I have lost so much of myself after breast cancer and postmenopause

by Maddie
(Tennessee)

I am now 64 and have struggled for the last 7 years to find a balance in my life after radiation for breast cancer and menopause. I have been so depressed that I have been on several antidepressants and have been ashamed of trying to self medicate with wine and Xanax also. The things I used to enjoy and have a passion for, like painting... I was an art major and art teacher, are gone. I don't have the energy or the desire to hardly do anything. I am drained all the time and suffer from terrible insomnia.

Because my cancer was estrogen positive, I was told to never take estrogen or bioidentical hormone replacement. Only recently I had a blood test that showed I was seriously low in estrogen and progesterone. It was actually at a chiropractors office. My Family Doctor had never tested this. I have been reading and researching since that test and have discovered that so many of my symptoms, the symptoms I thought were just post menopause and that I had to live like this the rest of my life, seem to actually be low progesterone. I have started aging very quickly and gaining weight, and don't have the desire or energy to take a walk. My skin is terribly dry, my heels cracked, my hair thinning.

I have always cared about my appearance and taken care of myself. Now I get up in the middle of the night from not sleeping and eat a half gallon of ice cream. My joints are degenerating and my teeth also. I have had to have 4 teeth removed and have implants in the last year alone.

I hope so much that I am able to use progesterone, even with the history of breast cancer. I would even risk it if it is not advised because I would rather live a full life than a life like the one I have been living for the last 7 years. I have a wonderful husband and 7 grandchildren that deserve a full of life, energetic wife, mother, and grandmother.

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Sep 05, 2019
I have lost so much of myself after breast cancer and
by: Joy

Hi Maddie

Taking estrogen especially after breast cancer is not a good idea. Progesterone does help, see here and here. Usually between 100-200mg per day is needed, half the amount in the morning and the other half at night. You may need to use more please read the How to use Progesterone Cream and Estrogen Dominance pages.

Menopause can be a terrible time too. The anxiety page may also help you.

Vitamin D3 is very important, a deficiency reduces the benefits of progesterone. Nothing less than 5,000iu's per day is needed. Optimal range is between 70-100ng/ml. Magnesium and vitamin K2 with no soy are important co-factors needed when taking vitamin D3. See The Vitamin D Council.

I hope you feel better soon.

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