Movin’ on … fare thee well Tamoxifen!

Today is an exciting and scary day as it’s the day I stopped taking my Tamoxifen. It was pretty exciting and frightening to tear up the boxes I still had of this drug and throw out all the pills.

Tamoxifen is the hormone drug I was instructed to take after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Since my cancer was estrogen positive, Tamoxifen would reduce my estrogen to reduce my chance of recurrence. When I signed up to take this drug (during my chemo), I was told 5 years. Well, it is 5 years and 6 months now. Over the last couple years a new report came out, of course, saying that 10 years was far better for you than 5 years. I’ve read the reports and the news the media promotes is that it’s a 50% increase in survivor-ship. Not true it’s an increase from 21% to 25% in recurrence and a change of 79% to 81% in mortality. So only a 4% change while causing a 1.5% increase in uterine cancer.

My cancer doctor (who I met only once here in town) recommended I stay on it for 10 years. He knew nothing of me or my file and I’m supposed to listen to him? I met with another professional back in April and she was very kind and conceded that it was only a 3-4% increase in non-recurrence. Not huge numbers. I told her I would be stopping it and it’s taken a few months to get things sorted (blood work complete, follow-up mammogram, etc). But I am ready to move on now.

Unfortunately I’m still on blood thinners for the time being (as I developed numerous blood clots while on Tamoxifen, another lovely side effect). Once the Tamoxifen is out of my system completely (a couple months), I’ll be stopping those as well.

I’m ready for my life to resume that was so rudely interrupted 6 years ago.

So long lab!

I went to see my doctor today to go over past blood work and such. We have decided to change my blood thinner from Warfarin to Xarelta. Why is this exciting? It means NO more blood work. No more visiting the lab 3 times a week sometimes. No more watching how many green, leafy veggies I have or how much I drink. I can have cranberry juice again without worrying. It’s awesome. The lab staff always know me when I phone because I’ve spent the last 2 1/2 years phoning for appointments at least weekly. It means I don’t have to rush over to the hospital and scramble to find a parking spot during the cold winter! Or stressing about my results.