-AN INTIMATELY PERSONAL MEMOIR BY-Nancy Siskowic
"The Menopause Lady"
RN, MSN, NP, CNS, NCMP
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A VERY PERSONAL JOURNEY
As a nurse practitioner and menopause specialist for 25+ years, Nancy offers an enduring educational piece about menopause...the multitude of shifts and changes it can bring, and her insightful journey about facing breast cancer with its fear and uncertainty. This memoir is about life, love, how deeply impacting the loss of estrogen was to her, and ultimately about finding hope with her choice to return to estrogen! It begins with snippets from Nancy’s life that helped define her and form her into the woman she is today.
Blindsided by her diagnosis she knew she was about to face a tumultuous battle, so she turned to her journal for guidance and calm. Hormone therapy had been a lifeline to her health and sanity for many years, but now she had to reconcile with the thought of letting go of her estrogen patch.
Symptoms she had experienced years before crept back with a vengeance as she gradually reduced the size of that patch while awaiting surgery - hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, brain fog, irritability, mood swings. The incredible shifts overwhelmed her, she felt as if life as she knew it was over. She could still help her patients, but was powerless to help herself.
Now, finding herself in a patient role, she desperately wanted to be heard, plus she realized her need for deeper knowledge. Thus began her process of intense study and research. She also sought out experts in the menopause field and questioned them about hormones after breast cancer. Following considerable soul searching, journaling, and discernment, she was able to find her voice, assume personal responsibility for her choice, and return to her beloved estrogen patch. Immediately her quality of life returned.
It was not an easy journey. Her desire in offering this story is to inspire other women to advocate for themselves under similar circumstances.
Shared In Her Own Words...
This book is immensely personal; I invite you to come along as I walk through my own diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Accepting and embracing the experience, feeling immense fears, and finding...even sometimes fighting for...my place and voice in the treatments that affected my quality of life in countless ways.
As patients, we deserve a voice, and we must speak up as our own advocates. This means taking responsiblity and becoming actively involved, doing our homework, and often questioning ~ perhaps even challenging ~ our health care providers. Too many women are denied this participation in their care, or don't realize it is achievable, but when found, can be immensely powerful and life giving.