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Nov 19, 2018 05:23PM
Rio, I am 61, diagnosed this last year. I am hyperventilating at the thought of a 31 year old with Stage 3 hormone receptive breast cancer not taking anti-hormone therapy. Please don’t be offended by my response. I get struggling with the thought of side effects...but at your young age you have estrogen pouring through your body. If that isn’t addressed you will have a recurrence. You have been through the worst treatment that a cancer diagnosis can deal out to you: BMX, Reconstruction, chemo therapy and radiation. I promise you that if you can handle all of that you can handle side effects from Tamoxifin and/or Zoladex. Your ovaries have to be shut down...unfortunately that means that you are going to experience menspause at an early age. And on top of that you have two adrenal glands that are producing 20% of your estrogen. It sucks but it’s doable. I have found that for every SE that I think is attributed to Anastrazole, I can find a solution to keep it at bay.
It’s easy to think that after all you have thrown at this beast that you are done and all is okay. It should be but all is not okay. Life style changes, keto diet, supplements, etc. are all very important to your post cancer care. It just won’t be enough to fend off a recurrence. Think of the California wildfires...the fire is your cancer...the wind and extremely dry landscape are your hormones. They fuel the fire and keep it going
Regarding your cancer team...probably just about everyone on this web site has had thoughts that conventional anti-hormonal treatment is the MO’s “go to” treatment plan and just maybe it won’t be necessary. Those are thoughts I had early on in my diagnosis and treatment plan. I had Anastrazole in my bathroom cabinet for two months...frightened of the side effects. I finally made peace with it and started taking it. I am now grateful that I have this little pill that may prevent any future recurrence. Your cancer team is trying to keep you alive for a very long time. The longer I am on it the more confident I am that it’s doing its job.
When I was 31, I wasn’t planning on having children either. I married a man ten years older and had a vasectomy from a previous marriage. I was relieved to know that he wouldn’t be pressuring me to have babies and stay home. I had a wonderful corporate job that let me travel. It was a marvelous time in our lives. By 34, the maternal hormones raised their head. All that I didn’t want at age 31 was all I wanted at age 34. We built our family through adoption. My point in telling you all of this is to say life changes. You sound like you love life and all that it offers. You may not have children but you do have others in your life who love you and want you to be around for a long time. Now is not the time to roll the dice.You are too young and you have too much life ahead of you.
Sorry for the long post and sorry my maternal instincts kicked in..but I have a 33 year old daughter and if she declined to take it I would be crushing it up in her cereal every morning. You might read the Stage IV metastatic breast cancer discussion board. Don’t post...just read. It is an eye opener what awaits us if we get metastatic breast cancer.
You are in my thoughts as you make your decision🙏.
Diagnosed at 60 years old. Oncotype Score=14.
12/4/2017, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/4/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
2/22/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap