Monday, May 20, 2019

WHY I PICKED TAMOXIFEN An Important, little-known, fact

 "Even if you have stopped menstruating, your body may still produce small amounts of estrogen in the adrenal glands, fat tissue and even breast tissue." (From JohnsHopkins)

My doctor and I chose Tamoxifen even tho I was definitely very post-menopausal.  .  
To understand why I was glad to, it is important to know the difference between Tamoxifen and "those pills."   

Tamoxifen inhibits cancer cells from acting in the breast tissue.  Hopkins says specifically:"This drug impacts the effects of estrogen in cancer cells and helps reduce the risk that the breast cancer will recur in women of any age by almost 50 percent."  

The Aromatase inhibitors (such as "Arimidex" on the other hand  belong to a class of drugs that work by reducing the levels of estrogen in the body. I didn't like thinking about how they would do that.  

In either case, when it comes to aches and pains and other side effects many of us on either medicine could sympathize with those in the other. 

 Also, I had had DCIS, and Tamoxifen was already accepted for use there.

And once my dose had been halved, I was glad of my choice.

So I'm glad I chose it.   

Do I worry now without it?  No.  If I do, I'll let you know.

Am I "better." without it?   The best way I can answer is only to say:  I'm even more determined to be as healthy as I possibly can be. 
I wish you health.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Am I my better after two months and a couple days without Tamoxifen?   If my new pills would please stop confusing me, I might know the answer.

I actually went back thru old day-at-a-time notebooks to see what I was complaining about several years ago.  Alas, I did not have a day-by-day notebook for that crazy time -- those am-I-insane months before the doctor cut my dose in half.  

I did have some muscle aches, but not the horrid wake-up-all night aches and cramps that my friend suffered on "the other medicine". 
The sad thing is those first months of Tamox-brain still at times make me mistrust my memory for no reason.

The main difference on no-Tamox?  I have mild (so far) hot flashes!  How's that for a joke on an 80-year old woman?! In Texas.

Maybe I'll still be better after a few months.

I wish you health. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

BUT THEN...What the.....

 All thru February, I'd been inching slowly back up from the goal weight I had reached.  And I'd made a note at times that my ankles and feet were swelling.  But mostly no after-Tamox problems.

Somewhere along in there,I had seen my family doctor, mentioned the ankles, told him I was retaining water.  I wasn't ready for water pills; told him and my lab tech that I was using the drinking more water cure, keeping hydrated.

Read my trusted parts of the med advice on the web, took notes

March 1
Asked family doctor if he had any really mild diuretics.  He phoned in Rx for a thiazide pill, my secret choice, for 90 days.  Guess there's no instant cure.

Promise I'll let you know if something happens that isn't water but that could be Tamoxifen.

I wish you health.

Monday, April 1, 2019


This is not an April fool!

After I stopped Tamoxifen at the end of February, life got way too busy, and I didn't have time to feel abandoned, uncovered, unprotected, or anything.

When the shoulder  and back of neck pains started, I couldn't remember anything quite like that when I was taking too much Tamox.  I did remember finally that years ago in rehab, they said that even my purse was too heavy to wear on my shoulder.  Now I'm learning to carry groceries like we used to carry them in bags - sorta like carrying a baby.

Bottom line this far...I can't blame Tamox or leaving Tamox for anything.  (And yes, sometimes I still look right at my phone and can't see it, and I still leave my keys in dumb places as I did decades before I ever heard of Tamoxifen.)

I wish you health.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

After Tamoxifen. Something spooky. MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

They're back!

Those scary looking red blobs under the epidermis.  Had them all the times in recent years.  Age ago, the oncologist told me big guys would come in with them, looking as if they'd been beaten up.  But somehow we'd get onto another subject and I never got him to narrow down on what they were or what caused them.

I coasted along, assuming that something...Tamoxifen or maybe Prolia...or both...were attacking my veins or capillaries.

Then in the past months, I almost never had one.  It sure wasn't less stress fluffing up my veins.  Recently, sometimes I didn't have any.

This week?  They're back..a couple big as my little fingernail and bloody-looking.  What is this?

Short time out for quick Google search, which I was planning weeks ago...

Didn't find much of anything.. platelets mentioned..but.   My labs from the oncologist were usually so good he was delighted.  My labs for other tests (from family doctor) are normal. 

Have you had these?  What was the diagnosis?  I don't see the oncologist for a

I wish you health.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Half a month without Tamoxifen


Do I feel better without it?  Uh...No.  For one thing, we have measles in our area.  I remember Chicken Pox (Mom concerned about our eyes. Put us kids together in one room, etc,.)

Measles?  Nothing.  So I brooded.  Doctor offered the test.  Oops! Not immune.  Got the shot (not painful) but I have to wait six more days  before I can feel sure I'm immune.

So far, as to Tamox, I don't have muscle aches and "remembered after-effects" that some women have had.  So will that last?

So far, not scared into wanting more Tamox.

But:  It's been clear for years that oncologist was not correct when he told me I wouldn't have that tummy bulge he has.  I have it.  Did I get it from Tamox?  Who knows.  I was often lazy during those five years.  Now I'm collecting exercises for that bulge and more.

John's Hopkins has a giant pack of health handouts for diabetes, but I'm interested in the part: "The Skinny on Visceral Fat ... stored deep in the belly is the most harmful kind." There's a bit on exercise.  I'm having laptop trouble switching back to that, but I usually just ask Google for John's Hopkins exercises for visceral fat.

Okay, doctors and patients:  what's your experience with anyone being BETTER after leaving Tamoxifen?  How long will it take?

I wish you health.

Friday, March 1, 2019


Spent a lot of time with my family doctor trying to clean up a few problems.  He is being great about seeing relationships of one or two probably minor problems to each other and what to do.

We didn't even mention Tamoxifen.  But my younger daughter talked with me on the phone and tactfully inquired about how a woman my age could really have any loose estrogen wandering around to get in trouble with a breast cell.  I read a little about that on line last night.

Don't let me get started waking up mornings hoping to find out if I'm "better without it" already, as the oncologist suggested was a possibility.

I have a lot of blessings to be thankful for, and a new prescription as a sort of flag for  starting over.

I wish you health.