Log in to post a reply
Aug 31, 2017 03:07AM
Medea - it's hard to answer your question, as there is no guarantee that taking Tamoxifen will keep you from a recurrence, nor that not taking it will cause a recurrence. Our experience will not be yours, but as you asked for our experiences, I'll share mine.
I had ER+ BC five years ago with a very high Oncotype score (42); my chance of recurrence after chemo AND Tamoxifen was still 18%. I tried Tamoxifen for a few months and had bad side effects so I switched to Aromasin; that was worse so I went back to Tamoxifen. After nine months I stopped. Four years later I had a local recurrence (same spot/same breast) but this time the cancer was triple negative - no option to take Tamoxifen. Six months after completing chemo, I was diagnosed with mets to my bones and am now Stage IV. So, sorry - I didn't overcome BC without Tamoxifen, even with an original ER+ BC that was 13 mm.
When I chose to stop taking Tamoxifen I knew my risks of recurrence. I made peace with myself that I wouldn't ever blame myself should I recur. While the side effects can be difficult, you won't know if you're going to have any until you try it, so I encourage you to do so. You can always stop if it's too much - but you can't "take it back" if you don't and wind up with metastatic disease. All I know is that when someone has a metastatic recurrence and is ER+, one of the first treatments often given is Tamoxifen. My oncologist was adamant that Tamoxifen was just as powerful, if not more so, than chemotherapy in treating our disease
All we have is our experiences, which include our emotions and opinions of this disease and treatments. It's hard to give you one without the other.
I hope you find the answers you're looking for.
"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam
11/22/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
12/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
1/19/2012 AC + T (Taxol)
6/12/2012 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
1/27/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
2/15/2016 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left
3/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
7/21/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap
1/31/2017, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone