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Apr 27, 2018 04:57PM
Apr 27, 2018 04:59PM
1. It is hard to separate effects from drugs, AI or others, when there is the big elephant of BC history with at least some risk of recurrence still in your room, and it is staying, munching away on the peanuts your anxiety creates daily, given stress might make the BC recur more.
2. Lovelau, I am so sorry you have such a prolonged reaction to a BC with a decent prognosis, but am not convinced all has been done that could be, do not give up hope!
You also have estrogen deprivation, the intent of the AI and the other drugs, creating a new menopause if you never had one before, and a worse recurrent one if you did ( not sure how old you are). Thinking back on menopause, some women have symptoms longer than others so maybe they will improve.
3. You said you go to Kaiser, and in other posts that you tried a three week trip to NY on your own which did not help, so perhaps you have enough money to go to a psychiatrist cash pay outside your HMO, for a second or even third opinion? Sometimes overtreatment of depression causes more anxiety, and vice versa, so maybe your docs have not found the right cocktail. The “PTSD" term has become popular to talk about these days, and is a real entity in some ( VA has the most experience), but typically involves components of anxiety and/or depression and thus involves use of many mood meds you likely already tried ( SSRIs, trazodone) but different cognitive therapy. I would hope at your initial intake the doc asked you about specific diagnostic symptoms but these days I no longer count on docs doing basics happening without reminders :(
4. Make sure your medical doc has ruled out other treatable organic causes, like abnormal thyroid ( check both tsh and free t4), low b12, low vitamin D, (easy blood tests), elevated calcium with or without high PTH, low magnesium, that can have psychiatric manifestations and change personality. And if you gained a lot of weight from treatments, also look for sleep apnea.
5. Anything else going on in your life that is stressful ( as if BC is not enough!)? Many come here understandably blaming drugs, as Ruth said, or BC for mood issues, but I will add then it turns out after more time here that they have serious prior problems with DH, DD, DS, moms, money, job, law, prior self-esteem issues, childhood sexual abuse, yes also PTSD, etc., which were never dealt with and the BC just set them off, breaking their protective eggshell coping mechanisms.
The fact you were off anti-estrogen ten days and felt no better does not definitively prove that the main cause of your anxiety, sounds like it is mixed with depression, was not the drugs. But the longer you go without them, the less likely it was the drugs. Then if you stay off you will have anxiety about not taking an anti-BC drug, so it can become a vicious cycle, even though you said you are ok with living ten days or ten years, be what it is.
7. Others' suggestion to force exercise is good, so is magnesium.
8. What about distraction: family, can you focus on their needs and worries instead of yours, or a job, as a distraction, or are you in too bad shape to go there?
We are here for you, no matter what
After a decade of autoimmune problems, Dx 10/2017 at age 63, IDC, Left, 9mm, Oncotype 13, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, 11/22/2017 Lumpectomy, Arimidex. Declined radiation.