Susan's Place Transgender Resources

Community Conversation => Transitioning => Hormone replacement therapy => Topic started by: Laura1951 on October 28, 2019, 10:28:01 pm

Title: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 28, 2019, 10:28:01 pm
Today marked three weeks that I’ve been on HRT, again. This marks at least the 6th time I’ve reached this point and while I’ve never gone more than six weeks before stopping, I feel more committed this time.

When I stopped HRT in late May, I was a AA cup with half-dollar sized firm buds. Over the four months before restarting, I lost some volume and the buds disappeared. Now, at three weeks, much of the volume has returned, my nipples are erect, and the buds are about 50% back.

And yet, time and patience are the key. I hope by staying the course to finally achieve an A cup or better.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 28, 2019, 11:03:09 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
As you are painfully aware, the on again and off again HRT plan is not very expedient nor productive for seeking body changes.... but of course, more important than the HRT is your personal decision regarding your transition goals.

As you so aptly stated and the end of your comment:
"And yet, time and patience are the key. I hope by staying the course to finally achieve an A cup or better."

I wish you well with your new resolve to stay the course...
and I will be eagerly looking for you updates, and only as you feel comfortable sharing..


HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: BlueJaye on October 29, 2019, 07:35:07 am
Hi, Laura,
I started HRT in spring of 2018 and was on and off I think 4 times until May of 2019 when I finally overcame the fear and anxiety about transitioning and committed fully to staying in HRT permanently. I just couldn’t handle going back to testosterone mode. Each time it just got worse and worse. Once I had experienced life with a female hormone balance, it made male mode seem even worse than before I started.

Before I started I wasn’t sure what I was missing, I had never experienced feeling “right”. I knew I felt wrong, but feeling right was something I had no frame of reference for. Once I experienced it, though, it was undeniably painful to go back to feeling wrong all the time.

I really hope that you can get to a point where you can be consistent with HRT. The back and forth is not only hard on your body, but very taxing on your emotions and mental health.

None of this is meant to make you feel bad about where you are at. We all have to travel our own path with transitioning, and some have straighter and easier paths than others. We’re here to help, and I am glad you feel comfortable coming here and speaking about your joys and pains.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 29, 2019, 11:59:30 am
As you are painfully aware, the on again and off again HRT plan is not very expedient nor productive for seeking body changes.... but of course, more important than the HRT is your personal decision regarding your transition goals.

As you so aptly stated and the end of your comment:
"And yet, time and patience are the key. I hope by staying the course to finally achieve an A cup or better."

I wish you well with your new resolve to stay the course...
and I will be eagerly looking for you updates, and only as you feel comfortable sharing..


HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle


@Danielle
Thank you Danielle for writing. I've followed your story from the beginning and am so happy for your happiness and progression. I'm so happy to be back among friends and supporters whose stories resonate with me and whose advice is appreciated. I'll know this is for real when I break through the six week barrier.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 29, 2019, 12:02:23 pm
Hi, Laura,
I started HRT in spring of 2018 and was on and off I think 4 times until May of 2019 when I finally overcame the fear and anxiety about transitioning and committed fully to staying in HRT permanently. I just couldn’t handle going back to testosterone mode. Each time it just got worse and worse. Once I had experienced life with a female hormone balance, it made male mode seem even worse than before I started.

Before I started I wasn’t sure what I was missing, I had never experienced feeling “right”. I knew I felt wrong, but feeling right was something I had no frame of reference for. Once I experienced it, though, it was undeniably painful to go back to feeling wrong all the time.

I really hope that you can get to a point where you can be consistent with HRT. The back and forth is not only hard on your body, but very taxing on your emotions and mental health.

None of this is meant to make you feel bad about where you are at. We all have to travel our own path with transitioning, and some have straighter and easier paths than others. We’re here to help, and I am glad you feel comfortable coming here and speaking about your joys and pains.

@BlueJaye
BlueJaye,

It appears we have much in common, but then I know that many of us have experienced the same fears as we strive to become the women we know we are. It's not an easy path, both medically and socially, but being true to oneself is what drives me right now. 

Yes, switching back and forth has been anxiety ridden, as you have also experienced, but I do thank you for your support and encouragement.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Phina on October 30, 2019, 10:47:47 pm
I wish you luck on your HRT journey.  It is definitely a big life decision.  Was there anything in particular around the 6 week mark that gave you pause?
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 30, 2019, 11:43:57 pm
I wish you luck on your HRT journey.  It is definitely a big life decision.  Was there anything in particular around the 6 week mark that gave you pause?
https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?action=profile;u=69512
Phina,

The six week mark was usually when my fear reached its peak: fear of exposure, fear of rejection, and fear of never passing. What's changed? I think I've finally accepted that these feelings are real, that I need to be Laura full time, and that I want to accomplish the tasks (like electrolysis, HRT, and FFS) so that I can live as Laura.

Thanks for writing,

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Rakel on October 31, 2019, 04:50:30 am
... fear of exposure, fear of rejection, and fear of never passing. What's changed? I think I've finally accepted that these feelings are real...

These are very real fears. Everyone considering transition needs to make a decision to accept exposure and rejection as a consequence of their transition. This is the main reason many of us go stealth after transition. It is a sad commentary on society in general that cannot accept us for the way we chose to live our life.

Passing is another fear that concerns us. Several years of HRT will do wonders. Just take a look at the before/after pictures posted on Susan's Place. If you still feel  you need something done after a few years of HRT, then FFS has made many of us a happy camper, so to speak.

Speaking for myself, I was about as manly as anyone could be. Pumping iron to build muscle mass, fast cars, guns, jobs that require a uniform. I tried it all and was still miserable inside. About 3 or 4 years of HRT erased the upper body muscle mass. FFS not only feminized my face, it also took years off my perceived age. I am 70 and many people, including plastic surgeons, think I look 50 or even less.

There is no need to fear passing or not. It will come slowly and it will often need surgical help, but passing is do able for everyone.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on November 18, 2019, 11:06:31 am
6 Weeks.

I’ve finally reached the point I’ve not passed during the past 18 months of HRT. At least five times since I began this journey, I’ve stopped HRT by the six week mark, mostly out of fear. This time, on my six week anniversary, I’ve no thoughts of stopping although I certainly do have anxiety about the future.

At the six week mark, my breast buds are now larger than they were the last time I stopped last May and my breasts are slightly larger than back then. I’m at the point where even wearing baggy shirts when playing tennis is problematic and I know wearing a sports bra or a binder will be necessary soon. Even wearing baggy clothes with layers is beginning to not be enough to conceal the growth. While this is partially a source of happiness, it’s also brings a bit of anxiety about being outed, so I know I may need to wear a sports bra or binder when out and about.

I’ve not reached the “A” cup level yet, although I have hopes that as the weeks fly by, my cups will fill up. Time will tell and, yes, my mileage may vary. I’m happy with my progress though.

I am having problems with patches staying put for a full seven days, with about 50% of them peeling back around the four day mark. Yes, I clean the area with alcohol before applying (and give the skin time to dry thoroughly), and yes I apply firm pressure for at least 10 seconds. Still, regardless of the area where I apply a patch, I never know whether it will last all seven days. I’ve used medical tape at times to keep patches in place and sometimes that helps, although sometimes that creates other problems like itching. The medical tape sometimes gets caught up and peels back as well. I guess this is a small price for the journey I’ve taken, but I wish the darn things would just behave themselves.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Jessica on November 18, 2019, 11:28:14 am
6 Weeks.

I’ve finally reached the point I’ve not passed during the past 18 months of HRT. At least five times since I began this journey, I’ve stopped HRT by the six week mark, mostly out of fear. This time, on my six week anniversary, I’ve no thoughts of stopping although I certainly do have anxiety about the future.

At the six week mark, my breast buds are now larger than they were the last time I stopped last May and my breasts are slightly larger than back then. I’m at the point here even wearing baggy shirts when playing tennis is problematic and I know wearing a sports bra or a binder will be necessary soon. Even wearing baggy clothes with layers is beginning to not be enough to conceal the growth. While this is partially a source of happiness, it’s also brings a bit of anxiety about being outed, so I know I may need to wear a sports bra or binder when out and about.

I’ve not reached the “A” cup level yet, although I have hopes that as the weeks fly by, my cups will fill up. Time will tell and, yes, my mileage may vary. I’m happy with my progress though.

I am having problems with patches staying put for a full seven days, with about 50% of them peeling back around the four day mark. Yes, I clean the area with alcohol before applying (and give the skin time to dry thoroughly), and yes I apply firm pressure for at least 10 seconds. Still, regardless of the area where I apply a patch, I never know whether it will last all seven days. I’ve used medical tape at times to keep patches in place and sometimes that helps, although sometimes that creates other problems like itching. The medical tape sometimes gets caught up and peels back as well. I guess this is a small price for the journey I’ve taken, but I wish the darn things would just behave themselves.

Laura

After a few months I stopped having trouble with patches sticking as your skin softens.  Not 100%, but about 90% of the time they stay stuck.  Bathing (showers) with panties on helped in the beginning to keep them less saturated with water which can make them curl, blotting off with a towel afterwards. Wash down “there” without panties on and not scrubbing the patches briefly.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: pamelatransuk on November 19, 2019, 04:37:49 am
Hello Laura

Congratulations on reaching the 6 week point with no intention of stopping this time.

I am 21 months on E Patches with only rare sticking/staying problems but I am on the twice a week type meaning I change them every 84 hours. Perhaps you my consider asking your doctor for such?

Wishing you resolution and happiness.

Hugs

Pamela  xx
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on November 19, 2019, 02:39:34 pm
After a few months I stopped having trouble with patches sticking as your skin softens.  Not 100%, but about 90% of the time they stay stuck.  Bathing (showers) with panties on helped in the beginning to keep them less saturated with water which can make them curl, blotting off with a towel afterwards. Wash down “there” without panties on and not scrubbing the patches briefly.

@Jessica
Thanks Jessica for writing. It's nice to know that others have the same problem. I agree that care must be taken not to disturb the patches because tugging from drying towels or underwear can begin to lift the edges. I've kept a habit of not even washing areas around the patches and blotting with a towel when drying. While this seems to help, it may be the about of sweating I do when playing tennis may be a factor, but I'm not certain. 

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on November 19, 2019, 02:41:57 pm
Congratulations on reaching the 6 week point with no intention of stopping this time.

I am 21 months on E Patches with only rare sticking/staying problems but I am on the twice a week type meaning I change them every 84 hours. Perhaps you my consider asking your doctor for such?

Wishing you resolution and happiness.

@Pamelatransuk
Thank you Pamela. I'll check with Kaiser during my next appointment.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Jessica on November 19, 2019, 04:44:02 pm
Hello Laura

Congratulations on reaching the 6 week point with no intention of stopping this time.

I am 21 months on E Patches with only rare sticking/staying problems but I am on the twice a week type meaning I change them every 84 hours. Perhaps you my consider asking your doctor for such?

Wishing you resolution and happiness.

Hugs

Pamela  xx

Something that happened to me was my endo (Kaiser) prescribing the twice a week patch regimen.  My patches are Climara and are good for an entire week.  I was throwing away usable meds each week until I questioned it.  Another endo said that this was inappropriate and set things right.  It was suppose to be an increase in estradiol but it ended up just being being the very same amount used each week.  I was a bit ticked at my first endo for either tricking me or being incompetent.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on November 19, 2019, 05:15:39 pm
Something that happened to me was my endo (Kaiser) prescribing the twice a week patch regimen.  My patches are Climara and are good for an entire week.  I was throwing away usable meds each week until I questioned it.  Another endo said that this was inappropriate and set things right.  It was suppose to be an increase in estradiol but it ended up just being being the very same amount used each week.  I was a bit ticked at my first endo for either tricking me or being incompetent.

@Jessica
Oh, this is interesting. I'm also with Kaiser using Climara patches. I'm curious whether they cut your dose in half when you went to the twice a week regimen, or did you use the same dose, just replacing them twice a week?

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: pamelatransuk on November 20, 2019, 05:08:49 am
Something that happened to me was my endo (Kaiser) prescribing the twice a week patch regimen.  My patches are Climara and are good for an entire week.  I was throwing away usable meds each week until I questioned it.  Another endo said that this was inappropriate and set things right.  It was suppose to be an increase in estradiol but it ended up just being being the very same amount used each week.  I was a bit ticked at my first endo for either tricking me or being incompetent.

Thank you Jessica for this; this is something for us all to keep an eye on - correct dosage or strength.

Hugs

Pamela  xx
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on December 09, 2019, 10:07:00 am
Two Months

I’ve passed the two month (9 week) mark with my HRT. Previously, I had stopped HRT (mostly out of fear) before the six week mark multiple times in the past years, but this time seems different. I feel more resolved and more relaxed about transitioning. Certainly, those things that scared me didn’t disappear. I think I’ve just felt more comfortable that my well being is more important than any rejections that may come from family and friends.

At the two month mark, my breasts have breached an “A” cup, or at the worst, a small A. I do find my 38A cup being fully filled this month as compared to last month. As for my attempted weight loss, I have been able to lose four pounds in the past two months, but the holidays have proven to be to great a temptation. Still, that I’ve not gained weight over Thanksgiving is a win for me.

Two people know about Laura: my girlfriend, who lives two hours away, and my best friend in this town, who is a female tennis player I play with often. I had told her about being transgender last summer, during a period when I’d stopped hormones, but last week, during one of our coffee dates, I confessed to her that I was back on HRT and that I was scheduled for FFS. She’s been nothing but accepting, which may be one reason why I feel less fear now, as compared to the past.

Six months until FFS.

Glady, my divorce, which has taken four years to complete (oh, it’s been a nightmare) comes to a close today. No, she didn’t know about Laura. Laura only emerged after extensive therapy after our separation.

So, today is a cause for celebration for many reasons. I’m on HRT, I’m making progress, and I have supportive friends.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on December 09, 2019, 12:08:29 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
After I logged in this morning I was ever so happy to read your latest update here on your "Laura's HRT Progress" thread.

WOW, 9 weeks of HRT already, time sure does go by quickly at times. 
I was glad to read of your good breast growth progress, it is always so personally rewarding to see actual breasts on one's own body and to experience them growing!!  :)

Regarding your weight loss efforts,... yes, you are correct, the holiday time is a great temptation for enjoying all of the special dinners, treats, etc.   Not gaining weight over the past Thanksgiving holiday demonstrates your willpower....  if you can just continue with that path until after the new year, then you can get back to your diet and weight loss endeavors with earnest again....  just not gaining weight over the holidays is a great accomplishment... kudos to you.

My heart was warmed by your discussion about your tennis player friend that is fully accepting your transition... it is always good to have those around you that will accept you as you are in your journey.

Wow, another big event coming up, your FFS in 6 months.  Please be certain to keep me and the rest of your followers up to date as that important milestone in your transition gets closer.

I am almost never happy when I hear of divorces but if it results in your personal nightmare coming to a close, I am glad for you.

You have every right to celebrate.... these are good moments as you keep going forward toward your goals.

Thank you for sharing.
HUGS and best wishes as always,
Danielle

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Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on December 09, 2019, 01:42:14 pm
@Danielle

Danielle,

How sweet of you to write as you make the long journey home. I know lots of us have missed you while you were away and were hoping for your safe journey over the many mountain passes as you traveled to Washington. That you've so completely detailed your journey from the beginning, and have been so gracious with your replies, helps to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere here. Thank you for that.

While I'm only trying to lose about 10 pounds, getting down to the low 150s will make my dresses and fitted tops more attractive, but a side result is that I'll move more quickly on the tennis court so I can chase down more shots. Talk about win-win. LOL.

Know that we are so happy for you and your sweetie, that we worry when you're in pain, and that we are thankful for your advice.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on December 18, 2019, 03:56:35 pm
Well, this is interesting. Since I'd not seen my Kaiser MST doctor since last March, not had blood work done since then,  I called the Multi-Specialty Transitions department to arrange an appointment and order some blood work. Now that the results are in, I'll be curious about whether my dose should be increased.

Previously, last March, my Estradiol level had been 189 pg/ml (US), but my most recent test shows my level as 92 pg/ml. My dose hasn't changed, but my level has halved. Given that my provider had told me they were aiming for a level of 200, I do hope to increase my patch prescription. I'll chime in after my January 2nd appointment.

Laura

PS. oh, I got my ears pierced today.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on January 06, 2020, 04:28:00 pm
While it’s been three continuous months since I restarted HRT, I’m closer to seven months when you consider the different periods I was on HRT beginning in late July, 2018. Still, at three months, I’ve more than doubled the time I’ve continuously been on HRT before quitting in the past. This is either a victory or evidence of the complete denial I feel about the future. LOL. I prefer the former to the latter.

Having not seen my Kaiser trans doctor, nor done bloodwork since last March, I called her office to order labs and schedule an appointment. The results were a bit of a surprise for me. While achieving an E level of around 200 last March, my level declined to 92 pg/ml in December. This despite using the same dosage. However, my T level, which stood at 23 pg/ml last March could not be measured this time and was listed as <20 pg/ml.

During my video appointment with my Kaiser doc, I made a case for increasing my dosage, given that she’d told me that an E level of 200 was appropriate last March, but I was told that my current level of 92 pg/ml was also appropriate since I’m not in my 20s. (I’m 68). I did share that I’m continuing to have problems with my patches peeling off around the four or five day mark, so she’s recommended we move to the Vivelle Dot, which arrives today. Applying patches twice a week, instead of once, will require more maintenance, but if they stay put for the duration, my dosage should be more consistent. Still, I was impressed from data I found online showing how the Dots continue to release an equal amount of E until day six, so there could be a benefit of leaving the patch on for a longer period

Weight
I restarted HRT in early October just as we were entering the Halloween to Christmas holiday season, with all the tempting comfort foods. Starting at 167 pounds, I got down to 162 after a month or so. Yet, that I’m at 162 today, after spoiling myself a bit during Christmas, is a bit of a miracle. Now that the holidays are behind me, I can again focus on slowly melting the pounds off so I can reach the first plateau of weight I’d like to reach, 155 pounds. Small steps that I hope will lead me to 145-150 pounds and a slimmer body that will better fit some of my dresses. An added benefit is that the more weight I lose, the easier it is to run on the tennis court to reach some of my shots. LOL.

Bodily Changes
My breast size seems to be the same as it was at the two month mark. Band size: 38. Bust size: 39. I fairly comfortably fill an A cup, although there is a limited amount of space still to fill. My bodily hair growth has slowed with arm and leg shaving moving to once a week instead of twice. I can’t say my skin feels any softer though. Nor do I see any changes to my facial features, but given that change comes slowly, I could be missing something.

Electrolysis
While I’d completed around 16 hours of electrolysis several years ago, I’ve put off restarting hair removal until my divorce was over so I’d know what funds were available (this time, I’ll be going to Precision in Chicago to speed things up.) My marriage blew up four years ago and Laura came out during the year I spent in therapy. My divorce, which just concluded after a four-year battle, was both stressful and extraordinarily expensive. For what divorce cost me, I could have paid for FFS and GCS and still had enough money left over to buy a nice Tesla. As my funds slowly replenish, I’ll be making regular trips to Chicago for mass hair removal. Thank goodness FFS is covered by Kaiser.

Five months until my FFS.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on February 07, 2020, 12:40:53 pm
Four Months

At the four month mark, I can’t say that I feel or look any differently than one month ago. Breast growth seems to have stopped and even reversed, and I continue to be just a tad under a 38A. It appears that some fat distribution has begun with my face being just a bit more full but I can’t say that my skin feels softer.

Height and Weight
I’m still 5’ 7 3/4”, the same height as measured last summer. Today’s weight is 160, which is two pounds down from this time last month. Given the Spiro and what I might have eaten the previous day, my weight seems to bounce up and down daily by a pound or two. Now that I’m back to eating salads, weight loss appears to be going in the right direction. 10 more pounds to go.

Change in hormones
A month ago, we changed my HRT to a Vivelle Dot equivalent twice a week because my weekly patches were often not staying put for seven days. However, now that I’ve been on the Dot for a month, I feel that my growth has stopped, and my breast buds have softened to the point where it reminds me of when I went off HRT last summer for a few months. During that time, I could feel my buds slowly dissolving as my breasts got smaller. My nipples are no longer erect as well. I’m not sure whether this is a YMMV issue because I’ve read from others that breast growth comes in spurts. However, the fact that my breast buds are disappearing, and that my breasts are no longer sensitive in the first two days after applying patches is of some concern. Except for the Spiro, it feels as if I’m not on estrogen. I don’t know whether my body needs a higher estrogen level to progress forward, if the Dot delivery method isn’t effective with my body, or if my body has just paused growth. As I’ve evaluated my lack of progress, I contemplated waiting another month before bothering my Kaiser doc, but now I’m thinking I should talk to her about getting blood work done to asses my hormone levels.

Four months until FFS.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on February 11, 2020, 08:01:09 pm
I'm feeling a bit of anxiety about my lack of progress, or more appropriately the softening of my breast buds the past month since I changed meds. I would appreciate if some of you would read my four month update and provide some input.

thanks,

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Kate.claire on February 11, 2020, 08:22:10 pm
Hi Laura,
Not sure how much help I can be, I will say that my breast buds kind of faded to the surrounding tissue somewhere around the 4th-6th month.  They've never been noticeable buds since that time, hard to say if they are growing, if they are it is sooooo slow.  LOL. I also lowered my injection dosages around that time, so hard to say (my levels were way way over 200, still hard to keep them under).  I don't think it's unreasonable for you to ask your doctor for a blood test a month or so out after changing your prescription.  Might be the only way to get over the anxiety about appropriate E levels. 

My experience says the anxiety over whether your breasts have stopped developing doesn't go away regardless.  :) 
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Wendi on February 11, 2020, 08:50:25 pm
Hi Laura, I'd get back with my Dr to let them know your concerns. No one knows your body like you.

Are your breasts the only thing that seems to have taken a step back? Are your emotional changes still the same?

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on February 11, 2020, 09:19:03 pm
@Wendi

Wendi,

Thank you for responding. The strange thing about HRT, at least for me, is that there's never been any change to my emotional state. I've not felt any highs or lows, nor have I found myself breaking out in tears. It does make me wonder about the effects of HRT on my body, despite the obvious breast growth.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on February 11, 2020, 09:22:47 pm
@Kate.Claire

Kate,

Thank you for writing. oh, how I wish my levels were >200 like yours, but my doc is happy with them being under 100. I'd prefer the upper 100s and I'll make a case again to increase the dosage now that my body is responding differently.

yes, I think I'll check in with my doc about getting a new blood test and sharing my concerns.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: AnneK on February 12, 2020, 05:51:07 am
@Wendi

Wendi,

Thank you for responding. The strange thing about HRT, at least for me, is that there's never been any change to my emotional state. I've not felt any highs or lows, nor have I found myself breaking out in tears. It does make me wonder about the effects of HRT on my body, despite the obvious breast growth.

Laura

I've noticed the same.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on March 10, 2020, 01:16:10 pm
Five Months.

One month ago, I wrote that I felt that the change to Dot patches was having a negative impact on my development. My breast buds were softening and deflating and my nipples had lost their erectness. Instead of writing my doctor immediately, I continued the dosage until mid-month when I added one of my remaining Climara patches each week, effectively increasing my dose by 50%. During the two weeks on this regiment, I felt my buds reinflating, my nipples began to be erect again, and I felt some sensitivity the day after applying the patches.  From the beginning when using the Dot, which is applied twice a week, for me Monday’s and Thursdays, I’ve kept the patches on for a full seven days, since I’d seen research showing that the Dot patches release estrogen for 6-7 days.

With this data, I wrote my doctor explaining the problems I felt during January and the change in conditions when I increased the dosage. I asked her to order a new Estrogen test so we could determine the best dosage and course of action for the future. She wrote back and while she was surprised at my reaction to the Dot, she suggested we may need to increase my dose and she ordered the blood test.

However, my February 28th test showed that my Estrogen level had changed from 92pg/ml in December, when I was using two Climara patches, to 291 pg/ml now when using two Dots, twice a week, and one Climara, once a week. How my level could triple when just increasing my dosage 50% and why I felt my progress had reversed when using the Dot only was most confusing. Still, I’ve felt no increase in bust size since December.

Once I viewed my results, I pulled off all my patches for a few days and then returned to the twice a week regiment using just two patches. My doctor told me to remove the patches when I apply new ones as well and she ordered a new blood work to see where my levels are. At this time, I’m waiting a few weeks with this new regiment and will do my blood work next week.

My weight loss journey continues to be a struggle, with my weight bouncing between 160 to 162 during the month. This morning’s weekly check revealed I’ve broken the 160 barrier, at 158, so I hope I continue this trend.

Now, if only my boobs would start growing again.

Three months until FFS.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on March 10, 2020, 01:25:53 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
It was nice to see your new update this month.   

The new blood tests will give your doctor and you the information required to adjust your HRT as needed.

Very good news regarding your weight loss... under 160 pounds!!!   Congratulations.

I know for a fact, at least in my experience, with my boobs getting larger and weight loss are not necessarily compatible goals....
...... but do keep that weight off and keep on top of your HRT.... your boob growth will come when it comes!!!

PATIENCE !!!!

Thank you for sharing, I will be eagerly looking for your next updates and posts.
HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on March 10, 2020, 02:48:50 pm
@Laura1951
It was nice to see your new update this month.   

@Danielle

Thank you Danielle. I continue to be amazed that you're able to devote so much time supporting us here when you're in the middle of a crazy tax season.

I do appreciate your well wishes and look forward to sharing next month. By then I hope to have a pre-op appointment for my FFS.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Myranda on March 11, 2020, 04:16:35 pm
@Wendi

Wendi,

Thank you for responding. The strange thing about HRT, at least for me, is that there's never been any change to my emotional state. I've not felt any highs or lows, nor have I found myself breaking out in tears. It does make me wonder about the effects of HRT on my body, despite the obvious breast growth.

Laura

I was just commenting about this same thing to my doctor this afternoon. I have been on my HRT regime for over a year straight now and haven't noticed any change in my emotional state, and any temporary changes I could easily and readily attribute to other stimuli.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on March 15, 2020, 08:14:40 pm
I discovered today that COVID-19 has caused Kaiser to stop all lab work.

After my high E reading in late February, I returned to a two dot, twice a week regiment, and began removing old patches when applying new ones. I decided to wait three weeks before my next blood test to ensure my E level had stabilized, but when I attempted to reserve an appointment for next Thursday the site said that Kaiser is not currently doing labs.

Interesting.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Maddie on March 15, 2020, 09:35:28 pm
Similiar boat here Laura.
My Feb levels were high, and have since reduced.  On Friday, my Dr sent orders to my local clinic for a new blood draw.  They are only open a couple days per week, so i was waiting til tomorrow to make an appt for a draw.  I'll find out when I do.  Wouldn't surprise me if their labs are too busy for it.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Kate.claire on March 16, 2020, 05:48:10 am
I discovered today that COVID-19 has caused Kaiser to stop all lab work.

After my high E reading in late February, I returned to a two dot, twice a week regiment, and began removing old patches when applying new ones. I decided to wait three weeks before my next blood test to ensure my E level had stabilized, but when I attempted to reserve an appointment for next Thursday the site said that Kaiser is not currently doing labs.

Interesting.

Laura

Yeah, likely splitting up their lab workers into isolated work groups to decrease the chance of them all getting quarantined or sick at the same time and shutting down all testing, plus they need to make room for the expected test demand for SARS-CoV-2. Tells you where the medical communities mind is on potential size of the outbreak, for any remaining doubters.

Btw, I'd fill any HRT prescriptions that are close to running out in the next month or two, if they are available for refill.  Could be a headache to get a hold of, depending on how things run their course in that time frame. 


Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on May 05, 2020, 10:15:52 pm
Seven Months

It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached the seven month mark. Long gone are the fears I felt during the many times I’d started and stopped in the past, and present are my hopes and determination to see this through. While this should be a happy occasion, I’m disappointed by many things.

First, I’ve had no breast growth since December, so the past four months have seen no improvement: no tingling nipples, sore breasts, or itching. My nipples are still upright, especially in the morning and my breasts buds are still firm.  Currently, I’m still a tad under an “A” cup, so I’ve had to wear sports bras while playing tennis, but during the winter months, I was able to wear my women’s clothes but layer them to hide my development. Now that summer is here, it’s back to sports bras and a loose-fitting male shirts when out and about.  Ho hum.

There’s also been no change to the many things others have experienced during HRT; my band size is still 38, my height is still 5’8”, my shoe size is unchanged, and I’ve obsersved no fat distribution to my face or hips. I have noticed some reduction in strength, and while my body hair has slowed its growth, no other noticeable changes have happened.

Now, I know breast growth is YMMV, that it’s partially based on your nearest female relatives, and that growth occurs over a two year period.  I’ve read that it’s normal to go through stops and spurts during HRT. That growth stopped four months ago concerns me, but all I can do is wait and hope. (No, I don’t anticipate getting BA in the future, so what I get is what I get.)

I'd love to hear from others about the stops and spurts in their breast growth.

My weight loss struggle has been hampered by COVID. While I had been slowly but steadily losing weight, being on lockdown, and not being able to play tennis regularly, has reversed my loss and has now become a slight gain. Weight loss is the only factor within my control, so I must do better to get below 160 and to my ultimate goal.

Fortunately, I’m an introvert so I’ve been able to polish off several trilogies, binge watch several Netflix series, and fly every two weeks in my plane.

I’m also waiting and hoping about my FFS. While it was scheduled for June 16th, this COVID-19 situation has postponed surgery to an unknown future, so I’ll be lucky if I get a new October date.

And so it goes.

At least I’m liking wearing earrings in public when I’m in guy mode. BTW, my profile picture is current.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on May 05, 2020, 10:36:03 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
It is wonderful to see your real life Avatar Photo. 
I have been looking forward to your latest  "HRT Progress update"  ...thank you for sharing.

I am glad that you mentioned the "YMMV" provision... but I can tell that you are frustrated with
the slower than expected results.   Obviously it is desirable to see more and faster results.

I trust that you can get a firm FFS surgery date soon...  this Covid-19 thing has obviously delayed many surgeries.

I hear you about the Covid-19 lockdown and weight gain....   
I had a good friend tell me that just as soon as the lock-down is over she doesn't know which she should sign up for...  AA or Weight Watchers !!!

Again, thank you for sharing your latest update.

HUGS and best wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Wendi on May 07, 2020, 03:57:21 pm
You look very pretty Laura.

Hopefully you'll be able to get a FFS date soon.

Hugs

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on May 07, 2020, 07:13:57 pm

I hear you about the Covid-19 lockdown and weight gain....   
I had a good friend tell me that just as soon as the lock-down is over she doesn't know which she should sign up for...  AA or Weight Watchers !!!
size=12pt]Danielle[/size][/b]
@Danielle

Danielle,

Thank you for taking time to read and respond to my posts. I know how valuable your time is and all the forces contending for it, so thank you.

I laughed at your comment about deciding between AA and Weight Watchers when this is over.

I hope you're well.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on May 07, 2020, 07:15:31 pm
@Wendi

Wendi,

You are too kind. Thank you.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on June 07, 2020, 11:33:06 pm
Eight Months.

Eight months. It’s still hard to believe I’ve made it this far, with no intention of stopping, after the five or six times I’d started and failed beginning in 2016.

So, what’s new this month? Nothing really. My breasts are still the same size as they were last December, being a small A and while my buds are still firm and my nipples are still erect, I’ve experienced none of the itching or pain that precedes growth. Knowing that the majority of development happens in the first year, I’m rapidly running out of time. Yes, I know that it can take two to three years before my body is ready to call it quits in the boob department, I’m just one of the many girls here who are disappointed with her growth. (And before you reply YMMV, Northern Girl, I know.. I know.) Given that most of the women in my family are a C or larger, I’m hoping to reach a small B in the future. If I don’t though, I’ll be happy with what I have.

In other news, my FFS was to have been next week, and while I was looking forward to crossing that bridge now, I’m hoping for a reschedule in September or October. At least that would give the HRT more time to work its magic.

I’ve begun making progress losing the COVID pounds I’ve picked up the past few months and I intend to stay vigilent to my eating and exercise routine.

I’m proud that I’ve sustained my HRT for this long, and love being Laura as often as possible. That my best friend in this town knows and is accepting of Laura provides me a bit of strength and confidence. Yes, there’s still some fear and uncertainty about the future, but there’s no turning back now.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on June 08, 2020, 02:39:40 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I have been eagerly awaiting your monthly update... thank you for sharing with all of us.

It is so wonderful for me to read that you have continued on with your HRT for 8 months now and that you have avoided the stopping and starting as you did 4 years ago.

Regarding your boob report and boob growth progress, all I can say is that HRT works differently for everyone, some see more significant results more quickly and some see less significant results more slowly.  Whatever you read about others experiences and results with HRT, good or bad, will most likely not be your own.
It is all up to your unique genes and your unique body.  Nothing can be done about that. 
Patience is definitely required, usually nothing happens very fast with HRT...   
...the phrase "I want it all, and I want it now" certainly does not apply.

I am so sorry that the Covid-19 thing interfered with your FFS appointment next week.  I am wishing you success in nailing down a new scheduled surgery date this coming fall.  Please be certain to keep your thread updated with that information so that I and the rest of your followers can be thinking positive thoughts of success for you.

Yes indeed, the Covid-19 shelter in place directives have most definitely raised havoc with exercise routines, social gatherings, and our eating habits.   Stay vigilant with your diet and exercise plans as best you can.

I am so very glad to read of your very accepting friend... that kind of support is so important as you know.

I will be looking forward to reading more of your postings on your thread and elsewhere on the forums as you feel comfortable sharing.
Again, thank you for posting your 8  month update... even though there are some setbacks and concerns, you don't have to look around at other members predicaments to know that in your situation that you can consider your report all good news.

HUGS and HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: JanePlain on June 08, 2020, 03:19:38 pm
I bing read your thread and wanted to say congratulations on your conviction to stay on HRT. I wanted to suggest something about how your doing HRT.  Have you considered Estrogel or Evamist?  Evamist (Spelzing?) worked really well when my formulary was covering it.  In fact I had to dial down the dose after my labs went a bit too high.  You mentioned being a tennis player and the patches possibly sweating off.  The really nice thing about these other two forms is you apply in the morning and you skin absorbs it and your good for a day.  I typically take a bath (or shower if I must) then take care of HRT in a minute or two.  The only problem is when something interrupts my "system" and I forget. Which I did yesterday and I really felt lousy until I remembered and took care of it in the afternoon. 

I'm sorry the results aren't what you were looking for. I sympathize. I think one school of thought is to consider how well developed female members of your family (Mother, sisters) are and expect slightly less.  But then there are those that its just works amazingly well even relative to the relatives. 
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on June 08, 2020, 04:08:10 pm
@Laura1951
I have been eagerly awaiting your monthly update... thank you for sharing with all of us.

It is so wonderful for me to read that you have continued on with your HRT for 8 months now and that you have avoided the stopping and starting as you did 4 years ago.

Regarding your boob report and boob growth progress, all I can say is that HRT works differently for everyone, some see more significant results more quickly and some see less significant results more slowly.  Whatever you read about others experiences and results with HRT, good or bad, will most likely not be your own.
It is all up to your unique genes and your unique body.  Nothing can be done about that. 
Patience is definitely required, usually nothing happens very fast with HRT...   
...the phrase "I want it all, and I want it now" certainly does not apply.

I am so sorry that the Covid-19 thing interfered with your FFS appointment next week.  I am wishing you success in nailing down a new scheduled surgery date this coming fall.  Please be certain to keep your thread updated with that information so that I and the rest of your followers can be thinking positive thoughts of success for you.

Yes indeed, the Covid-19 shelter in place directives have most definitely raised havoc with exercise routines, social gatherings, and our eating habits.   Stay vigilant with your diet and exercise plans as best you can.

I am so very glad to read of your very accepting friend... that kind of support is so important as you know.

I will be looking forward to reading more of your postings on your thread and elsewhere on the forums as you feel comfortable sharing.
Again, thank you for posting your 8  month update... even though there are some setbacks and concerns, you don't have to look around at other members predicaments to know that in your situation that you can consider your report all good news.
member=70054]Danielle[/member

Thanks @Danielle for adding to my thread. I always look forward to hearing from you and follow your advice. Of course, I've followed your journey from the beginning and am so happy to hear that you've found a place and a person to love.

I can't really complain about being an A cup, although it's fun to whine about it. I've seen the research that shows only a fraction of us reach an A cup at the end of the first year, so I know I should be happy to be above the mean.

I feel positive about the delayed FFS date because I know it will happen and that Kaiser covers most of the cost. :)

What happens afterwards is the great unknown. As my boobs continue to grow and my face becomes more feminine, I'll have some difficult decisions to make. I can't say I'll move a few thousand miles away to establish a new life, but I'll figure it out.

Thank you again.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on June 08, 2020, 04:20:19 pm
I bing read your thread and wanted to say congratulations on your conviction to stay on HRT. I wanted to suggest something about how your doing HRT.  Have you considered Estrogel or Evamist?  Evamist (Spelzing?) worked really well when my formulary was covering it.  In fact I had to dial down the dose after my labs went a bit too high.  You mentioned being a tennis player and the patches possibly sweating off.  The really nice thing about these other two forms is you apply in the morning and you skin absorbs it and your good for a day.  I typically take a bath (or shower if I must) then take care of HRT in a minute or two.  The only problem is when something interrupts my "system" and I forget. Which I did yesterday and I really felt lousy until I remembered and took care of it in the afternoon. 

I'm sorry the results aren't what you were looking for. I sympathize. I think one school of thought is to consider how well developed female members of your family (Mother, sisters) are and expect slightly less.  But then there are those that its just works amazingly well even relative to the relatives.

Hi @JanePlain and thanks for replying.

While I enjoyed being able to apply just X Climara patches once a week, they would often peel off after a few days, particularly those I placed on my upper buttocks. Limiting the patches to only my abdomen created a skin rash over time that forced me to place patches on my thighs and stomach. Now that I'm on the Estrell Dot, the patches adhere better, although they aren't perfect. Still, last week I tried them on my upper buttock with good success, so at least I can provide relief to the area below my navel.

Estrogel sounds interesting. At first is thought my doctor would never consider it because, being 68, they've limited me to patches but I see in the literature that it's designed for menopausal women. I'll check with my doctor next time we meet.

Thank you again

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: JanePlain on June 11, 2020, 09:29:43 am
Hi @JanePlain and thanks for replying.

While I enjoyed being able to apply just X Climara patches once a week, they would often peel off after a few days, particularly those I placed on my upper buttocks. Limiting the patches to only my abdomen created a skin rash over time that forced me to place patches on my thighs and stomach. Now that I'm on the Estrell Dot, the patches adhere better, although they aren't perfect. Still, last week I tried them on my upper buttock with good success, so at least I can provide relief to the area below my navel.

Estrogel sounds interesting. At first is thought my doctor would never consider it because, being 68, they've limited me to patches but I see in the literature that it's designed for menopausal women. I'll check with my doctor next time we meet.

Thank you again

Laura

Indeed they are!  I think the positive of doing it with patches, gels or spray mists is that it doesn't need to pass through the liver which is not happy procressing hormones.  The mist was probably the least hassle just X number of sprays on your arm and done.  The gel you need to rub in but its a minute out of the day so who cares.  I did try a compounded pharmacy for a while that made of a specific combo that was like a thick cream.  All of these are "human" Biodentical hormones.  Some of the pills are not and worse yet the kind you swallow do have to go through the liver.  Injections are an option if you like the once a week plan and when I did it that way it was ok.  *I do think my doctor suggested a larger needle then I ended up using but thats another story.   Anyway it continues to be great to hear your not having problems staying on HRT.  If its of any value I think many let self doubts seep in.  I went off for a day (on purpose) and felt so wrong I ended up going back on the next day.  Plust it just might be mental but I just feel like (WORD THAT WILL BE REMOVED *if I type it) without HRT.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on July 07, 2020, 11:24:27 am
9 Months

Nine months on HRT. I could’ve given birth by now.

What’s new and different? Absolutely nothing. I’m still a 38A although I’d hoped to drop a band size now because of the Spiro and weight loss. Instead, I wear a 36B pushup bra which feels perfect and provides a bit more confidence. My nipples are still erect and my breast buds are still present. There have been some widening of my aerola, but I hate not knowing whether my breast growth will continue or whether it’s done and over. (I know. YMMV). I continue to buy clothes, and I’m not embarrassed to say that my shoe collection continues to expand far beyond my male selection.

I’m pleased with my weight loss. Having gained some weight due to COVID, I got serious about getting back on the weight loss wagon and have been below 160 for a month now.  (I’m 5’8”) My weight seems to have stabilized around 158 pounds, which seems to happen when you’re trying to lose pounds. I know if I keep up this regiment that I’ll eventually continue my trek towards 150.

My FFS was to have been three weeks ago, and that has been cause of some sadness. There’s no one to blame, although 45 has much to do with the continued outbreaks. Kaiser had begun to resume surgeries, but I’m certain the current outbreaks in California and the Bay Area have stopped them again. I seriously doubt my FFS will occur before December, 19 months after my consult. I can not change current events, but this is starting to drive me nuts.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Maddie on July 10, 2020, 10:31:21 am
Hang on Laura.
Must be so difficult. Hopefully no matter when they get you in, it will be the perfect time

Happy for you maintaining your weight loss close towards your goal.

36B gives me a little needed confidence too
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on July 10, 2020, 10:59:38 am
Hang on Laura.
Must be so difficult. Hopefully no matter when they get you in, it will be the perfect time

Happy for you maintaining your weight loss close towards your goal.

36B gives me a little needed confidence too
Thank you @Maddie. Losing weight is a never ending battle with so many tempting ways to go astray. Giving up alcohol and cookies, not necessarily in that order, takes some of the fun out, but I do spoil myself from time to time.

I appreciate your positive attitude regarding that my future, still unscheduled, FFS will be at the perfect time. I just wish that perfect time was earlier. LOL

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on July 21, 2020, 05:42:12 pm
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
My heart goes out to you... I personally know that trying to be patient can be so difficult when the anticipated results are coming at a slower pace that we might have expected.

When I was in my beginning stages of HRT "I wanted it all and I wanted it now!!!"   Obviously  that is not the way that most things in life work, especially the important things as with HRT and our transition plans and transition journey.

All I can say to you is to continue to be patient, continue to see your doctor regarding your regular blood testing and follow the dosage recommendations that you are given...   you can feel quite free to ask you doctor about the dosages and whether or not any change in the meds can bring on more dramatic results a little more quickly.
 
I won't tell you again about YMMV, your unique genes, and all of that...  I have already written about that stuff on many of my comments around the Forums.

Please keep me and the rest of you followers updated as you feel comfortable doing.   All of us are rooting for you happiness and success.  Always feel free to vent your frustrations.  We will lend you our ear and our shoulders to lean on.   Also I know that you are aware how I think about positivity and optimism...

While the entire thread and all the comments are very encouraging please go back to the very first posts on this thread to glean some great motivational inspiration.
          Positive Mindset... put away negativity (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,238255.0.html)

HUGS and more HUGS,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Maddie on July 21, 2020, 07:50:31 pm
Step back from those cookies Laura  ;)
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on July 22, 2020, 07:54:33 am
Step back from those cookies Laura  ;)
@Maddie
LOL. oh, when I'm shopping, they call me like a siren song.

I'm a magician. I can make a dozen oatmeal raisin cookies disappear in less than a day. Heck. Less than six hours. I'm staying strong though, but I reward my body every few weeks for behaving.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on July 22, 2020, 07:58:48 am
@Laura1951
My heart goes out to you... I personally know that trying to be patient can be so difficult when the anticipated results are coming at a slower pace that we might have expected.

When I was in my beginning stages of HRT "I wanted it all and I wanted it now!!!"   Obviously  that is not the way that most things in life work, especially the important things as with HRT and our transition plans and transition journey.

All I can say to you is to continue to be patient, continue to see your doctor regarding your regular blood testing and follow the dosage recommendations that you are given...   you can feel quite free to ask you doctor about the dosages and whether or not any change in the meds can bring on more dramatic results a little more quickly.
 
I won't tell you again about YMMV, your unique genes, and all of that...  I have already written about that stuff on many of my comments around the Forums.

Please keep me and the rest of you followers updated as you feel comfortable doing.   All of us are rooting for you happiness and success.  Always feel free to vent your frustrations.  We will lend you our ear and our shoulders to lean on.   Also I know that you are aware how I think about positivity and optimism...

While the entire thread and all the comments are very encouraging please go back to the very first posts on this thread to glean some great motivational inspiration.
          Positive Mindset... put away negativity (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,238255.0.html)

@Danielle
I often feel blessed to have Susan's as a safe space where so many people are taking life-changing journeys. I do appreciate all your encouragement and look to you as one of my role models.

Thank you Danielle.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on August 07, 2020, 01:04:40 pm
10 Months

10 months of uninterrupted HRT, a new record. LOL.

What’s changed this month? Again, very little, particularly in the boob department.  I’m beginning to see small decreases in my band size and very small increases in my bust. Oh, I continue to buy clothes, because a girl can never have too many clothes or shoes, and I’ve finally purchased several high-quality purses. I’ve also begun to purge some of my male clothes, but plenty remain because I’m still <deadname> outside.

Seven weeks ago, my weight broke the 160 mark, and then plateaued at 159.  Normally, after a few weeks of a plateau, weight beings to peel off again. However, for five weeks during this period, I had to stop all exercise to deal with pain in my left knee. Getting old is a bitch, so I made sure I took my Advil, performed daily leg strengthening exercise, and iced my knee when appropriate. While I was pleased to read 7-8 books and binge watch several Netflix shows during this period, I missed both my tennis friends and the exercise I got through playing. I’m happy to have returned to playing, although I’m pausing playing singles until I’m confident my knee pain won’t flare up. I’m also pleased that now the I’m back to  exercise, my weight finally trended down to 156.

Weight loss isn’t conducive to gaining breast mass though. oh, I could take this as a sign to break out the gin and tonic, as well as the oatmeal raisin cookies, but right now, reaching my goal weight is more important. Hopefully, losing weight will help me lose a band size. I’m finally feeling more confident when I wear tight tops with jeans or shorts, although I do have another 10 pounds I want to disappear. Hopefully, my body will cooperate and be ready to develop once I reach my goal weight.

I’m afraid I that I won’t see continued breast development. While I’ve been on HRT for 10 months, when you factor in all the time I was on HRT in the past, I’m probably over the one year mark. While I’ve read reports of some development occurring after the one year mark, I also know that most of the development happens during the first 12 months. I don’t want to stay a “A” cup and while I never considered BA, I may have to in a few years.

In other news, I gathered the courage to out myself to another tennis friend and that journey is detailed on my blog, One New Life to Live (https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,253460.0.html).

Each month, on my HRT anniversary, I take a current picture and post it here as my avatar. Frankly, I've not seen a change over time, but my best friend says that she does, so that's a plus.

Onward.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Maddie on August 10, 2020, 04:01:25 pm
Happy for your weight Laura.
The 160lb  mark is a big one to break for us, (height relevant if course!!)
I struggle to stay below 170, but believe I can and will touch 155.

Women's tennis outfits are pretty cool.  I hope you do that sometimes...
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on August 10, 2020, 05:50:45 pm
Happy for your weight Laura.
The 160lb  mark is a big one to break for us, (height relevant if course!!)
I struggle to stay below 170, but believe I can and will touch 155.

Women's tennis outfits are pretty cool.  I hope you do that sometimes...

Hi @Maddie,

Given that I'm 5'8", the 160 mark has been a bear to break and stay under. That I've been below 160 for two months now is positive and now that I'm finally playing tennis again, I was hoping to continue the decline. With my FFS now scheduled for next week (and wasn't THAT a surprise I didn't expect!), I'll be off exercise for several weeks post surgery.

I AM hoping that once I began walking, a week or so after FFS, the decline will continue.

And, YES, I love buying tennis outfits and can't wait to wear one after I'm recovered from FFS.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on September 08, 2020, 11:25:41 pm
11 Months
Not only was September 7th my 11 month anniversary of re-starting HRT, it was also my 69th birthday, the last year of my 60s. Now, I hated turning 60, am still in denial about being in my 60s, and now, in one year, I’ll be 70. Damn.

What’s new this month? Everything and nothing.

On the nothing side, given that I had to be off HRT for eight days due to my FFS, I’ve felt my breast buds begin to soften and shrink. I must say that I’m discouraged by my breast growth. To this end, I’ve contacted my doctor and have set up a video appointment later this month to talk about my progress and my new blood test results. I’m hoping we can find a new normal for my E delivery.

On the Everything front, I’ve been blessed. Three weeks past my FFS, I’m well on the way to recovery, although I’ll need to wait for the two month mark to see what the new Laura looks like. It’s certainly better to be at the three week mark than the three day mark. Each day is better now.

Having come out to my three double’s tennis partners and having been both accepted and loved for my new truth, I’m preparing to begin playing tennis as Laura when I’m with this group. It’s a big step, so I’ve told my neighbor about my reality and that Laura will begin making appearances in the near future. Not only was she accepting, but she wanted to be sure she was using a correct name when addressing me. Yesterday on my birthday, she brought over a cupcake with a candle on top, bringing tears to my eyes.

Today, my best friend, the first person I came out to last year, came by to wish me happy birthday, bringing presents both for Laura and for her cat. Her note, though, brought tears to my eyes. Here’s what she wrote:

“Wishing you a lifetime of peace, happiness, love and understanding. So happy of where you are in your life right now. And so proud of you for doing the work to get there.

Happy Birthday my dear friend and Happy 1st Birthday to Laura. Welcome to the world.”


I am blessed.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: sandrauk on September 09, 2020, 01:18:45 am
Laura, we were born on the same day in 1951, I'm actually looking forward to being 70.

You're doing far better than me I can't imagine playing tennis now. I cleared out the guttering yesterday and it completely wiped me out.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Rakel on September 09, 2020, 07:35:06 pm
Laura, we were born on the same day in 1951, I'm actually looking forward to being 70.

You're doing far better than me I can't imagine playing tennis now. I cleared out the guttering yesterday and it completely wiped me out.

I did that a few years ago and really, it is just one more day. I am thankful for all the one more days I get in the future.  ;)

Stay active, ladies. No matter what you do, just keep on doing it.  8)
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Dorit on September 12, 2020, 08:20:12 am
When I turned 70 I realized that I had to transition or enter the end my life in deep regret and unhappiness.  Three years later I have completed my transition and am deeply grateful and happy. 

Laura, for some of us life begins anew at 70! 
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on September 12, 2020, 09:48:07 am
When I turned 70 I realized that I had to transition or enter the end my life in deep regret and unhappiness.  Three years later I have completed my transition and am deeply grateful and happy. 

Laura, for some of us life begins anew at 70!
@Dorit    cc: @Laura1951  @Maddie   @sandrauk @JanePlain @Wendi  @Kate.claire  @Myranda  @Anne@pamelatransuk   @BlueJaye   @Jessica   @Rakel  @Phina   
Dear Dorit:
First off, I am so happy to read ALL of the good reports from all that have contributed to this thread.

I agree completely with your reply comment....  except for a few edits that apply to my own journey:
           When I turned 70 35
           Three Five years later I have completed my transition and am deeply grateful and happy.


*** It seems to me that one's age has less to do with successes in our transitions than most people think.  Transition is not just in our bodies, but also in our mental state and our self-confidence.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories.

HUGS to all.....
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Wendi on September 30, 2020, 08:05:07 pm
Laura, How is your recovery going from FFS?

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 01, 2020, 07:04:20 am
Laura, I like reading your story. As a fellow retired teacher, I feel the Sisterhood of Chalky Hands.

Like you, I'm pert near breastless, but I like the freedom of going braless and at 64, my breasts are still as perky as they were at 30. There's simply not enough for gravity to grab. I had a roommate who had pendulums at age 29. She looked great in a push-up bra, but they were tube socks with tennis balls in them without support. So, enjoy the sleek liberation of tiny breasts. I don't know if you like men, but plenty of men like tiny breasts.
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 07, 2020, 06:06:49 am
One Year

Incredible. That I’ve been on HRT for one year seems amazing, particularly since it took me four years to get to this point. We all transition at our own pace, and while my pace was start/stop multiple times for three years, last October I committed to the journey to be Laura.

It’s been an incredible year, particularly in the past four months. Much of that story is chronicled in my personal blog.

In preparation for year two, I scheduled an appointment with my Kaiser MST (Multi-Specialty Transitions) doctor and asked for my hormone levels to be checked. When the results came back, my T level was listed as less than 20 (Kaiser doesn’t specify so my T could be anywhere between 0 and 19) and my E level was 147, which I found disappointing. Why? Because I’ve not experienced any breast growth or tenderness since late December. My doctor soon emailed that my levels were perfect.  I had hoped to convince my doctor to change the delivery method, dose, or to add Progesterone, but to no avail.

During my phone appointment with my doctor, she explained that my hormones are in the goal range for a woman my age. (And I really hate being a woman of “that” age. LOL) She understands my concern about my lack of growth and said that most growth happens in the first year with some additional growth during year two. As she said, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get.) and that most of us get an A or small B cup. While I’d love to add progesterone or up my E level, she said that they worry about heart attacks/strokes if E is higher. Their standard is the "minimum dose that meets my needs and is safe".  As far as progesterone, my doctor said they don’t recommend adding progesterone because they think that people who report growth during progesterone use are just adding weight.

Three Month measurements
Band size: 38. Bust size: 39.

One Year Measurements
Band size: 37. Bust size: 39.

She did mention that I can begin considering breast augmentation, since the wait for surgery would provide time for my breasts to finish their growth. What surprised me is that Kaiser now covers BA as medically necessary, so they’ll cover it.  Holy Cow. I’m in. I never progressed past an “A” cup, and while I know that’s more than some MTF get, family history led me to believe/hope that I’d reach a “B”. Time will tell and I’ll repeat YMMV so Danielle won’t have to. LOL.

I also asked her to refer me for GCS, so I’ll have updates soon about my BA and GCS consults in the future. My initial consult with the Kaiser shrink is next week.

Weight loss
I’ve tracked my weight for more than a year now, weighing each Tuesday morning which is my “official weight” for the week. During the past year, I’ve lost 14 pounds and am now 153 pounds for my 5’8” body. I do wonder what effect weight loss has had on my breast development and whether it’s too late to see progress. Still, I’m pleased that my clothes fit better. I have had many periods where I’ve gained several pounds at different points of the year as I splurged on sweets or other comfort foods or I was unable to exercise because of knee or back pain. I’ve definitely lost some muscle mass during the last year because my tennis serve and shots are less powerful than before.

During this first year on HRT, I came out to several close friends and neighbors. When I began this journey in earnest last year, I had come out to only one person, if you don’t count myself or the therapist I had told my story to three years prior. That my friend was completely accepting was one reason I gathered the strength to restart this journey. It would be another 11 months before I came out to eight people, but given that most were in the last three months seems to indicate that the snowball rolling down the hill is picking up steam.

While my FFS had originally been scheduled for mid-June, COVID shut that down and for months I could only guess when Kaiser would be able to reschedule. It was quite surprising when, in early August, my surgeon called offering me a slot the following week. Now eight weeks into recovery, my face is slowly becoming Laura, although I’ll need to continue waiting for another 6-10 months for all the swelling to subside.

My next appointment is a year away.

Onward.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Oldandcreaky on October 07, 2020, 06:28:45 am
Laura, I too am small breasted and I quite like it, for I go braless 99.5% of the time. I don't know if you're straight, but the men I've dated didn't care that I was small breasted and there is one school of thought that maintains going braless gives the muscles that support your breasts a workout, thus making them less likely to sag. Perhaps it's worked that way for me as I'm 64 and my breasts are as perky as those of a 24-year old. Plus, it's my understanding that breast augmentation isn't one and done. Down the road, your breasts might have to be redone and each surgery carries risks. So, free or not, consider that flat is where it's at. 
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Dorit on October 08, 2020, 03:05:32 am
I enjoy your formative update.  Again, your new avatar is so cute even after only two months!

This is a common approach to HRT :During my phone appointment with my doctor, she explained that my hormones are in the goal range for a woman my age.

My endocrinologist had the same approach. :(  The problem is we are not post menopaused women even though we are in that age!  We are transitioning transsexual women and we need the higher estrogen to go through our "second puberty."   Some doctors understand this and want higher levels, others don't, their concern about increased risks is also valid.

After 30 months on HRT I too barely had a A.  I had to use push up pads to get a reasonable looking bust for someone my size. I am 183 cm and 73 Kilo.  So I had the BA and threw out the push up pads!  I now have a natural looking B, plus I too can go braless as the implants are relatively small, 300cc.  Exceedingly happy with my decision. :)
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Northern Star Girl on October 08, 2020, 09:27:41 am
@Laura1951
Dear Laura:
I enjoyed reading your positive self-commentary on your ONE YEAR HRT update....   wow, time flies when you're having fun!!!

I completely agree with @Dorit ... "...your new avatar is so cute even after only two months!"

I am glad that your doctor is closely monitoring your hormone blood levels and is truly concerned about possible harmful side effects of levels that may get too high.   I love the reference to WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get.)  .... the other Acronym that you have said that you heard me say here on the Forums is YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
Both of those are something that affects all that are transitioning.  Patience is required...and if needed there are clothing choices and other measures that can be considered to assist in appearance goals.  I am glad that you had a discussion with your doctor regarding possible Breast Augmentation.

I will indeed be eagerly looking for your updates soon about your BA and GCS consults in the future.

I am impressed with your weight loss report...  you have lost 14 pounds and you are now 153 pounds @ 5’8” body.
That is great news.   
My personal opinion is that weight loss does indeed affect breast size, that is why I think it is best to lose weight before HRT......   
....but that ship has sailed, so please don't try to gain weight to increase your breast size, just my personal opinion, that is all.... ! :o ::)

Again, thank you for keeping all of us updated.... we are all rooting for you!!!

HUGS, and best wishes,
Danielle
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 08, 2020, 02:51:26 pm
Laura, I too am small breasted and I quite like it, for I go braless 99.5% of the time. I don't know if you're straight, but the men I've dated didn't care that I was small breasted and there is one school of thought that maintains going braless gives the muscles that support your breasts a workout, thus making them less likely to sag. Perhaps it's worked that way for me as I'm 64 and my breasts are as perky as those of a 24-year old. Plus, it's my understanding that breast augmentation isn't one and done. Down the road, your breasts might have to be redone and each surgery carries risks. So, free or not, consider that flat is where it's at.
I certainly could be braless, with my "A"s, but I love the feel of my push-up bra. I know many GGs are small breasted too, but I'm still holding out that my body can be the little engine that could. LOL. I'm giving it another 18 months before I make the call for BA.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 08, 2020, 02:54:11 pm
I enjoy your formative update.  Again, your new avatar is so cute even after only two months!

This is a common approach to HRT :During my phone appointment with my doctor, she explained that my hormones are in the goal range for a woman my age.

My endocrinologist had the same approach. :(  The problem is we are not post menopaused women even though we are in that age!  We are transitioning transsexual women and we need the higher estrogen to go through our "second puberty."   Some doctors understand this and want higher levels, others don't, their concern about increased risks is also valid.

After 30 months on HRT I too barely had a A.  I had to use push up pads to get a reasonable looking bust for someone my size. I am 183 cm and 73 Kilo.  So I had the BA and threw out the push up pads!  I now have a natural looking B, plus I too can go braless as the implants are relatively small, 300cc.  Exceedingly happy with my decision. :)

Thank you @Dorit for the compliment. I had the same problem trying to convince my doctor that I'm going through puberty and should have comparable E levels, but Kaiser does it best to keep levels much lower. At least I'm at the one-year mark and going out more as Laura.

Unless my boobs grow into a B cup in the next 18 months, I plan to have BA too.

Laura
Title: Re: Laura's HRT Progress
Post by: Laura1951 on October 08, 2020, 02:57:43 pm
First off, I am so happy to read ALL of the good reports from all that have contributed to this thread.

I agree completely with your reply comment....  except for a few edits that apply to my own journey:
           When I turned 70 35
           Three Five years later I have completed my transition and am deeply grateful and happy.


*** It seems to me that one's age has less to do with successes in our transitions than most people think.  Transition is not just in our bodies, but also in our mental state and our self-confidence.

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories.[/size]

Well, doesn't @Danielle look adorable with a face mask.

thank you for your continued encouragement. You're right that while transition is at first about our bodies, our mental state and confidence must transition as well. Now that I'm at the one-year mark, I need to get out more so I can build my confidence.

Laura