time…and I can’t cope with them all. I am a control freak. And being out of control is sending me into a tiz. Before, I would obviously find things hard at times, but it didn’t feel so mental. This time, I just don’t know where to go with it all, who to talk to who isn’t bored of hearing about me whine on, or who are my true friends. And maybe some of this is just my depression talking. Because I really would say that I am depressed at the moment. No matter how much my lovely husband does to pull me out, I don’t seem capable of it at the moment and that makes me feel even worse because I want him to make me feel better…..for me, and more so for him and the children. But that want, just doesn’t seem to be enough.

And to top that general feeling of darkness, I have had three friends and acquaintances who have lost their lives to this bloody awful disease – in the space of a week. Myeloma is absolutely crap. I’d like to call it worse but know that my lovely parents sometimes read this and would be horrified by the language that I’d like to use. But truly, the people I have seen die from this cancer, absolutely break my heart. Such good people who have tried through thick and thin to be positive. But still it has got them in the end. And no matter how positive I try to be with all of it, I know that at some stage it is going to get me too. I have spent the past year trying to be positive about the outlook for me….to say that the figures that affect most people, are going to skip me by. And I’m so lucky so far that things HAVE gone well for me. Please don’t take this post as me not appreciating what I have….I really do. But it doesn’t stop me from knowing that life is not going to be easy at some point. Things are going to get worse. And if I’m totally honest about that, it scares the living daylights out of me sometimes.

I’m trying to make things better. I’ve just been told by my GP that I need to have HRT whether I like it or not….my age means that I need to get my oestrogen levels up again and the way to do this is HRT until I am the age of about 50 (god willing!). I have just seen a counsellor today. I hope that talking to someone outside of family and friends will help…time will tell. And I am seriously considering something I swore I would never do…..anti-depressants. Not for long, but maybe to take the edge of this darkness I’m feeling that I’m sinking in at the moment. It is so unfair to Nick and the kids so I need to stop being so stubborn and do whatever it takes to make things easier for everyone.

So forgive me this post. Please forgive me for not being so positive for once. When you lose 3 people you know, who have impacted your life, in only 7 days, it makes things feel pretty damn bad. I know I’ll get myself up again. I always do eventually. But every time you get left with an extra little scar.

About Deb Gascoyne

I am wife of one, mother of two (& a dog!) 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 is for me more than you I'm afraid. But if it helps you along the way, that is an absolute bonus for me :-) Diagnosed in 2009 with smouldering myeloma, I started treatment in 2010 and had a SCT in 2011. I’ve been on maintenance since then until November 2018 but my figures went up so am now officially relapsed and have just started DVD treatment (July 2019)
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5 Responses to Better the devil you know

  1. Jet Black says:

    Oh Debs. It sounds like you’re having a right old tough time of it just now. I’m so sorry.

    I just wanted to let you know that like you, I swore I would never take anti-depressants… That is until I was so anxious a few months after my allo transplant last year, that I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I was an absolute mess. In the end I surrendered to the suggestions of my counsellor, GP and consultant… I am so relieved I did.

    Given that our lives are likely to be shorter than we’d like, I think to spend precious time and emotional energy being miserable and in a state, dealing with anxiety/depression is not a fun at all. I hope and am sure you will find the right decision for you. Best wishes, as always. Jet x


  2. alexbicknell says:

    “Please don’t take this post as me not appreciating what I have…”

    Debs, I’d be amazed if anyone thought that. I suspect those reading, who don’t live with mm as closely as you and your immediate family do (and I and mine) will just read with horror that mm can be a bitch on so many levels at once. But it is, and we have to find the capacity, in our minds, to deal with that.
    Obviously, I can’t shed any light on the subject of coils/HRT etc! And as yet I haven’t resorted to antidepressants – except in small doses for pain relief – but I think we need to be focused on quality of life now, and stop having hang ups, if we can. I used to worry about using morphine. Now I figure I’ll take it if and when I need it. Life’s too short for unnecessary pain. I think the same attitude is the right one for antidepressants. No shame in trying them. If they help, in the short term, then – among the chemical cocktail we consume anyway – that’s a good thing, not something to worry about.
    It’s a miracle any of us find any positivity at all. We’d all be perfectly justifiable wallowing and ranting and raging all the time – except it wouldn’t be fair on our children, or helpful for our nearest and dearest. So we find ways of coping. But of course it isn’t easy.
    Strength to you.


    • Jet Black says:

      Much more eloquently put than me, Alex. Life’s too short for unnecessary pain.


    • Deb Gascoyne says:

      Thank you Alex…Jet is right, you put things so well. It’s been a tough time and I’m still in the middle of it all. But I’m hoping that my visit to the GP on Thursday might help a little….can’t keep going on like I am doing….it’s not me at all and I want to be happy again!


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