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Offline Rutka71

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Hi all
« on: September 15, 2018, 01:45:13 am »
A short introduction of myself:

I am Rutka, a 47 year old trans woman from The Netherlands. I've been living female fulltime for a little over three years now, have been on HRT (androcur and estradiol patches) for two years and am in the operative stage of my transition process: I already had a trachea shave, my vocal chords were shortened, my facial and genital hair was permanently removed and the 24th of October, I will have FFS in two operations: my hairline will be moved forward, the ridge on my forehead will be flattened, my eyebrows will be put upwards, my eyelids will be corrected, cheekbones put a little to the side, my jawline wil be made softer and my chin shortened. Next year, after I recovered a little from FFS, I will have GCS too. I already did the intake for it, they will do a penile inversion with some extra skin added to it.  I'm still doubting whether or not I want larger breasts than I have now. Starting next year, this will also be covered by Dutch insurance. So I'm tempted.

My transition process is going very well.. socially, I've been fully accepted as a woman and have zero problems related with my gender identity. I have a loving boyfriend, am surrounded by friends. At present I'm still working as a project manager, but maybe because of HRT and the way my identity changed over time, I'm trying to become a registered psychiatric nurse and will start my education (combined with work) for that after I healed from FFS. Presently, I volunteer doing social work with trans teenagers who are often from a Muslim background and rejected by their families after they came out. I also set up a network for giving homecare to post op transwomen, in the month after their GCS.

this year has been the worst year of my life, but not because of transitioning. In March I was committed to the hospital with heart problems, it turned out I had thrombosis in my coronary artery (possibly because of hormones) causing a small heart attack. When they made X rays of my chest, it was discovered i had stage 2 lung cancer too, a 4.8 cm tumor in my upper right lung. For my heart I was dottered and had a stent placed. I had a lobectomy and five lymphoids removed to combat the cancer.

I did not get chemotherapy, because they declared me "clean" after the lobectomy. Being on chemo would have weakened affected my operability for FFS and GCS. So I'm being monitored very. closely, praying it won't return. My next PET/CT scan will be the 27th of this month.


Offline DawnOday

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 01:59:16 am »
Rutka...Proud to meet you as you seem like a wonderful beautiful person. I love the fact you are volunteering. So, so fabulous.
I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I too have heart problems, deformed valve. This was a large problem in my transition but thankfully the people here convinced me to proceed so I did. I was born in the 50's and transgender was not even a word until the mid 80's. I can only have HRT as my body will not take surgery well.  I pray you will remain free of cancer and fulfill your dreams and career. You are a special person. Welcome.
Dawn Oday

It just feels right   :icon_hug: :icon_hug: :icon_kiss: :icon_kiss: :icon_kiss:


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First indication I was different- 1956 kindergarten
First crossdress - Asked mother to dress me in sisters costumes  Age 7
First revelation - 1982 to my present wife
First time telling the truth in therapy June 15, 2016
Start HRT Aug 2016
First public appearance 5/15/17




Offline Rutka71

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 02:12:45 am »
Hi Dawn, thank you for your message and kind words. Great that you were convinced to proceed transitioning, you do look lovely and I hope you are happy on your path.

Hug,
Rutka

Online Cindy

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 03:37:16 am »
Hi Rutka,

Welcome to the Forum. I'm Cindy the Forum Admin and I'm in Adelaide in South Australia. I was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer 2 years ago and had chemo/radio which failed and 12 months ago I had a complete laryngectomy. So I know the cancer life! There are several members who are cancer thrivers and we are always happy to support each other in the journey.

Lovely to meet you and let me know if I can ever be of help.

Offline Rutka71

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 04:39:57 am »
Hi Rutka,

Welcome to the Forum. I'm Cindy the Forum Admin and I'm in Adelaide in South Australia. I was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer 2 years ago and had chemo/radio which failed and 12 months ago I had a complete laryngectomy. So I know the cancer life! There are several members who are cancer thrivers and we are always happy to support each other in the journey.

Lovely to meet you and let me know if I can ever be of help.

Hi there, pleased to meet you. I might be in need of that at some point, but it looks like I won this round. I'm not sure however, how I will be able to deal with it if it returns (chances for that happening with my kind of -adeno- carcinome are 30-55%). Transitioning, having a heart condition AND cancer at the same time have been rough on me, but I managed to stay on track and not have my transition process suffer from it.

the endocrinologist at some point wanted to cancel my HRT, because the thromobosis and the lung cancer might be related with cyproterone acetate and  estradiol intake. I signed a declaration for euthanasia (legal in holland) in response to that, because I have no quality of life or will to live not being on hormones. It also seemed like an example of 'trans broken arm syndrome" to me, because I've been a heavy smoker for 35 years. There is a higher probability it was caused by smoking and an unhealthy lifestyle rather than hormones and t blockers. So now I still get my prescriptions.

My jaw/facial surgeon, Brigitte Meijer from VU medical center in Ansterdam, didn't want to do my FFS if I had received chemo after my lobectomy, she believed I'd be to weak to be operable. So my oncologist consented to not giving me the standard preventive chemo as to not affect my operability. If the cancer returns, I'm looking into immuno therapy or targeted therapy, because these treatments may be just as effective and not affect my operability for transition related surgery.

It is difficult, also emotionally. After everything that happened between March and May, I was diagnosed with depression and PTSD, I'm in therapy for that at a center specializing in psychological care for cancer patients and their loved ones, http://www.devruchtenburg.nl/. I get haptotherapy because I lost touch with my body because of the pain and just dissociated most of it, EMDR to deal with the trauma and acceptance therapy to deal with possible consequences, the concept of me possibly dying soon, etc.

I'd love to know how others navigated their transition process while having cancer at the same time. It brings its own set of challenges.

Hugs

Online Cindy

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 05:20:01 am »
The emotional side is hard. I'm pretty sure that no one without cancer can ever understand what it is like and I have worked in the field for 40 years in the lymphoma and leukaemia field and of course worked with many cancer patients.

I initially refused surgery in order to preserve my speech, as a lecturer and research scientist that was important to me. The side effect is of course is that I'm now inoperable on my head and neck as the circulatory system is heavily compromised. But it was my choice and I accept it.

As a well known transgender person in the hospital I worked in and was treated in, it was quite a journey through treatments. Funnily enough no one ever mentioned hormones as having even the slightest issue. I even asked about whether I should go off E while having the laryngectomy, during which my jugular vein was separated. My surgeon asked why? I explained the risk of thrombosis and he laughed. That was the least of his concerns!

I have to agree that the chemo renders you incredibly weak and the idea of having FFS after chemo would be horrific. It has taken me almost 2 years to regain any strength and I have worked hard at it. I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and walk every day, from a base when I couldn't get out of bed without falling over.

Emotionally I think that I am quite strong, my wife and soulmate suffered a horrific accident some years ago and is now paraplegic and I have coped with that, as she has coped with me. Maybe that has helped me to deal with horror a little bit, but I do cry and I do feel down and I make no apology to anyone for feeling like crap at times and that life has been unfair. There is nothing wrong with those feelings at all.

@Laurie has also fought her cancers for some years as well and we both have count downs to the next scan and we both know that one day the report will come through with bad news. So be it.

I have about a 40% chance of surviving 5 years. I have accepted that and made my peace with it. I have arranged my funeral so that no one needs to bother about it (that made me happy), I have accepted my death - even if every day reminds me how much I love life.  I try very hard to live my life to the best that I can - and yes it gets to me when I read posts of someone throwing theirs away, but it is their choice.

As for transitioning, well I was all done before my cancer arrived but I have to admit there have been changes, my voice, which is performed without vocal cords, is not feminine, yet gender has never been questioned. My face is not particularly feminine but no one ever looks at me with the look of 'Is that a transgender woman?' they are too engrossed in looking at the hole in my neck! As for my desire or need for acceptance - I have none. I am me and I'm very proud of what I have managed to do. In fact I wake up every morning very pleased that I have woken up. As for what people think of me, well that is no longer an issue in any way at all.


Offline Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 09:16:27 am »
@Rutka71 
Dear Rutka71:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts here on the Introductions Forum and for your recent posts and replies.
Many of our members are aware of your arrival here and you can be expecting them to share their thoughts with you relevant to you questions and concerns as some have already done.

This is the right place for you to be to find out what others have done that may have been in your circumstances.
Be aware that there are a lot of members here that can identify with your situation as you feel free to share it.
 
Please allow me to warmly WELCOME you to Susan's Place
You will find this a safe and friendly place to share with others  and to read about others similar trials, tribulations, and successes.
It is nice that you had signed up so you can share with others and involve yourself with some give and take with other like-minded members.  When frustrated or if you have successes you can share it here if you wish and receive support from others and offer support to others. ....
 ***It's a very good chance that you might find that you will make some new friends here. 

Please come in and continue to be involved at your own pace. 
I have included Important LINKS that will tell you about Susan's Place.  Included there is information about the site that will help you navigate around and best utilize the features here.   
Please look closely at the LINKS in RED, answers are there to many questions that new members ask.

Again, Welcome to Susan's Place.
Danielle


Here are some links to the site rules and stuff that all new members should be familiar with:

Things that you should read
Check out my Personal Threads that have more details about myself (click Links):
   "I am the HUNTED PREY : Danielle's Chronicles"
               "Positive Mindset... put away negativity"
                            "Susans Writers and Book Readers"

Started HRT March 2015  3½ years ago, it's been an exciting journey
>>> I've been Full Time since December 2016 :icon_chick:
I am 38 years old, Single, and Self Employed in a small town up in the COLD North.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Online V M

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 02:59:34 pm »
Hi Rutka  :icon_wave:

Welcome to Susan's Place  :)  Glad to have you here, join on in the fun

Hugs

V M
The main things to remember in life are Love, Kindness, Understanding and Respect - Always make forward progress

Superficial fanny kissing friends are a dime a dozen, a TRUE FRIEND however is PRICELESS

 
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Offline Laurie

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 09:25:51 pm »
iH Rutka,

  I am Laurie, the wandering waif of Susan's Place. Welcome to the site. The door is open so please come on in and take a good look around. Hey, You may even get to like it here and decide to stay. Most of us don't bite so you should feel safe here. There are a few you might have to keep your eye on though. If someone gives you a bad time feel free to use that "Report to Moderator" button and tell us all about it so we can look into it.

  I see you are a determined woman that knows what she wants and goes after it. Admirable, admirable. Such determination should serve you well. Isn't hearing that you have cancer a real kick in the stomach? Gosh it sucks! It really does. I have heard it three times myself and I have been waiting to hear it again. Yep, They took one of my kidneys the first time. A couple years later they said it was back and in my pancreas. They gave me 3 - 6 months to live. Yeah that was a real scare. It being in my pancreas made me diabetic too. They decided to cut half of my pancreas and a bit more so I didn't die. A few years later it was back again in various places and inoperable. Once again they declared I had only a few months to live. I asked about a long shot treatment I'd heard about called High dose interlkeukin-2 treatment and underwent it. It amounted to being hospitalized in ICU care while every 8 hours they pumped the toxic substance into my veins. They did this for about 4 weeks until I hit a point where I called it off. I was done. That was 4 years ago and the puts me in a very small percentage of people trying it that it had helped greatly.
  As I said above I am waiting for it to come back one last time. Every 3 months I go for lab tests and a CT scan to see if it has come back. It sucks to have the specter of cancer hanging over your head. I have got by three rounds of it so far and I do live with the possibility (and expectation ) of it returning again. I think it will be the last time when it does  come back again.
  But I cannot put my life on hold waiting to die. I am alive and I have to keep moving forward with my transition while I am here. I'm a year full time. My name is legally changed and I am looking  into other medical gender affirmation options. I am a woman and I am going to die as myself irregardless of the cause.
  So my sister you are not alone in your journey in transition or in dealing with cancer. As @Cindy  has said if you need to talk you can talk to me too.

  Glad you are here Rutka

Hugs,
   Laurie
« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 10:56:51 pm by Laurie »

Online Alice V

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 01:27:15 am »
Hey again, Rutka!

Glad you decided to say hello here - now people notice you and provide their support :)
You awesome person, and I hope you'll win your fight for health.
Name: Alice
Alignment: True Neutral

Members of "Alice club": Alice V, Alice (Nym)  :D

Offline Rutka71

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Re: Hi all
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 01:46:56 am »
Hi Cindy, Laurie, Danielle and V.M.,

Laurie, I also have to do CT scans every three months now, I'm having nightmares about it. If the cancer returns, my FFS will be canceled and I'm so close now. I've been on a waiting list for 1.5 years. I'm praying our scans will give clean results so our transition process can proceed. But if it doesn't, my biggest fear is that I will die without a vagina. I know of a transwoman who only had six weeks left because of cancer. She went to a Thai doctor who gave her and "easy" GCS, without any depth in it. Having done that added nine months to her life. I'm planning something similar if the worst comes to the worst.

Cindy, so true. People really don't understand what cancer is like. My loved ones try to stay positive. They believe I'm cured now that I'm clean, while chances are high that micro metastasis or recidive will occur. I try to be mentally prepared for every possibility, while the people around me prefer to stay in denial, or downplay what just happened to me. Five year survival rates aren't good for lung cancer, we seem to have about the same percentage. This different timeframe changed my whole outlook on life. I got rid of the nonsens, the fights I used to have, only want to be involved with people I love and do the things that I love. I'm working on patching up and healing relationships that went wrong in the past, so that I leave no unfinished business when I die.

Yes, I can't stand witnessing people throwing their lives away either. I cherish and celebrate every second of it.

During this process, my trans (and larger LGBTQI) family turned out to be my real family who loved, supported and cared for me, much more that my own family. I'm so grateful for that. When I was in the hospital, I was visited daily by the women from my trans support group. Even the teenage girls I coach and do social work for found their way to me. The transgender choir I sing in actually gave me an serenade under my window. I also was in a lot of financial troubles because of my sickness and my ex boyfriend, a well known gay Dutch lawyer, defended me aggressively: my landlord wanted to kick me out for not being able to pay the rent. My ex sued him and also the city council for not helping me in any way and won everything. My landlord was obliged by the judge to let me stay in my home and the city council was forced to pay me thousands of euros.  When I got out of the hospital, a trans friend of mine moved in with me for a few months to nurse me back to health.

In a way, my cancer was also a beautiful experience. I always helped other people, did volunteer work, but never in order to get something in return for that. I always believed that I was basically on my own. I was proven so wrong, never realized I was loved this much.

Oh and my present boyfriend found his way back to me too when he found out what was actually going on with me. He left me a few months before it was diagnosed with cancer, because he believed I was being lazy and had a mentality problem. I was constantly tired, need to take afternoon naps, my energy was drained and was unable to work. I wasn't aware this was because of cancer, believed it might be the t blockers and beta blockers causing this constant fatigue. I also psychologized it blamed my transition process for it. How wrong I was.


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