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Big Whine here! (long, but I need to vent)


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Ok, friends, I'm feeling like a whipped puppy here tonight. I'm posting on the Early Stage board because, believe me, I do realize my good fortune most of the time, but let me tell you what's been going on with me.

I've been taking tamoxifen for 3+ years since my early stage breast cancer diagnosis. It's been shown to have a real effect on preventing recurrence of estrogen receptor positive tumors, which mine was. I feel lucky to be able to actually take a drug that is supposed to help prevent cancer. But, it is the devil in disguise in some other ways. First, it worked on my emotions so much early on that I would burst into tears for no reason whatsoever. Radiation docs prescribed effexor (anti-depressant). Said its a common side effect--plus the effexor will help lessen the hot flashes and night sweats. Oh, yeah, had those too. Ok, emotions now under control with addition of another drug. And hot flashes and night sweats, still getting them, but I'm able to function through the day and get at least enough sleep at night to be ok.

Other side effects: Possible uterine cancer. Gyno does either endometrial biopsy (OUCH!) or internal ultrasound (not pleasant, but nothing like the biopsy) every 6 months. Possible retina problems--have to see eye doctor every 6 months too. Other possibilities are blood clots in leg and pulmonary embolism. Rare, but it happens.

Ok, I've been faithfully taking this stuff for all this time, throughout the lung cancer treatment, and I've also gained 25 pounds since I started taking it. I eat about 1200 calories per day and walk at least 2 miles and usually 3 miles a day for exercise. There are no cookies, potato chips, cake, anything like that in this house. Doesn't happen. I cannot tell you how frustrating that is--to be good and do all the right things and still gain weight--I gained two pounds over the weekend.

Also, bone and joint pain are side effects of this stuff--I walk like Frankenstein if I sit or lie down for any longer than about 15 minutes. I have a call in to my onc to talk about this and hopefully switch me over to another drug that has fewer side effects. I am scheduled to switch over in November, but I seriously can't wait that long.

I was a wild woman this afternoon after work and sobbing with frustration over all this when the phone rang. It's the American Cancer Society saying they know that I do a lot to raise money for cancer, but would I send postcards to my neighbors asking for donations? My team for Relay for Life raised close to $3000 this past year. That was triple the suggested donation for participation. I told them, no I raise money for cancer in other ways, but I won't bother my neighbors with that postcard campaign. The woman said, "Do you know that cancer is the number one killer of people in the United States?" I said, "Yes I do know that--in fact I'm a two time cancer survivor myself, so far." She then started chirping again about the stupid postcards and I hung up on her.

Like I said before, I am a grateful person--it's just that sometimes this all does overwhelm me and I don't need some knucklehead badgering me over the telephone to do what they want me to do.

I think I'm also feeling the effects of the great folks we've lost here lately--bobmc was probably the straw that broke the camel's back and got me crying today.

Sorry everyone--I appreciate your 'listening'. No other people can understand how this all feels.....


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Oh Cindy, you hang in there. Sounds like you have really been dealing with alot. It really does get so overwhelming at times and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this place to come to.

Just take care of yourself and do what you have to do to make things better for YOU.

Love and hugs,

Nancy B

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Oh my, Cindy. That's a lot of stuff to be dealing with. Who can blame you for breaking down? I'm glad you have a place to talk about it, get all those feelings out, and people to listen and care. I think getting it out is so important. Like me, most of us don't have answers, but we do understand and care very much.

God love you,


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I am so glad that you are comfortable coming here to let it all hang out. That is what we are here for...support, listening....and helping each other anyway that we can. You have alot on your plate and I don't blame you for hanging up on that person. We each have to do what we can in our own way. I hope you feel better soon.


PS...BobMc's death did the same thing to me...so many of us in such a short time...First on since I got to know everyone was Mo, then Becky and on and on....its such a shame.

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