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Is it the flu? Or a recurrence of my Cancer?

With all the measures in place to protect us from Covid, I've managed to avoid getting a cold or flu as well over the past few years. But when I really do feel sick on occasion (i.e. sicker than the mild nausea, muscle aches and headaches I get on Tamoxifen) I get so anxious. I'm almost five years post diagnosis, but the fear of recurrence is still there (I was stage 3). I've just realized as I've been sick for almost five days now (two rapid Covid tests were negative). I'm not bedridden, but God I don't feel well. Has anyone noticed an increase in their hormone therapy drug side effects after taking them for a few years? I'm hoping it's the drugs or a mild bug making me sick, and not my Cancer returning. Anyone else have a scare like this and it turned out to be nothing ominous? Unfortunately I can't get a doctor's appointment until next week.


  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited May 2022

    Toughcookie I am on tamoxifen as well and now almost four years in the past month or so has been very rough. Sure enough I double checked the pill bottle and the last refill generic was different. The pill markers are different even though the label indicated the manufacturer was the same. Could that possibly be the case for you? Otherwise I do find that if I have another trigger such as allergies, stress etc my side effects seem to shift dynamically. Hope you get to feeling better.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
    edited May 2022
    There's no way to know for sure without testing. Most symptoms of cancer don't seem like the flu though. If you don't start getting better soon I'd check in with your primary care doctor. Might be worth getting a PCR covid test just in case since rapid ones can be negative for days after you actually have covid.
  • toughcookie
    toughcookie Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2022

    thanks! I'll ask the pharmacy as I'm about two months into my current prescription. It gets refilled every two months, so maybe it was a different brand.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,159
    edited May 2022

    I would agree with Parakeetsrule and you might want to get a PCR test. You can just go to a walk-in and get one. I had all the shots, wear a mask everywhere, stay home most of the time, etc., and last April I thought my usual sniffles were turning into a sinus infection. Then I got a sore throat, and it started to move to my chest a bit, and then came a fever. I thought I needed to go get an antibiotic for my "getting out of hand" sinuses, and assumed they would do a routine Covid test "just because". Lo and behold, I had Covid, so don't be sure you're symptoms aren't. I was also told that the home tests, rapid tests, etc. will show you as negative real soon after you have symptoms, and that only a PCR or NAAT test is sensitive enough to let you really know if it is Covid or not. I was able to manage it all at home, but even all this time later, I am dealing with a lot of fatigue, brain fog, and muscle aches. Interesting that I get those symptoms from Letrozole also, but this is noticeably different, and on top of the hormone treatment, so if it was me, I wouldn't rule out Covid.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 727
    edited May 2022

    I had a mild throat ache on Friday. I did a rapid test. It was negative, so I went to work. Felt better Saturday morning, and then worse Saturday evening and quite bad on Sunday. On Sunday I did another rapid test and it was positive. I think it can take a few days after symptoms start for a rapid test to turn positive - I've heard similar from others.

    It seems like this latest variant is getting most people I know who hadn't had it yet, including me.