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A year since diagnosis...

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ST85
A year since diagnosis...

I’m 33 and was diagnosed with stage 1b2 on 12th November 2017. I underwent 25 radio, 4 cycles of chemo and 4 brachytherapy.

 

I’ve generally coped with everything really well, and was thrilled when I got the all clear in June. I’m quite lethargic and have lower back pain at times, but that’s been my only side effect.

 

For the last few weeks I’ve felt really sensitive towards comments, in friendships and massively self conscious. Ive pretty much cried every day after getting in from work, and can’t explain why.

When it comes to menopausal symptoms, I suffer from flushes, which are probably only 5-6 times a day and pass within seconds. Do you think my emotions are down to the menopause, or do you think I’m just slowly starting to realise what I’ve been through?

 

I’m really not keen on starting HRT yet at my age, but have been told by colleagues (who have started HRT due to age) that it gives them a new lease of life.

 

Thanks for any help,

 

X

jess_38

Hi ST85, 

I'm not sure that I can offer any real advice-but thought I'd tell you that I feel pretty much the same. I was staged 2B but essentially had the same treatment as you (just add +1 cispatin and +1 brachy) and finished it all on Oct.5th. I started having hot flashes toward the last 2 weeks of treatment but couldn't tell for sure until after everything was over as I had been on so many medications of which they can also be a side effect. Sure enough these last few weeks since they came on with a vengance including night sweats that keep me tossing, turning and ripping my clothes off and throwing them on the floor. None of the usual suggestions were helping (fans, lighter blankets, etc.) so I was tested for estrogen and it clearly was causing it all, so they prescribed a HRT patch. The patch gives you a continous dose and doesn't process through your liver. It's not quite been a week, so it doesn't seem to be helping yet...although I wish it would ASAP! I imagine it is what is making me a bit (or alot) weepy and generally feeling emotional. In all fairness though, I do feel like I'm only beginning to really process what I've just been through as it was all a whirlwind and there wasn't really time to wrap my brain around it. I had already been on antidepressants for a long time (another long story ha) and have had the same therapist for many years, who has really been helpful. I suggest if you don't have one already, they're great! I pretty much think if everyone had a therapist we'd all be better off lol. Back to the HRT, it's been explained to me that when you lose ovarian function this young (I'm 38) that it's actually recommended to have HRT because your body still will need the hormones for other reasons-including protection from other cancers, bone loss, etc. I've read some women say once they sort it all out it can even have unexpected benefits- more libido, clearer mental functioning, etc. (fingers crossed). Apparently also there is still a chance that ovarian function can return, but it can take awhile to know if it does. They would just continue to monitor hormone levels as you also don't want too much of anything. I'm sure your doctors will explain all of this if you decide to persue HRT, but in the meantime I'm learning all about it now and maybe some of this info will be of use to you. Otherwise just know that you're not the only one and if you need to let it all out sometimes, we get a pass!!! We just have to hang in there I guess.

Best,

Jess_38 

nm_353
nm_353's picture

I know this is a little old, but I wanted to respond... I’m just over 2 years out from my treatments, and the dr has urged me to start hrt. I’m now 35, but I believe my last period was when I was 33, sometime in August of that year? I’ve lost a bit too much muscle mass already and I am very weak in the low back. I am waiting for my prescription to be called in now. I asked him for a patch as I do not want to take anything orally. I’m scared of hrt as well, but I’m thinking the pros outweighs the cons. We are so young that I believe it’s even more dangerous for us if we do not take it. I have aged so much in the past 2 years. I’m tired, weak, I ache,  my skin is dry, and my nether regions are like cotton! We are too young for this! Although, I’m so very happy to be alive :) I think I’m slowly getting over the trauma of it all, but now I need some quality.

June 2016- pap, not up to date, results abnormal

Julyy 5th-  After followups diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma

July 12th 2016- Met with oncologist, clinically staged at 1b2, staging confirmed with MRI and PET. Tumor is endocervical and approx 7 cm.

August 2016- Started chemorads. Post followup after treatment, NED

Sept 2018- Still NED

Petesdragon
Petesdragon's picture

It's totally  unnatural  to have your reproductive hormones cut dead at such young ages.  Cervical cancer is not hormone dependent like some types of breast cancer for example.  If you had type one diabetes  you would take insulin to keep well and that's a hormone too.  Definitely take the HRT,  you will feel so much better and it will protect your long term cardiac and bone  health too. 

    • Stage 3 Glassy cell adenocarcinoma  1997 (negative smear tests).

Treated with Wertheim's hysterectomy, chemorads.

October 2017- new squamous cell vaginal tumour diagnosed,  probably radiation-induced. 

Total pelvic exenteration on 19th December 2017. 

March 18 Post-op CT scan shows healthy kidneys and successful urostomy and colostomy. No evidence of recurrence. Discharged by urology and colorectal surgeons. 2 down and 2 to go!

June 2018. CT scan shows 2 new pulmonary nodules.  

CT Scan Jan 2019. Nodules gone. No evidence of disease. 

slicknic

I'll second that my research and what my doctor told me is that HRT seems to be a good choice when you were forced into menopause early.  I'm 42 and just started hormone replacement therapy.  My doc will keep me on it until we guess I'd naturally go through menopause (age 55).  It keeps your bones strong, and those of us who had radiation treatment are already at higher risk of breakage in the pelvic area!  

More Information

Early menopause and HRT