Feeling hopeful but still have a long way to go

Hi everyone, thank you for adding me to this group. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 1B back in July 2016 after a routine mammogram/sonogram. My family and I had just gotten back from a fantastic cruise and I was surprised to say the least.

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I had a double mastectomy at the end of August. I thought I wouldn't need chemo but my ONCO type DX came back high risk. I have one chemo treatment left this week and then surgery in February and a hysterectomy in April.

I know in the end, I will be ok which is all that matters. Right now we are also dealing with the fact that my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 throat/neck cancer just a few months ago. He will be ok and prognosis is very good but definitely a lot to deal with.

My question is, if I'm having my ovaries, tubes and uterus removed, why wouldn't I just stay on tamoxifen rather than switching to Letrazole for the 10 years? I know that there are some potential serious side effects with letrazole and I haven't had any with tamoxifen. I know everyone's different in terms of side effects and whatever I need to do to be cancer free is what I'll do. I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with the last surgery and then the medications? No matter what, I feel very hopeful and know it could always be worse and I know in my heart that this is just a bump in the road and all will eventually be ok.

Wishing you all the very best!

9 Replies

  • Hi Vickirose42! I'm tagging another admin who might be able to address your question (daf10). It sounds like you certainly are dealing with a lot, but it's nice to hear you seem to be keeping your head above water. Sending you lots of strength and warm wishes! <3

  • Thank you so much 😊

  • Have you checked with your Oncologist about the possibility to stay on Tamoxifen?

  • We talked about it a little but after chemo is finished and I've had my hysterectomy, I plan to have the conversation again. Initially, he made it seem like letrazole had a better success rate but I know there's more possible side effects with it. I'll definitely be following up.

  • Hi Vickirose wow, good luck with all you're juggling. Is there a reason you're having gynecological surgeries at this time? hysterectomy, oopherectomy, etc? If you're taking a medication to control the effects of estrogen in your body, it often isn't necessary.. But, if that's best for you, your doctor can explain his/her choice regarding tamoxifen v an aromatase inhibitor. Often tamoxifen is the prescribed choice for women who are pre-menopause, while A.I.'s are used for those who are post menopause. But discuss this with your oncologist for a better and more individual answer. Both therapies have proven effective for women with estrogen + disease. And, as you note, each drug has its own potential side effects but, hopefully, you'll tolerate either/both well. So,continue to ask questions of your doctor that express your particular concerns until you feel comfortable with your treatment plan and understand its value.

  • Thank you so much. Yes, we have a major family history of ovarian cancer on my mother's side so that is the reason for the surgery and then will continue with hormone therapy after. I had forgotten that tamoxifen was pre menopause and other medications like letrazole are used post menopause so thank you for that info. I'll continue to ask questions once we get to that point for sure. Thank you so much!

  • Hi I can't answer your questions about the meds as my journey has only been lumpectomy lymphadadectomy eventualy masectomy and reconstruction, my BRAC test were neg and non hormonal so no meds .

    My reply is to offer support and prayers for strength as I understand quit well what you are juggling just now and how overwhelming it can get . My husband was a year and a half out from stage 3 oral cancer diagnosis when we found out my cancer had returned. The road has been quit a bit bumpy but we are still both traveling it. Good luck and God bless you both on your journey.

  • Thank you so much for reaching out and being so supportive. I'm so sorry to hear about your reoccurrence especially after hearing about your husband's battle. I haven't been able to connect with anyone who has had to battle side by side cancers with their spouse until now. It's been a very difficult time especially with three children ages 5,8,and 16 who all understand different amounts of what's going on. It's hard enough to wrap my brain around my own battle but I almost don't allow myself to get emotional because I need to stay strong and positive and just deal with what lies in front of both of us now, rather than the long road that's still ahead of us. I know we will get through this and support and prayers like this is what helps so much! Sending you strength and positive vibes to get through this difficult time. You're stronger than you can imagine!

  • Thank you . My sister was here thru much of the difficult times with him which was a big help but she needed to move back to Georga two days after I got my diagnosis. Fortunatly I have a dear friend that has been an absolute rock for me. Without her help ,support and encouragement not sure I would make it.

    There are times it gets so overwhelming between his appointments my appointments his medications the insurance etc. I know we will make it , just seems a family shouldn't have to have this much on there plate. Thank you again for your positive vibes and prayers.I hope you have a positive support system you can count on . You and your family especially the children will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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