Finally I caught up with my oncologist yesterday. She could still barely talk after being out with the flu but I had called after I waited nearly a week. I saw her nurse practitioner on Monday and called after lunch on Friday. I thought that was long enough to leave me dangling on the Femara cliff.
Last August when I saw her, she was all set to take me off Femara at this visit. We talked about it so I could emotionally prepare for the cliff of the end of breast cancer treatment. I did stress over it, think about it, whine about it, and otherwise cope maturely.
When I went to my appointment on Monday she was out with the stomach flu so I saw one of her nurse practitioners who indicated there is new research so maybe I wouldn't be going off Femara right away (despite my stress, whining, and thinking). And that is the case.
There is new research in the past month or two that says that more might be better in terms of breast cancer treatment. It has been thought that ten years of Tamoxifen might be better than five for premenopausal women. Now it is thought that up to ten years of Femara might be better for postmenopausal women. And for people like me who had over two years of Tamoxifen and switched, originally aiming for a total of five years of hormonal treatment, it is thought that five years of Femara plus the two plus years of Tamoxifen is better.
So now here is the new plan. I will continue on Femara for up to two and one-half more years based on how my bones/osteoporosis are doing for a total of five years on it if possible. We will assess after each annual bone density test in May. I can also be treated for osteoporosis while on Femara so that is an option as well.
I am a high risk for osteoporosis due to a strong family history, synthetic thyroid hormone is also hard on your bones, and Femara is really hard on your bones. Combined with all that, I had osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) before I started all this breast cancer crap (and crap it is).
This has been the story of my cancer treatment - I am always the 'different' case - because of your medical history we need to be sure. Triple grr.
Damn the new research and the stupid moving cliff.