Tamoxifen

Lets talk about this new drug that I started taking 8 days ago.

Tamoxifen.

This drug is designed to blog the hormone, estrogen, which is what caused the breast cancer in the first place apparently.

I’ll start with the conversation with my amazing (and a little bit spunky) Dr Sid Selva.

He started the discussion with the fact that I’ll be taking it for ten years. Then he bored me with the details of what it does and how it may prevent further cancer blah blah blah. Then, he got to the side effects.

Now, anyone who has persisted in reading my blogs will know that I don’t use the term ‘side effects’ and instead call them feelings. Well, these are side effects.

When he started listing these side effects, I thought to myself…

“If this was a game show, I’d be the bloody champion because I already have all of these side effects without even taking the drug…. go me!!”

So, I started telling Dr Selva what I already had, and that I was way ahead of the Tamoxifen side effects. Here are the ones I have already….

  •  Weight Gain
  •  Irritability
  •  Reduced Sex Drive
  •  Hot flashes
  •  Anxiety
  •  Confusion
  •  Sweating
  •  Absent Periods (Yippeeeeeee)
  • Hair Loss or Thinning Hair
  • Inability to keep or get an erection (I put this in because it was on the fact sheet LOL

So, as you can see, I have quite the list already and I hadn’t even started the drug yet.

Now, for the interesting thing he said…

  •  Dry Vagina

What?

I said to the doctor (because when I think things they often shoot out of my mouth without any filter),

“is my vagina supposed to be like a dogs nose?”

Dr Selva, who I have never seen flustered or lost for words just sat there and looked at me with the biggest eyeballs I had ever seen. Ooops, wrong question perhaps?

I was getting worried internally thinking, OMG, I have had a problem with my vagina since forever because it is never ‘damp’ or ‘wet’ constantly. Maybe that is what those little panty liner things are for that I keep seeing advertised and never understood. Why has no one ever told me I should have a wet vagina?

Thankfully, Dr Selva explained the term ‘dry vagina’ refers to not being able to moisten during intercourse. OMG, how embarrassing! I could feel my entire face and body turning a lovely shade of beetroot!

We moved on pretty quickly after this topic.

Right, next we will look at what happened when I actually purchased my tamoxifen.

There is a lovely young fellow at the local pharmacy who covers for Mary on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It was him that I saw to get this medication and he asked if it was my first time using it. I stated it was and that I would be on it for ten years and he says….

“Did the doctor discuss pregnancy and tamoxifen with you?”

Oh man, this happens to me waaaay to often, I really need to lose weight so I said, that isn’t an issue as there will be no more pregnancies for me. I stated I was too old for that. Usually I let the person know that I am just fat and not pregnant but I didn’t want to fluster my already flustered pharmacist so I left it at that.

So, I have now been on this medication for eight days and OMG, the side effects are INCREDIBLE. Well, there are a couple that aren’t but seriously, the main side effects are awesome.

I have always been a sleeper. I could easily sleep 12 to 16 hours if I wanted and often, I did want! Now, I am awake before 6am and I mean, really awake. I am ready to roll.

The energy I have is also incredible. Yesterday, I was up at 5:50am, had some coffees, played some computer games and out of no where, I decided to take Brady to the beach. I live in the Adelaide Hills so it isn’t a five minute drive to the beach but off we went. I forgot to put a bra on, lost a shoe at the beach (it is still there at Aldinga Beach South Australia somewhere. I left it’s partner on the picnic bench so if someone finds one shoe, they can go on a hunt for the other hehe) but, Brady and I had the best time. We walked and walked and he chased the tennis ball in and out of the water.

I am also feeling incredibly happy and social so I popped into the future in laws house on the way home, had a cuppa, chat, play with the dogs and off I went again.

Once home, I had my breakfast, vacuumed the floors, mopped the floors, cleaned the main bathroom and toilet, cleaned kitchen, roasted tomatoes in preparation to make passata (tomato sauce for pasta) and also cooked dinner!

  1.  I don’t wash floors (Sam does it)
  2.  Rarely do I cook dinner (Sam usually does it)
  3.  Once in over a year have I cleaned the main bathroom (Sam does it)
  4.  I have never made a home made tomato sauce
  5.  I am usually exhausted after only one of the above activities

So, all week I have risen from bed on or before 6am naturally except on Wednesday. I did wake before 6am but that was due to a horrible headache. Yes, this is another side effect from the Tamoxifen as well as incredible joint and bone pain. I am taking panadol for this but a lady on the Adelaide Breast Cancer Friendship Group site recommended I take Theracucumin with a pinch of black pepper for the pain. I will be hunting this down today because I do not fancy taking panadol every four hours for the next ten years.

Boy, that was quite a long post! Sorry if I have bored you but this is how much energy I have. Even my fingers are going crazy with energy that I just keep typing LOL.

I shall leave you now with another acklompishment for the week. Managing to get both dogs to sleep on their beds at the same time in the same room. They usually sleep on the sofa (before being found out and shooed off) or the carpet. Finally, they are on their beds.

Can’t Sleep!

At 7:15pm I went to bed. I read my Game of Thrones book number 2 and was hot. On went the ceiling fan.

8pm, I’m up at cold. On goes the ducted heating and I am now warm. Kelly is sleeping on MY sofa and I have another glass of bubbles. I am wondering why I am up and awake because at 7:15, I was so tired, sick to my stomach (remember that stomach virus I have?) and boiling hot and now I am freezing, wide awake and needing some bubbles. FYI – Bubbles are non french champagne which I think we now have to call Sparkling Wine.

Now, at 10:20pm, I have emailed my bosses with the reality that my six months leave could now be between 12 and 15 months leave. I hated having to send that email because I wanted to do it person to persons. The shitty thing with that is I have a great day, where I am feeling good and energised but tomorrow, that might not be the case.

I have had days where I have felt incredible, missed work, life and living. Then the following day, I could be shit. Stuck in bed, even unable to get unable to get up and even tell big white dog Brady to shut up his barking. I can be almost comotosed and unresponsive. I hate that I can’t predict or plan things.

Today I felt A OK when I woke but the time Spanna came (the cleaner hired by my gorgeous and amazing family) arrived, I felt nauseas, dizzy and headachey. There is no predicting how I am going to feel day to day and I really bloody hate that.

Now, at 10:24pm, I am wide awake, mind running a million miles an hour.

Here are my thoughts tonight

*  Is my job safe

* Will I feel great tomorrow

* Is that tingling feeling in my cheeks an upcoming blister thing?

* Will I be able to sleep in the next few hours

* Are my shoulders just tight from stress, chemo or something else?

I hate the nights I can’t sleep. I really super duper dislike nausea. I absolutely love that families come together in times of need. I enjoy hearing bitchy witchy Kelly snoring on the sofa while I sit here with a spinny head and nauseas stomach. She cares not for me but only for the sofa and I love that about her.

My feelings today are

Television really sucks. There is rarely anything on this square thing that I enjoy. It is shit. shit shit sit.

Nausea

Headache

Blurred Vision

Irritability

PS: I still have some prickles left on my head which really piss me off. Give me all or nothing. I have shadows on my head. The front part of my head is almost bald and shiny. Seriously, I am not bullshitting, because, when I walk into the ensuite, I see the reflection of the lights off my head. But the back part still has prickles and they really piss me off.

PSS: That chin hair hasn’t resurfaced. AAAAAhhhhh in your face chin hair! Nothing beats Chemo you MOFO!!

I have no other photo than another random one of my boy Brady xx

IMG_0210

I failed as a patient today :(

So, how would you react if Dr Hands was standing above you at 5am asking if you wanted him to make you breakfast now or leave it to make yourself at a more respectable hour? I am sure, like me, you would thank him kindly for the offer and then tell him to get out and let you sleep a little longer. I am of an age when I can, and have, looked after myself before.

Imagine my surprise when the phone rang at 10am, waking me from another wonderful action packed dream, with Sam on the other end of the phone telling me that yes, he knew he couldn’t trust me to get up and feed myself and how he should have made me get up at 5am and that I am not doing myself any favours sleeping through breakfast and not rehydrating myself blah blah blah.

I did drag myself up, fed and watered myself, popped some pills and went back to bed at midday. Geez, talk about being bossed about!

Another bossy boots rang me today as she does everyday at 5:30pm, my mum. She always likes to check up on me to see that I am doing ok and today I told her I was tugging at my hair and eyebrows once in a while to see how well they are staying in. Mum then realised that yes, not only will my hair fall out but also my eyebrows and eyelashes. I explained to her that yes, they will fall out with my hair and I’ll end up looking like, well, a cancer patient.  Imagine that? Mum started talking about fake eyelashes and drawing on eyebrows and ended up in a fit of giggles. Geez, I love my mum 🙂

Todays Cravings

Ice-Cream! Fulfilled with a white chocolate magnum yum yum

Potato Chips – Fulfilled with small packet of smiths original potato chips

Lemonade – Had a can of this

Today’s feelings

Tiredness

Headachey (mild)

Nausea (very mild)

Hunger

Ear Ache

I don’t think I want to call the feelings – side effects – anymore. The thing is, this is how I feel. Each time I call it a side effect, it reminds me that I am doing this cancer fighting bizzo and when I am tired, I don’t want to think about cancer and chemo. I end up in a circle of confused and negative thoughts by thinking of all the horrible ‘C’ words therefore, by taking out the words ‘side effects’ and changing them to ‘feelings’, it keeps everything a bit simpler.

It isn’t as though I am trying to forget that I am fighting the breast cancer battle and having a few sessions with the ol’ chemo, but I don’t want to be dwelling on it.