WHEN CANCER LEADS TO EARLY MENOPAUSE

Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs.

During natural menopause, the body’s estrogen and progesterone hormone production decreases. This causes irregular menstrual periods that eventually stop. Typically, menopause starts around age 50. However, it may often start earlier or later.

For women with cancer including myself, menopause may begin earlier. For example, some treatments cause the ovaries to stop working. This is called premature menopause.

In my case I experienced premature menopause very early at the early age of 39 one year after I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (blood cancer) .
This was extremely hard for me to handle. It honestly felt like everything was going wrong at the same time. 

First out of nowhere I’m blindsided and diagnosed with terminal cancer at the prime of my life.

Then to add to that I’m in a wheelchair and unable to walk or care for myself. Then I’m faced with all of these financial and personal issue with my ex-husband stealing all of our money and businesses from me while I’m literally in the most confused and fragile state of my entire life (takes the meaning being kicked while you’re down to the next level).
Ontop of everything I was dealing with, menopause was the last thing that I needed to be dealing with.

I’ve never experienced so many emotions and side effects all at the same time. Stress, depression, hot flashes, confusion, chemo brain I felt like my body was shutting down on me and it was.
All my life I had heard older women speak about menopause and always thought “it can’t be that bad” but boy was it that bad and even worse because I was also dealing with having cancer and doing chemotherapy.

Being a woman is so hard, we deal with so many changes physically, mentally & emotionally that men would not even begin to understand. If you are dealing with any of the symptoms that I have listed below I would highly recommend that you make an appointment with your gynecologist and request blood work to to check your hormone levels asap. 

Symptoms of menopause include:

  • Hot flashes

  • Night sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Painful sexual intercourse

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Osteoporosis, which makes bones weak and fragile

  • Bladder control difficulties

  • Recurrent bladder infections

  • Mood swings and irritability

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Sleeping problems, also called insomnia

  • Irregular or heavy menstruation

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

  • Food cravings

  • Fuzzy thinking or forgetfulness

 


If you are currently going through menopause or entering pre menopause and looking for relief I will share my secret in my next blog post.

Gail 🤎🪶

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