Saw my oncologist today
Well, you know you are just SO over breast cancer when a study about bootyful women rates a higher priority to post to your breast cancer blog than your appointment with your oncologist.
I saw my oncologist today. He is doing great! I know you were worried about him. 😉
We had very little to discuss. My periods have stopped again. If you were taking notes, you might remember they stopped during chemo and restarted a few months later. That’s typical for a woman my age. One of the side effects of chemo is that it shuts down ovaries. No ovaries, no periods. But the more years you have until natural menopause sets in, the more likely it is that your periods will return to normal after chemo ends. So, mine came back and were basically normal for almost 12 months.
Until October, when they stopped again.
I’ve been trying very hard not to think about this. It’s distressing to me. I knew it could be a continuing side effect of chemo, a side effect of the tamoxifen (my cancer drug), a giant fibroid growing in my uterus, a monster cancerous mass eating up my entire abdominal region or, horror of horrors, early menopause brought on by chemo.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “why is early menopause more frightening to her than a cancerous mass?” Well, you obviously have never survived cancer. It is a well-known fact that if you can survive it once, then you can survive it many, many times. Duh! (I believe a read a study on that somewhere.) But menopause – shudder – that means I get to kiss the hope of having more children goodbye and welcome in the possibility of brittle bones by the time I’m 40. Good fun there!
Anyway, my esteemed oncologist and his colleague (who introduced himself as one of Dr. Sledge’s “minions,” which meant I didn’t need to remember his name), believe that it is probably a blip in the road, that at my age periods post-chemo do very strange things, and they often see women come in two or three years after chemo pregnant, without ever having had a period. They said if in a couple of years my periods don’t return, they will do testing to see where my hormone levels are and if indications are that I’m truly menopausal and not just faking it, then I’ll be changed to a different cancer drug. The drug I’m on is the only one for pre-menopausal women. There are a couple available for post-menopausal women, some with more cancer protection than tamoxifen.
Frankly, I’m heavily opposed to menopause at the age of 36. You should be, too.
In other oncology news, they gave me their version of the go-ahead for a second mastectomy. Not that I needed their go-ahead, but they weren’t opposed. Now, I must wait to see my surgeon before I can get on the schedule to do that.
They were very pleased that my energy levels are up remarkably since May and that I seem to be handling the tamoxifen better. It’s true. I can’t deny it. I can still feel it – I’m wiped out much too early most evenings after very uneventful days – but I do feel really good.
And Dr. Sledge ordered a thyroid test. Felt there were reasons I needed to have it checked. I’m not concerned about that. Same reasons everyone wants to check my thyroid and, so far, it has never been found to be a problem.
The appointment took FOREVER, but I knew it would. His are shorter than the one’s with my surgeon! I want a job where people wait hours to talk to me and you don’t have to feel bad about it. Don’t you?