My life is more fun than a cardboard box

I’m working hard trying to deal with my medication issues. This week has been better, mainly because I stopped taking everything new except the Tamoxifen (the cancer drug). I have been functional in the daytime – better able to concentrate and stay awake. No more dozing off at my desk!

However, I’m still not sleeping well at night.

I saw my medications person today. Strangely, I do not know what her job really is! I’m not even sure whether she is a doctor or what. I’m guessing she isn’t a doctor because she introduced herself as “Jo.” Isn’t that odd? I take medicine from some strange woman I barely know! She has an office at IU, so I assume she is legitimate.

Anyway, Jo told me it was fine that I stopped taking the Lexapro, extra dose of Neurontin and Ambien. She gave me a prescription for some other anti-depressant to help counter the effects of the Tamoxifen. I’m scared to take it. I don’t need to go down another side effects road, but the side effects of the Tamoxifen suck! The continued sleep problems at night are probably due, in part, to the Tamoxifen. I can’t do this for five years!

I’m really bummed that I have such a hard time taking medication. I wish I could be one of the people I know who never seem to have a problem with anything. I really believe this probably has something to do with metabolism.

I’ve been researching to see if I have alternatives to the Tamoxifen. I do, but they are not good. First, I can choose not to take it. As I’ve mentioned before, the Tamoxifen has more cancer protection benefit to me than the chemotherapy did! Seems strange to put myself through the chemo, but then not take a simple little pill! Second, I can have my ovaries removed. This will then make me considered “postmenopausal,” which will open a new line of drugs for me. However, this will also make me postmenopausal for 25 extra years, making my risk of osteoporosis skyrocket. (In addition, some of the drugs available to me as a “postmenopausal” patient increase bone loss, so a double whammy.) If you think this concern seems farfetched, I should tell you that I know many, many cancer survivors in their 30s dealing with osteopenia (thinning bone) or osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Removing my ovaries probably sounds really extreme. However, it’s actually fairly common in women my age with highly estrogen-receptor-postive cancer as I have. It’s an added measure of protection – remove the main source of estrogen from the body and improve your odds of not having a recurrence, or so the theory goes. Other people receive shots to suppress ovarian function.

I don’t know what I’m going to do. Mainly, I’m just trying to get some decent sleep! I want my energy back!

Author: rosie

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