When I first was prescribed Tamoxifen, I complained about a month after being on that God-awful drug and was told If I was destined to die, I would die taking Tamox or not taking it. I changed oncologists. Then I was put on Arimidex. I suffered 6 fractures (one very serious tripple fracture of the shoulder) requiring surgery to reduce, and now after being on Arimidex for a full 5 years I am off and haven’t had a single fracture since. My main cimplauint now is dibilitating Hot Flashes that drench me to the point where they are totally life-altering. I din’t know ehat the answer is to all these side effects, but there MUST be something that I can take for a normal way of life. I am on Cymbalta now, no improvement. HELP !!…….Fran
I did estrogen therapy for 5+ years and did not want to continue for 5 more. but I was not at all miserable on either Arimidex or Tamoxifen. I am 69. I also did the math and also considered the stage of my IDC (1b). I discussed this fully with my oncologist and if she had been adamant that I continue, I would have. I have no idea how your colon cancer plays a role in your overall survivorship scenario. In the back of my mind, having had both breast and endometrial cancers, and knowing they were both related to estrogen, it just seemed reasonable for me to take it, and I had no SEs at all. I did not want to take a chance of the IDC returning nor did I want to grow a new one. I took Tamoxifen after the first 2 years and so had 2 years of Arimidex and 3 years of Tamoxifen. My oncologist assured me Tamoxifen was a good drug - it blocks the estrogen receptors, not aromatase. My bone density improved on Tamoxifen. And back in the day, Tamoxifen was all there was. The AI's are supposed to be "better", but by whose criteria? For some, the SE's are horrible. You don't know if it's going to be effective or not unless you have a recurrence or metastasis, then you know it wasn't. I really don't know if hormone therapy was effective or not for me as I remain NED (hooray). I do think Tamoxifen is a good alternative and so did my oncologist. It is worth discussing with your oncologist.
Yes I too want to say THANK YOU Nancy for this blog. Last night I read a lot on here and just sat and wept, because I realize that in spite of the “professionals” attitude that I’m just not coping well, that they don’t hear many complaints, that I just need to get more exercise,….blah blah blah,…it’s not true, women are suffering just like I am. I’m actually a pretty tough cookie, with a high tolerance for pain. I’ve survived 2 car accidents and been run over by a horse, so I know I can handle pain.