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Topic: Staring at my Tamoxifen Rx

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: May 28, 2012 05:55PM

Sandyland wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I just finished with my active cancer treatments...Mastectomy, ACT Chemo, and 36 Radiation treatments.  Now, I find myself starting at (but not filling) my Tamoxifen Rx.

I'm tired, exhausted really.  I have treatment fatigue and I cannot scrounge up ANY motivation to fill this Rx and begin YET ANOTHER cancer treatment and face all the potential side effects that might follow.

I've managed to keep a pretty sunny outlook through all of this (until lately) and now that the hard stuff is over, I can't bring myself to do the easiest thing of all....take one pill a day. Is anyone else facing this??  HELP!!

SAN :-\

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 28, 2012 06:14PM Jennt28 wrote:

I will be there in a couple of months right behind you... Maybe you could get someone else to go fill the script for you and you can then stare at the bottle ie: one step at a time :-)

There is a thread on here where women with no SEs (or minor ones) have commented. I have been reading that thread and mentally telling myself I could be one of those women. I have also been telling myself that if I do end up with SEs I will either handle them or I can make the choice to not take it - but I will give it a good go.

Is there a counciller at your centre you could talk to? I know on our rads thread we were just saying we are tired of putting on our "big girl pants". They are all so stretched and uncomfortable from being worn so much...

Jenn

Jennt28 jennt28.wordpress.com/ - 3 x FEC, 11x weekly Taxol, 12 months Herceptin (end March 2013), 12 days rads (quit), BMX with recon, Tamoxifen Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 12/6/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Surgery 9/27/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Surgery 1/27/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Hormonal Therapy 3/9/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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May 28, 2012 06:37PM itsjustme10 wrote:

Just fill it, as you would fill an Rx for antibiotics or anything else.  Try it - either you will or you won't have side effects. 

 If you don't have side effects, great, think of it as a daily  "Vitamin Anti-Cancer". 

If you do have side effects, then you have to think about whether to continue or not, and what route you want to go. 

But, you won't know until you try it.  The sooner you start it, the sooner you'll know either way, and the sooner you'll finish, again, either way.  Staring at it won't give you those answers.

Hmm... I think I should get a job as a motivational speaker. Tongue out

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May 28, 2012 06:45PM LauraOntario wrote:

I'm on tamoxifen and I have hot flashes, but that's about it.  Maybe weight gain, too, but I'm on other pills that cause weight gain.  I know you're sick of all the treatments, but like itsjustme10 said, you won't know until you try it.  One good thing--no more periods.  Hope things go well for you.

 Laura 

Dx 4/18/2011, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+
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May 28, 2012 10:04PM Joanne_53 wrote:

I have been on Tamoxifen since Easter and have had no s/e -- I was having hot flashes before .... I do not believe I have weight gain but have not been watching what I eat so will not blame tamoxifen for that -- it is my fault - bad habits and choices. 

Good luck Sandy -- just do it -- I like the "vitamin anti-cancer" -- get the script filled and then stare at the bottle ;)

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 28, 2012 10:28PM SelenaWolf wrote:

I started tamoxifen in February and have experienced mild- to moderate side effects that have eased with use.  The first thing I noticed was a clear, steady, vaginal discharge that persisted on- and of for about 6 weeks.  Then, it disappeared.  Now, I only see it once-in-a-while.  I've, also, experienced occasional hot flashes, but not nearly as bad as the ones I had while having chemotherapy.  Those were doozies! 

Other side effects I've noticed are: breast pain; joint pain (limited to hands, feet and knees); and weight loss (about 5- to 10 pounds).  All of these side effects have been mild and do not interfere in quality of life.  For the most part, I've been pretty pleased.

"... good girls never made history ..."
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May 28, 2012 10:58PM sbaaronson wrote:

Hi,

I have been on it for about a year. I had a plethora of SE's, water retention, joint pain, fatigue, weight gain... I saw a doctor at the Simms-Mann Integrated Oncology center at UCLA. She gave me herbs and supplements to manage the SE's. I still struggle from time to time with fatigue and am battling to take off the weight but other than that, I am doing fine on the drug.

When I was upset at the thought of yet another drug, I reminded myself that it was worth (my life) to give it a try.

You can always go off it. Give it a try. And, find someone who can help you deal with any SE's.

Dx 8/15/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 28, 2012 11:03PM jenn333 wrote:

I've been on Tamox since January and my only SEs have been a few warm waves and occasional dehydration. Easily fixed. I'm glad to take my pill each day - it makes me feel like I'm doing something to help prevent recurrence. Don't assume you'll have debilitating SEs. Most people don't, they just don't hang around to talk about it.

Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/14/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy 11/15/2011 Hormonal Therapy 1/28/2012
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May 28, 2012 11:18PM Joanne_53 wrote:

selena --- you talk about a discharge .... I find that I am having bladder problems -- not incontinence or anything but weak bladder --- I cannot say that there is an infection because it is not painful and I am not having to go more often ...

anyone else like this?

boy we do talk about anything and everything :)

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 28, 2012 11:23PM Sandyland wrote:

Thanks everyone :)

I suffered pretty good "chemopause" so I have had months of severe hot flashes, which have just recently gotten noticeably more mild.  I think that is part of my hesitation.  Although....while I am enjoying the break from feeling like I was about to spontaneously combust EVERY 20 MINUTES (not kidding), I am also aware that the absence of the hot flashes likely means that my ovaries are producing hormones again, which is a bad thing.  My 5cm+, grade 3 tumor was 98% pos for estrogen and 99% pos for progesterone.  I am well aware that hormone therapy is as critical to my future health as chemo and radiation were.

It's really not fear keeping me from jumping on the Tamox train...it's more like apathy.  I felt super empowered and maintained a really good attitude from diagnosis through surgery and chemo.  Right around the beginning of rads I began to feel pretty emotionally drained and, recently (the last 2-3 weeks), I have been experiencing this profound apathy.  I just don't seem to care anymore.  In a word...I feel "Done."  I'm not sure how to shake it or how to motivate myself again.

The great irony is ~ I am a motivational speaker!  Actually, I am a professional business coach and consultant, but inspirational conferences and motivating business professionals is what I do for a living.  Last week I travelled to Austin and conducted 2 solid days of meetings.  I was my "old" self, but it didn't come naturally anymore...it was manufactured.  Also, after those 2 days, I thought I wasn't going to be able to get out of bed for a week.  Something is very wrong with me.

SAN 

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 28, 2012 11:58PM Jennt28 wrote:

3 words - Post Traumatic Stress...

:-/

Jenn

Jennt28 jennt28.wordpress.com/ - 3 x FEC, 11x weekly Taxol, 12 months Herceptin (end March 2013), 12 days rads (quit), BMX with recon, Tamoxifen Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 12/6/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Surgery 9/27/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Surgery 1/27/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Hormonal Therapy 3/9/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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May 29, 2012 12:20AM Joanne_53 wrote:

Jenn -- you said it -- I feel like me sometimes but other times I think ... who are you?

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 29, 2012 02:59AM chantillywoman wrote:

Well.... I filled the prescription on April 17,2012... 20 mg. per day.... I was supposed to take... I stared at the bottle till May 6,2012... yepe... took me 3 weeks of staring at it and being scared of it.... Well I decided... It's just a pill... a teeney tiny pill.... from what I've been reading... s/e can be kept to a minimum by dividing my pill in 1/2 take 1/2 at 5 in the morning and 1/2 at 5 in the evening... I've been doing that since May 6th and can't find any s/e... nodda... nothing.... so far so good... Wink.  No point in being scared of it... ...Maybe it'll take longer for me to get those s/e... and maybe I won't get them at all.... that's what I'm hoping for.  Now... I sailed through the change... not hot flashes or mood swings... ahhhh maybe a couple of mood swings... but that's just me... sooo ... if you're scared of taking it... don't be ... it's a journey... and when I think of s/e well heck... read the s/e of aspirins... they can be something else... just saying... ... good luck... ... all is good here...

Betty J. (Chantillywoman)

Dx 10/12/2011, IDC, 1cm, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 29, 2012 03:36AM Joanne_53 wrote:

Betty you are so right about s/e -- everything has them and we wouldn't take anything ....

Why are you splitting your pills?  Are you going to try to take them full eventually?

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 29, 2012 03:50AM - edited May 29, 2012 03:51AM by marieB

Hi sandy and gals.... I so feel for you and where you are....It does seem never ending... Just wanted to say that I started on April fools day (ha ha) and started with half dose...with oncs blessing.... Saw her 6 weeks later ( about two wks ago) and she is letting me stay on half dose through summer.... Main SE's I have are hot flashes....so I could have kissed her! I,m not saying to do this on your own.... But maybe ask your onc if you could ease into...... I take mine right before bed so I don't have to think too much about it....wishing you good luck that you'll sail through with no SE's.........

Dx 5/26/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/12/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 29, 2012 04:51AM Sandyland wrote:

Robo ~ I actually asked about the 1/2 pill option a week or so ago when I last saw my MO (and she wrote the Rx).  She wasn't in favor of that for me.  I know my team well enough that if I insisted, she would relent, but I think I'll give it a go at regular strength and see how it works.  I have heard compelling evidence that taking the pill in the morning helps with the possible sleeplessness SE though, so I will definitely do that.

Jenn ~ Funny you say that about PTSD.  I wouldn't have pegged myself as someone who might suffer from that, but my husband suggested something similar to me today when we were talking about it.  He thinks that I was fully prepared (emotionally, mentally, etc) for the impending difficulty of surgery, chemo and rads.  What I was fully unprepared for was all of it ending.  He thinks I am finally coming out of "survival mode" and processing the enormity of the last 10 months.  Very possible.

Joanne ~ It's so fun to see you on my new thread! =]

Sooo...funny story.  With the encouragement of all you wonderful ladies, I finally decided to bite the bullet and fill my Rx today.  DH took me to the drug store, specifically to fill this...and get wine, of course.  So we get all the way there and my Rx is not in my purse.  I was dumbfounded.  I remember putting it in there.  So we got the wine, some toothpaste and some Vit E lotion for my ongoing radiation burns and came home.  I found my Rx (which I must have taken out of my purse) clipped together with all my business receipts from my recent business trip.  Seriously??  Can you say subconsciously sabotaging??

I'll give it another go tomorrow.  Wish me luck...hahaha!

SAN

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 29, 2012 04:54AM Sandyland wrote:

Hey Robo ~ Where in Chicago are you from?  I was born in Villa Park, Naperville thru 7th grade, Wheaton thru high school, then back to Naperville after 16 years in SoCal.  We moved back to Southern CA in 2010 and I don't plan to ever move again!

SAN

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 29, 2012 02:56PM Joanne_53 wrote:

SAN - does that mean when you go back tomorrow you get to buy more wine .....

I didn't have chemo but dealing with the rad effects and to be honest I think I am having PTSD --- from the minute of the diagnosis we are prepared for what is going to be given to us .... and now we are on the mend physically but emotionally I think I am struggling.  My friends and family might not see this part -- good face but I know I am not ME ... ikes .. is this the new me?

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 29, 2012 03:18PM SelenaWolf wrote:

One of my friends, who just happens to be a retired nurse, warned me towards the end of treatment to keep an eye out for symptoms of PTSD.  I thought, NAAAAH!  I'm doing GREAT!!!  Can't wait to finish and get a move on with my life.  Then... with only two more weeks of radiation left, the emotional side of things just started to crush me.  Just when my family was getting excited about my finishing treatment; I was - quite literally - terrified.  No one understood.  Except my wise nurse-friend.

"... good girls never made history ..."
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May 29, 2012 03:31PM marieB wrote:

Sandyland... I have lived downtown for 20 so years.... Still there, but also in western burbs with boyfriend. I'm about 15 minutes from Naperville-Wheaton. Your old stomping grounds!! I moved to LA about 7 years ago (when I turned 40 - mid life crisis move!!)  Lived there for 4 years.... it was tough. Mainly because I moved by myself...with no real plan! Made the best of it, but couldn't wait to get back to the Midwest, and all that snow!! I was in WestHollywood... not the best place for a single gal!!

Dx 5/26/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/12/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 29, 2012 04:12PM claireinaz wrote:

Sandy,

Hi, its Claire from the Nov. chemo list. We are nearly on the same tx/rx regime.  I felt a little hesitant like you--mostly because I thought "wow, a med I have to take for five years"! It's quite a commitment.  Then I turned it into a positive: thank god I HAVE a med that can help me, for five years!  I took a half dose for about two weeks to see if I'd have any SE..then upped it to the full 20 mg rx.  I have had NO SE other than a few mild hot flashes every day.  I found that if I took it at night the night sweats were pretty dramatic so I take it in the a.m. and I take a low dose of effexor to counter the hot flashes...and I have to say I don't even really know I'm taking it. 

Not everyone has SE, and the mild ones are a good trade off for longer life, I think.  

I agree with PTSD dx. Look up a few defs on google and you'll see we all have the potential for a least a little of it.  I've got it double--my husband died of cancer 16 years ago after 4 months of marriage, and I was his primary caregiver. Now here I am in the same city with the same oncologist as he had...we even had the same chemo (taxol).  That's been difficult to deal with but EVERYTHING I do to fight this crap--exercise, eating right, meds, supplements, attitude, whatever--I look at that as flipping a big old bird at cancer.  And THAT feels really empowering.

XO

Claire in AZ

9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen to arimidex, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "God supposedly gives us only what we can handle. God must think I'm a badass."
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May 29, 2012 09:07PM fredntan wrote:

I have been so emotional lately. Crying one then better later. Think i have taken threexpills

I dont think i can leave work. I put in my resignation last week. I started crying etc etc today at work. We had my 2 fav doctors at work today. Mentally it takes too much out of me to be a nurse to people with ca. I am like a moth drawn to them. Just want to ease there suffering/anxiety. So i think i will just stay. And cut my hours back. And they are going to shield me from cancer pts. I work in radiology where we do lots of different procedures. Sometimes it can be awful busy. I think i have been so weepy knowing i was leaving.

I think i work with the mafia-i cant leave. I have been in this dept 10yrs. 18yrs at this same hosp.

Thanks for listening

Fran Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 4/3/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 10/2013, Stage IV, mets Hormonal Therapy
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May 29, 2012 09:21PM Joanne_53 wrote:

Fran - you have to do what is right for you .... maybe by cutting your hours that will be enough for you now ... who knows maybe in the future you will be able to ease out all together (if that is what you want to do)

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 4/9/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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May 30, 2012 01:01AM Sandyland wrote:

Joanne ~ I thought ahead and bought two giant bottles of wine yesterday.  My DH was laughing at me.  You bring up the question I've been asking myself lately...is THIS who I am now?  I know I won't ever be the same person I was before ~ too much has happened to change me (mostly for the better), but I wonder if I will every rediscover my confidence and my boldness.  I guess time will tell.

Selena ~ I had the same "Naaaaa, not me" attitude. After all, everyone told me how strong I was and how I'd beat cancer to a bloody pulp, etc, etc, blah blah blah.  Little did I know that the first thing cancer steals is your strength.  Sometimes a total win for me is simply putting one foot in front of the other and getting through the day.  About 10 days ago I had to go see my MO after all my rads tx's were done.  I found myself really freaking out on the drive down and, especially, sitting in my old chemo room having blood drawn.  It truly was a PTSD moment for me.  Luckily my DH was right there beside me being my rock.  Dear GOD, what would I have done without him the last 10 months?

Robo ~ That is so funny.  I was the opposite.  I loved CA (although I never lived right in LA), but I felt drawn back to my native Chicago when my 10 year marriage ended in 2004. I met my fabulous DH in church in Naperville in 2005 and we decided to migrate back to SoCal when my youngest chose to go to Azusa Pacific University in LA.  Those 6 1/2 years back in the Midwest were brutal for me.  I just don't do winter anymore.

HI CLAIRE!!! ~ I cannot imagine what you've gone through having to re-live so much of what you experienced with your DH's cancer battle.  In so many ways, your attitude has inspired me.  You rock sister.

Fran ~ Don't be hard on yourself about being indecisive.  Half of my problem right now is not actually knowing what I need to feel better.  Just take each day as it comes and, if they'll let you scale back, give that a try.  Maybe an all or nothing approach isn't what you need right now.  Baby steps =]

BTW, for those keeping score...I STILL have not filled my Tamoxifen Rx <|8-0   I had a busy work day today and I just didn't do it.  Tomorrow, tomorrow....I'll fill it, tomorrow.  It's only a day away.

SAN

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 30, 2012 01:15AM - edited May 30, 2012 01:16AM by marieB

After reading someones post here....I took my Tam at lunch instead of bedtime... It's 7:00 and I have to go lay down before I kill someone!!! Guess its back to nite time for me...../p>

Dx 5/26/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/12/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 30, 2012 01:27AM chantillywoman wrote:

I'm splitting them by taking 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening.... That way I've been told it keeps things like night sweats and hot flashes to a minimum... I just think that 10 mg. in the am and 10 in the pm just make it easier on me... I was worried about dumb things like nausea.... and such... so now... it seems to be fine and yepe I am taking the pills.... on the 6th of June I'll have been taking them for a full month without andy s/e.  Unless tired is one of them... but then again... I just went back to workiing a full day after finishing 25 rads on April 10th and back at work on May 6th... so that might be the reason for tired...

Later Betty J.

Dx 10/12/2011, IDC, 1cm, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2012 01:58AM fredntan wrote:

I just take mine at night followed by a sleeping pill.

This will get better i know it. When my younger dd was dx with tyoe 1 diabetes, it took me a whole year to get emotionally better. Three months to stop crying at night. Now i hardly think about it.

I actually laughed today at work. I havnt done that in forever

Fran Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 4/3/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 10/2013, Stage IV, mets Hormonal Therapy
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May 30, 2012 02:05AM Kadee63 wrote:

I totally understand.  I went thru all that also.  I did take Tamoxifin for a year and then had an excuse to stop it for two weeks before my reconsturctive surgery.  My onconologist wants me to start taking it again after my last JP drain is out.  However,  I have been dragging my feet the past six months wanting to stop taking it.  My oncologist keeps encouraging me to take it despite my side affects.  Im feeling so much better not taking int and Im still in the decision making process if I will take it again.  I know it is for five years and it stops cancer from coming back but Im also looking at my quality of life for the next five years also.  THe process like you have been thru has been two years and Im cancer free and ready to get back to my life. Its a hard decision to make and I understand your hesitancy of not wanting another treatment.  some women it doesn't affect but it caused me alot of problems .  Good luck on your decision. 

Karen Adams Durham Dx 2/15/2010, DCIS, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, mets, ER+, HER2+ Surgery 10/10/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 4/2/2011 Surgery 4/10/2011 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/7/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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May 30, 2012 05:51AM Sandyland wrote:

Robo ~ Hmmmm....is Tamox giving you mood swings SE's?

Kadee ~ What are your main SE's?  

SAN

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2012
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May 30, 2012 04:15PM marieB wrote:

Sandy...yes. I knew they would, as I have never handled any messing with my hormones... I'm 47 and never could take the birth control pill as it made me crazy.... Also had 'episode' after uterus removal 7-2010 (fibroids) when my overies went into 'surgically induced' menopause.....ended up at a shrinks office thinking I was going crazy... my OB  sent me for bloodwork and put me on the hormone patch as my levels were off the charts... 3 months later...welcome to the BC club!!!!  Thats why my onc is letting me start on half dose... I do feel it very strongly emotionally. But certainly not everyone does... you should be able to tell pretty quickly. Thats why I take mine before bed...but some women prefer morning.  All that being said... and I'm not saying this for any other reason than to share because I don't know all of the specifics...I am going tomorrow to the funeral of girl I worked with for many many years... she was dx stage 1...lumpectomy, not sure about chemo and Tam. She took herself off Tam due to SE's and quickly went to stage 4. She was 52 I believe...6 kids :-(  Of course no one knows the cause of advancement.... And I hate that these are our choices.... It really sucks. But it is making me try to continue taking it.. My only SE is hotflashes..moodiness.. and 10 pounds. Thats on half dose. I will also continue to investigate alternative treatments.... not sure what I'll end up sticking with.. It is certainly a big learning curve. I believe it is atleast worth a try for us... because you can always stop. And there is another thread about different manufactures of Tam having different SE's. So some women switch generic manufactures with great success.

Dx 5/26/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/18/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/12/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 30, 2012 04:49PM itsjustme10 wrote:

Sandyland...I tried Tamoxifen, and it ended up that I couldn't take it - the SE's were pretty bad for me - I HAD to sleep about 20 hours a day, it knocked me on my tushy, and I couldn't think clearly.  So, I stopped taking it, and after about a week or so, I was back to normal. 

 I guess that was the point of my earlier post - you don't know what, if any, SE's you might have.  Chemo wasn't bad for me - I breezed through it - yes my hair falling out was awful and even though its long enough to go without a wig now, unitl I can be comortable putting it into a pony tail, I won't be happy, but other than that, I didn't have any SE's. 

Don't let your fears become a self-fulfilling prophesy.  You either can or can't take Tamoxifen, but you really won't know until you try it.  I couldn't.  I chose to take DIM and eat properly, rather than Lupron shots for fake menopause and and an AI.  But, at least I gave it a shot, so I"m OK with my decision, because I know I tried.

 Good luck!!

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