3, 5 or 10 Years?

So, I’ve been feeling pretty crappy for the past month or so.  Physically and mentally, I may seem fine, but my anxiety is high and motivation is low.  My sleep patterns are also all out of wack.  I used to bounce out of bed by 5AM and now its almost 2 hours later before I muster the energy to rise and shine.

At first I thought my anxiety was attributed to anticipation/nervousness leading up to two appointments:  my annual mammogram and some unexpected dental work.  However, both appointments came and went, but some mild feelings of anxiety lingered on.  By the way, the mammo went great.  I had a different tech than the past 2 years.  I also had a follow up appointment with my surgeon which went great.  She had a very young and adorable resident working with her that day, so I managed to turn my frown upside down.

Anyway, there have also been lots of unexplained tears – ranging from the expected (tears during the mammo) to the ridiculous (almost losing it when I thought I forgot to bring my insurance card to an appointment, really?).

Physically, I’m just sleeping a lot or laying in bed all night not being able to sleep a wink (which may explain why I don’t pop up bright and cheery when the alarm buzzes).  I’m also not as motivated to work out and have not been nourishing my body with as much healthy foods – or in other words, opting for candy, cookies or any sweets instead of fruits, etc.

However, today was a good day.  I got a great night sleep last night – 8 full hours.  I awoke refreshed at 5AM and busted  out a workout at the YMCA.  I like my outfit today, ate healthily throughout the day and I felt motivated to come home from work and actually do something rather than sit on my butt!  But then my husband called me…Have any other BC survivors read the newest study on Tamoxifen?  Bri called me at work, hoping to catch me before I read the report – he’s so sweet, he didn’t want it to ruin the good day I was having.

So, back to the report – the study is basically suggesting that extending the length of Tamoxifen use could be beneficial in reducing one’s risk of recurrence.  I am already struggling with the idea of taking this pill for 5 years.  And I’ll be blunt about my reasoning – I want to start a family.  I cannot start a family while taking Tamoxifen!  I had already been having these imaginery conversations in my head where I tell my oncologist that I’m going to stop Tamoxifen after 3 years. Some of my feelings regarding having to put this part of my life on hold are also probably causing some of my craziness.

Thankfully, I did not go into freak out mode after reading the article online.  I know that it is important that I discuss this information with my doctors and make my own decisions.  I’m also eager to connect with other Tamoxifen users and get their take on length of usage (especially young women eagerly waiting to start a family).  I thought 5 years seemed like an eternity, but 10 years, yikes!!!

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4 Responses to 3, 5 or 10 Years?

  1. Kristen Parise McGillen says:

    You’re doing so awesome Lex. I’m very proud of you. I’m not a scientist and I’m not God. Those two things constantly remind me that I have control over nothing. (you know, the big things) It reminds me that I have to go with the flow and fighting whatever’s going on can make it harder on myself. I love you…and you’re the strongest person I know.

  2. Alexis says:

    Thanks Kristen! You’re too sweet…I was doing pretty good going with the flow – I guess I’m just going through a rough patch!

    BTW, love that you addressed me as “Lex”, thats a name mostly used by family and friends use (i.e. you’ll never hear coworkers using it) – but I realize that some new friends and family have been reserved about using that name. Way to go!

  3. pinkandapple says:

    Hi Alexis, all the best with your journey. I am about to start tamoxifen (on Monday) and have very conflicting emotions about it. Partly as I would also like to start a family and my oncologist recommends I take the drug for a minimum of 2 years, stop for a year or so to fall pregnant if possible and take tamoxifen for 3 years following birth. I am 36, the timeframe seems… well, ambitious at best. Hope all goes well with you and thanks for sharing your story.

    • Alexis says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I hope that you are adjusting to life on Tamoxifen. It is always nice to hear from someone who is experiencing the same/similiar feelings in regards to treatments and how they mess with our life plans!

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