Surviving a Menopausal Christmas


moody150 Surviving a Menopausal ChristmasAaah, it’s Christmas time! A time to enjoy decadent holiday favorites, a beautifully decorated tree, pretty wrapped packages and special times with friends and family.

But this year, my Christmas is a tad different than most other years, because I am spending Christmas week recovering from major surgery.

A few days ago, I had an Oophorectomy, which is a fancy way of saying that my ovaries have been yanked out of my body through my belly button.

Yep, it’s about as much fun as it sounds!

The reason? Well, it’s been done as a preventative measure so that my body can no longer produce estrogen, and therefore, dramatically reduce the possibility of breast cancer ever returning in the future.

See, the whole reason I got breast cancer in the first place was because I was cursed with a steady flow of estrogen. I’m a girl.

The idea behind depleting my estrogen stores is to “starve” any tiny remaining cancer cells, thus taking away their ability to grow into scary tumours.

So, I’m stuck in bed for a couple of weeks, taking some time to heal and recuperate, which has given me way too much time on my hands! icon smile Surviving a Menopausal Christmas

What do I choose to do with my spare time?

…Compose a silly Christmas song, and share it with you, of course!

See, ever since my chemotherapy treatments last year, I’ve been forced into early onset menopause through hormone blocking therapy (see reasons above…estrogen is bad for me now).

Let me tell you, being forced into early onset menopause isn’t fun! Under normal circumstances, when women begin menopause, it’s a gradual decline in estrogen, which means you gradually adjust and gradually go through the changes.

In my case, I didn’t experience menopause…I experienced menoCRASH!

There was no time to adjust. One day I was a normal, youngish woman, with normal hormonal fluctuations.

The next day, I had all my estrogen completely blocked and was fast forwarded about ten years with zero warning.

And all this happened during the first few months of my marriage. My husband is truly a saint!

Two and a half years ago, he married a 36 year old vivacious woman, and within 6 months, he found himself married to a fully menopausal, irritable, tearful, cranky woman with night sweats.

And now that my ovaries are gone, I sincerely hope I’ll be post-​​menopausal soon, so my entire family can start breathing normally again. icon smile Surviving a Menopausal Christmas

But where was I? (Did I forget to mention that menopause is hell on my ability to remember the simplest things?)

Oh! Right! My silly Christmas song!

I got to thinking about the many new “blessings” that I have in my life after breast cancer treatments, which led my thoughts towards the 12 days of Christmas song.

I, of course, decided that it needed to be re-​​worded in honor of menopause, so without further pre-​​empting, here’s my version of “The 12 Days of Christmas”…

The 12 Days of A Freakin’ Menopausal Christmas”

On the first day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…

…A husband who tolerates me.

On the second day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the third day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
8 fans a blowin’,
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
9 cranky glances,
8 fans a blowin’,
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
10 pounds a gainin’,
9 cranky glances,
8 fans a blowin’,
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
11 screaming migraines,
10 pounds a gainin’,
9 cranky glances,
8 fans a blowin’,
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my menopause gave to me…
12 red hot flashes,
11 screaming migraines,
10 pounds a gainin’,
9 cranky glances,
8 fans a blowin’,
7 psycho moodswings,
6 bouts of crying
5 midnight snacks!
4 soaking bedsheets,
3 nervous breakdowns,
2 bloaty ankles,
…And a husband who tolerates me.

– Lyrics by Sylvie Fortin –

And to truly “celebrate” the joys of menopause, I’d like to share with you a hysterical cartoon I found at MinniePauze​.com entitled “The 7 Menopausal Dwarfs”.

Enjoy!

7 meno dwarfs 222x300 Surviving a Menopausal Christmas

PS. Have a very Merry Christmas! No, really! I mean that sincerely. What? You’re laughing? What are you laughing at, huh? Are you mocking me? After all I do for this blog!?!? And you have the gall to keep reading?!?! Who do you think I am… Your “entertainment”? Geesh! Get %$&#@ing real! What? You’re leaving? But… But… You said you loved this blog! You don’t love me anymore!!! *sobbing*

Sigh… sniff…

OK, I’m over it now.

Time for a cold shower.

See you next year!

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18 Comments

  1. Ted Crowder said on:

    December 23, 2008 at 11:00 am

    ROFL! Awesome update!

    Merry Christmas, we love you guys!

    Ted and Kim

  2. Gary Simpson said on:

    December 23, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Hi Sylvie,

    I was over at Michel’s blog yesterday where we battled out a 6 round (3–3) draw on active versus passive voice and this morning he sends me a link to come here. So, here I am.

    Your poem above is most amusing. I needed that after reading the bit above it — that oo-what’s-its-name operation thing you had sounds ghastly. But you know something Sylvie?

    The human body has an AMAZING capacity to regenerate — if the mind is strong and willing. And you sound like your mind is. Let me tell you something from personal experience…

    I suffered a terrible injury to my arm some two years ago and I had to have major surgery. I was in extreme pain afterwards and was prescribed morphine tablets which I refused to take as I had read how addictive they can become.

    So I worked through the pain — and there was PLENTY of it. I did 330,000 exercises to get myself back to normal. Yes, you read that correctly — 330,000!

    Being me, I logged them all into an exercise book. I not only recovered but now I am STRONGER than I ever was before.

    I knew another fellow who had the same op. He was amazed at how I had recovered. He was miserable and blamed his surgeon for doing a poor job. In fact, he had a snout on everybody for what he had been through.

    When I asked him how much post-​​op recovery he had done he just gave me a blank stare. So I pushed him a bit and he told me he had done a “few” re-​​hab exercises but it was just too painful for him and he gave it away. He now has only 30% mobility and strength in his arm.

    I tell you this, Sylvie, because you can recover and, once the body begins to recover, it does so on a “J” curve — slowly at first and then faster and then MASSIVELY. I have no idea whether your surgeon has recommended any exercise and it would be foolish of me to tell you to do exercise not understanding your condition. I am not a doctor.

    But I will tell you this — if your surgeon has recommended exercise then “hop to it” young lady. The human body, like the human brain, was made for exercise. It responds.

    Sorry if you think this was a rant or a sermon or some self-​​aggrandising blowhard speech. It’s not.

    The other thing I wanted to say is that you have a loving husband. I have read many of his posts over a long period and one can tell such a thing through his words. Well, let’s face it, he is a wordsmith after all — LOL!

    Anyway, I wish you all the best. Your poem above indicates to me that, although your body is injured right now, your mind is in the right place for a full recovery.

    I wish you all the best. Get well soon.

    Have a happy Christmas and next year you will both look back on this time as one of life’s “little challenges.”

    Regards

    Gary Simpson
    Perth, Western Australia

  3. Shirley said on:

    December 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Sylvie,

    You may not remember me, but last year, in the summer of 2007, I was very scared. My dear husband emailed you and asked you to please call me. I was deciding whether to get chemo and I was terrified!
    Well, I just wanted to update you. I finished 4 tx of Taxotere & Cytoxan on Oct. 9, 2007 and had breast reconstruction on Nov. 7, 2007. I am doing fine.
    My life was changed forever by breast cancer.
    I just want to thank you for calling me and talking to me when I was so scared. You encouraged me, and gave me hope that I, too would survive this breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    Shirley

  4. Haralee said on:

    December 23, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Your 12 days of Christmas was very clever and cute!I mean that, really I do.

  5. Sylvie said on:

    December 23, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    @ Shirley

    I am so glad to hear you’re doing well! Big hugs to you and your husband. :)

    Sylvie

  6. Sarah J Green said on:

    December 24, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Fantastic! They say that laughter is the best medicine, so keep on laughing Sylvie — you’re an inspiration!

  7. Willie Crawford said on:

    December 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Good to hear that you’re recovering
    and writing poetry.

    Looking forward to seeing you and
    Michel.

    Willie

  8. Julie Perry said on:

    January 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Ahhhh! I love it! (And love you, too!)

    Thank goodness for that husband!

    XOXOXO
    ~Julie

    P.S. Ovaries are overrated. ;)

  9. Shawn Catsimanes said on:

    March 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Hey Sylvie,

    Hadn’t visited your blog in a while, so came over here and saw your “12 Days of Christmas” remake. Laughed hard. Hilare! (as my step-​​daughter says). Someday we’ll have to sit down compare notes. I have quite the menopausal story to tell. Nothing like yours, of course, but I don’t know how that gradually gliding into menopause thing works. Perhaps there are women so lucky. I’ve been going through it for fifteen years and my poor husband married me anyway, so I can really relate to the “husband who tolerates me” part!

    Hope all is well in your world.

    Shawn

  10. ahmet maranki said on:

    April 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    lol, i loved it :)

  11. shercyramos said on:

    August 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Your article made me understand more what my mom is experiencing. Sometimes she gets into my nerves for acting so weird and for worrying too much. Your article is an eye-​​opener for me and it makes me see her condition in a different light. Thank you.

  12. Ed Hird said on:

    October 12, 2009 at 12:56 am

    As October is Breast Cancer Month, I commend to you a book review written by my wife Janice and myself http://​bit​.ly/​3​E​d​Lp8 . The article is about a promising new writer Sandra Crawford* whose book ‘In the Arms of the Beloved: a journey through Breast Cancer’ has just come out.

    Blessings, Ed Hird+
    * http://​www​.sandracrawford​.com/

  13. otomasyon said on:

    October 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    thank you again. perfect idea.

  14. Billie said on:

    January 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Cancer took my mother and now my sister. I refuse to think of the odds. I find comfort in the positive experiences of others and the opportunity to laugh a bit and cry a bit — to return the favor:

    thoborneonangelswings.blo…o-relocation-to-west.html

  15. Devin said on:

    January 30, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Menopause affect the victim who old age my mother have it.

  16. Rob Artino said on:

    January 11, 2011 at 3:25 am

    You are great inspiration Sylvie! From the bottom of my heart I think what you are doing is fantastic and you help me realize what my mother is going through and how hard it is for some people!

  17. Margaret MacGillivray said on:

    March 24, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Hi, Sylvie — I haven’t been back to your blog here for a while — but since I have just come through a total hysterectomy and have just started my chemo, you popped into my mind. More power to you, lassie, for coming through all of this and I had quite a chuckle reading your poem.

    I think chemo brain has got me today — my fingers and thoughts are stretched way too much to leave the typos behind! However, I thought I’d leave a link to my story about my hysterectomy and subsequent treatment– I don’t do diary writing, but I know how much it has helped and inspired me to have some insider information on what to expect and so I hope that I can help others to get through this too.

    I’ve been very lucky so far but as this is only day three after my first chemo, I realise there’s a whole lot more experience to come.

    Thinking about Michel and you as I write this — love from Scotland,
    Margaret MacGillivray

  18. putrie said on:

    October 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

    very encouraging experience :)
    semangaaaaaaaaaaaat \(^^)/​
    *in english that would be ‘keep the spirit!!’

    best regards from jakarta, indonesia :)

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