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Navigating Menopause Amid Life's Storms: My Personal Journey.

Updated: Oct 14, 2023

Life has a way of throwing challenges one’s way just when you think you can't handle any more. This was my experience when I found myself in the midst of menopause, a time of immense personal change, while simultaneously grappling with my parents’ illnesses, managing three businesses and raising high school-aged children. My menopause journey was indeed a turbulent one, but it also became a time of profound self-discovery and resilience.

A Storm of Its Own

Menopause, often described as the "change of life," is a natural transition that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. It's a phase of life that comes with a cascade of hormonal changes and a spectrum of symptoms, including hot flashes, mood swings, brain fog, weight gain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, the list goes on and on. For many women, it's a time of adjusting to physical and emotional upheavals.

The Perfect Storm

As my menopause began, I found myself in the midst of a perfect storm. My beloved father died and a few years later my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. My rock, my beacon was sick. I quickly shifted gears and became her rock and caregiver. At the same time, my two children were in high school, each with their own unique paths that needed my patience and attention. I was also juggling 3 businesses. Needless to say, the pressure was relentless, and the emotional toll was, at times, staggering.

The Challenges of Menopause Amidst Life's Turmoil

I was already on life’s emotional rollercoaster, but menopause brought a heightened emotional sensitivity to everything. It felt like endless highs and lows that left me fatigued, emotionally drained and just sad. I found myself in a constant balancing act: balancing work, caregiving, parenting and MY BODY! What was happening to my body? I often felt like I was being pulled in a thousand different directions.

The importance of self-care became glaringly obvious. I was short tempered, sad, frustrated, losing track of everything and gaining weight every day. I remember thinking, I only have a few more years with my kids in my house and I did not want their last memories to be of a crazed woman. Finding moments to prioritize my own health and well-being amidst the chaos was going to be vital if I wanted to make any changes.

I finally realized that I couldn't navigate this storm alone. I went to my doctor, and then another, and then another and then another! As I took a deep dive into this thing called menopause it floored me. Why couldn't I get any answers? It’s estimated by 2025 that 1 billion women will be in menopause and post menopause. 1 billion! If you were to go to medical school today and specialize in gynecology you would not learn about menopause. It’s simply not taught. This enraged me. I was on fire! I set out to find answers, remedies, and resources for my symptoms. I started talking to friends and clients and I realized I was not alone. A good friend suggested a doctor, an old school woman in her late 60’s at USC Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Shoup set me straight. I liked her short but sweet approach until she mentioned hormone replacement therapy, HRTs. I told her I was scared. I had a history of cancer in my family. Her response “Well, you have a history of Osteoporosis too and I’d be more concerned about osteoporosis.” But I had already done my research and the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study said HRTs increases your chances of getting breast cancer. I wasn’t willing to take any chances.

So I embarked on a mission, to find out everything I could about menopause and treating it naturally. I became annoying to be around. Ask my friends. All I wanted to talk about was vagina health and menopause. I wanted to make sure that all women out there suffering could find solutions, remedies, doctors, and simply… help. That was it, I wanted to help educate and empower women to seek support and solutions for themselves.

In 2020, the Some Like it Hott podcast was born. I found a wonderful woman producer, Tammy, who was just as fired up as me about the injustice of it all! Together it has been our goal to create a safe place for women to come and seek comfort, support, solutions and hopefully have a laugh about it all.

So Where Am I Now?

I have learned so much from our amazing, trailblazing guests. I'm currently on an HRT, eating a mediterranean diet, meditate, take a handful of supplements everyday, exercising daily with cardio and strength training and play a few Pickleball games a week. The women’s health initiative study has finally been debunked. Hallelujah! My advice: DON’T EVEN READ IT! (that’s a whole other blog)

Unfortunately, now I have osteoporosis. I often think where would I be if I had listened to Dr. Shoup 7 years ago and started taking HRTs? I'm certainly an interesting study. I know there are many, many other women in my same situation. Osteoporosis, alzheimers, and heart disease in women are on the rise. Thank you 2002 WHI Study. If you are reading this and find yourself angry, you should be.

My menopause journey was undoubtedly one of the most challenging periods of my life. It overlapped with some of the most significant challenges and losses I had ever faced. But it was also a time of immense growth, self-discovery, and resilience.

As I thrive now in post-menopause, I learned that no matter how overwhelming life becomes, there is a wellspring of strength within me. By accepting my vulnerabilities, prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and celebrating my resilience, I can not only survive but thrive in the face of life's storms. My menopause journey taught me that even amidst chaos and no estrogen, there is room for personal growth and transformation, and that, in itself, is a profound and empowering experience.

Please come join us at Some Like it Hott to learn, as we learn, to embrace this time in our lives and get fired up to thrive to live a long, happy, healthy life!

Embrace the heat, unleash your fire!

Franca Stadvec-Founder, Some Like it Hott Podcast



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