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Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so? Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

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  #1  
Unread 10-07-2005, 12:11 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

I had a TAH/BSO one year ago due to high risk of ovarian/breast cancer. I am not supposed to be on HRT because of those risks. But my quality of life has declined within this year and just today my doc has agreed to put me on a very low dose of Estrogen(patch). I don't think it will be bioidentical. I have very mixed feelings about this. I am already at such a high risk for breast cancer but I do know that this increase with Estrogen is just a bit higher. This decision was totally mine but what a tough one at that. I feel as though I am betraying myself and others that have gone through with this surgery to protect ouselves from cancer and then I turn around and put myself at an even higher risk. But I can't look at myself in the mirror and see my mother staring back at me. My body is starting to turn into hers and I'm not ready for that at 44. The hot flashes were bareable but I have no libido and am seeing my body lose all muscle and vitality. Am I making the right decision? I don't know. Has anyone struggled with this decision? I haven't picked it up at the pharmacy yet and still have time to ponder this very difficult place in my life. Can anyone relate? Thanks for listening. Mighty Mite
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  #2  
Unread 10-07-2005, 01:54 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

I cannot for the life of me imagine putting your body through a surgical menopause at such a young age. My heart goes out to you.

If you are at a higher risk for breast cancer than maintaining a healthy weight,exercising regularly, not smoking, and getting your annual exams is your best protection.

As far as I know all the patches are bio identicals. In the WHS the women on estrogen only did not have higher rates of breast cancer.

A low dose patch is probably not even going to get your estrogen level close to what your ovaries were doing but it might help you to feel better. You might want to get another opinion to help allay your fears.
  #3  
Unread 10-07-2005, 03:52 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

Thank you so much Pearle for your understanding. It made me feel so much better. And, yes, it is a much lower dose than what I would have in my body if I had ovaries. Mighty Mite
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  #4  
Unread 10-08-2005, 04:26 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

I am not "supposed" to use ERT because I had my TAH/BSO for endometriosis, and estrogen can make the endo grow back. However, I am young (33), I didn't have a lot of disease, just a lot of pain, and the disease I did have did not grow quickly. Also, the vast majority of my pain was with menstruation, unlike many endo sufferers who have daily pain, no matter which part of their cycle they are at, so for me, no uterus, no pain. All of those factors, plus hot flashes and wicked insomnia, made the decision to use estrogen easy, even though it is not recommended. My gyn, my PCP and I all agreed, which made me feel better as well.
  #5  
Unread 10-08-2005, 05:28 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

Hi JulieBr,
What type of Estrogen are you on and how do you feel with it? I have read so many accounts of women just dying to get off of it because of the bad side effects. I am so afraid of these and really don't want to bring on any more symptoms than I already have. I am being put on the Climara patch with a dose of 0.1(not sure if I wrote that dosage correctly. Still new at this). Have you noticed any signs of aging before you went on Estrogen? Mighty Mite
  #6  
Unread 10-08-2005, 08:51 PM
estrogen

I consider myself high risk breast cancer but recently found out my mom was 61 so not sure if such at risk as she was older any way I am bios the hot flashes and night sweats were so severe I started in July and have few flashes now however

I am still trying to catch up on the lack of sleep and fatigue my surgery was over a yr ago any way a lot of the pharmacies that prescribe these think they are safe I actually read being unbalanced can not be so good for the body either everyone has their own idea and opinion and guess there never will be any one answer that we can trust all I know is I could not deal with the flashes I am actually considering going to a specialist to balance me my insurance will not cover and will be expensive but figure worth it if can feel more like myself the tiredness is killing me!!
  #7  
Unread 10-08-2005, 08:54 PM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

I am 51 and had decided not to do HRT because I knew I was at the stage where I was going through menopause anyway. Within 1 week of my hysterectomy I was begging for some relief from the symptoms and went on the patch. From what I understand it is a low dose and it is bioidentical. It's been a blessing. I have my life back. You need to consider quality of life. I would at least try it and see if it helps.
  #8  
Unread 10-09-2005, 03:00 AM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty mite
Has anyone struggled with this decision? .... Can anyone relate?
Oh, yes! It's a tough one. After my hysterectomy, it was an easy decision for me to go on HRT's, because I had no personal or family history of any "female" cancers and it was clear that my quality of life was going to go downhill fast if I didn't use them. However, two years later, I was diagnosed with early breast cancer. The first oncologist I saw, who was involved in a research group at a prestigious medical school studying the type of cancer I had, was very much against my using HRT's, though she couldn't back up her position with any actual data. She wasn't my oncologist for very long.

I tried taking Tamoxifen, even while still on the HRT's, and within a week, I was lying on the floor crying - couldn't walk without severe pain, my vision was blurred and I had a headache that wouldn't quit. Clearly that wasn't an option for me, and my DRs told me that Arimidex would not be, either, because then I would have to stop my HRT's and Arimidex has a higher incidence of bone and joint pain as a side effect than Tamoxifen does.

So, I did a ton of research on hormones, HRT's and breast cancer and decided that for me, the very slight additional risk of recurrence was nothing compared to the huge risk that I couldn't make it through the day without the HRT's. I decided instead to get my hormones balanced, and focus on making other changes to get myself healthier -- diet, exercise and supplements. So far I've been very healthy and cancer-free for the past year and a half

Much of the info I used in making my decision is included in our Resources directory in the form of links in the Breast Cancer section. There are also some in the Hormone Jungle section. You might want to check them out and then talk with your DR about your own personal and family history and what makes the best sense for you.

I hope this helps!
s,
-Linda
  #9  
Unread 10-09-2005, 09:07 AM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

  Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty mite
Hi JulieBr,
What type of Estrogen are you on and how do you feel with it? I have read so many accounts of women just dying to get off of it because of the bad side effects. I am so afraid of these and really don't want to bring on any more symptoms than I already have. I am being put on the Climara patch with a dose of 0.1(not sure if I wrote that dosage correctly. Still new at this). Have you noticed any signs of aging before you went on Estrogen? Mighty Mite
I only waited one month after my hyst before I went on Estrogel, which is a gel that I apply to my arms every day. In that short time, I did not notice any particular signs of aging, but then again I was feeling pretty "old" due to endo sypmtoms and the meds I was taking for that.

I chose the gel because I have digestive problems and try to take as few pills as possible, and because the patch gave me rashes when I tried it for BC, so I knew it would probably do the same thing with HRT patches. When I took estrogen in pill form as treatment for endometriosis, it made me nauseated and messed up my guts. In the gel form, I have no side effects at all, but everyone is different. I feel great now - I just got back from running a 5K and had a better time than I did last year!
  #10  
Unread 10-09-2005, 09:45 AM
Anyone not supposed to be on HRT but chose to do so?

Hi Mighty mite

  Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty mite
today my doc has agreed to put me on a very low dose of Estrogen(patch). I don't think it will be bioidentical.
  Quote:
I am being put on the Climara patch with a dose of 0.1

I just wanted to let you know that the Climara patch is bio-identical estrogen. I hope it works well for you and you are able to find some answers that may ease your mind about using the patch.

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