Anniversary

This is a bit of a difficult one.  Nothing fitness related but maybe it will make sense to some people.

Three years ago I undertook a huge operation and change to my life.  Having known since my late 20s that I was a carrier of the BRCA 1 gene it was always in the back of my mind that come my 35th birthday i’d have to make a decision on surgery or no surgery.  I didn’t want to die, get breast or Ovarian cancer.  After a lot of thought I went ahead with the process and on my 36th birthday was getting wheeled into theatre at the City Hospital for a double mastectomy, reconstruction of my breasts and hysterectomy.  No mucking about here which is how I operate in most parts of my life.

Now this is what was in my head, I was going to be grand and recovery would be quick as i’m fit, young and was keen not to loiter about hospital too long.  It was, sort of, well I was off the scale in pain but thats another story.  (Here is the blog I done for my sisters website just after my operation). http://www.brcani.co.uk  go to the ‘about’ page and scroll to ‘Claire’s’ story.

Fast forward three years and here I am a very wise girl and I have to admit I have differing feelings as to wether or not I made the right decision.  This may sound weird but it has been a long journey and I feel i’m only really starting out on this trip.

My young, fit body just didn’t want to absorb the HRT.  I took it in patches, two different ones, no joy my bloods were always low.  Next was the tablet, again a very low reading and the worst one was the gel, again no joy. So after a near meltdown which only menopausal women will understand I got an unlicensed implant which comes from the States.  At this stage I was desperate, cracking up and feeling like no-one was listening.

I had heard of the night sweats, its true, think heat explosion.
Mood swings, true, I was a flipping nightmare, no amount of training helps this.
Dry skin, I was feeling like a snake losing its skin.
Craving sugary foods, an excuse to eat chocolate really.
Road rage type feelings and little warning when these come.  If it does then avoidance of the human race is advised.

This is hard not only on me but the people who you spend most time with, partner, friends and family.  Thankfully I have a good strong family and a partner who I really am just too lucky to have.

I’m at the ‘normal’ 6 month release on this implant now.  My body is absorbing it and today I can say that I have had a pretty up and down hormone journey over the past three years.  I do think in one hand that maybe I should not have subjected myself to this, just got the yearly check-up’s, been very cautious and self checking but then on the other hand I know that this has taken away any chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer.  I really wish this had of been available when my Mum was young, maybe things would be different.  Maybe is always just a maybe though.

On the plus side I did get a testosterone implant 6months ago and got a PB in my park run last weekend.  This just brings my level up to the normal most women have anyway.

So I can say that Anniversaries are sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes thought provoking and others like this one make you think back and sum a few things up.

Deep down I know I made the right decision, it’s the flipping journey along the way that has made me question my decision.  Hormones are the devil, when they are playing up it’s hell.  Only thing is it can  get fixed.

Thanks for reading
Claire.