Breast cancer was the perfect trifecta. It took away my hair, part of my breast, and my fertility. I was in full blown menopause at the age of 39. Today I’m going WAY beyond my comfort zone of sharing some pretty personal experiences with you, along with some great information that you need to know about…. especially if you are in your 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s.
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Menopause is still one of those words that is whispered and not discussed. Women of a certain age don’t share this information with their younger peers. Maybe they talk among themselves. But I certainly haven’t been privy to the secrets of how a woman’s body ages. Nor was I ready for or expecting all of the changes.
At the age of 39, chemotherapy induced me into chemical menopause, and Tamoxifen has kept me there for the last seven years.
My heart breaks for younger women who have to go through what I did. When you are young and you want children, your fertility is important to you. It’s difficult to have that taken away. For me, the emotional aspect of menopause wasn’t as bad, because I had no interest in having my own baby. At the time, I was engaged to be married to a wonderful man, and on the verge of taking on the role of Stepmother to his son. I was pushing 40, and not ready to start over. Giving up my “womanhood” was a sad goodbye, but not at the top of my concerns. The physical aspect of menopause was a different beast and has been quite the roller coaster ride.
I wasn’t sad to say farewell to Aunt Flo coming to visit every month. The cramps, the bloating, the crankiness – gone. Buh bye. But now, rather than a relatively predictable monthly cycle of physical symptoms and emotions, it was all over the place. My hormones went completely rogue.
Hormones Gone Rogue
I’ve heard the jokes about menopausal women sticking their heads in the freezer due to the hot flashes. Yes, I did it. Too many times to count. I bought special pajamas to help wick away the sweat during the night. I remember stripping down to my camisole in Home Depot… in the middle of winter. Hubby was with me and was like… “what are you doing?” I didn’t even respond. I just gave him some kind of evil look and kept pushing the cart now filled with all of my clothes, walking around the store half-naked.
The cramps and bloating were replaced with weight gain and permanent bloating. I had a stomach for the first time. Ever. Like overnight. I’m in menopause and look like I’m five months pregnant.
The monthly emotional shifts turned into downright unpredictable crazy. I took a permanent vacation to Bat Sh*t Crazy Town. I’m normally pretty even-tempered, but I now had zero control over my emotional state. It was like I was out of my body watching the actions of someone who I didn’t want to be and had no way of fixing it.
Lest we forget… all of this was going on during our engagement and as newlyweds. Fortunately, the worst symptoms of menopause died down after about two years.
The best part… at the beginning, my Oncologist tried to be sympathetic. “Since you are so young, don’t worry, your period might come back.” Really? I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone… let alone getting my period back and having to go through it again. Hush and don’t ever speak of that again. BTW – I love my Oncologist and we ended up with some really good laughs over this.
Perimenopause and What You Can Expect
Perimenopause is a beast in and of itself Have you had some unexplained symptoms since you turned 40? Maybe you’ve experienced:
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Weight Gain
- Low energy
- Memory Lapses
- Anxiety or depression
It can be hard to tell what is due to ‘normal aging’ and what is a hormone imbalance. Every woman will have a change from regular monthly periods to no periods from her late 30s to early 50s. But how you feel during this changing time depends on your overall health and your knowledge of how to best navigate these years.
Imagine…transforming your pantry into a disease-fighting place of health and wellness… in a super simple way! Click below…
How to Balance Your Hormones
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to balance your hormones, reset your metabolism, mellow your moods, and nourish your adrenal glands. Here are some things to think about as you are on your journey of the Big Change:
- Clean eating. Enjoy a diet rich in whole foods and minimize or eliminate processed foods and sugar.
- Exercise. Yes – find your favorite fun, sweaty activity or yoga and get moving!
- Minimize toxins. Switch over to all-natural products in your home cleaning and beauty regimes.
- Set up your nights for optimal sleep.
- Switch to all-natural products for your lady bits.
- Reduce vaginal dryness
Learn more about how to make menopause a Magical Time of your life!
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Love, hugs, and finding my balance.