Hot flushes so severe they make you feel faint

I had a massive operation last year - a complete hysterectomy and part of my bowel + apendix and omentrum removed. I am 53 years of age and nothing has been perscribed for the sudden menopause symptoms.

The hot swaets are making me misearable. They were horrid in the summer but I thought I would feel better once the weather cooled down. I can`t stand the heating on in the house, I am changing the bed clothes daily, I constantly feel wet all over. I have never sweat this much even when I useto do a long work out at the local gym. My whole body is soaked, even the back of my knees and ankles sweat. I feel disgisting but none of the doctors have offered me anything to help with this. The wigs became unbearably hot to wear in the summer and now I have my own hair back its always wet, I make up my face and there are beeds of perspiration on my top lip and forehead before I have finished applying the eye make up. Its really starting to get me down.

I also feel sooooo poorly when it happens, I feel incredibly weak and ill and sometimes faint and I have to sit or lay down. It feels like the flue.

One doctor told me this could take 5 years before it subsides - arghhhh, I may not live that long!!!! I can`t have HRT but not sure why.

Just need a little support - thanks in advance

Tina

16 Replies

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  • Hi Tina, i know exactly wot your going through. I had a full hysterectomy at 40 and like you was thrown into the menopause with no help or information from anyone about what I was about to go through!!! It was the hottest summer we had had for years, it was a total nightmare. I went to the health food shop and got some vitamins, can't for the life of me remember which ones now, but they helped. It lasted really bad for about 8 months, but it does go away. The menopause for me was worse than the chemo!!! It was unbearable, but all i can say is it does go. I feel for you! xx I didn't even ask for HRT as OC is a hormonal cancer, so i wasn't going to run the risk of giving myself artificial hormone replacement. Ok, hope this helps xxx take ginger root every day xx

  • by the way Tina, that was 5yrs 5 months ago, just thought i shud mention that with you saying you won't be here in 5 years!!!

  • H Tina, I sympathise. I had my de baulking surgery 5 years ago and at the time was on HRT, so immediate withdrawal of HRT and of course the whole body going into shock with the removal of all the organs relating to ovarian cancer. I too immediately after surgery was wet through every morning, I had to change the bed every day. I still get dreadful hot flushes, particularly living in Spain with temps up to 40c in the summer it is a nightmare. The winter is marginally better.

    My lifesaver is my CHILLOW PILLOW, do a web search and only buy the genuine one. I get through the night with just a slight body flush but my head is kept cool with the Chillow pillow. It does have to be turned during the night if you wake up, as the area where your head is all the time does get warm. But I wouldn't be without mine. You can also get a full mattress to fit on top of your mattress on your bed. However in the winter, initially putting my head onto the pillow it can feel like a sheet of marble as it is so cold, so even I couldn't cope with the full mattress.

    I only wear natural products, no synthetics as they give me 'my tropical moments' and always layer, this way with a hot flush I take take a layer off then replace when I cool down. It is a standing joke with all our friends about 'my tropical moments'.

    My oncologist has also told me that the chemo will cause hot flushes. But a friend of mine knows a lady in her 80's who has never been on HRT, never had a hysterectomy and still has hot flushes !!

    Tina I have just made my 5 years cancerversary with late stage cancer, so never give up !!

    Good luck

    Anna xx

  • Thanks Ellen,

    that has made me feel so much better, I have a friend who`s menapaouse symptoms were so severe she told her GP give me HRT I will sooner risk having cancer than this. I bet she wouldn`t!

    She may just eat her words if she ends up going through what we all have.

    I tried cutting out caffeine cos someone told me that helped and it did for about a month, now the sweating is worse than ever. I will try Ginger and let you knoiw how I get on thank you.

    5 years and 5 months congratulations - that must be a wonderful feeling. I`m not too positive this week, I know we can`t be all of the time but my brothers colon cancer came back last month and he is now terminal, nothing they can do. We went through our diagnosis, operations and chemo together last year so as you can imagine I am scared, for him, for me for all of us.

    xx

  • Thanks Anna,

    I have to say, I sleep in my own double bed because I cannot stand my husbands body heat. I have no heating on in my room and its freezing. I constantly keep rolling onto the cooler side of the bed which feels like ice until I over heat again. Isn`t life fun - one of the joys of being a woman, I`m coming back male next time, LOL!

    Anna and Ellen - 5 years since you went through this - what a wonderful inspiration you ladies are to me - you have both up lifted my spirits so much, thank you.

    My brothers news just made me hit rock bottom this week - I supose I`m allowed a bit of a wobble but you have made me pull out of it thanks, so pleased for you both too. xx

  • That doesn`t look good does it, I have just been accepted as a volunteer and I`m the one asking the questions today. oh well, tomorrow will change back to my usual chirpy self, no worry`s.

  • Hi Tina,

    Nobody has all the answers or none of us would be in this boat :-) It is nice you felt you could ask for comfort and commeradery. It helped me in hospital to be friends with the other patients and not go it alone and it helps me now to be amongst you ladies.

    I too have fot flushes, but they are manageable. I just strip off to what is decent and let myself cool. In the car, all the windows down and let the wind blow through (what is left of) my hair lol.

    Love Lizzie

    X

  • Tina, my husband and I have a joke, When he comes for a cuddle the excuse isn't - I have a headache, it is you will give me a hot flush !!

    Neither of us can sleep on our own, we just feel life could be so short, so we need to be together and that is after 41 years of marriage. I actually feel very lonely on my own and so does he. Although I do often have the odd session in a spare bedroom in the summer where we have a lovely ceiling fan, as I can't stand air conditioning in our bedroom.

    I do notice the prostate guys at chemo suffer hot flushes too so it is not solely a woman's problems.

    Anna xx

  • Hi again Anna, I also have a condition called fibromyalgia, this gives me restless leg and my sleeping pattern is dreadful. My poor husband has to be up early every morning for work, so once we`ve had a lovely cuddle I wonda into my own room. I too have a ceiling fan.

    We both actually get along much better now that we get a resonable nights sleep or should I say hubby does. I think ` Kill` the other came to mind a few times before.

    It is very true it can feel lonely on your own but once you are sleeping you know no different as long as we get our cuddle, I can`t knock it. At least I`m not kicking him or shaking the bed every time I toss and turn or get up to the bathroom.

    I also think we are more passionate now because the resentment of not getting any sleep has vanished, both of us are less fatigued and I have Chronic Fatigue syndrome too which brings its very own collection of symptoms.

    People think sleeping alone is the end of the marriage but this was a new beginning for us. We are a very loving couple and FM brought us closer and the cancer closer still. We have been married 35 yrs now. Have two grown up daughter who each have a child. Our new granddaughter was born 3 weeks ago and she is adorable. Our grandson is almost 5 and he is super too.

    Hubby`s uncle has prostrate cancer and he has hot flushes but nothing like I do. We take the micky out of one another. Strangly enough Fibromyalgia always made me feel the cold and our house was like a red hot oven, middle of winter hubby would sit there with his shirt off. While I`d be wrapped up in layers and a blanket. Now, well we just save on the heating,LOL! It makes a massive change for me to complain I`m too hot. Isn`t life changes funny sometimes. One thing we always do is laugh a lot out loud, we turn the most serious of situations into laughter, well most of the time.

    Thanks for chatting to me girls - hugs from tina xxx

  • I`ll write another blog tomorrow, tell you girls about some nasty chemo experiences that made us howl with laughter.

    Wasn`t that funny at the time let me tell you, but we soon found humour thank God we can. xx

  • Tina,a friend of mine has the same problem as you fibromyalgia. One treatment for it is a painkiller I was put on when I was taking Cyclophosmide with my Avastin. It is called Lyrica, do you know of it ?

    I too toss and turn and sometimes find it difficult to get comfy with my stomach, but hubby is also not the sleeper he was. I think maybe getting older is the problem??

    Love Anna xx

  • Hi Tina! I have always been hot but I went through the menopause without any hot flushes but the debulking and the chemo left me breaking out in a sweat at the drop of a hat. I am divorced and live alone so no problems there. I have my own king sized bed and, on the positive side, I save on the heating bills! My children have always complained that my house is too cold! As for the fear of death, life is a terminal condition. Of course I am afraid but it would be worse to have something progressive and degenerative, one of my friends has Parkinsons and another has just been diagnosed with alzheimer's, I would not change places with either!

    It is just over 2 years since I was diagnosed at stage 3c so all you 5 years plus are heartening me. I was told very few would get to 5 years but Imnow think that meant without a return of symptoms. Mine were back within the year. All I can hope for is that the end is notbagonising or undignified!

    Love Margaret!

  • I am still having hot flushes after 9 years! Not anywhere near as bad as they were though. I often recommend the Ladycare magnet, which was recommended to me by the menopause clinic consultant at my local hospital, but there has been quite a lot of discussion on here about the magnets, so type in Ladycare magnets into the search box and read the comments first! I hope it helps

    Wendy xx

  • Hi,

    After my op I also had a chillpillow, and found it a great help in bed with my hot flushes, but that was the only time it really affected me. Mind you I had been through the menopause 6 years before I had OC. Thankfully it is not a problem I now suffer with, and like Anna after 41 years I couldn't imagine sleeping without my husband, despite all. He has put up with all my problems over my 4+years wihout any complaints.

    Reading Anna and Tina's column I realise I have things very lightly compared to others. I hope everyone manages to get their 5 years + badge, (even if it is with constant chemo that no-one every mentions when they say 5 years!)

    Good luck to all

    Viv

  • It`s been truly over whelming reading so many comments, You first feel as though you are the only person you know who is going through OC cancer. I am so happy to have found you all.

    I like the comment `life itself is terminal` this is very true indeed and I agree it could be worse.

    I also found the chemo gave me the hot sweats and I don`t think they seem as bad now because while having chemo they did make me feel terribly ill. Now, I just feel yucky unless I keep myself freezing cold which flares up the fibro pain.

    Anna, I follow the guaifenesin protocol for the FM, reading `what your doctor may not tell you about fibromyalgia`. The danger with this condition is it masks all other diseases. I had none of the co symptoms listed, I thought something was going on because I genually felt really poorly.

    I had every faith the Guai was working for me as I`ve been managing the FM for almost 8 years. It would have been so easy to blame the cancer on the FMS and CFS. Thank the lord my GP referred me straight away to the consultant for a scan. My CA125 was 1,800 and now one year and 2 weeks later it is reading at 11.

    My mother passed away on her 47th birthday to OC, so it has also been a worry to me. Now our family are having gnetic testing to see if we have the faulty braca 1 and braca 2 gene, my results should be ready early next year. Fingers crossed I don`t, We have 2 grown up daughters.

    Love and prayers to you all from Tina x

  • i had a hysterectomy 6 years ago when i had my 3c diagnosis.Hot flushes started within days and doctors said i couldnt have hrt because with the chemo it probably wouldnt work anyway .when i finished chemo i was put on premerin(i think doctors believed it wouldnt be harmful as the cancer would return anyway).this worked well and the cancer returned twice and i continued throug anothe coarse of chemo and 6 weeks of radiotheapy.Recently,however because of a slow rising of ca125 i was told to come of it in order to go on tamoxifen,which has hot flushes as a side effect.I am hating them and not sure wether to try any herbal remedies.

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