Personal Success

Tamoxifen, shmuhmoxifen….

OK, so my oncologist made a boo-boo.

He called me the morning after our meeting (at 6:55am to be exact) to apologize profusely and inform me that upon further review of my pathology report, he DOES recommend Tamoxifen. I was a little crestfallen, but it was what I expected all along, so there you go. I was also a bit wary because during our meeting, he gave me his personal philosophy on breast cancer:  that it is caused by prolonged use of hormone therapies, including birth control pills. Now, he is recommending that I take a pill every single day for the next five years?

I had my second oncologist consultation a couple days later. She vigorously recommended the same thing and was the first to give me NUMBERS to the risk: Five years on Tamoxifen CAN lead to an increase of 1 to 2% chance of uterine cancer. 1 to 2%? I thought it was something like 30%. I weighed the 1-2% uterine cancer against 6% invasive breast cancer recurrence (it could show up in the lung, liver, bones, anywhere…).

So I filled the prescription and am now taking the meds. So far, it does not seem like I have any side effects.  Because I’m back on a drain, I’m also taking horse pill antibiotics.  This process is a long one and I am trying to ignore the fact that I can feel the hard tissue expanders in my chest all the time. Occasionally, the pain wakes me in middle of the night and I have trouble going back to sleep. Maybe this is why I’ve been more emotional lately, crying at the drop of a hat again: lack of sleep.

I Googled “emotional stages of breast cancer” and got the following link:

http://breastcancer.about.com/od/lifeduringtreatment/ss/emotion_stages.htm

It’s all true. I am in the final stages of “grief”: acceptance and fight. Sometimes, I grapple with the hope part, because I’ve had setbacks at each stage.  The girls and hubby keep me happy. It’s all a process. This will take a long time, I just need to remember to enjoy all there is to enjoy in the meantime.

3 thoughts on “Tamoxifen, shmuhmoxifen….

  1. Caroline,
    Please know that through your journey – as I have followed you from afar – I have said to myself again and again, “I hope I would have her attitude…. I hope that I would have her will to smile and laugh….I hope I would be as positive and upbeat as Caroline….”
    You are a role-model: strong and brave (that doesn’t mean being perky all the time) and I hope that when I am faced with such a monumentally difficult “something” I will be able to look back on your example and let it guide me. I can only image the strong example you are setting for those close to you, especially your daughters.
    Know that you are a blessing to many – even those you don’t know are here.
    God Bless you,
    Barb

    Like

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