Tag Archives: HRT

New Year, New Outlook

So first of all, massive apologies that it has taken me this long to post an update. I know that some of you who follow me have been in touch worried about me but I do have some excuses…I think. But anyway, Happy New Year to one and all!

When I last wrote things were pretty awful…I was deemed to be ‘moderately’ depressed by my doctor, largely she felt, because of the fact that I had suffered from early menopause. I felt more than moderately depressed! However, the good news was that she was brilliant and very quickly got me onto HRT and anti-depressants. She wasn’t convinced I would need the latter, but thought it was worth me trying them so that everything was in place for me to be able to have a good holiday with the family.

The great thing was that the tablets all worked really quickly! Now whether it was all due to the tablets, or partly due to psychological factors, I will never know, but I do know that within a few days I was feeling so much better…..and within a couple of weeks I was so chilled out I was practically vertical! Nick wonders why I didn’t start on them years ago 😉 And mentally I have been well ever since. I am back to the doctor this week, and hopefully I will start to come off the anti-depressants and still be fine given that the HRT should have taken over by now.

What else is there to update on? Well Christmas didn’t end up quite the way we had hoped in the end. Whilst my head had recovered, sadly just before Christmas I got ill with one of the common fluey things that was going round. Being immunocompromised, the result for me was that within hours, I was laid up in bed with a fever that I couldn’t shake, aches and shivers, and an awful cough. I put off calling the Out of Hours (it all happened the Saturday before Christmas) because I wasn’t convinced they’d do much…and called the Marsden on Monday morning…to be told to go straight to A&E to get a blood test! I had been borderline neutropenic at my last check up and so they felt it important to check that I hadn’t deteriorated as this can be really dangerous. 

So we passed the kids over to our very good friends, and hopped in the car, braving the winds that were building up. And off we went to Churchill in Oxford. The Marsden had been brilliant about understanding they were too far for me to travel, especially with the weather warnings, and set it up for me to avoid A&E. And I have to say that I can’t praise the Churchill enough. Bar the fact that they threatened to keep me over Christmas at one point, they had blood results within minutes and looked after Nick and I ( well me!) impeccably. Luckily they let me out by the end of the day with antibiotics and strict instructions to call in again if things got any worse. 

So the end result was that our plans to go up and stay with my sister for Christmas got cancelled and we had to have an emergency Christmas at home. Thankfully Nick was his usual amazing self, finished off all the preparations and went to get a chicken and some sprouts for the big day. And luckily I started to improve enough to be out of bed that day….and to enjoy his amazing Christmas dinner! And now things seem to be all well…just in time to go back to work – hurrah!

Anyway, the good news too, is that over that period, friends and family rallied together in helping me to achieve the first of my ’40 Challenges Before 40′ – see tab at the top of my blog for more details!. Over 40 of us donated money to Myeloma UK rather than sending Christmas cards (or sending as many as we normally would!)….we raised approximately £800 so are well on the way to the £4000 target I have set for the challenges. I think the next couple I’ll be looking for help with are Challenge no 8 – to get 40 people to give up something for lent and be sponsored for it, and Challenge no 11 – to get 40 businesses to donate £40 (or another amount). So if you can help, please get in touch!!

That’s all for now….and by the way, for those of you who think I don’t blog enough…one of my challenges is to write 40 blog entries in the next year so hopefully I’ll be writing every couple of weeks from now on!! 

 

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Better the devil you know

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

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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.

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