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Stage III and almost 6 years on hormone therapy

toughcookie Member Posts: 5
edited February 28 in Stage III Breast Cancer

I’m about six years cancer free. I had a bilateral mastectomy with 14 cancerous nodes, rads and chemo, and my onc recommended I continue hormone therapy for another four years for a total of 10. I’ve switched back and forth between letrozole, exemestane and tamoxifen due to side fx. I lasted almost 4 years on tam but last fall the hot flashes, weakness and fatigue was too debilitating took a break for a few months and then decided to try exemestane again. This time the joint pain wasn't too bad but I’m now into my third month and the hot flashes are increasing as well as the fatigue along with insomnia, depression and anxiety/worry. I’ve never experienced anxiety like this in my life. Sometimes I don’t even want to leave the house! I’m seriously considering quitting HT. I know I have a high risk of recurrence with 14 cancerous nodes but my life is miserable. I don’t have a family but I do have pets and want to be around for at least another 7-8 years to ensure I outlive them. Has anyone else who was stage 3 ended their hormone therapy and lived to tell the tale five plus years on?


  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,632


    Can you get your onc to run the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) test? That can test your tumor to determine whether or not it will benefit from additional hormone therapy. Also, when exemestane made me moody, my onc prescribed a low dose of Celexa which did the trick.

    I did eight years of exemestane + Zoladex but quit after the BCI test said that I wouldn't benefit from additional hormone therapy.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    I think if you have multiple nodes positive, you can't get the BCI test. I had 4 positive and was told it wouldn't affect my course of treatment, which right now is just Arimidex and a prolia shot every 6 months. I'm in my tenth year of taking it and I'll fully admit, I've been lucky that I had minimal effects the first year, and nothing since. I stop it on December 20th.

    I do have a cough, and hoping it's just a result of the high pollen count we have!

  • m_and_g
    m_and_g Member Posts: 14

    I will hit the 5-year mark for Letrozole on April 5th. I am going to crawl across the finish line and that is it for me. I might switch to another hormone therapy but am finished with Letrozole. I can barely function due to the fatigue and anxiety.