Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A difficult blog to write...

Last October, when I had to go on insulin, I asked my endocrinologist [for my diabetes only] if I could go on estrogen. He sent me to an Everett Clinic hematologist who ran like $3500 worth of labs on me to determine why I had blood clots before and if it would be likely I would get them again if I was on estrogen. Most of my blood tests came back clean. We discovered that I am heterozygous [the only way I am hetero] for a gene that promotes clots in the veins or Deep Vein Thrombosis [DVT's]. That means that of two genes that I could have that would increase the likelihood of DVT's I only have one. That translates to a increase of 2-8 times the probability of DVT's compared to people who don't have this gene. The hematologist was not concerned about this and any estrogen therapy I might start. She was concerned about an indication of particular antibodies that can cause blood clots in the heart which are much more likely to travel to the brain and cause strokes. Antibodies can go away. We tentatively scheduled a retest for the Spring of 2011. I have no medical insurance and a lot of my health issues took a hit this year to save dollars; this test was one of those things that got put off. August 10th [my Mom's birthday] I went in for my lab draw for this antigen test. I was told it would be 3 to 5 days before the labs came back.

The weekend of the 13th, my 2nd Daughter and I went to Leavenworth, Washington to have some time just us and get away from a lot of the things we'd been busy with at home. We had a fabulous time! In the middle of all this, I haven't been sleeping really well and when I would wake up at night, one thing I do is check my email on my smart phone. Sunday morning, I saw that the labs had been posted. I looked at them and wasn't really sure what they said. Back to trying to sleep. Around 4, I woke up again, checked my email again, and checked my labs one more time. I was pretty sure I understood what was there and again went back to sleep. I'd tell my daughter in the morning, before I said anything to anybody else. I was ok. No big deal. I knew this was a possibility.

I got up and cleaned up and waited for Sleeping Beauty [or is it Rapunzel?]. She was up and got her shower and was getting ready for the day when I stuck my face in and told her the labs were back. She had a concerned look on her face and I told her, "I can't go on estrogen, the labs were positive."

She said, "I'm sorry, momma."

I replied, "Doesn't change the woman I am. I've been post-menopausal for a year and a half. Doesn't make me any less your mom."

"No, it doesn't."

Have I said that I love this child?

So I let her get back to making herself pretty [which is as redundant a statement as I can think of] and I go and sit down on the bed.

And started to choke up.

And I started to sob.

The things my heart doesn't tell my head …

As I am weeping for my loss, these strong, warm, loving arms wrap me up and and her head lays on my shoulder and she holds me like I'll die if she doesn't. And she let me sob my heart out.

I didn't know …

I really did not know how much I had hoped to go on the estrogen!

I had no idea how much that hope meant to me!

And it was gone …

On Monday, I called the hematologist to confirm what I read in the labs. She told me she really, Really, REALLY could not recommend I go on estrogen therapy! She did tell me if I decided to go on estrogen therapy, she would Insist! I go on the blood thinner, coumadin. I knew beforehand coumadin therapy would not be a guarantee that I wouldn't have clots and has it's own problems. She left it up to me.

It is surprising how painful no-brainer decisions can be.

I knew that Sunday when I told my daughter that I couldn't go on estrogen that I would have to blog this. I have so many friends pulling for me wanting to know how things have gone. I would have to say something! But it has taken me ten days! to get to a place where I can write about it. And even now my eyes are brimming with my tears. Hope dies hard!

I am a 58-year-old, post-menopausal woman. I will not be dieing to have my estrogen. I can _live_ with this. But it hurts.


  1. Hey Shannon. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I know you were really wanting to go on estrogen again, but both you and Jerica are right - it doesn't make you any less a woman.

    Still, I understand how it would hurt to receive this news, and my heart goes out to you.


  2. Hi Shannon. Just offering a virtual hug.

    You're lucky to have such a wonderful daughter. Your daughter, likewise, is lucky to have you and I'm sure she wants to see you on this earth for many years to come.

    Calie xxx

  3. Hi Shannon: So sorry to hear this news. But everyone is right, even though I know the news was not what you had hoped, makes you no less a woman or a mother. I am glad to hear that your surgery will not be affected by these results; and I am so glad you have your daughter there to comfort you. Big *hugs*.


  4. That sounds very tough. In fact, I wouldn't know what to do in that situation. It is a huge disappointment, after all. And its tough to find the right words, something comforting. I am glad to read that this won't affect your surgery and (most important!)your identity as a woman. That is very important, and it can't be said often enough. I hope you are doing better by now and won't let this bring you down. Sometimes we just hang in there, making the best out of the situation.

    I send a virtual hug