Tamoxifen: My Next Stage

I normally welcome the first day of the new year by taking down the Christmas decorations, writing a small list of goals and ideas, and crashing on the couch.  Today I enjoyed the sun and took a walk with my boy, Neelan, and Penny The Pretty Puppy.  The day offered up perfect lighting for fun photos.  And the weather allowed me to get outside and keep moving with purpose and fun.  

I needed today’s fun to conteract my nervousness over starting Tamoxifen.  The pill that looks remarkably like an aspirin holds the magic potion that will block the estrogen receptors in my breast tissue further protecting me from a recurrence of breast cancer in my left breast, a new breast cancer in my right breast, and a new breast cancer elsewhere in my body.  Tamoxifen is still considered the gold standard in adjuvant therapy.  But it also carries with it some disconcerting side-effects.  Endometrial cancer, uterine cancer,  blood clots (pumonary embolii), fatty liver, reduced cognition and semantic memory, and a decrease in libido.  Although it might lead to weight loss…LOL!

I’ve had a DVT years ago.  Dr. Storniolo believes it was caused by my pregnancy and doesn’t have concern over my taking the drug.  She also explained that the endometrial and uterine cancers are slow growing and treatable cancers and are very rare.  She explained what I needed to be aware of and watch for.  The memory stuff?  I’m gonna be in trouble.  When I’m under more than normal stress or I’m multi-tasking more than 3 or 4 things I already need to “picture” a word in order to bring the word to my lips.  It’s sometimes easier for me to “talk” via typing the words than it is for me to speak them.  It used to be scarey for me.  Now it’s just something I live with.  Not real keen on watching out for further memory issues!  Finally, libido.  Sex.  Oh, if that’s messed with it won’t matter if I live cancer free or not!   She did playfully and compassionately explain the benefits of Astroglide!  (That’s actually going to be it’s own fun post!  No time now. ) 

Here’s hoping your 2011 will be filled with challenges you can rise to, fears you can work through, and joy each new day you awake!