Menopausal Moments

Ok so this one is a bit personal…..

After my transplant I wrote about how I was possibly going through an early menopause. The hormone levels suggested it, the hot flushes suggested it, basically everything was suggesting that I was having to deal with the symptoms of the menopause at just 36 years old. That is what drugs and transplants do to you. Unfortunately, because I had the coil and wasn’t having monthly periods, the hospital was unable to confirm that this is what has happened. I was torn as to whether this mattered or not but in the end, I decided that it does matter.

I think I have mentioned that with the trial I am on, I receive Revlimid each month. Revlimid is a derivative of thalidomide and so the pharma company has to be remarkably careful to ensure that people don’t get pregnant whilst taking it. When I go for my monthly appointments, I have to wait each time for the pregnancy test to come back negative because I am of childbearing age. That doesn’t sound too bad apart from pregnancy tests aren’t like a blue line from a urine sample…they are done via bloods and this takes about 2 hours to come back which extends my day which is long enough anyway. So if I can prove that I have gone through the menopause, eventually they will stop me having to wait for that test and I will be able to get home far quicker. It still isn’t totally straightforward as there is a chance that they will make me wait for 2 years from the coil coming out to prove I still haven’t had a period (!*!*!*!) . However, at least if I can start the process now it will help eventually.

On this basis, I had the coil removed 6 weeks ago….that all seems really straightforward….apart from now I am having major mood swings that I haven’t had for years….and I seem to have developed the appetite of a heffalump! I am eating for England and piling the pounds on, losing the plot about things that really aren’t that important, and finding myself cross about everything. Arrgghh….why isn’t it simple? What is worse is that when I read up on it online, most people say that they have the opposite….weight loss and much happier without the coil…I would love that!

I need to rethink my strategy on the whole thing I think, but I’m not sure how. My plan is to see what the hospital say next month..they will do the hormone tests for me again to confirm whether they suggest I am peri or post menopausal and then they’ll have to liaise with Celgene who produce Revlimid and pay for the trial I am on. Hopefully they can get some agreement that I have gone through it, and perhaps then I can just have the coil again if the mood swings don’t go away! Otherwise Nick might just have to get a white coat for me….poor bloke!

In the meantime, I think it needs to be a diet of water and lettuce for the next month :-(