Monday, October 5, 2009


I've had joint aches for most of the summer. However, things have gotten progressively worse. Now that the weather has changed, it has become, at times unbearable. When I got a sore throat, and chills alternating with hot flashes, exhaustion (probably because I can't sleep at night?), I figured that I was coming down with the flu. Going into the second week, I slowly figured out that it was probably not the flu. Things got so bad this weekend that I went from three aspirin straight to the prescription stash. It helped. A lot. After taking my 'wonder drug', I discovered that my bed was spinning and swirling. I spent the night wide awake and hanging on for dear life. The aching bones became a secondary concern.

I've been reading about the side effects of tamoxifen. Each of my most problematic symptoms can be found in the side effects, and I can honestly say that this has now begun to compromise my life. But reading on the long range effectiveness of tamoxifen, I read that 'Among women with ER positive or unknown breast cancer and negative nodes who received about 5 years of treatment, overall survival at 10 years was 78.9% for Tamoxifen vs. 73.3% for control. The recurrence-free rate at 10 years was 79.2% for Tamoxifen versus 64.3% for control'.

In ten years, I'd definately like to be at the 'recurrence-free' party. (I'll bring the veggie platter).

For several months now, I've been plugging right along, keeping my stiff upper lip, telling myself "This is what you do to win against breast cancer." It is my intention to win, but here I am, wrassling with side effects, and finding myself ready to cry 'uncle'.

We'll give it a few more days, but gees. I don't know.


Karen said...


Have you tried any other meds besides Tamoxifen? I've tried four so far and kept trying until I could find one that didn't have many side effects. Truth is, I haven't found one yet. Tamoxifen did contribute to joint pain, weight gain, and fatigue for me. Also there are some over-the-counter things you can try (ask your Dr. first) that have helped alleviate the joint pain called "Flexable" (a chewable tablet) which is Gluosamine & Chondroitin. I also take Caltrate with vitamin D for added bone health. Funny... when I repeorted these meds to my pulmonogist at a regular, annual checkup, he smiled and replied, "Sounds like you're on a bunch of old peoples' meds!" So much for tact on his part! Hope you're feeling better soon!

Roland said...

Debby, is it inflammation in the joints? I can't promise miracles, but fish oil capsules (Omega-3) can sometimes help with things like that. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can sometimes find some relief via fish oil, for instance.

In addition to taking Omega-3s, you can work on reducing Omega-6s (corn, soybean, and vegetable oils, primarily). The 3:6 imbalance can put our body into inflammation "mode," in general.

It's too complicated to cover in a blog comment, but if you want more info at some point, email me. We can talk.


Bill said...

I agree, you need need to be in that reoccurrence free group. Tough choice to make, given the averages in front of you. But for sure, whatever you decide, keep writing. Writing can be good therapy itself.

Anonymous said...

I was going through a lot of pain in my body from other problems and a friend told me to try taking omega 3. I started taking it and within a few weeks I felt much better. There are still aches and pains but they seem a little less.

jeanie said...

Hugs Deb - I do hope the aches and pains go away for you soon.

Daria said...

I love your idea of a reocurrence free party ... in 10 years ... that is a grand idea!

Roxanne said...

Debby, I know what you mean about the aches and pains. They wear you down physically and emotionally. Praying for strength for you as you decide what is right for you. Phillipians 4:13. God Bless, my friend

Caroline said...

If you bring the veggie platter, I'll bring dessert. Yes I want to be there too.