Tuesday, September 27, 2016

LIFE ON A SECOND OPINION midnight special


Read on Facebook stickit2stage4 today the fine 2nd opinion piece from Beth Caldwell  on her new hope for an incredible combination of rough diseases.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

TAMOXIFEN - What does it really do? How is it really different?

Today I got an e-mail from   a CA Breast Cancer site I once supported.  One issue mentioned in the  "letter" from their Exec Director, was a study on aromatase inhibitors.  I don't take them, but I still glanced at her June 7 post.

She mentions the "San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium which showed that extending treatment with tamoxifen reduced both recurrence of and death from breast cancer."  and mentions that she wrote about that symposium and the Atlas Study at that time.

I clicked the link to what she had written then.  And was dismayed to find this: "Tamoxifen is an anti-estrogen drug given to women with hormone sensitive breast cancer to prevent spread and recurrence."

 In fact, anti-estrogen is the opposite of  Tamoxifen--   

Pre-menopausal women get Tamoxifen because it does NOT destroy or prevent estrogen.

Here's what Tamoxifen does: 

Cancer Research UK:
Tamoxifen works by locking on to the oestrogen receptors to block oestrogen from attaching to them. The oestrogen cannot then stimulate the cells to divide and grow. "  (bold is mine)  

 For me, this is a very important difference, a vital difference.  At my age, if my body produces a bit of estrogen, I want to consider that that might not be all bad!  

So I refer you to what the Nat'l Cancer Institute says on hormone treatment and what SERMS like Tamoxifen can do. 

 "Most SERMs behave as estrogen antagonists in some tissues and as estrogen agonists in other tissues. For example, tamoxifen blocks the effects of estrogen in breast tissue but acts like estrogen in the uterus and bone."


PS Even my oncologist mentions now and then that Tamoxifen is thought to have deposited some new bone on hips. And one of my hips is where I'm hoping for a little help with my osteoporosis.  


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BELOW THE BELT - more about some parts that aren't working perfectly

I once had a need to pee too often.  It wasn't a doctor or nurse who saved me - maybe a book or magazine or friend said a magic word Kegel exercises.  Recently I'm having those urges again.

Why aren't my nurses and my Gyno handing out Kegel info as a sort of preventive move?  You can print it out on Mayo clinic - they tell if Kegels will probably help you and when they might not.

Maybe your complaint is not frequent urination, but something is irritating your perineum, and you don't want to hear about exercises until this is fixed.

In fact, I have both problems. I've learned several things can make our perineum very unhappy.  Mine has been unhappy before. A male doctor (and his nurse) listened to the perineum problem and clued me into what might work.?  They agreed that Clotrimazole OTC might help.  It did.  More recently, a Texas NP wrote me a scrip for a combination cream containing it. She said I could use it anywhere, but I DON"T use it inside the vagina and don't get it near my eyes.  Ever.

Also, isn't it possible that a hard-to-ignore irritation may start if we're taking tamoxifen or meds that completely stop estrogen production -- we've been gifted with our own Second Menopause, and our perineum is getting nothing. Hmm.  Ask your oncologist on that one.  Other patients may have noticed the same thing.

Furthermore - It seems when my perineum is irritated, I feel a need to urinate more often, and my pee-ometer (early warning system) in my head gets confused.

By the way, when more and more women started working, I read some reminders that we should empty our bladders completely instead of rushing back to work too soon.

Finally, As we get older, they say our senses get weaker - doesn't this include the sense that notices we may need to pee soon?  Should be maybe looking for the bathroom locations when we enter the building?

Infuriating hour-long phone conversations with the internet service taught me that I can retain a very full bladder longer than I think I can, if I must.  But I don't risk it for fun.

Ask your doctor.  Then ask her nurse.  Then ask your other doctor.  But ask before you exercise and before you use any medicine.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


This is from Sunrise Rounds.  I get it on e-mail, but you can go to his website.


Posted by  on Sep 6, 2016 in End of LifeFeatured | 5 comments
An older friend of mine a couple of years ago said before she was convinced to go and live near her daughter:
"I wish I were doing something worthwhile."
Dr. Salwitz knows about this need.  I'm encouraged when even one doctor says he does know.