HRT has changed my life

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
HRT has changed my life
3
Sun, 02-02-2014 - 11:19am

I was so worried about taking it but I have been on it for several months now and can't believe how much it has changed my life. At first I was concerned maybe I was having placebo affect but its been so long that I know it is truly helping me. I wish I would have tried it two years ago. I am still concerned about cancer but my doctor assures me I am not at any bigger risk than anyone else.

Brenda

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 02-02-2014 - 4:36pm

You know, there is an old joke that goes like this:  "What do you call the person who graduated LAST in their class in medical school?  DOCTOR!"

I suggest you do some investigation of your own, starting with these sites...

http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/hrt

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/medicaltreatments/menopausal-hormone-replacement-therapy-and-cancer-risk

And because cancer is not the ONLY risk,   http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007111.htm

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/menopausal-hormones

I had a total hysterectomy 16 years ago. Two of my neighbors also went on HRT about that time, due to perimenopausal symptoms.  One of my gf's also had a total hysterectomy, 6 months prior to mine.   We both went on HRT, but shortly after I began, I developed swelling of the legs and shortness of breath.  My dr switched me to the transdermal patch, and when I developed an allergy to the adhesive, we decided to terminate therapy altogether, at about 4 months after I began.   My gf had already stopped therapy, due to intractable migranes.  My neighbors continued. 

My gf developed breast cancer a year after TERMINATING therapy.  Her tumor was very small when they located it on a routine mammogram, and she was able to have a lumpectomy.  Still she developed lymphedema in the surgical arm., and currently, her affected arm is about half again the size of the normal arm, and occasionally very painfull.

One neighbor developed a more aggressive breast cancer, underwent total mastectomy, and a few years later lost the other breast as well.  She's about 7 years cancer free at this point, but the fear of further metastasis is always there.

The other neighbor developed deep vein thrombsis, the risk of which, was the reason I stopped oral therapy.  During her hospitalization for that, her ovarian cancer was found.   She survived the DVT and the first round of rad & chemo.  2 years later, the ovarian ca was found to have metastasized, and she died within a few months. She was a nurse, married to a doctor-a communicable diseases specialist, not a gyne--but still...

Even after ONLY  4 MONTHS of use, and most of that transdermal, 16 years ago, I still have episodes of leg swelling.  I do my leg exercises, wear antiembolism stockings when necessary, and so far have avoided the need for warfarin.

All this suffering and death, just to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, sleep difficulties, vaginal dryness, and anxiety. 

Good luck with your choice.

Avatar for klrambo
Community Leader
Registered: 10-19-2000
Sun, 02-02-2014 - 8:23pm

Hi, Brenda.  I am glad you are feeling comfortable with your choice of using HRT.    I know you discussed this at length with your doctor before you began this therapy.   I had a totla hysterectomy many years ago and was almost immediately put on a high dose of estrogen (Premarin to be exact).  It kept me free of many of the problems that often come along with "instant menopause".  I used that Premarin for over 25 years - periodically asking my doctor to prescribe a lower dose.  After I fianlly got to the lowest dose possible I stopped taking it altogether.  I did have to begin using an estrogen vaginal cream to keep "that area" of my body properly lubricated and supple.

I have never suffered from any complications from using my HRT.  Some of us don't. Just make sure you and your doctor continue to talk about it from time to time.

Please know that you are welcome here anytime; to vent (it really can help!); to ask questions; to share experiences; or to just hang out with other gals who understand and care.

Remember, there are NO dumb questions regarding menopause!

Co-Community Leader at:
50 & Up Friends | Menopause & Perimenopause
 
My Web sites:
50 & Up Friends | Ladybug’s Recipes | Menopause Oasis

You are loved ~~ far more than you may ever know!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 12:38am

Once upon a time, people had no option other than to blindly accept the word of their physician.  The doctor was educated; they were not.  The doctor had access to the current medical thinking of the time; they did not.  The doctor could READ, and often they could not.  Times have changed. Medical knowledge changes continuously.  At one time, the BEST medical minds of the time thought disease was caused by bad air.  Within my LIFETIME, doctors and dentists held Xray film in their hands while they turned on the ray, and then put those naked hands in a person's mouth--or thier BODY. 

And don't forget: drug companies spend millions on drug development.  They want their money back.  They influence doctors to write prescriptions.  And now, they even bypass the doctors, and try to influence US, DIRECTLY, with massive ad campaigns.

I urge you to NOT to accept the assurances of your doctor, simply because he is your doctor, without doing research of your own.  You are sitting on the greatest resource OF ALL TIME, and IN THE WORLD.  Use it, and make your own, informed decisions.  I am NOT telling you what to do.  You need to decide what the risks are, if those risks are acceptable to you, and the REASON you are taking those risks.

And finally, I completely agree with the other poster.  NOT everyone who takes HRT develops breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer, dementia, heart attack, blood clots or stroke.  Would *I* take HRT if it would keep me alive long enough to see my daughter give birth?  In a heartbeat.  Would I take HRT to keep me from SWEATING while my daughter gives birth?  Not in a million years.