(All of my blogs are exclusively my experience. I am not a medical professional. This is my interpretation of my journey.)
By the time I was scheduled to see Dr. Wonderful (Hematologist-Oncologist), radiation was over and I came through it with minimal side effects.
Dr. Wonderful immediately started me on a chemo pill, Arimidex. The initial plan was to take it for 5 years as long as my bones, bone density and joints would allow.
Arimidex is a type of hormone therapy known as an Aromatase Inhibitor. How does Anastrozole work? Breast cancer is stimulated to grow by female hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Anastrozole (Arimidex) works to block the effects of the female hormones.
Okay…my view… the very hormone, estrogen, that defines you as a woman ends up globbing together with other estrogen cells to become breast cancer. So the very hormone that makes you a woman, trys to kill you. I hope you can infer that I find this entire concept, hideous, outrageous and unacceptable. However, I can’t change that so I will only give it this small paragraph.
I started Arimidex in October of 2009 and I was a trooper. I kept taking it even though it took a toll on my body:
- By the end of the 12 hour workday, I could barely walk.
- By Friday or Saturday, I hurt so bad that I could literally feel pain from every cell in my skin and it hurt.
- It felt like someone was peeling my skin off.
With that said, I would take to the couch with my pain meds and heating pad.
Actually, compared to others, my symptoms were minimal. Four years into the medication, I spoke to Dr. Wonderful and she switched me to Femara in October of 2013. Femara is in the same category of medicine. It’s purpose is to block estrogen. Even though October 2014 was my 5 year point, I still take Femara. As long as it doesn’t effect my bone density, joints and ability to function, I will take it.
I am blessed because I was diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer so I have an additional chemo pill to block that estrogen. I am too blessed to be stressed! I’m alive so it’s a good day!
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