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I made it to my 15th year...so who knows where I go from here!

sugarplum
sugarplum Member Posts: 70
edited September 2021 in Stage III Breast Cancer

When I was diagnosed, I didn't even expect to get 15 MONTHS. How perspective can change! This latest period in my life has brought new challenges and decisions to be made: my oncologist has finally broached the dreaded subject of stopping my Arimidex, since the data suggests it may be doing me more harm than good at age 65. We will be pursuing a DEXA scan and cholesterol testing before I meet with him in June for his final decision. And this Friday I have my first echocardiogram in almost a year, to find out if my chemo-damaged heart is still plateaued at an ejection fraction of 45%. Then there'll be the question of when to replace my 15-year-old silicone implants, which have also lived a good long time past surgery.

I realize I'm incredibly lucky to have survived long enough to face these decisions at all! Now I finally get to post on Weesa's 15-year thread - hoping to be joined eventually by many more of you!

All the best to all my survivor sisters - Julie

Comments

  • humblepeace
    humblepeace Member Posts: 85

    Congratulations 🎈🎊🎉 Sugarplum!!

    Humblepeace

  • hopefour
    hopefour Member Posts: 104

    Thank you for sharing your celebration with us!! 15 years is such a wonderful blessing. I will hit 10 years in May and I too am not sure when I should end or if I should end my hormone blocker. When you say more damage then good....what does that mean. I thought I might just stay on the hormone blocker for life?!?! Again, congrats and prayers for 15 more at least!!

  • hopeful82014
    hopeful82014 Member Posts: 887

    Congratulations, Julie!

    Thank you for coming here to share your experience; I appreciate that it gives hope without sugar-coating. Hoping all your current testing comes out well and you can enjoy this spring and summer with a light spirit.

    Hopeful

  • sugarplum
    sugarplum Member Posts: 70

    Thank you all! Hopefour, what my onc is concerned about with the Arimidex is bone loss and/or high cholesterol. My bone density took a dive after I started my AI in 2006, so I had 6 annual infusions of Reclast until things finally stabilized. As for my cholesterol, I had traditionally been down at 160 or so, but a few years ago it crept up to 197 so he wants to take another look at that since I already have heart issues from the chemo.

    Will keep you guys posted on how things turn out!

    Julie


  • yatcomw
    yatcomw Member Posts: 57

    Congratulations.......I say the same thing......"might not be good news but at least I am around to complain about it".....I hope your health issues get resolved. Great to see so many adding to the 15 year milestone.


    Jacqueline

  • stephilosphy00
    stephilosphy00 Member Posts: 161

    Thank you for giving us hope!

  • newnorm
    newnorm Member Posts: 53

    Congratulations Julie, that's a wonderful milestone and well worth celebrating. All of us find your story and many others on these boards inspirational. We all have an obligation to the newbies to post and let others know how we are doing. God knows I trolled these boards looking for hope in the early days after diagnosis, and your posts always gave me hope. Thank you and congratulations. Can't wait to read your post on the 20 year board. Keryn. X

  • hopefour
    hopefour Member Posts: 104

    Sugarplum....Thank you for letting me know what you are watching for...yes, bone loss and high cholesterol. Been watching for both and so far stable in both. You are my hero and I will stay on my Als till 15 years also....Lord willing. Thank you for calling back to those behind you as BC past 5-10 years doesn't come with much info!! Trying to stay NED for as long as possible if not forever!!

    Thank you, Bonnie

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,501

    Julie - congrats on 15 years - February was 15 years for me - my implants are 13 years. Quit AIs in 2010. Same age as you. DEXA scan due in August - hopefully the Prolia has made an improvement in my bone density - osteoporois.

    All the best to you.

  • victoriasecret
    victoriasecret Member Posts: 37

    WOOT WOOT just popped in to post my cancerversary and realized its in 5 days.... so happy for you !!






  • sugarplum
    sugarplum Member Posts: 70

    Circling back around with updates! Bone density still pretty stable, cholesterol down a few points from last time so I'm still under 200, but my glucose was a few points too high (please don't tell me I have to stop eating my Ben & Jerry's!) so my GP said we'll just keep an eye on it. Onc said he'd like me to take a medication vacation and go off Arimidex for a couple of months at the end of this year just to see how it makes me feel. He was so kind and he really gets me: he promised he'd renew my prescription if my quality of life plummets due to the anxiety of flying without a net! My plastic surgeon said the implants still feel OK to him, but he's scheduled an ultrasound for me just to make sure I don't have any breaks. If that all looks OK, he's agreeable to seeing me annually instead of every 2 years & we'll deal with exchange surgery when it becomes absolutely necessary. As for my echocardiogram, it showed my ejection fraction at 46% which is a perfectly acceptable plateau, and of course I'm still protected by my defibrillator implant (which is now 3 years old and still showing an 8-year battery life left in it!). One startling and sobering development is that my beloved cardiologist passed away a few weeks ago (I didn't even know he was sick) so I need to begin the impossible task of finding his replacement, something I'd never thought about having to face. Life is full of tricks, isn't it...

    All my best to all of you - Julie

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474

    thanks for the update. I have been on Arimidex 5 1/2 yrs and dis not know it could be the culprit of my high cholesterol. I had 10 positive nodes so going off it may never be an option for me but I don't really want to limit or to the med list. Already had to add daily eye drops for eye pressure ( working...but still something else to manage. A weak complaint given so many have to deal with much worse).

  • hopefour
    hopefour Member Posts: 104

    sugarplum, thank you for your up-date! Grateful you are doing so well!! !My Onc wants to stop my hormone meds at 10 years...this Jan. and I don't!! I am doing very well on them and feel a security I don't want to give up. Not sure how to look for a new Onc who will keep me on them. My cancer was a grade one and fear it will return later then 10 years!! Carry on and thank you for your encouragement!!

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224

    Congratulations, Julie! Looking up to you and hope to follow in your steps.

  • candilea
    candilea Member Posts: 13

    Congratulations!!!! I love to check this board whenever I'm feeling a little blue, so your post is wonderful!

  • jinx27
    jinx27 Member Posts: 119

    Sending congrats and love to all of you ladies! This month makes my 6th year out of my original dx. Whew!! Time flies, here is to many more beautiful years. Heart