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"And menopause hits hard"... "And menopause hits hard"...

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Unread 02-23-2008, 12:48 PM
"And menopause hits hard"...

I am less than one week post op and just heard this from my 15 year old. I swear it sent me into hysterics. I am quite certain dh took her aside and strongly suggested that she not say things like this to me but that hurt. I know she's only 15 and I shouldn't take it to heart but it still hurt. Heck, maybe menopause HAS hit because this small statement freaked me out.

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Unread 02-23-2008, 02:55 PM
Menopause Is Unique for Every Woman

Dear Holly,

You may be feeling the sting more because you're just a few days post-op and feeling vulnerable. I still remember saying thoughtless things to my mother over 35 years ago, when I was 15! We can first realize that her comment is based on nothing - she certainly has no idea what she's talking about!

I'd like to reassure you that menopause is very individual. It's official, according to my doc, when you haven't had a period in 13 months. I hit it at 43 and it was exacerbated by a hormone blocking drug I took to give me a hedge against breast cancer recurrence. I've had hot flashes, but after a while you get more used to them.

The emotional stuff? If you had issues with it before, you'll may still have it. If it arises, it can be very short lived. Now is a time in our lives when we can really focus on what we're grateful for. I try to respond to people who do or say unkind things, with compassion. Why are they so angry? Anger is a reaction of fear; thoughtlessness reveals a lack of understanding and the ability to relate to other people's realities (which gives us compassion). What I try to do is "respond" to the underlying issue as to why they are coming at me in a certain way. But this is an awful lot to ask of yourself when you're dealing with early post-op.

Also, anesthesia and pain meds are called "central nervous system depressants." So when the core energy is "depressed" you feel "down." You will feel better as the days go by. If you were pre-menopausal when you had the surgery, sometimes the sudden onset of hormonal drop-out can feel like a hearty PMS experience, but keep reassuring your mind that it's because of the hormone changes. When you're feeling particularly vulnerable, know that your family or life situation hasn't changed, just your ability to cope, for a time. It all evens out.

If you feel like you have some control over it, you'll feel better. How to do this? Take steps to help yourself feel good - research menopause supporting herbs, pamper yourself with new interests, exercise options, try new things - afterall, we've lived a lot of life, taken care of a lot of people, worked many years. It's time to re-visit interests, arts, hobbies, skills, that we may have had to leave behind because of work and family responsibilities? Studies have shown that women who have strong spiritual lives are less effected by negative menopausal symptoms. Seek out that which brings life more and deeper meaning; especially to make sense of the challenges and fears that life brings to us.

Menopause can mean freedom - no fear of pregnancy, freedom to live guided by the wisdom we have gleaned through the years, freedom from youthful ignorance :-) Big transitions can be the most positive milestones for us. Ones we remember our whole life. A new beginning. We just have to make it one! It's a great opportunity.

We say that, "E-motions are just energy in motion." Accepting "what is" begets peace, calmness and contentment - some of the most powerful and useful states of being that there are. And if "what is" needs changing, then working with inner calmness to change things is much more effective.

When I had breast cancer I went through a brief and dramatic transformation of losing my fear of dying, and thus I lost most of my fears about everything. I felt like the prison doors had been opened and I was free to try things out and fly like I never had before. I took huge career leaps and felt like I was actually determining my own destiny for the first time. Breast cancer, because of this, was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Be easy on yourself for a while. Have the same compassion for yourself that you have for those you love, take the time you need - it goes quickly. You're already a heroine just having gone through this surgery!

Bless you, Hollyanne

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