My Health – Part 3 : Decisions, Decisions

So by now hopefully you are up to speed with the goings on from Part 1 & Part 2 … now we are up to the goings on in 2019 🙂

So in September I had my routine appointment with my Breast Specialist. She carried out her usual physical exam – all good. We talked about the abnormality that had came up in my MRI scan 8 months ago and the subsequent Ultra Sounds & Mammograms and the decision was that they were happy that there was nothing to be concerned about … Great news!

I casually mentioned to her the conversation I’d had with my GP when I got called up to see him when I turned 40 (in 2018) and that he mentioned that there was no need to get my ovaries out because that it hasn’t shown to be beneficial for reducing risk of Breast Cancer.

Her response “umm no we still recommend that, have you seen a gynecologist about this?”. I hadn’t.

She went on to explain that removing the ovaries was actually to eliminate (or drastically reduce) Ovarian Cancer. Although I’m well screened for Breast Cancer the same level of screening has not yet been developed to detect Ovarian Cancer early enough and generally when the symptoms come it can be too late. A side effect of removing them was a reduced risk of Breast Cancer, although the screening would continue as nornal.

So now I have been contemplating what to do. Do I remove them and bring on an early menopause, what does that mean for me, side effects/risks and then at the same time thinking :

I’d rather be dealing with Menopause than to be dead if I’m brutally honest!

I expressed concern around a forced menopause before my body is ready and all the other serious side effects this could bring but I was was advised by my surgeon that it was normal in this situation and I would get Hormone Replacement Therapy up until the age I would naturally go through menopause.

I’m currently in discussion with close family members who have already gone through menopause naturally and have since elected to have them removed (wise decision).

On top of menopause I find it weirdly uncomfortable that it would absolutely mean that we can’t have kids on our own … but in the same breath, we’ve been together nearly 20 years – If we were going to have them, we would have! It’s just weird thinking that things are so final and by choice as opposed to it occurring naturally.

I don’t want to rush this decision and wanted to consult with other health professionals to get different view points so I can make an informed decision. I especially wanted to seek out someone that could give me advice around the advantages/disadvantages of having my ovaries removed at my age.

I had heard Lara Briden talk in Christchurch on Womens Hormone Health and had been following her on social media ever since, I went on her website and although she was based in Australia she had a clinic in Christchurch … perfect! I made an appointment …

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