My Life is a Lumpy Circle

I finally broke down today and filled my prescription for my estrogen patches. I was going to seek out some other more natural options but for this month I’m going on the patch. Dr. L said I’d be fine until he refers me to a local gyno-oncologist to talk more about it.

I haven’t written about it lately because it’s not that big of a deal but I have felt pretty crappy with migraines, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, high blood pressure…..basically if you read down the list of menopausal symptoms…..that’s me. Honestly, sometimes I think I felt better when I was going through chemo than I do now. The doctor gave me ambien but I started to feel like I was dependent on it so I stopped taking it.  I don’t like to be dependent on anything…..let alone sleep medication. You know what works the best? Target fruit snacks….right before I go to bed…I did the same thing during pregnancy when I couldn’t sleep. I think I have a sugar crash.  Oh and I gained three pounds this last week…….not sure it it’s the hormones or the fruit snacks because nothing else changed.  Maybe my eggs just need a little tender, loving estrogen:


I spent the last 3 days figuring out all my employment tax forms that I got behind on while I was recuperating from surgery last year.  It seriously took 3 days. The two people I spent hours on the phone with treated me like a complete idiot….which was fine because I probably sounded like one: Wait, you don’t have the form from 2010? Where do I even get the form from? I just print it? I can’t even figure out what it’s asking me to fill out…..what’s the 6 form? Why is it a 9 form now? Just warning you I might cry. Why does every form get sent to a different address? Can I include a post it note with this form? No? Does a robot open the envelope? I paid that… refunded me. You can’t tell me why the numbers don’t add up? Wait…I’m going to cry again. Now I’m all caught up….which makes today more fun than Christmas.

Someone asked me the other day how I stay positive when things can go so wrong.  It’s hard to put into words….I just do…..and really in the grand scheme of things….what has happened to me isn’t so bad. I might have a mental break down for a few minutes about something but I recuperate pretty fast and move on to the next thing. It’s hard to explain but I was watching this Lifetime movie Amish Grace the other day and something clicked. The movie is about the young Amish girls who were killed in their school a few years ago and how the Amish forgave the man that shot them. (Note: It’s almost impossible not to cry when watching this movie.) I actually stopped the movie to copy down the following quote about forgiveness:

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, It doesn’t even mean a pardon.
We know that [the person that wronged us] will stand before a just God.
But we also know that if we hold onto our anger and resentment….
… is only ourselves that is being punished.

That’s kind of how I think of choosing joy:

In a way, each day, I forgive the universe for sending crap my way.

I let go of anger and resentment because otherwise I’m only punishing myself.

And then…..I thank God for letting it all happen to me because….I couldn’t even make this all up if I tried. I think about how boring my day would be if everything went along just perfectly……

And THEN….I let go of fear and worry. It’s kind of like having an open heart:

My alma mater, Wake Forest, sends out a magazine and I read through it last night. There is this article written by Joy Goodwin about historian Jim Barefield…….I loved Joy’s description of this man who teaches the art of comedy:

But the most disconcerting thing about Jim was his attitude. Before Jim, I had never known anyone who actually got happier when things went awry. In situations that would make a normal person cringe – say, a cloudburst at an outdoor wedding – Jim could scarcely contain his merriment. (If a wet dog got loose and ran through the ceremony, so much the better).

Oh I would love if a wet dog ran loose through a wedding ceremony.  To some brides it would be the end of the world……but I think it would be awesome. I drank so much at my own wedding I poured my wine in the pool and tripped into the video camera a few times. I threw my bouquet in a tree. My mom jumped into the pool. It was perfect. I prefer the comic view of life.  I’ve learned that so many things are out of our control that we might as well accept them….and just make them part of our story.

The comic view of life: A way of saying yes to life, a conviction that whatever the center of the universe is, it’s probably not you, and an acceptance of the idea the life is a circle, not a straight line.

-Jim Barefield


I don’t know about most of you….but my life isn’t a perfect circle….it’s more like this:


And that’s all I have to share today……..

P.S. If you are new here and I’ve totally lost you, you can find The Cancer Chronicles index here!

Update: I love this definition from Andrea in the comments: forgiveness is giving up hope the past could be any different. -Oprah


The Cancer Chronicles via


  1. says

    This is the attitude that I try to have, and I love reading your blog because it always gives me a booster shot of thankfulness. After I had my 5th miscarriage, my fertility doctor said to me, “Someday, when I get to heaven, I will ask God why He allows this to happen.” I replied, “God had nothing to do with this.” Bad things happen because we are imperfect humans. God loves us through it.

  2. says

    I hope you start feeling better soon. I learned a long time ago that there is very little that I can actually control. A hard lesson for a perfectionist and control freak but an important one. Love your insights into letting go of fear, worry, and anger!

  3. Melissa says

    Oh, hello…longtime lurker…never commented before! And yes, this is what pulls me out of lurking-dom – have you ever tried castor oil for insomnia??? I know, I sound like a mad woman, but I was desperate for some sleep and heard about it. You just rub it on your eyes. I just close my eyes, rub it around, and when I get to sleep, I CRASH for hours. I don’t know if its a placebo effect or not, but whatever it is, it works!

  4. Melissa says

    And yes, I agree with the 1,000s of women who’ve said it, but I never commented myself. You. are. amazing. I’ve followed your blog since before your dad’s passing, and your cancer craziness. I regularly think “choose joy!” now – thank you for sharing your stories with all of us!

  5. Heather Louise says

    Thank you Ashley. As usual, you have given me the nudge I needed to realign myself. I enjoy reading your musings, sewing from your patterns and buying your clothes. Thank you for sharing of yourself. And thank you Lisa for all the behind the scenes work you do . . . I know you are there hiding somewhere :)

  6. Anne E says

    I was just told last week that at age 29, I am in fact also in menopause from chemo. Devastated was putting it lightly. I hoped & prayed it wouldn’t happen even though I knew it was likely. I’m hopeful for you with the estrogen patches! Because my breast cancer was estrogen fed, I am now on an estrogen blocker :( crossing my fingers that our ovaries wake up sooner than later. In the meantime here’s a fan to keep yourself cook from those hot flashes 😉

    • says

      That’s why my mom doesn’t want me on estrogen! I’m looking for something else Anne! Here’s a fan rignt back at you 😉

      • Nancy says

        Hello, not sure if this option was mentioned earlier but how about natural progesterone cream… Have you read Dr. Lee’s book on natural progesterone? I’m not sure but I think it might help you… You are truly inspirational! 😉

    • Koryn says

      Anne and Ashley, i hope this may be some consolation to you, but after going through chemo for breast cancer in 2009 and my cycles stopping, I thought I had been put into menopause as well. Then, to my surprise, 16 months later my periods came back. They have been back and regular for over two years now. I, too, tried Progesterone cream for about a year after reading Dr. Lee’s book but to my dismay I learned from a doctor that our body’s do not metabolize yam progesterone in the same way as the human forms of it and I never noticed any change in my body by using it. I don’t think it is harmful, but I am not sure it will offset any excess estrogen I am now producing. My cancer was also er+ but I can’t help but wonder if popping daily birth control pills for more than 18 years leading up to my diagnosis contributed to me getting cancer and obviously that risk factor is gone now. Chemo does a huge number on your reproductive organs. It takes a long time to recover from it, 2-3 years, my oncologist says. Give your body some time. It may jump start itself, and the younger you are, the more likely your hormones will come back as well. (But Ashley won’t have to deal with periods! ) :)

  7. Amanda says

    I love how your lumpy circle of life kind of resembles a cartoon silhouette outline of Jay Leno laughing (if you tilt your head to the slightly to the right and use your imagination haha)

  8. says

    Love that! I wish I had jumped into the pool at my daughter’s wedding! The Caterers were 2hours late, the dj that was showing the wedding bride and groom video I had spent months putting together showed it on the big screen at a resolution that was too large so all the heads were cut off . . . . everyone had a good time but yeah why didn’t I think of that falling in the pool would have been perfect! I did love my outfit and I would have had nothing to change into . . . . I have one more daughter, I will plan with more humor in mind! Thanks loved the post :-)

  9. says

    i loved reading this LATER in the day today….after a little insight. you rock. i love you. nuff said. OH!! and nick is an electrician…there were a handful of electricians at my wedding. know what the first thing was that happened when we entered the reception tent? all the lights went dark!! i was like….”um….is there an electrician in the house?!” and its one of my favorite parts. -xo

  10. says

    I love the bizarre in life…not a fan of the heartbreak. But watching a candle slowly tip towards a gigantic flower arrangement that promptly exploded into a huge ball of flames was the highlight of my friend’s wedding…good memories…good stuff.

  11. says

    I admire your courage so very much ! Each house have his own cross. But you have the power to be an example for so many people who are suffering. So positive, carpe diem !
    I wish you the very best, more than the best, kind regards Henriette.

  12. Kelly sugg says

    I know exactly what you mean about feeling better during chemo…. I swear I had a better complexion too! Weird huh? Good luck with everything. I enjoy reading your blogs I can relate to so much you are going through!!!

  13. Karen says

    Ashley, reading your blog is always so inspiring to me. I am passed the menopause thing, I could not imagine having gone through it at such a young age, I feel for you.

    I saw the Amish movie and you are absolutely right, no way can you watch without tears!

  14. GayleB says

    Great post – love the comparison of a lumpy circle – that is life as most of us know it!! Thanks! PS – I wear my choose joy necklace almost all the time and I am always touching the charm when I feel a negative choice coming on!!!!!!

  15. Andrea says

    So far, my fave forgiveness definition comes from Oprah (not sure if its actually her’s or just heard it from her) something like “forgiveness is giving up hope the past could be any different”. No pardons, no forgetting, like you shared above, just accepting and going forward. Using this definition I have been able to ‘forgive’ anything.

    I have thrown Choose Joy at my husband so much, he is now throwing it back at me. It is now summer break and the long days with all 3 kids home together all day, someone is bound to get cranky and start a fight. Which makes mommy cranky! So hubby walks in the door, see’s me ready to meltdown and asks “where is the joy?”

  16. says

    Do you know how much you rule??? It’s a freakin big deal to just choose to let it all go each day. I’m TERRIBLE at that, so maybe I see what a big deal it is. You are awesome and you deserve to give yourself props for your attitude!

  17. says

    I’ve been struggling with insomnia (among other things) the last month or so and I really didn’t want to get hooked on sleeping drugs so my doctor recommended trying out melatonin. It’s pretty much a vitamin supplement-melatonin is the hormone your body naturally produces to help you sleep. It’s made a HUGE difference so I thought I’d share my little piece of knowledge.


  18. Stacey says

    Ashley, you are a WONDERFUL writer! I love your honesty. I hope your menopausal symptoms go away. Thanks for sharing your insights about choosing joy over the small things and big things in life that attempt to drag us down. Big xxx’s

  19. says

    LOL to the Jay Leno comment!!! Hilarious! I am trying so hard to have your point of view and ability to let the hardships roll off. Inspiring, Ashley, like always :-)

  20. says

    I’m not sure if you’ve heard this or not, but soy products contain phytoestrogens. Or, estrogen-like chemical that is plant derived. I don’t know how much you would have to consume to get the levels you need…but something to bring up with your dr. I know there are other plants that produce estrogen-like chemicals as well, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head!
    I hope all your ovaries need is some tlc and time to recover.

  21. Lisa says

    I cried all the way thru Amish Grace for the same reason. I read YOU for the same reason. You remind me that even though crappy things that can happen in life, you can CHOOSE to put your hands up and laugh. You can’t always control what happens in your life, but you can control how you react to it. This was NOT the way I was raised and so, like the movie, I have to remind myself daily – sometimes multiple times daily – that my reactions to life are MY CHOICES. You are a constant inspiration to CHOOSE JOY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING AND INSPIRING!!

  22. says

    I LOVE that movie because I always need to hear that same phrase!!!!!!

    God bless you and yours Ashley. I am constantly amazed by your strength. Sometimes I see a bit of myself in you…the loss, the journey, the choice to Choose Joy, the sarcastic humor, and the fact that you just don’t take yourself too seriously….at least that is the way you come across ;)…..which makes me keep coming back! You are like my personal spiritual guidance counselor.

    And totally bookmarking this post because my crappy uterus is going bye-bye in a couple of months. I have been lamenting the fact that I am losing it before I am 40…but I need to CHOOSE JOY, don’t I?

  23. says

    This is such a beautiful way to embrace life, thank you for explaining your Choose Joy message deeper. I feel like I can understand better why and how I can do this too. xx

  24. Robin says

    <3 for YOU and all of Your Trials and Tribulations…..
    I have a lumpy circle too !!!!
    This too shall Pass xoxoxox

  25. Alison says

    Just some reassurance – the patches (unless they have progestins) are all bio-identical to what your body makes. Cancer risk is increased if you go from normal to high levels, not if you go from low to normal. Check out for more info about bio-identical hormones.

  26. Beverly says

    I know it’s not the same, but I took 1000 mg of evening primose oil capsules and all my menopause symptoms went away. Might be worth trying it.

  27. Tausha says

    I have found that the absolute best way, for me, to get my hot flashes almost non-existent is to juice. i bought a juicer and that is mostly all i do (i’m unable to eat solid foods right now) and the hot flashes are very minimal if they even show up.

    Thought I would pass that on…

  28. says

    Well said :)

    And for what it’s worth, your lumpy circle of life made me think of a profile of someone with big teased bangs laughing.

  29. Coastal Femme says


    I heart you! What an amazing attitude you have. You are such a wonderful role model for Boo. I take an estrogen blocker and have hot flashes and living in Florida doesn’t help. It doesn’t get as hot as Palm Srings in the summer but the humidity can knock you out! Hang in there kiddo..i’m rooting for you.

  30. Stephanie T says

    Hi Ashley–During my very worst hormonal moments, I turn to the website for information, enlightenment, and comfort from the many wonderful womenon the message boards who offer support and brilliant insight 24 hours a day. That site has saved my sanity many times in the past eleven years. Yep, eleven years of hormonal upheavals–it’s been quite a ride. And I was always one to shake my head in my younger years when friends complained of PMS issues–I just didn’t get it.

  31. says

    I kind of needed this today. I’ve been feeling like my life is definitely a lumpy circle. Take it from someone who went through menopause and survived, it isn’t really that fun :)

  32. says

    ashley, i agree wholeheartedly about forgiveness. doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do and i’m still working at it. but the longer we hold on to the anger, the more harm we do to our souls. and just because we forgive does negate that things happened and that we are wronged. it just means that we are better than that. that we are choosing not to drag our soul down.

  33. says

    My circle is lumpy too! I’ve been following you for a long time and I think you are amazing. When I think of the severe lumpiness of my circle over the past 2 years, I think of that quote… something like “if we all threw our problems into a circle, and could choose one, we’d grab our own right back….” I butchered the quote but you get my meaning I’m sure.

    Hugs and Love,

    Sheila in Oregon

  34. Karen Crosby says

    I’ve been going through a bunch of minor issues all at the same time and last several nights I have been thanking God for my trials, and praying they somehow glorify Him and helps someone come to the Lord.

    I learned this from Corrie Ten Boom books, who was in Nazi prison camp with her sister (who later died.)…They were hiding Jews in their Dad’s watch shop. Corrie wrote about her sister that told her to not complain about the bed bugs, but thank God for them.

    Ends up they could hold bible studies in the big dorm because the guards refused to enter them due to all the massive infestation of bugs! So Corrie’s sister is right. Thank God and wait for the results.

  35. Karen Crosby says

    OH by the way my entry into menopause was weird. I had two thirty minute hot flashes from hell about a week apart and it was all over. I cried during them, was burning up like a hot iron… and one happened in the middle of evening church service so I will NEVER forget it.

  36. Amanda W says

    Instead of ambien a natural alternative is Melatonin. My dad takes it for sleeping and swears by it…the only side effect is weird dreams, but that could make for some fun blog posts!!!
    He lives in La Quinta 6M during the year (Mountain View) and I know he fills it there locally…..


  37. Melissa K Johnson says

    Ashley, I am starting to sound like the lead in Harvey, the movie about the imaginary white rabbit. I talk about my “friend” Ashley to my best friend Angie, who has Ovarian cancer, all the time, quoting you and referring to your overwhelming good cheer. I think Angie thinks you are my neighbor or cousin, surely someone I actually know! But your posts on dealing with your cancer and the way in which you have not only survived but thrived, has been a godsend in giving me guidance when I feel at a lost to help my friend. She lost her husband to cancer less than 2 years ago and she has no children so its been hard to find any joy in what she is going through … but I am not going to give up! She will make it if I have to pull her kicking and screaming through this daunting challenge.
    Oh, and the silver lining in losing your uterus before age 40, I never had to stay home for the first few days of every month in fear of ruining a favorite skirt or ask my husband to forgive me for the week of PMS every 30 days!
    Gee, my glass IS half full…..wish it was with a Margarita~!

  38. Vicki Turner says

    But we also know that if we hold onto our anger and resentment….
    … is only ourselves that is being punished.
    So, so true…and sadly sometimes it takes a long time to learn this for many people.
    Reading your blogs reminds me everyday to Choose Joy!
    Love you cousin Ashley xoxoxoxo

  39. Susan says

    Dear Ashley, I found you on pinterest and fell madly in love with your blog, little Boo, and YOU! I’ve been reading for a while in hopes that when I graduate college be like you, and do just what I want to do (make artsy things all day long and be super happy while doing it!
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me–4-ish years ago, I found out I had pediatric thyroid cancer at 17 from having more radiation exposure than anyone should have, and I had loads more afterward. Since it’s an on-going worry for me that I might find myself being treated for another kind of cancer one day, my dad gave me the same message you have shared with us. Instead of feeling like there’s a dark cloud over my head, I should be happy and smile every day of my life and not lose an instant feeling down about what I’ve been through. Now for the laugh** Of course, I blurted out “OMG That’s what ASHLEY says dad!!” and then I had to show him who “Ashley” is (he was very impressed!!) Ashley, you are so awesome for sharing your wisdom with the world! Lots of love! xoxoxo

  40. beth says

    Ashley, I too remind myself, thanks to you that it’s my option, I can Choose Joy. My choice. I too went thru non surgical menopause at the age of 21. Because of it, we were unable to have children and felt we were going to be childless. After 17 years of marriage, we adopted our first child, 2 years later our second. I tell my girls how very thankful I am that we couldn’t have children. We would have never known the blessing of them! I’m so thankful for the joy they bring us….I’m so thankful that you remind us to remember to be thankful…and to choose joy. Thank You!

  41. Wana says

    Praying that each day gets better for you…and I totally believe it will. Your hot flashes will disappear and you will find a bit more joy in every day if you take Effexor. It is an anti-anxiety med that they found has a calming effect on the brain for causing hot flashes. My mom battled breast cancer successfully, but had such terrible side effects from the Tamoxifen that she was on. Get well, be strong, look for the joy!

  42. Meredith M. says

    Love you sweet Ashley! I hope you can find the right balance for those messed up hormones and start feeling better soon! I completely understand about the not wanting to be dependent on other medications like Ambien. I got a prescription for Xanax because my anxiety can get really bad sometimes and then I got anxiety about taking the Xanax and flushed them. Seriously. I wonder what is wrong with me. :) Eating healthy and exercise helps me with the stress and not sleeping. And lots of prayer and I will be praying for you. Praying for healing and relief from all the pain.

  43. says

    I am not as good at putting things into words as you are, but that is pretty much how I felt when I went through cancer…sure I had my boohoo parties every now and then, but for the most part, you do have to forgive the universe! Great post!

  44. Viki says

    I can’t remember who said it, but my motto is “If this is going to be something I look back and laugh at, I may as well laugh at it now.” It’s how I stay joyful. Life is good.

  45. Jen says

    I wish you the best Ashley, I think about you all the time and have told many people about your blog.
    SIDE STORY** About 10 minutes before I walked down the aisle on my wedding day (my then, future sister in law) bit into a cherry tomato and it exploded ALL over the top of my wedding dress. While she and I exploded into a fit of giggles my Mom and Mother In law, sprung into panic mode. to this day we still laugh about it. Needless to say on her wedding our Mother in law made sure there were no Cherry Tomatoes in our “getting ready room”. ( we married brothers, in case anyone is confused)

  46. Evelene Sterling says

    Ashley, when I was going through menopause I drank Revival Soy drinks and they stopped all the bad effects of menopause. Don’t do the estrogen patch because of the breast cancer related effects. Please try the Revival soy drinks they will work for you I promise.

  47. wendie says

    I went into chemo-induced menopause also. My breast cancer was 99% estrogen fed, so I can’t take any kind of hormones. It seems to have gotten better over time though. My last chemo was July of 2011. Hopefully your symptoms will get better over time also. My doc says I’ll eventually be back to “normal”, whatever that means. Good or bad, I think you have a new “normal” after cancer. :)

  48. Cindy says

    I love reading your blogs Ashley – your comments, stories and the way you bring joy and laughter into almost everything really give my heart a buzz. Thanks for sharing…

  49. says

    my muscles in my hands are wasting away and i’m having serious troubles swallowing all my medications and many solid foods these days, both complications from my condition. but i have to remind myself i am not my body. you are such a bright warrior ashley.

    a few weeks ago i flew across the country to be the maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding, well, to make a long story short, i made it through the ceremony and photos, but had to be taken away in an ambulance before the reception and toasts. i was devastated but had to laugh!


  50. says

    A young warrior saw the wise man sitting still by the lake staring off into the distance. When he asked him what he was doing the wise man replied “There are 2 wolves battling inside all of us. One is Fear. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Confidence. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.” The the young warrior thought about it and asked: “Which wolf will win?”. The old wise man quietly replied: “The one you feed.”

    Your action today is to see if you are feeding your fears or building your confidence.

  51. says

    Wow, I really needed this today! I enjoy reading your blog so much, you remind me that it will all be ok! Thank you!

  52. Krista says

    I really appreciate your positive attitude, I try to live my life with a positive attitude as well. It’s much more fun to be happy even when times are bad then to allow the bad to overtake us. :)

  53. Shawna says

    My mom had a hysterectomy done, and she was trying to get through it naturally without drugs, and decided to give in, she started using a gel that you just put on your arms I think before bed. You just make sure not to touch anything after putting it on, like she won’t touch my daughter, or won’t let my daughter touch the bottle its in so she wont get the horomones in it. She uses about a 1/4 of the recommended daily dose and its helping get through all the symptoms. Im not sure if this is something you can get in the states or not also, as we are canadian. I think its called like estrogel or something like that. Might be something worth looking into! (the bottle is supposed to last 1 month… it lasts her 6, thats how little she uses.) Its also something that eventually you are supposed to wean yourself off of it, and then be fine without it kinda thing!
    But so glad that you have such a positive attitude. Its the only thing that gets me through hard times! I just recently lost my dad while he was away for the weekend fishing, and positive thoughts is really what helps us get through it! :)

  54. Catherine O'Neal says

    Just checking in on you Ashley. Its hard work to forgive the universe again and again and again, but you are doing it beautifully. I hope the estrogen patches help until you can find something more palatable.

  55. Ashley says

    wow – “I let go of anger and resentment because otherwise I’m only punishing myself.” SOOO true! I’ve never thought about it that way, but totally makes sense!

    On a side note – I love reading your blog – specially when they are random, short bits of your thoughts or things that have happened in the day. I’ve been following you for quite some time – before the cancer, and before the passing of your father. I also bought a bag of Choose Joy Bracelets when a co-worker was diagnosed with lunch cancer. I passed them out to those who I thought could use the cheering up. Well, a few weeks ago, I had a miscarriage, and while all that was going on, I saw the bag on my desk and I put one on – for me – to choose joy. For the next few days as I was on the verge of tears, I would see the purple band on my wrist and it forced me to stop being sad for myself and to think of something else – JOY! Thank you for that! :)

  56. Ann says

    You are so inspiring….and funny! What a lift you give to your readers! Thank you so much for your blog!

  57. Ginger in MS says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Estrogen! I have been taking for over a year and feel so much better. That tiny little pill fixed so many symptoms. I tried the herbal route and it just didn’t work for me. Good luck. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. You are an amazing person!

  58. Marijke says

    Ashley, you are one awesome lady. You know what triggers my hotflashes? Sugar and wine. See how you feel about 15 minutes after having your fruit smoothie. Hope this helps. I tried black cohash (sp?), but ended up with the worst hotflashes ever. I felt like I was on fire and not in a good way. Hang in there.

  59. says

    I know you’re dealing with chemo-induced menopause, but I have to say, your symptoms sound a lot like a high carb diet. I know you can’t imagine giving up your donuts, but a low carb, wheat free diet might make a huge difference. Check out “Wheat Belly” by Dr William Davis.
    I also use melatonin to help with sleep :)

  60. Megan Mendez says

    I know how you feel with the chemo-induced menopause. I’m 29 and have been thrown into menopause. My symptoms were similar to yours, and my gyno put me on a low dose birth control pill. Let me tell you, it has worked wonders. I still can’t sleep at night and have to rely on Ambien, but my oncologist said that not getting sleep is worse for my cancer than taking sleeping pills. His words, “Ambien is no more addicting than using an umbrella on a rainy day.” I HATE taking medications as well, but I have come to realize that there are some that I need to be able to function. I even tried to take myself off of pain medication, because I didn’t want to become dependent on it, and well, that didn’t work so well (I have significant vertebral destruction from a tumor pressing on my spine). Hang in there, you are an inspiration to all, and I enjoy reading your posts very much. They really help me to stop with the pity parties and try to be as “normal” as I can under the current circumstances. You’re awesome!

  61. robin says

    Thank you for your great words of wisdom. My family just returned from our first vacation in 6 years. It was nice to be in a normal circle, but we did miss our very lumpy family circle that has shaped us to who we are today, we are looking forward to more lumps for form and shape us. Love and prayers from my family to yours!!!


  1. […] post in a long time….because there hasn’t been much to tell.  I wrote recently about the chemotherapy putting me into menopause and how cruddy it made me feel…..and that made me decide to go on a low dose estrogen […]

  2. […] This post by Ashley at Little Blue Boo hit me in that way. I’ve mentioned her before.  The “Choose Joy” over on our right hand sidebar takes you to her site, and tells a bit more about her story and why she chooses to choose joy. […]