Sunday, May 9, 2010


Now I have switched to Femara from Tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is the gold standard for hormone therapy for Estrogen/Progesterone positive breast cancer. It has been around for thirty years or so. Basically, here's my non medical school brain attempts to give a coherent explanation, if your breast cancer is hormone positive, feeding off the hormones, they can suppress the hormones with Tamoxifen for an additional five or more years of treatment. Particularly true for women who were premenopausal.

However then there was additional research and aromatase inhibitors were discovered. Currently there are several on the market, Femara, Arimidex, and Aromasin. Research was done and found that women who took Tamoxifen for 2-3 years and then switched to an AI, did just as well or better, than those who stayed on Tamoxifen. This was particularly true for post menopausal women, most of whom skip Tamoxifen these days and go directly to an AI after treatment. Anyway to beat the odds of recurrence works for me.

So yesterday I went to pick up my prescription and blinked several times at the price of the co-pay - $120 for a 30 day supply. I said a small 'eek' and bit the bullet and bought it. I then called my insurance company and found I can get it online for $65 for a 3 month supply. I am switching to the online for this. I don't usually like ordering online because of the delay in getting them and basically I just don't really like it. But I will like it in this case because I am cheap.

Then I started thinking about the name. Obviously its something made up. What were they thinking? It doesn't sound like a food product - I'll have the spaghetti alla femara please. It doesn't sound like a plant - I planted some femara in the sun last year and they bloomed all summer. It doesn't sound like a geographical area - I spent several days in the Femara region last summer, it was quite nice and relaxing. It sounds like a feminine hygiene product - the femara is stocked in pink boxes right next to the tampons in aisle 7, halfway down on the left.. Actually its not pink, they are little tan pills that come in a big bottle that is also tan and all color coordinated. How special, and over designed, just like all the thought process that was put into coming up with the name.

Next I was stupid and went online to WebMD and started reading the reviews of it. Never do this. Everyone who has a problem with it posts and tells how miserable they were. If I look up all my medications, everyone hates them all. Just skip this step, you'll be happier.

So I've done my research, thought about it and figured out what I need to know. I took the first pill this morning about an hour ago and I didn't have any initial reactions.

Today is Mother's Day - Happy Mother's Day Mum! We went out to dinner last night. Today I am supposed to get some gardening done as well as fold laundry and clean the kitchen. How exciting.

1 comment:

Debby said...

Caroline? Did you have any problems with tamoxifen (i.e. bone and joint pain?) If you did, let me know how the Femara works for you, if the situation improves or not. Thanks.

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