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Topic: Arimidex and Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After —

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Dec 5, 2019 12:00AM - edited Dec 5, 2019 12:03AM by Totallytubular

Totallytubular wrote:

Hi out there, any of you have tricks for managing depression with Arimidex? I have been on for 3.5 years and have a history of depression.. which got worse with Arimidex and Menopause. It's been very hard to treat. I am currently on 20mg of lexapro and alternating between lorazepam and another anti d for help with sleep. My old anti-depressant stopped working well when I started on the arimidex after being on it for 20 years. Still searching for options. Ready to throw in the towel with the arimidex, but know that is a great risk. Quality of life has been suffering. when does it end? Maddening that my Psyche Dr. works with a famous cancer hospital and still cant remember that I am on arimidex after being her patient for 3 years? she really doesn't get what it's like to be a cancer patient on meds and have it derail your life. New Doctors not an option now financially. Best wishes to all on this "journey" and thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 5, 2019 08:43AM CBK wrote:

CBD oil helps metremendously with anxiety and sleep issues. If you decide to try make sure you get a high quality one. My choice is NuLeaf oil. But there are others you can research at CBD review.org.

I still struggle with the drug but I feel much better on the CBD. Joint aches are profoundly better!

Good luck. đź‘Ť

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 5, 2019 08:48AM Totallytubular wrote:

hi cbk,

thanks so much for this suggestion. I have tried some cbd oils and medicinal thc which seem to have not had an effect for me for sleeping or anxiety. I will definitely check out this brand though and I know regular dosage is needed for a period of time.

thank-you,

Mary

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 5, 2019 09:06AM - edited Dec 5, 2019 09:06AM by CBK

You really need to stick with it and play with dosing! Honestly I think it “hit me" about a week into taking it and just got better from there!!

This NuLeaf is somewhat pricey. I'm lucky I have a store near me that sells it about 40 percent off retail price! I love the stuff!

Wishing you the best ... Arimidex is tough for many of us! I'm in that camp so I sympathize with your struggle!


Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 5, 2019 10:11AM Totallytubular wrote:

40% off is a good deal! I will have to look around. I am lucky I don't have the physical problems. just the mental. yes, I should definitely check with the dosing and regularity. something to help you calm down at night is a great thing! it's especially hard when the doctors don't understand how difficult the symptoms are and how they have changed your life. xo Mary

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 5, 2019 12:16PM CBK wrote:

I have a history of depression as well. I think CBD does lift the mood as well. At least in my case.

I already fired one oncologist for being totally insensitive and downright rude that had me in tears on my year anniversary PFC! We deserve better from the medical profession than dismissals and insufficient compassion and answers.

Honestly I think some of these Doctors are so overwhelmed with the volume of patients they are dealing with and it shows. I would say don’t take it personally, but how can’t you?

Good luck Mary and make sure you get exercising regularly if you aren’t. I know how devastating the double whammy of Arimidex and menopause is. Believe me!!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 5, 2019 12:25PM Totallytubular wrote:

hi yes, more than anything just wanted some re-assurance that I am not alone in this fight to wellness. the docs have never gone through it. this one said. you may never feel better, which was so awesome. I mean really? you want your patients to be in misery and not research different options to relieve symptoms as current meds aren't working. its really unacceptable and it makes me so angry. thanks for reminding me about the exercise and need to get on it. :) I am currently on low budget so can't do my usual classes. I appreciate so much your responses and support. xo mary

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 5, 2019 05:11PM CBK wrote:

Look at the bright side, you passed the five year mark! That’s awesome 👏! Very positive milestone!

Do they want you on Arimidex 10 years? Your stats. look positive. Although I’m not familiar with what tubular means?

I hate when someone says “it’s your new normal” ! Or you know you are getting older! Listen I was in tip top shape before this all went down and there is no way I should have snapping and cracking joints at my age and activity level! It’s the damn Arimidex and surgical menopause! At least my new oncologist agrees!

I think I’m one of the lucky ones that will need to be on an extended Arimidex ride! Grrrrrr!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 5, 2019 06:11PM - edited Dec 5, 2019 06:13PM by Totallytubular

hi cmx,

arimidex and surgical menopause have been the bane of my brain's existence! if I could have the energy, stable brain and sharpness that I had before all this it would be a modern miracle. arimidex and age really slow down the brain. thanks for the 5 years.. tubular is very slow growing and rarely goes metstatic. then a year later they found another cancer on the opposite breast that was more aggressive. so I am timing 5 years from when I started arimidex as September 2021. I think If I still have a brain left. lol. it's a coin toss as to weather I would do 10 years, I think they have an Onco test for that now which I will take that tells you whether you might benefit from additional arimidex. I would probably say no because I also got very high cholesterol from the arimidex and MP too. that started 3 years ago. and its been really hard on my mental health. I couldn't tolerate the tamox that's why I switched. made me loopy.

I am so sorry you may be looking at 10 years. I mean if I could tolerate it I would do 10. then numbers are for doing 10 for the estrogen positive cancers. thanks so much for your response. it made all the difference today.

thanks for encouraging me to do more exercise. I know that is one of the secrets that will give me more energy and help stabliize my moods. now I just feel like going to sleep. lol. at least I dont have too many hot flashes except in the summer. how far out in jersey are you? I am in nyc and hope you have a good night.




Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2019 08:40AM CBK wrote:

totallyTubular

Well excellent on the tubular.

So is the Onco test separate from the regular test you take before chemo? What is MP? Arimidex is definitely elevating my BP. That’s something I need to monitor.

I live just across the river from you I’m a NYC transplant myself!

Best !!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 6, 2019 08:46AM Peregrinelady wrote:

CBK, I believe she is talking about the BCI, Breast Cancer Index, which is one of several tests that tell you if you would benefit from extended antihormonals beyond five years.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/17/2016 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 6, 2019 10:56AM Totallytubular wrote:

yes, thanks. the BCI -- I will take that to see how much additional Arimidex I might need. hopefully not.

high blood pressure too? darn it. ok impt to monitor that regularly and make sure you are on meds if you need it.

I am in the upper east side and wishing all well!


Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2019 10:59AM Totallytubular wrote:

P.S. MP is shot for menopause. that lovely word. lol.


Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2019 01:47PM CBK wrote:

Peregrinelady-

Ahhhh thanks for clarifying ....I don’t think I had that done. I will discuss with my MO in couple weeks... Thanks !

Hang in there Totallytubular!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/27/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 6, 2019 01:52PM Totallytubular wrote:

yes, thanks! follow up on that test. you may save yourself lots of unnecessary struggle. I will definitely be taking it. in 1.5 years! feeling better today and getting over a bad cold. best wishes, Mary

Dx 11/15/2014, IDC: Tubular, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/11/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/1/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 10/30/2015, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/19/2015 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Chemotherapy 4/4/2016 CMF Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 14, 2020 08:55AM JRNJ wrote:

Hi totally tubular, I am in NJ and had a second opinion at Sloan. The recommendations looks somewhat similar. I am doing CMF chemo (CMF definitely a Sloan thing), radiation. Sloan Dr. recommended right to AI, no tamoxifen, with lupron for ovarian suppression. Tamoxifen has been shown to not be as effective for ILC. I want my ovaries out, they have super powers, and I don't want another med. I am 54 and had my period twice while on CMF. Did you go into menopause on CMF? She didn't mention which AI. I stuck with my MO, as he agreed to implement Sloan recommendations with alterations. He is in agreement with ovary removal. I asked him today what AI is he thinking, he said Aromasen as it has less side effects. Any thoughts on this? Did Sloan have an opinion? Is Armidex better?

Regarding sleep, I have always had insomnia before and after dx. I have been taking Lunesta for years and it works really well. It is extended release. I've tried SSRIs, lorazepam, Ambien, hate them all. Bad side effects and no good for sleep because they are not extended release. Ambien does have an extended release version, but I haven't tried it. Hasn't anyone recommended a sleep aid for you? It is normally prescribed for every other day. I actually took it during the week while working, and weened off on weekends. Once dx, I got special approval to take daily, but I do have concerns I am addicted to it. But a good nights sleep is so important and needed to function.

Pleomorphic Multifocal LCIS, Extranodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TE removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 14, 2020 09:26AM Yogatyme wrote:

Ambien is a double edged sword. Does a great job with sleep, but there are ppl who do things in their sleep....sleep eating, sleep driving, etc. I am a retired clinical social worker and I had pts who reported some bizarre “sleep” activity. This said, I had plenty of pts who had no side effects, in fact that was the norm. I am not sure what the current research is, but at one time it was being questioned for contributing to Alzheimer’s. It is a benzodiazepine and they have high risk for addiction, but honestly I never had anyone who suffered from addiction like I saw with other benzos. I hope you find some relief.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/13/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jan 14, 2020 10:13AM JRNJ wrote:

I tried ambien regular and didn’t do anything wierd it just didn’t work. I woke up after 4 hours hyper. Insurance made me try it because lunesta was generic. It is now generic. I like lunesta. A few weird side effects. Metal mouth. But benefits outweigh the bad. Especially after being dx.

Pleomorphic Multifocal LCIS, Extranodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TE removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 14, 2020 02:18PM Yogatyme wrote:

JRNJ, you are right about regular Ambien, no weird side effects w that, but like you, many people don’t sleep through the night. The problems w weird activity are with the extended release Ambien.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/13/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right

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