Lately I spend a lot of time sitting in gratitude.
Literally, sitting on my sofa, staring at the flame of a candle and feeling so at home in my surroundings and myself.
A few weeks ago I left you with a hint about my discoveries around womanhood.
The only thing I think I’ve really lost as a result of breast cancer, you see, is my girlhood.
I’m more of a woman now than I have ever been, which may seem weird seeing as treatment cut away part of my boob, and has now plunged me into temporary menopause!
This has proved to me though that womanhood is so much more than these things. Perhaps womanhood is these things.
Back to menopause – this is something that is not spoken about until you get deep into the breast cancer experience.
Most outside the cancer world don’t know that chemotherapy can place you in an early, and sometimes permanent menopause.
I escaped chemo – but I will be taking hormone therapy for at least 5 years. I have just begun to have monthly ovarian suppression injections, and will be adding a daily tablet to this in due course.
Cancer is rarely an experience that finishes. There is not really an end point. A finish line.
Even though some of us are ‘cured’ we live with the worry of recurrence. With a hormone positive breast cancer, like I had, this recurrence can take place many years later – due to the body’s continued production of estrogen.
Hence the ovarian supresssion and the early – albeit temporary- menopause I now find myself stepping into. (Once I stop the injections normal service in my ovaries resume 😉 )
The decision to go ahead with this treatment was a tough one. I know I have to have it, but getting my head around all the potential side effects was hard.
It also brought home to me a question that has been hanging over my head for years –
“But do I want a child?”
I can still have a child.
All it would take is a little more time to allow my body to heal from previous treatment, and taking a hormone therapy break. It has been proven that it is perfectly safe for a woman in my situation to have children.
So I find myself with a man who is at the manhood/fatherhood phase of his life, and a much closer emphasis on my ovaries than ever before. (I will discuss the man in a later post!)
That is part of how womanhood snuck up on me.
Part Three will continue my musings on all things me, at this time in my life.
Much love Txx