Breast cancer
posted by GlassHalfFull
13 August 2012

Managing Menopause Symptoms

Last reply: 10 years ago

Hi All,

Sorry if I'm starting a thread that's already been discussed on here.

I'm at my wits end with this whole menopause lark!! I know I need to do more research myself but I said I'd ask for a little advice from you guys first. I finished my TCH x 6 on June 6th. I'll be getting Herceptin until Feb 2013. I also finished 18 sessions of RT on July 27th. (Exhausted!!). I stopped having periods immediately after starting chemo on 22nd Feb, so I did start having a few hot flushes back then. But holy God almighty above in heaven this Tamoxifen lark is no joke at all.

I'm crucified from the hot flushes and night sweats. Actually I don't really mind the hot flushes during the day it's the ones when I'm in bed that bother me the most.

I'm triple positive so obviously I can't take anything hormone-related, or simulated to ease my symptoms. Does anyone have any helpful hints or tips that might help me through these few months?

Also, I'll only be 42 when I finish taking the tamoxifen, and there's a possibility that I'll come back out of this chemical menopause, but I really really don't ever want to have to go through this again. What are my choices?

Sarah. XXX



commented by FunkyChick
14 August 2012

10 years ago

Hi Sarah,

could have written your post myself!! I too had your treatments, chemo, surgery, RT & now Tamoxifen. I finished Herceptin Feb2012 & am now on Tamoxifen just over 1yr. While I'm a little older than you (52 this week) I find the Hot Flushes & night sweats terrible. There are things you can take but also be very careful not to take anything with what's called synthetic oestrogens, these come in all different names in products that are marketed for menopausal women & I find it very hard to be sure what is or what isn't synthetic oestrogens. On the plus side I found sage drops are great (I'm like a junkie, I keep a small bottle in my bag & take it regularly) also I sprinkly dried sage on food where possible. I also found that evening primrose oil capsules helped but I was allergic to them so had to stop. Another tip is to take the tablet at night time, I found this eases the daytime flushes but of course it didn't help with the night sweats. The best advice I can give you is whatever you decide to take run it past your breast care nurse first, she's the expert. If there's anyone else out there with any other tips I would also be very grateful.


commented by LindyLu
14 August 2012

10 years ago

Sarah, am a bit older than you too, 43 years young now, but have been in chemically induced menopause for last three years.

First year was the worst but not horrific. I have certain triggers that make the symptoms worse, sadly, they are the things I like best, namely wine, sweets/chocolate and cakes.

I put on about a stone while on chemo and did weight watchers to shed the weight. I can honestly say that when I followed a low fats, low carbs and low sugar diet and did some exercise the symptoms were LOTS less.

Sadly I have let myself go over last few months and have nearly put on the stone that I lost two years ago Image removed.

So maybe have a look at your diet and see if you have certain triggers.

Other things that help is wearing lighter clothes or layers so that you can peel off a layer when you need to.


commented by sunflower
16 August 2012

10 years ago

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I take evening primrose oil , 1000mg. I was advised to take them in the evining time. My Doctor told me that I could take them with my metication. From talking to others doctors vary on this advise. Ask them anyway. Good luck.

commented by ephemere
19 August 2012

10 years ago

Hi Sarah,

Really sympathise with the premature meno-shock. It really is hard going altogether. I'm still finding it tough adapting to the drier skin, different hair, strange moods, feeling old and loss of libido at 45. The hot flushes were a pain; I tried Black Cohosh and it did nothing but I just wanted to post that there might be hope yet; I agree with the others above- all good advice and I can add a hopeful note too - good news- my hot flushes seem to be gone ! The doctors did say they mightn't last fery long but they were unable to say how long they might last, and it looks like I might have got away with under twelve months. Terrified I'm tempting fate by saying it out loud, but things have been a lot cooler for the past two months (it started last Aug/Sept). So here's hoping for you...


commented by Gtlheart
26 August 2012

10 years ago

Hi Sarah,
I am on tamoxifen now for 3 weeks and the side effects started within the first week. I feel the hot flush working up from my feet and then I boil up from the waist up, my back and whole head feels on fire, and I start sweating ,my neck my face ,even the hair by my neck is wet, and I have short hair. Also I get really bad pains in my hips and knees, more so at night, and my taste buds have changed. Seldom ate sweets and now can't get enough of them and the butter type spreads smell like that old type of stork marg we had years ago. Tried having a fan in the bedroom but just got a head cold out of that so now use one of those gell pads you can freeze and when that packs up during the night I also have another pillow on the floor which is lovely and cold. My bc nurse said if the sides effect don't settle down to try a different brand of tamoxifen called Nolvadex as they can all differ, don't really want to swap over yet as maybe this will settle and the other one might be worse.
Take care G x

commented by GlassHalfFull
27 August 2012

10 years ago

Hey Girls,

Thanks for your replies. All very helpful I have to say. So I'm going for Herceptin on Wednesday and I'll ask about all those suggestions. The pains and aches in my legs (feet, ankles and knees mostly and fingers) I was presuming were a chemo hangover, but the tamoxifen contributes too?

Heard a lovely expression the other day that made me giggle. 'Twas from a man mind you......He referred to menopause as 'your own personal summer'. Thought that was a good way of putting it.

I started the Tamoxifen on 1st July and I can honestly say that things have improved at night. I'm still getting the flushes (just a few during the day and more in the evenings) but there has been a settling down in bed thank God. so that's a bit of hope for people.

Hope you're all doing ok.
Sarah X

commented by ephemere
02 September 2012

10 years ago

Hi all,

I'm glad of this thread as its not easy on tamoxifen after dverything else.

Sarah, in my experience the aches and pains died away after about four months after the end of treatment but I found yoga helped a lot.

Now for a new question; can anyone help ( seriously) on low sex drive and general crappy libido? Genuine question. Am also fed up with this whole menopause lark...

Any tips?


commented by Fighter
04 September 2012

10 years ago

Saw a fridge magnet once - "Its not a hot flush - It's a power surge"

commented by ceedee
05 September 2012

10 years ago

If you read Fifty Shades Of Grey it might help with the Low Sex Drive Image removed. Ephemere

commented by Fighter
07 September 2012

10 years ago

My libido is too low to be even bothered to read it Image removed.

commented by GlassHalfFull
21 September 2012

10 years ago

Hey girls,

How are we all? Well I just had to tell ye that I've been having acupuncture (session 5 today) for the flushes and the pains and aches. And as far as the flushing is concerned I'm way way better. In fact I'd go as far as to say that I haven't really had any flushes to speak of in three weeks!! I even had to pull the throw over me in bed the last two nights. Image removed. And the sleep caps have been pulled back out of the wardrobe. Genius....

I'm still a bit hobbly on the legs as the knees and ankles still aren't marvelous but there has been an improvement there too. It's just all a little bit arthritic really. And (I'm surmising) the tamoxifen must obviously target previous little weak spots.

Anyway I just wanted to share with you guys, that I'm finding the acupuncture (on the advice of my oncologist I should add) great altogether and if you were to consider it I'd highly recommend it. Not everyone is a responder but if you are it's well worth it.

Anyone going to Dublin Caslte on 29th?

Sending lots of love to you all
Sarah. X

commented by lyric
03 October 2012

10 years ago

I've been taking Tamoxifen since June 2011 (am now 45). In the beginning I experienced the hot flushes and the stiffness but after time it all settled down.....until now. For the last month or so the hot flushes are coming 'hot and heavy'. They are most annoying particularly during the night as my sleep is really disturbed. The last few months for me have been quite stressful (nothing to do with BC) and I've put the return to the hot flushes down to this coupled with the fact that I haven't been exercising like I should. So now that things have settled down I've started back walking (a 40 minute fast walk 3 or 4 times a week) and joined a gym. I agree with previous posters re diet though it is hard to be good all the time Image removed. . All the best to everyone.

commented by FunkyChick
03 October 2012

10 years ago

Hi All,
have been on the Tamox since July 2011 & experienced terrible Hot Flushes. Heard that simple things like changing the brand of tablet can affect you. For my part I exercise regularly (mostly walking but do some resistance training too), try to take care with my diet, take the old Tamox at night time & also use a lot of sage, find this really helps. I also stick with the same brand & don't entertain the Pharmacist when they try to offer "generics". Lyric I do think your right stress can also be a factor so try to look after yourself no matter what is going on in your life.

All tips on how to manage the HF's greatly appreciated.

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