Does Midlife Begin When You Hit Menopause?

My sister is 50 but hasn’t hit menopause yet and has a remarkable amount of energy. The energy she has is comparable to what I had in my twenties which makes me wonder why I’m so defective. We share 50% of the same genes and when we were little, strangers thought we were twins even though I was older and taller then.

I can’t help but wonder when I would have naturally hit menopause? I’ll never get to know as I had surgical menopause with my emergency hysterectomy.

Yup. The joy of instant menopause, that happens immediately rather than gradually over a few years.

It happened 6 years ago, soon after I turned 45. After I was diagnosed with womb cancer. So I’ve always feel robbed of at least 7 more years of vitality. My mum said she hit menopause in her early Fifties but she can’t quite remember exactly when.

The symptoms you experience with surgical menopause are extreme as it all hits you suddenly. The loss of the hormones especially estrogen. I was waking up at 2am daily and I was drenched in cold sweat. It was my introduction to the famous menopausal hot flush. I was taking 2am showers as I was wide awake anyway and unable to go back to sleep.

Most of the symptoms, I don’t know whether to attribute to cancer treatment like chemo or radiation or to the sudden onset of menopause. It might be all jumbled up. Sadly for me accelerating the aging process was part of it, like sagging skin and hair loss. Also as a cancer patient it’s dangerous for me to have any hormonal supplements as my cancer is hormone related.

My tip for coping with all this, including anxiety, is walking more. I find that walking is the best thing for me to get a bit more energy and clear my mind. It’s hard for me to diet as I’m a comfort eater, but I’ve totally cut out fizzy drinks (sodas) and don’t miss them.

Also I find I definitely need a good facial moisturiser now. Previously I had what I felt was oily skin and couldn’t tolerate the icky feeling of moisturiser in the hot humid climate I’m in. Unfortunately the only moisturiser that doesn’t make me break out (I never thought I’d still get acne at age 51) is that famous, highly marketed, very expensive, Japanese product with pitera. Each time I try something cheaper I break out and my skin feels irritated, so it’s a penny wise pound foolish situation.

I also need to wear sunblock as my oncologist warned that I’m now prone to melanoma. It’s another thing I used to hate as it felt like it was clogging up my pores and the sensation was extreme discomfort. Didn’t like the scent either. Since then, due to advancements in skin care, I have found some good chemical sunscreens made in France (can be found at Guardian Pharmacy in Singapore) that actually feel ok.

Would love to hear all your tips for living a phenomenal mid life and beyond.

What I love about personal blogging is finding my community and others who have experienced the same conditions. It’s the best kind of virtual support group and I especially like finding other women my age. Most people on popular social media platforms seem to be in their twenties and thirties – absolute babies compared to me.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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