Sunday, December 23, 2012

The femara dilemma

With breast cancer there is diagnosis, stress, depression, surgery, more stress, lymphedema worries, chemotherapy, baldness, neuropathy, weight gain, radiation, peeling skin, fatigue, stress, tamoxifen/aromatase inhibitors, slightly less stress, and through all of this is the ongoing care of your oncologists, surgeons, and other doctors.

I was diagnosed at the end of May 2007. I had surgery in both June and July. I started chemo on August 1 (some dates just stick in your brain) and finished chemo in mid December (where I bought myself an expensive watch as a gift), had a bad MRI and had more surgery (benign but stressful). January 2008 I began radiation and ended at the end of February. In about January sometime I was put on Tamoxifen for 2+ years. June 2010 I switched to Femara for another 2+ years. In September this year when I saw my oncologist she discussed going off Femara at my next visit to her which is next month.

As I filled up my weekly pill boxes I contemplated the fact that I don't have enough Femara tables to get me to my next appointment which is a paltry 15 days away. I have been going back and forth on this one. I know this is an emotional decision. There are no real benefits to taking Femara longer. But this is my last breast cancer treatment - that's it. No more. None. I just go to visits with doctors periodically where they will poke and pry and ask me how I feel (and look for potential rogue cancer cooties).

But emotionally am I ready to 'pull the plug' on all my treatment? I know this is why my medical oncologist brought this up when I met with her last fall. She wanted me to get prepared for this. At first I thought it was no big deal. But it is.

I have been waffling on this and caved in. This morning I placed a mail order to refill my Femara. It should arrive here just before I run out. Which will be a few days before my appointment. I would be happy to take fewer prescriptions but this is the last means of support against the evil cancer cooties.

I think at my appointment I will discuss my emotional attachment to Femara with my oncologist. My inner wimp is prevailing here at this point. Maybe I'll bring my refill with me and turn them over to her if I can't cut myself off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been on Femara 4 years this coming January and I can't wait to get off it. My oncologist wants me to stay on for 5 years - one more year of this but my bones are taking a beating; especially my hips so now what? I don't know what I want you to say but I am really having a problem with this whole thing and am considering taking MYSELF off it, in January and just telling myself that my bone density is also important and I have been on 4 years so what good will another year of this drug do me? Unfortunately,I believe no one knows! Frustrating!