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Hot Flashes!!!

Hot flashes............they are inevitable for women once they hit a certain age. Some have a handful of them each day, while others have two or three times that amount. The side effects can range anywhere from being uncomfortable to being very red in the face and feeling the sweat run down your front and back.

This can be irritable to some women. They can be overheard complaining to friends and family members and lamenting about how difficult their lives are. It's bad enough when you suffer from these during the day. It's even worse if you get the famous night sweats, which, not only wake you in the middle of the night, but also force some women to have to get up and change their soaking wet sheets! Obviously the sleep interruptions can pile up, and be difficult over time.

For most women, menopause along with the characteristic hot flashes hits, on average, around their 50th birthday. For female breast cancer survivors, although not technically menopausal, the symptoms start with chemotherapy. My periods stopped as soon as I started chemotherapy, and the hot flashes started. It has now been over four years that I have been experiencing over twelve of them a day! Even though I have finished chemotherapy, tomoxifen, the post chemotherapy medication I am on, ensures my menopausal symptoms persist. Hot flashes also wake me up at night, although I am fortunate enough not to have to change my sheets. I'm usually just wiping the sweat and wandering around to cool off.

But, similar to your fight against cancer, or training for your next marathon, attitude can make a lot of difference! I treated my hot flashes just as I treated every other irritant during my fight with cancer. I simply don't let them bother me. I use my mind to curb their intensity, and I don't let the stress or irritation that sometimes accompany them get to me. Sometimes I even laugh them off!

I calmly smile when a younger female colleague asks me why my face is suddenly so red, and listen patiently while another friend dramatically laments at her miserable life with these disturbances. My hot flashes remind me that I am alive. They remind me that my medication is working and effective.

I have used the power of my mind for so many things....At times it helps me lace up those running shoes and get out the door. At others it reminds me to breathe deeply and calm dowm. The more you exercise it, the easier it is!

So the next time you pass a car, on a frisky day, with the windows down. Don't despair. It could be a couple of women having a hot flash. Hopefully they're laughing. One of them may even be me!



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Reader Comments (1)

It's clear your positive attitude helped you in your battle against cancer. Good for your for using that same attitude to battle the not-so-pleasant symptoms of menopause. And you are right - at least you are ALIVE to deal with those unpleasant symptoms. Awesome!

Wendy Jacobson

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Jacobson

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