I had some bloodwork run last week to look into some of the things that are ongoing since chemo.
Just a warning, this post is going to be a ‘cancer’ post and not about dance.
I got the results today, and while I am fine in general, I am not really sure how to process this news. I should have known, but I guess part of me was hoping for something different.
My bloodwork confirmed that I am in menopause. I am 36, single and have no kids.
It is unclear right now if it is permanent or temporary and all we can do is wait to see what happens in the next 18 months.
I have been having extremely intense full body hot flashes since about a month after I finished chemo. I think part of me was thinking it was a sign that my ovaries were waking back up after chemo and trying to get back to normal. According to my bloodwork, they aren’t even stirring. From a cancer point of view, it is actually a good thing because my body is not producing any hormones for cancer to feed off of. I will still re-start the hormone therapy in January as planned because nothing is confirmed.
My doctor explained that sometimes, it just takes the body a little longer to get back to normal after chemo. But at the same time, I knew before I started chemo that this was a possibility. We even discussed whether or not I wanted to freeze some eggs, just in case, although my doctor recommended against it because I would have had to take a high dose of cancer-feeding hormones before harvesting.
I guess my head is just spinning a bit with this news. There is still a chance it is temporary and it’s only been 6 months since chemo. I guess sometimes you don’t realize how much something matters to you until it is not there. There was a time in my life that having children was a real possibility, but that didn’t work out. And while it is not something that was sitting imminently on my radar, I guess I hadn’t completely ruled out that possibility for the future. I suppose it still is possible that my ovaries might get the message my brain keeps trying to tell them–hey wake up we are only 36!
I think one of the most difficult things about this is that all I can do is wait. There is nothing that can really be done to even help with the symptoms I am experiencing. I can’t take the usual hormone replacement therapy because my cancer likes to eat hormones. I just have to stick it out and hope it gets better with time. It’ll help when I can get a little more active again I hope.
So, not the end of the world, but certainly not what I expected or was hoping for. I guess in some ways I feel like cancer may have made some more life choices for me and I resent that. In some ways, this is another reminder that no matter how hard I try to get back to how things were ‘before’, it is impossible. I can only move forward.
On a different note, I went to buy some post-surgery clothes today, including giant button-up shirts and drawstring pants to wear while I recover. All of it, by coincidence is in a plaid pattern. And all of it is going to clash together. I am really going to be hard on the eyes for a couple weeks :).
Only time can tell how I will come through this, but I will come through this. I will adjust. Life is never a straight path but full of twists and turns, all of which are navigable, some of which are unexpected. It will be interesting to see what I write a year from now and how different I will be from the person I am now.
That’s how growth happens. We take the good with the bad and move forward.