herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Coffee Morning Whispers: My change of life chickens have come home to roost regardless

Rihanna
Rihanna

Chemotherapy can bring on an immediate menopause, and while this may not be ideal, at least for me it was going to get the damn thing over with.

By my reckoning, having undergone chemo at 48, I would be done and dusted with the menopause at aged 53 which, by the way, is roundabout now.

In the last five years I have oft boasted to the girls how easy I had it.

Sure, I got warm, maybe even a little flushed now and then, but nothing to write home about. Mood swings? Jeez, I'm so even tempered I couldn't tell.

Feeling a little tired? Sometimes, but that's what come of living life in the fast lanes of Co Kildare,

All in all, I was having a good menopause. While the other three were starting to get symptoms (Maggie, in particular, is having more mood swings than Norman Bates) my landing lights were on and I could see the runway. Yippidydodah, home free.

That was until about three months ago when I started to feel … well … hot.

And not hot like Rhianna (inset) writhing about half naked in one of her videos.

No, this was serious furnace-like sweats that started at my hairline and dripped past my kneecaps. They happen at odd times but mostly at night and usually around 3am.

Despite the fact there is no heat on and the grass outside is stiff with frost, it's as if my bedroom has turned into a smelter. When I throw back the bedclothes I could iron a laundry basket of shirts with the amount of steam that hisses off me.

I spend the next half hour lying on top of the duvet until I turn blue with the cold and then it's back under until the whole sorry saga starts over again.

mood swings

As for the mood swings? Put it like this, my other half says it's like living with a cross between Alf Garnett and a tiger with a toothache.

He has nicknamed me 'Attila the Hen'.

"Serves you right," said Patsy, when we were discussing our symptoms recently. "You were so bloody smug."

Patsy's symptoms don't revolve around the sweats so much.

Instead, she suffers from what's known as 'brain freeze'.

forgetfulness

This often manifests itself when she forgets that it's her turn to buy the cakes in the coffee shop.

"I have to say my appetites have changed as well," she replied.

"I have a hankering for foods with a strong taste like blue cheese or anchovies. I used to hate anchovies you know."

"Maybe, you are pregnant," I said.

It took a few seconds but you would want to have seen the sweat on her after that!

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