Any help available for menopausal symptoms?

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MiaB
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 1/17/2006 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I am almost to my one year mark (Jan. 31) and have done well from my perspective but I am going nuts with menopause! I have been on Tam. since last summer but I did stop for about a month after my hyster in Oct. Onc told me to take it and hubby was there to hear that so that was the end of my being rebellious.  But I am so sick of memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats and dryness of everything on my body I could scream!  Oh and I do that too thanks to the mood swings. eyes
 
I put a call into the onc's office today to find out if she wants to address this or if I should see my gyn for this.  I didn't hear back from them yet but I am wondering if anyone on here has any advice.  My cancer was ER+ and PR+ so taking hormones is out of the question I guess.  But isn't there anything else?  I am on Wellbutrin but that doesn't seem to help (gee if this is what it is like with help I can't imagine what it would have been like without it).
 
I was at WalMart today and seriously near tears while looking at the herbal supplements that are for meno.  I wanted so badly to get them, I could see myself tearing into the package right there. But from what my onc. once told me even the plant estrogens are dangerous.
 
Ok, now I've lost my train of thought and can't remember what else I wanted to ask.  Did I mention the memory loss? Gee, it sure is stupid to walk into another room to get something only to stand there wondering why I in there.  Does this get better?
 
Sorry for rambling.
Hugs,
 
Mia
 
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.


-Vesta M. Kelly


Ryoko
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 1/18/2006 10:51 AM (GMT -7)   
(((((Mia))))),
I know what you are going through! I feel for you!! For dry skin there is a lotion I found in WalMart's diabetic section. I am at a loss for the name Keto something anyway it works WONDERS for dry skin and doesn't smell bad either. The memory thing is another thing I hate too. I used to take Ginko but found even herbals aren't as effective after a while. My loving husband thought a PDA might help but the technology is not my thing so post-it's are everywhere. lol .

The emotional distress and hot flashed will go away after a little while once your body gets used to the absence of estrogens in the amount it used to have. I ate chocolate to make me feel happier. I think it works :o). But the one thing I will say is talk to your doctor about vaginal dryness, it goes along with menopause. I had no idea until I had to make an appointment with my gyno and she told me I was atrophied due to dryness. My hubby is understanding but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

You might already do this but drink lots of water, it helps with the hot flashes. Big hugs for you and rambling is okay! It does get better, think of the money you can save on sanitary supplies yeah . Take care!

Melissa

wackygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 857
   Posted 1/20/2006 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Mia-
I have heard that Vitamin E can help with hot flashes, and is also good for your heart, I take one pill (400 IU) every day in addition to a multivitamin (although not at the same time). Ask your onc about that.... are the hot flashes bothering you all day? or just at night? Mine are mostly a few at night, and I *know* if i've had: spicy foods, caffeine, chocolate, or alcohol, I can expect them to be stronger that night. SO I try to avoid those things in the evenings when I can. They also say exercise can help reduce hot flashes... yadda yadda....so that might help too.

hugs
stef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"It's been worth everything I've been through,
 To do what I do"

                       To Do What I Do   -Alan Jackson, 2004


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 1/20/2006 7:44 AM (GMT -7)   
One thing I learned about hot flashes..... if something upset me even the least little bit I went into a hot flash. I used to be the kind of person that never got visibly upset, I kept everything inside, but the flashes gave me away. I got so hot I radiated heat and my husband could tell immediately that I was flashing. Part of the rage and screaming you are feeling is normal for post breast cancer (or other similiar conditions). It is a sort of depression but instead of feeling down, you feel angry, terribly angry. Talk to you doctor about the Wellbutrin. I took it for awhile two different times and it didn't help me, but now a I am taking Lexapro and it seems to be working ok. All medicines are not for all people. There is a cream that one of our dear sisters used to talk about several years back to help with the vag dryness. Maybe someone can tell you more about it. Astroglide I think was the name. Unless it was a joke, but I don't think so. Hugs MK


coopfesta
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 1/20/2006 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Mia,
 
Welcome back.  It's nice to see you posting again. 
 
I'm an advocate for Vitamin E.  I asked my onc and he said it was ok.  When I first took it (400 IU in morning and bedtime), it really really alieviated the flashes a lot, especially at night.  It, unfortunately, didn't take them away completely.  I am now used to the Vit. E., and don't notice much of a drop in it's effectiveness, maybe a little, but I still don't get as many flashes as I used to before taking it.  I forgot about Welbutrin's reputation.  I've been on it for years, so any effect I get from it isn't noticeable.  I hope this helped.  I didn't hear of anything else, as I am hormone positive too, I don't know what would help otherwize.  I probably wouldn't take hormones anyway, since who knows if they played a role in my contracting BC.
 
When MK wrote about the hot flashes and the anger, I suddenly had an image of Edith Bunker when she went through "the change."  I hope you got a laugh from that!  She was such a great charachter.  She taught me a great lesson:  remember, you can use that anger once in a while, you know, to get things done!!!!!! (or get others to do them for you!!!!!!)
 
Take care and keep in touch.
 
 
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius

Ellen


skeeter1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 1/20/2006 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I can relate to what your talking about. My onc put me on 75mg of effexor and it works wonders. My flashes are all but gone. occasionally I get a sweaty face but not bad and only last a few mins but by far tons better then I was before. check into to this med and good luck, sure you will find something that works...skeeter1

possitive
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 1/20/2006 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Mia,  i am on tamoxifan also and i have alot of memory loss and forgetfulness.I didnt know if it was from the chemo or tamox.Has your doctor said anything about this..Possitive

cupycake2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 1/20/2006 11:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mia,
 
Welcome back my friend!
 
I am going to let you in on a little secret about the vaginal dryness.  Go to the nearest pharmacy (CVS?) and go to the feminine hygiene section, there is a product there called REPLENS.  It has been a miracle product for me, as you know I went thru menapause early myself due to chemo drugs and I have suffered with this same problem for years until I found this product.  It is a long-lasting vaginal moisturizer, estrogen free, kind of expensive (around $14.00 for a package of 8) , but hey, you are worth it.  It has helped the amount of urinary tract infections I have had in the recent years due to atrophy to the area.
 
As for the other problems, I sure hope that your body will get used to all of the hormonal changes and give you a much needed "quality of life". 
 
Thinking of you!
Hugs,
Deb
PS. You might want to visit REPLENS website, I once found some coupons there for the product. Also , a couple of weeks ago CVS did have a sale on it.
"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"
Cicero


beachlovr1
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/21/2006 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
My GYN put me on Bellamine S and it has worked well for me with the night sweats and hot flashes! Good Luck!

Chemosabe
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/21/2006 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I found that I could lessen the length of hot flashes by running very cold water over my wrists (I do this when I am at work) or a cold pack on the back of the neck. I have also heard of a special pillow called a Chillow or something that is supposed to be a cooling pillow for sleeping on.
 
(Had to laugh about the PDA post, as my DH got me on last Christmas to help with my memory but most of the time I can't remember where i put it! So much for technology...)
 
The Effexor seems to moderate some of the emotional swings but certainly not all of them. I tried meditation and that seemed to help for a while, but I have fallen out of that habit lately (who has time to sit still?!)
 
Hope you can find some things that help!
Erin


JUJU8872
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 1/22/2006 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My doc prescribed Paxil 20 mg. I only take half because it makes me sleepy. My sister, also a BC survivor, also takes this. Works well for both of us.

Judy

MiaB
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 1/29/2006 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi All! Thanks for all the wonderful replies!
 
I had never heard of vitamin E for this but will try it. I can't take paxil or effexor since I am on wellbutrin. But maybe we should switch.
 
As for the Replens Debbie, I tried a knock-off brand last week and it burned so badly I had to wash it off.  I don't know if it was because I was excessively dry or what but I am afraid to try it again.
 
The flashes are mostly at night. They start around 10 and are intermittent throughout the night. Some nights are better than others. One night I woke up splashed cold water on my face and felt like I had been sunbathing for hours. The water didn't make a dent so I used a cold compress on my neck and fell back asleep with it.  I keep a fan on my side of the room. I can't imagine this in the summer!
 
I've had horrible luck with my health again lately.  I found 2 lumps in my left armpit Monday night and hurried to the onc. Tuesday. They put me on augmentin thinking it may be an infection. I will post another thread with all the details. But for now say a prayer that it is only an infection.
 
I don't see my gyn until Valentine's Day, haven't seen her since my surgery Oct. 6! I had to re-schedule and this was the earliest I could get.
 
will keep you all updated as things progress.
 
Love and hugs,
 
Mia
 
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.


-Vesta M. Kelly


cupycake2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 1/30/2006 7:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Mia,

So sorry you had to have another scare. I will be sending prayers out to you that the lumps will subside.

Shoot, I wish that off brand of Replens would have worked. Maybe the real Replens would???

Hugs,
Debbie
"What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun"
Cicero


ms.kentucky
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 9/5/2006 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
mad  Hot flashes, night sweats, oh my! After 13 yrs of daily hormone therapy, I've been ordered not to take any more . Along with the scare of breast cancer, awaiting, biopsy results, and everything else, I hate askin the doc for something else. I have even snuck and taken some leftover hormones, only to realize 5 minutes later that it was big NO NO. I feel like I need them. The flashes are almost continuos,day and night. Do the meds like wellbutrin, prozac, etc. actually help with the flashes? I'm only 44 and since this all happened, I feel almost suicidal at times. Help!!!!

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 9/5/2006 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Not all SRI's work the same for everyone. I tried several others before, without any real hope of getting relief, I tried Effexor as a last resort. Worked within days. I had also tried Bellamine. It did help me sleep better, but no real relief from the flashes.

Good luck finding what works for you.

BEV

gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 9/5/2006 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I mentioned in my other post about being upset and causing hot flashes. I also think that hot flashes are kind of like pain thresholds, some have much worse flashes than others. A friend of mine actually wore a winter coat sweater around the office when it was so hot the rest of us could die, because she would freeze to death after having a major flash. I never would have believed any one body could swing from hot to cold like she did. I hated having flashes but they were nothing compared to what she went through. I hope you are able to find something to ease yours. My dr prescribed Lexapro for me because I was having anger/rage spells. I know when I was having hot flashes that would have triggered them big time. The Lexapro does help me now. Mary K.


barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 9/6/2006 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
You're right about the triggers, MK. My gynocologist also gave me an "aha" moment. Radiant heat. Sleeping in a heated waterbed, using a heating pad or an electric blanket, even being under "hot" lights (put me in a jewelry store or an exam room, watch me flash!) can trigger hot flashes. I still have an occasional episode, but they are few and far between, and not nearly as bad as they used to be. I refer to them as "hot flushes" now, because they are so mild.

BEV
 
ps..some women we know who have been er-/pr- have chosen to resume hormone therapy to treat the flashes.  Wouldn't be my choice, but I know it is given as an option to some women.

Post Edited (barkyboys) : 9/6/2006 3:11:15 PM (GMT-6)

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