In mid-February, I told y’all about my cancer spreading to my lymphs. I’ve been on hormone depletion therapy since that time which has all of the side effects of a woman’s menopause experience: hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog, testy emotions, fatigue, weight gain, and - for me - occasional anxiety attacks.
Men experience andropause around the same time of life as women, with the main side effects being lower sex drive, a transfer of weight from muscle in the chest and shoulders to fat in the belly, and depression. Yes, men, it’s a thing, but believe me, since I’ve already gone through andropause, it’s a cakewalk compared to menopause.
Here are a few tips for men if your spouse or partner is going through menopause:
- Be curious and compassionate. Ask what she’s going through and be extra supportive
- Don’t ask, “When will you return to normal?” The new normal is no periods which can be both psychologically freeing and/or scary
- Understand the difference between unpredictable perimenopause time (when most of the relatively short-term side effects are happening) and menopause (which is when a woman has officially moved on from having periods)
- If you can afford to, sleep in separate beds on occasion as she’s tired of your snoring while being afflicted by her night sweats and hot flashes…sometimes, she just needs some space
- Take her out for a candlelit dinner in October, World Menopause Month, just make sure it’s air-conditioned
Based on my most recent set of tests, it looks like my prostate will be removed in June. After that, I’ll start seven weeks of daily weekday radiation in August and September. I’m not loving this regimen, but I appreciate that I’m taking better care of my body: natural supplements, less alcohol and sugar, more exercise, and time in nature. And as for my hormone therapy, it may last as long as two years. Ouch!
I know I’ll get to the other side of this, and it will provide me with newfound wisdom about my life and what all women go through.