Did your period come back after chemo? If so, when?

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kmakm
kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
edited May 2018 in General discussion
Hi. I'm interested in hearing about other womens' experiences in this area. I'm 51 and was still getting my period when I was diagnosed early last December. Definitely peri-menopausal though, I missed two last year prior to BC. I reckon the shock and stress knocked out December's period and by January I was having chemo.

My last dose of chemo was in mid-March. This week I've been feeling pre-menstrual. I'm craving chocolate like a woman possessed and today I felt the telltale uterine twinge for half an hour or so, the one I always got a day or two before my period started.

Is it possible for your period to come back this quickly after chemotherapy? When we discussed it a couple of months ago my oncologist said at my age (the average age for menopause in Australia) it was unlikely but not impossible that it would return. She's ordered a blood test every three months to check my LH and FSH levels. If they rise from the low levels of my last blood test (during chemo), it'll mean a monthly Zoladex injection.

Would love to hear anyone's story. Thank you  :)  Kate


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  • lrb_03
    lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,268
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    Hi, I was 49 at diagnosis, with no sign of menopause, except perhaps a more regular cycle???? I had 2 very light periods after starting chemo,  and never since. I had 3 monthly bloods for a year,  always in the menopausal range. I did have some post menopausal bleeding late last year, so after investigations showed a couple of minor problems,  and some more spotting a cour of months later,  my gynaecologist recommended removing tubes and ovaries.  I had that done in February,  so now I know I won't get another period  :p. One blessing out of it all.

    Hope you're travelling ok
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
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    Mine came back very quickly. they never really stopped, I only missed a couple during chemo.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    How old were you @Zoffiel?
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
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    I was 43. I took Tamoxifen for 5 years and had another 5 of normal cycle after I finished that before recurrence. My periods finally gave up when I got my ovaries removed in December 2016. It would seem I produce enough estrogen to power the empire and must have been one of the greatest ever contributors to the coffers of the sanitary product industry.  
  • JoeyLiz
    JoeyLiz Member Posts: 339
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    I’m 31 and had Zoledex during chemo. I finished chemo 4th April and it seems my period is trying to come back already! I thought it’d take longer (which I didn’t mind as I can’t start “trying” til jan 2020). I’m gonna Ask my Med Onc next wk. 
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,521
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    Hey Kate, my period had stopped about 5 months prior to chemo at Age 47, when I did chemo I actually got it after 1st infusion, I was horrified lol. I told my Oncologist and he said it won't last that unfortunately chemo throws you into an early menopause, which it did for me and it was harsh especially at the age I was. So don't be surprised if it doesn't return. xx 
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
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    45 at diagnosis @kmakm.  Everything ticking along like clockwork with no signs of menopause.  The first AC sure stopped that in its tracks! 
    I had a set of hormone tests  just after I finished chemo and they were still showing definitely pre menopausal,  I get a few twinges here and there and think it might be starting again but nope, nothing yet. 

     So that's just on 12 months since then end of chemo.  I think the Tamoxif**k is messing with it as well.  You will probably know of my on and off relationship with this drug.  When I have  my "holiday" I could swear a little bit longer and everything would start working again.  I just get that feeling but I'm too scared to stay off it for too long.  

    Seriously, it gives me shits.  Every time I hear about a recurrence even with being on these HT drugs it makes the urge stronger to give it the flick.   I want my brain back, the bone aches gone and I want my f***ing libido back.
      I so want to stay off it even though it's exactly opposite to what I should be thinking I guess. 
    I would be so close to feeling 100%  normal.  I really hate being scared of my own hormones..........

    Sorry for the rant but it really ticks me off.

    xoxoxo
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    @melclarity @kezmusc I'm not expecting it back at all. I'm genuinely surprised by these signals my body is giving. The other two being a libido surge, something I've always had just before menstruating, and a headache. Forgot to mention them above. My libido has been MIA since last November...

    I'm starting Letrozole on Friday. I have read (and enjoyed, kezmusc, never apologise!) your experiences on hormone therapy with interest. I'm hoping against hope I am one of the lucky ones who don't get side effects.

    Apart from the loss of fitness from the six months of treatment, and the recovery from the operation, I feel so well! I've lost 25kgs, have no aches or pains, and am about to start an exercise physiology programme. These signals make me feel like a return to a semblance of normal is just around the corner! It strikes me as so cruel that in one more day I have to start taking a medication that will reduce my chances of a recurrence, potentially saving my life, but that could also significantly reduce the quality of that life. Sigh. I'll take it, I know which I choose. Fingers crossed it's not too bad.

    And if Aunt Flo turns up I'll let my oncologist know...
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,521
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    @kmakm yes I still get feelings too some months of getting my period, but it never comes. One of the things I think has contributed to my weight gain was absolutely chemo! and then thrown into menopause. I've never been this heavy and nothing shifts it in 2.5 yrs, so am getting moving again trying different things. I loved working with my exercise physiologist and highly recommend it, I worked with her prior to the reconstruction and then after, was fantastic! 

    I can't put a time on it, but I have no libido problems at 2.5yrs post chemo and haven't for some time, so just give your body some time. 

    I don't know Letrozole, but have been on Tamoxifen, Arimidex and now Aromasin, I had zero side effects on Tamoxifen and was pre menopausal. I have struggled with feet and joint pain on Arimidex, but the Onc took me off for 6 weeks as he said it takes that long for it to leave your system and to know if you are different or not. I was different off it, but then was put on Aromasin. I'm lucky in that I also have Prolia injections 6 monthly and for some reason that has an added guard on BC and they dont know why. Tamoxifen didnt work as I had a recurrence on it, I'm happy to just plod along, Im back at work full time this year, it is hard I admit, but this is the closest to normal I've been since 2015. Just see how you go, but you may find you have minimal side effects. xo
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    edited May 2018
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    Thanks @melclarity   :)
  • Kiwi Angel
    Kiwi Angel Member Posts: 1,952
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    @kmakm - it’s great that u feel so well and yah for the libido surge - make the most of that  ;). @melclarity @kezmusc I will be starting in tamoxifen sometime in the next couple of months. I’m a little apprehensive as mentioned previously when discussing this with u ladies previously I can only pray I’m one of the lucky ones. Luckily my libido is still working once I have recovered from chemo so that is something. Hope these hormone tablets done out a damper on that. I haven’t had a period in years and I was on the mini pill so will be interesting to se what my blood results say. 
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,521
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    @Kiwi Angel I really didn't have any side effects on Tamoxifen and my surgeon always asked at my yearly visit, I guess as he has more patients that do than don't. I was pre menopausal though,so I wonder if that makes a difference, I don't know. I was on tamoxifen for 4yrs but as I said, I had a recurrence and the Surgeon said throw them in the bin. That's why after chemo in 2015 they switched to a different one as he said tamoxifen didn't work for me so wouldn't put me back on it. 
    I really wouldnt stress too much about it, it's a wait and see and honestly they may be really mild. x
  • Tennille
    Tennille Member Posts: 174
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    I was 35 and had just given birth the first time I started chemo. No period on the AC but it came back when I started 12 weekly Paclitaxel. Then it was every 28 days like clockwork after that.
  • Kiwi Angel
    Kiwi Angel Member Posts: 1,952
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    @melclarity I’m putting the tablets down as the next part of the journey. The surgery and chemo is done and this is just the next hurdle. I’m going to actually speak to my oncologist about ovary removal as that combined with tamoxifen can increase the chances of it not coming back. She has tested me so we can find out if I’m pre, peri or post menopausal. It’s amazing how the body can work out ways to keep
    producing all these hormone.  Have to be careful of my weight too as they can be produced in your fat. 
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,521
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    @Kiwi Angel that's exactly how I'd look at it too. I've been on meds now for 7yrs in total, so its just a part of my routine. I tell you what has made a massive difference the past 18 months is magnesium in water daily, in terms of my pain. Ohhh I have 8kg still courtesy of chemo, nothing has shifted it in 2.5yrs and ive tried everything. So am back into it all again trying to get some off. Something that has happened is Ive developed high cholesterol and that is a side effect of my medication worst luck...another thing just lately is I have high blood pressure and I have never suffered that, so we dont know why. Having to monitor it for a week and see whats happening. So I am back riding my exercise bike again and I walk about 6kms a day in my job and eating really well. We'll see if I can shift it as you say they can hide in your fat sheeeesh! it hasnt been recommended for my ovary removal, I know of people that have though. xx