Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Last week on hormones

Another of those pre-op landmarks is approaching! I must come off hormones on 18 January.

I've already put on the last 50mcg patch, and there are only four of the 100mcg patches left, one of which will get used this Saturday (15 January), and then that's that. The other three will stay in their box until, presumably some weeks after the op, I have the green light to resume using them - unless Dr Richard Curtis recommends a different hormone regime.

Will I now go into a physical and emotional meltdown? I don't think so.

Contrary to expectations, the original onset of hormone treatment didn't have much of an effect on me. But gradually, and without drama, I grew little breasts, the fat slowly migrated, and bit by bit I became slender - or plumped out - in all the right places, and generally rounded off so that from the neck down I had a distinctly female shape. Even my face lost much of its male look, expecially after the hair-removal passed that critical point where all the obvious dark bristles were gone.

Emotionally I was remarkably unchanged - rather a surprise. I thought that taking female hormones would make me feel things much more deeply, perhaps without any inhibition or even much control, to the point of hurt and beyond. Or at least I would suffer debilitating mood swings. But none of that happened.

I suppose that if you're basically a low-key, stable type not given to much emotional expression, then popping a few pills (or in my case sticking on a few patches) isn't going to transform your nature. And just as well. I've had a range of testing events to cope with - the destruction of a longstanding relationship, death of both parents, the exacting duties of administering their estates, catastrophic financial loss, accumulating financial worry - and if I'd been in an emotionally jittery state all that would have been very hard to deal with. But I've managed to keep smiling, most of the time anyway.

And so I believe that coming off the hormones won't lead to a bout of depression, or a terrible loss of self-confidence. I am mindful though that at the present time I'm experiencing an entirely novel sequence of events. Who knows how I will feel in the weeks ahead! The only certainty is that time will march on. I pin my hopes on the likelihood that one day I will be post-op, recovering, and able to get back to a normal life.

It'll be a changed life also - some old bits gone, some new bits created -  I'll have a new self-perception, and maybe there will be new possibilities beyond calculation or imagining. It's too early, too premature to say. Que sera, sera.

I suppose what I fear now is that physically I will slip back, that some of the maleness will reappear over the next seven weeks - the breasts might retreat, the hips might vanish, and the face might look unconvincing again. But it won't happen overnight, and whatever does happen will have to be borne.

There is one major consolation - with the hormones not stimulating my appetite all the time, I should be able to manage a final sprint to my weight-loss goal!


  1. Que sera, sera. Indeed, but it would be very interesting to follow the changes closely and send a report for those who follow on behind.

    I expect a series of pictures of Lucy with hospital meals to follow Lucy's restaurant meal series.

    Hope you did better over christmas than I did with the reduction, Nuts and mince pies!

    Caroline xxx

  2. I went off all hormones, including the anti-androgen, three weeks before surgery. Mostly, that period was fine. I did start to have hints of hot flashes toward the end. I had to be work harder to be mindful. And yes, I remember looking down at my chest after I was back in my room after surgery and thinking, man, I didn't think they could possibly get any smaller.

    I'm sure you will make it through! There is a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow.

  3. I hope everything goes well for you, Lucy.

    Btw, you look fab in that picture!

    Calie xxx

  4. Dear Lucy
    As an emotional person I have come to accept I cannot stop the waves of feelings that ebb & flow but I have gradually learned how to ride some of them. You my friend, seem to have an inborn gift for surfing emotions which I feel sure will enable you to get through any challenges life presents you with.
    (((peace & hugs)))
    Debbie x

  5. It better not be 'last day of blogging'. I'd miss it.


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