My Mega Menopause
Sara's story is not one of bad luck but one of optimism
Hot Flush met Sara Carson at a filming session. She was so inspiring with her upbeat, fizzy personality that we just had to ask her to share some of her effervescence with us here.
Sara's story isn't one of bad luck but rather one of optimism. She's keen and eager to share with us the 'Hot Tips' that she's discovered on her difficult menopause journey.
Sara was a single mum of four until she met and married a 'wonderful' man, later in life. Prior to meeting him, she'd had a tough life and disastrous relationships. Following three traumatic births, which included a baby born ten and a half weeks early whose placenta had separated, resulting in a very brutal delivery. She went on to have a fourth child.
Later, Sara had a posterior vaginal repair, then a vaginal hysterectomy. She spent several years suffering with awful urine infections. She tells how a breast cancer diagnosis within two years of meeting the love of her life, nearly destroyed her.
My Mega Menopause
Guest blog by Sara Carson
Menopause is something we all face and is not a welcome change. Some women just blossom through it and some of us just completely lose the plot. I wasn’t looking forward to becoming a washed out woman left on the shelf but an aggressive late stage breast cancer diagnosis and treatment hit me with more force than I thought was possible. We all get depressed now and again but diagnosis sent me spiralling and it was difficult to move on. I spent months crying for no reason. Every little thing that happened was magnified and dragged me down further.
It didn’t help when my well-meaning husband asked me to snap out of it and be positive. He had my best interests at heart but making him understand was a battle. I did however learn that he would never understand, as he was and still is, so different to me. I realised it was up to me to make the necessary changes and learn to cope. I learnt that change comes from within and not from outsiders.
I don’t know what pulled me out of it. Maybe the thought that one day one of my three beautiful daughters could be in my shoes, or have early menopause, and the thought of them not being strong and coping broke my heart. So, partly in desperation, I decided to use my education with the Open University – science and biology- with my years of research of natural medicines and remedies to see what I could do to relieve symptoms safely. I found many things that really help but the best part was finding I had some control back in my life.
Since then I have had time to reflect on the choices I could have made at the point of diagnosis, if I had stuck to my guns, and used all the information I already had at my fingertips to help me through breast cancer treatment, subsequent recovery and menopause. I have been a guinea pig for many weird and wonderful ideas trying all sorts of peculiar remedies. There are many that are incredibly helpful.
But it isn’t just hot flushes, night sweats or even the fatigue of menopause, it’s feeling unattractive, losing your sexuality – especially with the severe vaginal atrophy which I had. Despite dilators and many strange concoctions discussed with my wonderful GP nothing helped. I was destined to never have sex again, it was just too damn painful.
There is hope and there is help.
I hope to share some of the wonderful things I've discovered, that may work with you and make your lives better. I know they work. My hair is longer than it ever was before chemo. I have wonky boobs but love them more than I ever did and am proud of them. I still wear a bikini, cope with hot flushes, and have dealt with gum disease and extreme psoriasis. But best of all, I have a great sex life again. I now want to help other women know what they can do, that is safe and effective, to not only get back to having amazing sex, but to feel beautiful, strong and powerful. The menopause is nature’s way of saying – you don’t need competition anymore – you are complete – beautiful strong and amazing. I would like all women going through menopause to feel that way too.
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