Friday, June 5, 2015

TAMOXIFEN - A Month off?

My health was not marvelous before DCIS.  I came to Texas with a background of ailments, 10 weeks after lumbar fusion.  Before I felt “over” the spine issues, I got that mammogram and fell onto the “down escalator” of Do This, Do That.  No one said I could “wait and see.”

After the successful lumpectomy, the surgeon said, “You don’t have to do anything.”  But he gave me some names of two people he thought I should meet: The Radiation Oncologist gave me a hard sell, and I had looked at an interactive decision aid on line. I had radiation.

Afterward, the Medical Oncologist said, “You’re cured.  But we have…”  I told him I was interested in Tamoxifen.  I quickly got far LESS interested, despite his encouragements.

Recently, after about a year, I told him I just wasn’t doing well.  He asked me to tell him all about it (making him one in a million Drs.)  He talked to me for a while, then suggested I try going without it for a month. I smiled.  I hoped the month would settle whether Tamoxifen was causing my mood, fatigue, aches and pains, my sleep problems, and my swollen and painful feet that kept me from all the walking I’m supposed to do to stay alive.   

What is not better after 2 1/2 weeks' off Tamoxifen?  My feet still hurt at random times and when I wake.  I still have some aches and pains despite months of PTh for strength.  I still have headaches and occasionally wake during the night from muscle pains that Gabapentin hasn’t masked.  I still often have amazing fatigue, some of which may be caused by complications such as planning to move and getting a call about slightly high blood sugar from my GPs office. I often just don’t want to do anything. Depression?

What is better after 2 ½ weeks"vacation?"  I feel more intelligent (go ahead and laugh.)  Sometimes easier to remember where I put things, make plans, adapt.  Not so many pains.  My feet are less swollen, and I even forgot my home-made metatarsal pads for two or three days.   

The Tamoxifen-free month will end on my birthday, the date of our next Onco appointment.  By then I will have the results of my blood sugar test and of the labs ordered by my oncologist. It's hard not to think about them...

Right now I guess I’ll probably vote to go back on those little white pills.  But being a web addict, I still look for info on blood sugar and tamox.

I wish you health.

 Coming soon:  conflicting articles on Tamoxifen and diabetes

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