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May 18, 2017 08:56PM
I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees a year before being diagnosed with cancer. By the time I started my treatment for cancer, my knees were so bad, that I had to walk using a cane, or walker depending on where I was going. The chemo treatment of course gave me bone pain so my hurt even worse. Once cancer treatment was finished I had knee replacement surgery to my worst knee. This helped a lot in relieving the pain. Having said that, I was put on hormone therapy (starting with Letrolzole) but the side effects were so severe with respect to bone pain that we changed treatment four different times. The latest was Arimidex and it turned out to be, for me, the worst. The bone pain was gone, however, I started sleeping for 22 hours a day. In an effort to see if I had Chronic fatigue, they started a series of tests to eliminate other possible factors. Meanwhile, my life was virtually in the toilet, non existent. I couldn't drive anymore, or buy my own groceries, sometimes barely having the energy to walk to the washroom and back. It was a nightmare ! My primary care physician finally decided to look at the side effects of the pills my onco had me on and to his astonishment, and mine, we learned that 22% of women on Arimidex experience chronic fatigue. He immediately took me off these, as well as reducing my cymbalta (which I take for neuropathy, a side effect from the chemo) t the smallest possible dose. The change was noticeable almost immediately. I have been off the Arimidex for three weeks, and although I still have low energy, I am able to drive again and buy my own groceries,and make doctor's appointments. I was upset that my own Onco didn't think of taking me off these when I saw him months ago and complained about my chronic fatigue.
I am choosing to stop all hormonal therapy as the side effects are not worth the way they effect the quality of my life. Every person is different. You may find Arimidex will be fine, or you may go through different ones before finding that magic bullet. Find out what the side effects are, and they pay attention to your body. Lots of them cause joint pain, that may or may not go away. Different people try different things in order to alleviate some of the problems, but again, every person is different. You will find what works best for you, I promise you that. It may take time, or it may take no time at all. People think the treatment is the worst part of cancer. I think life after the treatment, dealing with the side effects of the chemo and then the hormone pills, the not knowing your body anymore, the emotional trauma......that I found to be worse. People don't want to hear about your ongoing problems. They figure now that your cancer is gone, and you're alive, all it well in your world. They were scared to death by your diagnosis and treatment. They are relieved its over. But for a lot of us, the journey is just beginning.
Just be aware of what you are feeling and don't be afraid to let your doctor know if you're experiencing pain or discomfort. You have to be your own best advocate. Good Luck ! I really hope the Arimidex agrees with you. As for the knees...meh... knee replacements will be in your future...but let me tell you, you'll be rid of the pain finally !!
The Devil whispered in my ear, "You're not strong enough to handle the storm." Today I whispered in the Devil's ear, "I am the storm."
4/10/2014, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER-, HER2+
5/22/2014 Lumpectomy: Right
7/18/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel)
9/18/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin)
12/10/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes
4/5/2015 Femara (letrozole)