Saturday, 28 April 2012


I read a blog this morning via Twitter all about how this person's body couldn't handle hormonal changes. She wrote openly about how it affected her personality and her life and at last, I felt as though I wasn't alone in my plight with hormones.

It all began when I was in my early 20's. I was a size 6/8 and tiny..... things weren't going to well in my life. My parents had been going through a very nasty divorce during which time I was emotionally attacked by my dad, then my heroe, my big brother was killed in a car accident. All of this resulted in me going through a breakdown which led to the breakup with my long standing love, my fiance which was particularly nasty.

Looking back, I don't blame my dad or my ex.... I was a nightmare at that time in my life. Low self esteem, no confidence and I hated myself. They were having their own personal issues which changed them too. Its all water under the bridge now.

As part of my breakdown I started with an eating disorder. My weight plumeted to 6 stone and I was nothing but ribs and bones. The scarey thing for me looking back is that I distinctly remember thinking I was fat at the time.

The eating disorder never went away, it stayed with me until I had therapy at the age of 42 but it affected me in different ways.

The thing I am leading up to is.... when I did start eating properly again suddenly my periods stopped and my weight went up and up and up totally out of control until I hit 10stone and developed boobs!

The doctors didnt want to know until I met my husband and found that I couldnt conceive. During this time I was trying to lose weight unsuccessfully. Only after tests I found out that I had a hormonal disease called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which meant that my eggs developed normally but when they were released they stuck to my ovaries.

I read up about the condition and followed advice taking vitamins and supplements which helped and suddenly I found that I was losing weight and my symptoms subsided.

With fertility drugs I was able to have my two sons which is a blessing.

The hormonal changes which happened during each pregnancy made my weight go up and out of control but following my supplement and diet regime I lost the weight over time and felt great again.

I stayed a petite size 8 weighing in at 8 stone for years then I heard of this contraceptive contraption which all of my friends were raving about, the merina coil. This coil has a small amount of hormone in it and from the minute I had it fitted to the time I had it taken out my weight spiraled out of control again until I reached a size 12/14 and 10st 11lbs.......

As soon as the coil was removed and I started taking the pill again my hormones started to settle again and my weight began to fall off..............

That was when I found out that I had stage 3 HER2 pos breast cancer! The cancer was hormone sensitive so after surgery, chemo, radiotherapy and herceptin I was put on a hormonal treatment, a pill called Tamoxifen (thats another story).

Since being on Tamoxifen I have been struggling with my weight but that was the last of my problems because three years to the day of finding my first cancer, I was told that I had another cancer in my other breast.

This cancer wasn't as aggressive as the first and wasn't HER2 pos BUT it was hormone sensitive. This means that both of my cancers have been fed by my hormones.

Now I have had to have my ovaries shut down artificially to reduce the amount of oestrogen in my body and I also take a drug to stop my body producing any. Result..... I get days when I want to scream for no reason, other days I have no energy and then I have days when my bones hurt so much I can barely walk.

Hormones have been the bane of my life.


  1. Thanks for blogging about the hormone hell you've endured too. Hormones have been the bane of my life since back in my teens when I started ovulating for the 1st time. Wish there was a magic pill to sort out my hormone balances. At least now I know though I can't tolerate artificial ones and so I can try to avoid it... and can understand why I have such mood swings and dark clouds over me during "that time of the month" and try to manage it better... but I wish I was free from it all! To be like others with no issues!

    How awful that you've had cancer that's hormonal. Here's me moaning about how bad my life's been affected by hormones, but you've had to go through all this too.

    I'm so glad though that you've managed to have children with your PCOS. I know someone who had to end up having IVF to conceive because she had that, and thankfully it ended up working in the end and she now has a baby.

    Hormones are hellish. Too many don't "get it"... too many doctors don't too! There needs to be more speaking out about hormonal hell. get it understood better...

    I've asked for sterilisation cause I cant deal with the hormones if I got pregnant again - and no doubt the hellish antenatal and postnatal depression it brings on. They wont sterilise me because my partner has no children of his own! It's MY WOMB... MY OVARIES... MY CHOICE. Alas... they won't do it. It's against protocol. Feck protocol I say. surely my history should override it?? I couldn't do it again... I've only just got my life back on track. Got over the blackness to LIVE. I couldn't do it again...

    Thank you so much for telling your story. Means so much xxx

    If anyone wants to read my battle with hormones you can find it here :

  2. This is so interesting. I would suspect that a lot of women go through this and don't know why or what is causing all the chaos.
    You have such a good recall of what has happen to you over the years. I wish I had understood, more clearly, the awful reactions that hormonal imbalance can cause. I also think there is a link to all of this and breast cancer.
    Listening to some of your history, I feel that you are a very strong woman that always tries to understand the "whys" of what you are going through. Give yourself credit for living a life that has not been easy but that has made you a stronger woman.
    I know that some of these drugs damage our bodies and cause all kinds of problems down the road... but it's a trade off that has extended our life for a while. I have to think that it's worth some of the side affects... sometimes.
    Keep fighting, my friend.

  3. I think most women can relate to the 'Hormone' story, at different times in our lives we have all gone through the weight gain and loss, the highs and lows that our mood dictates depending on the levels our hormones are at! I can remember after I had Luke being almost suicidal because I was constantly losing in the nether regions, was in constant pain and couldn't control my mood swings! After booking 12 months maternity leave I went back to work when he was 4 months old because I couldn't cope, yet with my first I had taken the whole year off and loved it! After trying various methods to control the bleeding (one of which was a medication that caused very violent outbursts) at the age of 33 I had a hysterectomy! I was told that after 2 Caesareans and two late miscarriages (18 weeks and 20 weeks) my 'womb' was shot, and it was no wonder I was constantly losing, and had I got pregnant again my womb would probably have ruptured and it would most likely have killed me! So basically, after believeing that my life as a woman was at an end because I no longer had a womb, I suddenly realised I had had a very lucky escape, and no matter what life threw at me, I was going to make the most of it! I do think women have a rough deal when it comes to our bodies, but to become a mum I would have done anything, and whatever the consequences it was worth it! Keep your chin up our Sara, keep going, we are all rooting for you! xxxx

  4. This story has such impact Sara. Our bodies are controlled so much by our hormones...up and down and up and down. I've had my share of hormone issues and when you put it down in black and white like this you have to ask -- is it any wonder our bodies have back fired on us? Our hormones have a LOT to answer for. xoxox

  5. Ah! Lovely hormones! I've always had bad PMS but never really realized it until we had kids. Before, hubby would stay clear when I would dump dinner in the trash, then kids came along and they would just know when to push buttons. Before chemo, though, I was on the spot 26 days cycle, we all knew when it was time for me to step away and for them to be nice. Fast forward to now, yikes, chemo screwed up my entire systems, cycles are now 18-36 days, we never know when I'm going to just blow up, the longer the cycle, the worst the mood swing, it's just horrible. You're not alone sweetie, and nothing can be done because the way to balance hormones is by taking hormones which we can't do. Drink some wine and take a bath :) xx


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