Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Unexpected Second Wave

While going through treatment, I just kept Dec 23 in mind, knowing it would all be done. What I didn't realize is that there would be this second wave of things to deal with, like an aftershock following an earthquake. The aftershock is two things: 1) trying to find your "new normal", a very common post-cancer phrase, and 2) dealing with the effects of treatment.

Right now the biggest tremor for me is menopause. Though I've been in menopause since my first chemo in September, the symptoms of menopause seem to have gotten worse recently. So, I'm trying to figure all that out. Most menopausal women start taking hormones like estrogen, but I can't take them, so I have to figure out how to deal with it other ways. Hot flashes, mood swings, sleeplessness, and other "girl issues" are awful to deal with every day and there just isn't a lot of standard wisdom out there about what is helpful.

Also, there isn't a lot of help from doctors in this arena. They get you through treatment, but some of these after-effects aren't their specialization, so it's hard to find assistance. But, I'm still searching, doing a lot of online research, and talking to any docs who may have suggestions.

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