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Jan 6, 2017 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Wow! Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! I had some of those side effects as well, but NOTHING like the ones you are having. Still I couldn’t stand them and tried about 3 other drugs until I got on anastrozole. It has side effects but much milder, at least for me. I don’t know who your docs are or where you are getting treated but you could also consider a 3rd opinion.

But honestly, if I were you, with the miserable quality of life you seem to be having, Stage I, bi-lateral mastectomy and no lymph node involvement ( although you didn’t mention your HER-2 neu status or your estrogen sensitivity, which need to be considered) I would SERIOUSLY be thinking about chucking the post-hormone tx and taking my chances.

If your quality of life sucks, what’s the point? That however, is a decision only YOU can make, and I myself wouldn’t make it without talking to my docs about it first.

I’ve had TWO different types of breast cancer: triple negative, stage I in the L breast, the first time around – 11 years out on that one, and ER+, stage 1b in my other breast – 3 years out on that one. No lymph node involvement either time. Before I started anastrozole the side effects of the other drugs, even though no where near as bad as yours seem to be, were bad enough that I told my doc at Mayo that if there wasn’t something else I could take my quality of life was bad enough that I wanted to consider skipping oral chemo and taking my chances (my chances of recurrence were also 15%).

Luckily we found something that worked better. I TOTALLY get where you are coming from. You are having to make a decision with incomplete information. There are NO easy answers here. I would just say, go with your gut.

Berit

Nov 30, 2016 · ~Looking for an apartment for the last time, or I'm moving back ~ in Mental Health

Well, finally . . . You have been very unhappy for a long time now. I am glad to hear that you have put a time limit on how much MORE time you are going to spend living in a place that makes you MISERABLE. Sorry, but how much can your daughters really love you if they want you to stay in place that is making you so unhappy? I happen to live in a VERY friendly neighborhood – we have parties, the singletons celebrate holidays together, and we have groups for golf, cards, poker, pickleball and much much more. I came from a neighborhood up north that had NONE of that, so I know how special the place I live in is. Life’s too short, especially at the end, to spend what we have left of it in misery.
Sounds like it is past time to move on. Congratulations on finally setting a deadline for ending your unhappiness!

Nov 9, 2016 · triple negative breast cancer in Breast Cancer

Wow! What a nightmare, Janice. Your story was sounding like mine until it jumped from triple negative, stage I to stage IV. You are doing EXACTLY what I would have recommended, getting a 2nd opinion. You can’t do better then Mayo, and you can DEFINITELY do worse. I was dxed with stage I, triple negative, grade III in my L breast in 2004 and was cancer free (after lumpectomy, chemo and RT) until 2013 when I got a 2nd cancer (stage I, ER+, grade II) in my R breast. Don’t you love how this damned disease won’t let you alone?

I must say, a jump from stage I with no positive nodes to stage IV sounds like a BIG jump to me. I’m not a doc, but I was an oncology social worker for many years so you do get a sense of the usual way things go. I think you are very smart to get a 2nd opinion. It’s you LIFE! You owe it to yourself to leave no stone unturned. No good doc will be offended by your getting a second opinion. if s/he does, you don’t have a good doc – drop s/he IMMEDIATELY for someone better!

My thoughts are with you. And I’m sure everyone else’s are too. Keep us updated, please.
Berit

Oct 30, 2016 · ~ Retired, moved closer to kids, unhappy ~ in Mental Health

Dear Abby,

I totally understand the “muddled-head” day. Who hasn’t had one of those, or more than one, if truth be told? I had a wonderful therapist who used to say to me, when I was having one of my many muddled head days, “You don’t need to decide that now.” For me, that was a very helpful comment b/c I was quite good a driving myself crazy with worries/decisions/concerns that DID NOT need to be decided then and there, that were not urgent, that could definitely be put of until some time way into the future when i could better deal with them, or MAYBE, would never even need to be decided at all if i just let things take there course.

I am a firm believer that when it is right, all the pieces will fall into place. When you are ready for a dog, you’ll go to the shelter and look for one. When you see the one that’s right for you, you’ll know it. When I first saw my rescue cat, I knew he was the one for me, even thought I looked at 4 or 5 others, had never had a cat before and thought I was a confirmed dog person. I just knew he was meant to be mine. He was 5 years old and he is now 14 years old. He is a “talker” with an opinion about everything and happy to share it with everyone who comes over.

Animal companions are the best. I don’t think the breed even matters as long as the personality is a good fit. As Rosemary said, “just look, no pressure”. When it’s right, it’s right. It will work out in the end.

Oct 30, 2016 · Any success working with Mayo Clinic without diagnosis? in Chronic Pain

Justin,
Thank you for explaining all that. VERY much appreciated.

Oct 30, 2016 · Facet Joint Injections - Anyone had success? in Spine Health

I had I forget how many injections at a time and had at least 2 rounds. For whatever reason they just didn’t work for me. I’m getting some relief with manipulation. Apparently i have a muscle running along side my spine whose name I keep forgetting) that continually knots up and causes my pain. What causes it to knot in the first place is a mystery so I don’t know how to prevent it. Massaging out the knots works, but they just come back the next day. We are strengthening my core, but, so far, that hasn’t helped either.

I’m too young for a wheelchair – in my opinion – so I keep fighting, but it is very hard.

Oct 26, 2016 · Facet Joint Injections - Anyone had success? in Spine Health

I wish I had a magic wand to wave over you (and myself too, for that matter). But all you can do – and I think this is VERY important – is to go back to your doc and KEEP going back to your doc until he comes up with something that works or refers you to someone else who can help you.

If you get frustrated and give up (and I understand the temptation ) it will NEVER get better. But if you keep coming back and coming back and insisting your doc find a solution he will be VERY motivated to find it b/c he’ll get VERY tired of hearing from you. Remember, it’s the SQUEAKY wheel that gets oiled.

Oct 25, 2016 · Any success working with Mayo Clinic without diagnosis? in Chronic Pain

Sorry for the dumb question but is the Pain Rehab Center at Mayo the same as the Pain Clinic at Mayo? I’ve been to Mayo’s Pain Clinic where they basically gave up on me. They recommended PT, which I had locally. It sort of helped, then didn’t. They referred me to Neurology which is like asking NASA for a trip to the moon – impossible to get, no matter who refers you.

i found a neurologist locally, who sent me to another PT, who found the knotted muscle in my back so at least we know now what is generating the pain. But manipulation only works for a day (wonderful while it does, however) and now that my PT benefits have almost run out it’s grit your teeth time.

To be honest, I really don’t understand why this is such a tough problem to diagnosis and treat. We can treat cancer, AIDS, heart disease. Is back pain ignored b/c it isn’t fatal? It won’t kill you but it can sure make you feel like your life is not worth living. I’m not there (yet) but I can easily see how someone could get there. I think the medical community needs to pay more attention to pain and its effects on one’s quality of life.