Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1826 Pills

I had a follow-up with my oncologist today.  I was glad to have an appointment with a doctor, as weird as that sounds.  I feel like I spent all summer fighting cancer.  As soon as radiation was done, I started doing...nothing.  I feel like I've just stopped fighting it, and that makes me very uneasy.  I told her that, and she said that it is a very common feeling, and that I had to trust that we've done it.  Easier said than done.

I asked if she would please do a blood draw to make sure my whites had gotten back to normal levels.  I'm pretty sure they are, since I've had two colds and gotten rid of them both within three days, but I want to be sure.  She was very nice about it and told me that they would be happy to.  That means that I got to see Marie!  She's my favorite chemo nurse!  It was awesome to see her while feeling good, instead of in a chemo-induced stupor.  I'll get the results of the blood tests tomorrow.  ::fingers crossed::

I was also given the prescription for Tamoxifen.  Because my cancer was the type that feeds on estrogen, this is a medication that decreases the estrogen in my body.  I will take one pill per day for 5 years.  1825 pills.  Wait.  There is a leap-year in there.  1826 pills.  I hope that the side effects are minimal.

There is a chance, if I was perimenopausal, that this drug will push me into menopause.  Because of the "chemopause," (fake menopause brought on by chemotherapy,) I won't know for a while if this is the case.  Oh goodie.  More unknowns.  I do know that I'm sick of hot flashes and the most common side effect of Tamoxifen is hot flashes.  *sigh*

She was happy with my progress, and I am to go back and see her in three months.  After that, I'll likely see her every six months for the next five years.  I wish someone would do blood work or a scan and say, "Yes! You are cancer free!" but that isn't going to happen.  I just have to trust that it's gone.  I have to trust the doctors.  I have to trust the medication.  I have to trust the treatments.  I have to trust God.

I'm working on it.


Donna said...

All any of us have is today. Rejoice in that fact. Oh, and I am an expert on menopause and all the unexpected side effects. Feel free to ask.

Shell said...

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

You know I'm not much on organized religion, but these words have helped me stay focused when I felt lost. I hope they comfort you as well. The other one is, "Let go and let God."

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Lindie said...

My mom took Tamoxifen and all her friends envied her the hot flashes as they were always cold! ;)

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