Auckland & Waikato Girls' Lunch – Sunday April 26, 2009

I just wanted to report back on our afternoon in the Waikato.

Well, we all managed to find the venue and that was my biggest concern, so in my books, it was a huge success!

Six of us came to the lunch and we all had a great time. We were totally over-fed on the very generous portions of the hearty fare on offer at the Rangiriri Hotel, but no-one was complaining as it was just delicious. We had a little alcove all to ourselves where we chatted for a couple of hours about where we're at with our own situations and also shared our experiences and knowledge which helped us all to consolidate our understanding of the various aspects of this diagnosis.

HRT is always high up on the list when we get together, and yesterday was no different. We all struggle with the unknown long-term health implications of taking HRT, but we discussed how it is important to keep it all in perspective and realise that there are millions of women our age out there on the pill, taking much higher doses of hormones than we are, and no-one's too worried about them. Also, we are simply replacing the hormones that our bodies are supposed to be producing. So, far from increasing our risk of breast cancer and stroke, we are simply returning them to the same level as our menstruating peers. It's like the diabetic who takes insulin to replace the hormone they lack. This is how my specialist explained it to me and it's what I try to remember when I start having doubts.

Bone health was also a major topic yesterday and we discussed the various ways we can look after it, whether that be exercise + diet, calcium + vitamin D supplements, HRT or some combination of the lot. Like all 'treatments', this is a personal decision that each woman has to feel happy with for herself. A chat with your health practitioner might help you sort out what's the best course of action for you.

We also discussed IVF as many of us have tried/are trying it in some form or another. At the end of the lunch, we realised that we were all coming from a slightly different place on the family-making spectrum. We had one member who was lucky enough to spontaneously conceive after her diagnosis, and her 6-month old, who came to the lunch, was quite the centre of attention all afternoon! Then there was another member who had gone the adoption route, another who'd completed her family through DE IVF, another currently pregnant, another about to go through her second cycle, and another still deciding what to do next after an unsuccessful cycle. I hadn't noticed this earlier and I thought it was very interesting that we all came together and all had slightly different experiences & knowledge that we were able to pass on to each other.

There really is such a wealth of knowledge and experience among our membership, and such a willingness to share and help others on their journey. I'd like to personally thank everyone who came yesterday for taking the time out of their weekend to give (and hopefully receive) such genuine and heartfelt support. You're all beautiful!

Let's do it again soon!

Nicole x

If you've read this and think you might like to meet others in your area, please email me at and I'll do my best to help you.