Tuesday, May 30, 2006
What to Say When There is Nothing to Say
I haven’t felt like myself for a while now. At first I kept thinking it was because I had taken on too much and then there was the move and then the doggies joined me and then Relay and… and… but that is all part of life the way I live it. I have very full days and am involved in many things. It has always been this way, even through treatment. Now as I face my regular work duties and a new class beginning in a week, as well as family commitments and doggie duties, I wonder where I will get the energy to do everything and do it well. And maybe even have a little time left over for some fun or adventure.

Mentally, it feels like I am whining and being a baby because it could be so much worse right now. There is still no evidence of cancer, I am approaching my two year cancerversary, and life is generally good (especially with my adorable puppies to keep me company). There is this conflict between how I actually feel and how I think I should feel. Oddly, I feel simultaneously good and bad for finally releasing all of this.

I think it is time to re-evaluate how I tolerate tamoxifen. The fatigue, sleep disturbances, and the muscle cramps in the legs are impacting my quality of life and prohibiting a healthy lifestyle. I keep telling myself to wait until I have been on the drug for six months as that is the amount of time it takes most women to adjust to the side effects. Two more months like this seems like a tremendous challenge. I can handle the hot flashes, the discomfort, the headaches, and other assorted (and unmentionable) side effects. Not being able to take brisk, healthy walks everyday, not getting enough sleep, and the general fatigue makes me feel so unhealthy which leads to poor choices all around.

There is a big part of me that feels if I stop taking it I have failed at this portion of treatment and have not given myself every chance for a long and healthy life. Other drugs (Aromasin, Arimidex, et al) have not proven to be effective alternatives for premenopausal women (but they are great for post menopausal women). I have a call in to my doctor. It might be time to weigh the benefits of a healthier lifestyle vs. the benefits of tamoxifen.

If anyone out there has any personal experience with this topic, I’d love to hear from you.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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