Breaking up with Tamoxifen

(Two in one day.. I know; I’m sorry! But PLEASE read this one 🙂 )

 

I am very seriously considering no longer taking Tamoxifen.

I never thought I would say that.

I never thought I would say that because I do whatever my oncologists tell me to do. And I honestly think that if Dr. Howard (my Childhood oncologist) told me to take it, I would NEVER consider dropping it.

Let’s be honest, he is a better doctor than my current oncologist.  (No worries, she doesn’t read my blog. Not even sure she would recognize me on the street or remember that I was about to get married the last time I saw her.)

I am kind of shocked at myself for even considering dropping the drug. I love modern medicine. Really.

When people insult chemotherapy I take that personally because I went through it in all of my glory and it was WORTH IT. I won’t let anyone tell me it was not worth it and green tea would have done the job much easier.

And well, I knew all the statistics when I started taking Tamoxifen and I kind of knew what to expect and I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. I told myself ‘it ain’t chemo’ and got on with it.

So, in a week I set the date for my second mastectomy. The stats are still the same this month as they were before. After my second mastectomy, chances of reoccurrence are 1%, with or without the Tamoxifen.

I’m not really feeling listing why I want to drop it from my regimen after surgery, but I do want to know how you all feel about this. If you have not taken the drug, the side effects are insane. Feel free to do some research, because it’s not just hot flashes and butt expansion. The unlisted ones are also insane (for example, lightening fast stabbing headaches up to 40 times an hour. I counted this morning. I know it is PROBABLY the Tamoxifen because of previous conversations with my medical team and because I left my meds at home when I went to the beach with Camp… and they stopped. They came back about 2 weeks after I came home and resumed meds.).

 

So, tell me ‘bout it. Pros and cons from your vantage point? Any experience??

(yes, I know I need to talk to my medical team about it. I will. But I’m talking to you first!)

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Little Accomplishments

98(This photo is of me in June of 1998, about 9 months into treatment for Osteogenic Sarcoma. I was about a month shy of 13 when it was taken)

I just realized that seven days ago I was getting everything ready for the big day! It feels like just yesterday!

I mean, have I REALLY been sitting around the house with one boob for a week?! All of Blake’s time off is over?! You have got to be kidding me.

It might be easier to imagine had I been able to accomplish more in my recovery, but not being able to walk around definitely makes it feel like I’ve accomplished even less.

Wednesday was the last time I threw up from the anesthesia. (It has always made me throw up for a few days post op)

Friday was the first day I didn’t have that post surgery hangover feeling, and I started to really get an appetite. To celebrate, I we got my hair washed and my bangs trimmed! It was the best day!

Yesterday I started defying my caretaker (I like to call him that, I don’t know why. It’s just hilarious to me) and hopped myself to wherever I wanted to go a few times. That was an accomplishment to me, but he sure did fuss. We also brought my mom some food for my sweet Albus and I got to see him. I have missed him so… I wish I could walk just so that I could have him back and be able to take care of him. Screw everything else I could do… I just want to walk my dog!

I hopped today, too (In my defense, things needed to be done and I wanted to do them). I also figured out how to put my hair in some sort of pony-tail. I can lift and hold my arm just high enough to also tilt my head down and put my hair in a normal pony-tail.  I even went so far as to announce, “I did it!” I can also almost pull up my skinny jeans all by myself. I can pull up the loose ones all by myself if I hook my little Huge JP drain to whatever button up I’m wearing. AND I can KIND OF do my own makeup. It’s not as fancy as it was a week ago, but I’ve certainly made progress, considering I’m wearing it at all right now.

Tomorrow I’m sure I’ll make more silly little progressions, and the next day, too. The only problem here is that it is all going to go to hell when I have surgery again this week.

Tomorrow my sister is bringing me to meet with the plastic surgeon in the morning and is will look over everything and get a plan for moving tissue, if needed. Then I will run downstairs to my surgeon’s office and tell him or his nurse that I’m done. Then a date will be set for the next surgery and I’ll start all over.

I am REALLY hoping they take out this drain tomorrow, even though I’m having surgery again this week. I mean, REALLY hoping. The tube has moved a little and seems to be directly in the hollow of my armpit. Right around my sweat glands…

Sorry if that grossed anyone out. But it’s life. It’s cancer…  and it’s not all pink ribbons (or gold ones) all the time. It is, more often than not, time off work for caregivers and patients, puke buckets, beeping pumps and an inability to bathe yourself. It is celebrating when you can lift your arm (or put weight on your leg), when you don’t get blood or puke on your favorite jeans (that you are wearing because they make you feel pretty, even if they aren’t convenient, darnit!) and when you finally know your protocol (maybe that’s just me. I might throw a party when I learn it).

Cancer is some weird shit, guys.

At least I’m prepared. And I won’t be bald this time (not that I would mind).