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Wed, Feb 6 8:32pm · How Long Did You Have Your Drains in After Mastectomy? in Breast Cancer

I had mine in for what seemed like an eternity… Finally I told the doctor and nurse navigator that I had made plans and needed the drain out so I could start chemo. They said, "you might have a seroma where the drain is…" I said I would own that. The doctor conceded, the nurse pulled it out, and I was ever so happy. I agree with you that the drain is incredibly annoying and for me was more painful than the recovery from surgery. My issue was my activity level was very high and the drain volume wasn't going down. I wasn't willing to back off all of the stuff that I was doing so I negotiated…

Tue, Feb 5 7:11pm · CA 15-3 cancer tumor marker in Breast Cancer

My oncologist doesn't put a lot of stock in tumor markers either. BUT she does order them every month. So I guess we just continue to keep an eye on them. She also is not a big fan of scans–mostly seems to favor how I feel. The only thing that makes me feel better about that is those are the same things that the specialist at Michigan says…

Thu, Jan 31 3:11pm · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I have had a series of issues with the anastrazole: hip (joint) pain, hand tingling and numbness, and some energy issues. Fortunately a combination of physical medicine and rehab doctor, a good nurse navigator, a friend who is a pharmacist, yoga and exercise have helped. My best advice is to keep track of symptoms and then question, advocate and persist until you find some answers and/or relief.

Sun, Jan 20 8:13pm · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I have been struggling with pain from the anastrazole as well. Fortunately, I was able to see a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor last week; he specializes in pain related to cancer meds, etc. He had lots of good suggestions. One was a medication change. A second one was a series of exercises and a referral for physical therapy. Another was to take LOTS more vitamin D — which makes sense since during the winter we have almost no sun in Michigan. I can't believe how much better I feel after just a week with his input. If you have a doc like that as an option, it might be worth pursuing. Best wishes to all — this continues to be quite a roller coaster. Sometimes it's as if they forgot to put the safety bars on the cars.

Fri, Jan 11 8:32pm · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I am having severe hand pain as well. Fortunately, on Tuesday I get to see a physical medicine and rehab doctor at U of M who specializes in cancer patients. Hopefully he will have some suggestions on ways to get the pain in my hands and hips to abate. Good luck to you!

Thu, Jan 10 6:12am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

also be sure to ask about possible interactions with other drugs that you might be taking. I am beginning to think that some of my side effects such as joint pain are from an interaction between atorvastatin (Lipitor) and the anastrazole… Sometimes things happen that are not within the doctor's usual scope of knowledge.

Sat, Jan 5 8:20pm · Exercise and Physical Activity after Breast Cancer Surgery in Breast Cancer

I would suggest doing as much as you possibly feel you can. I currently am in a yoga for osteoporosis prevention class and find it very helpful in many ways. I also have taken part in a strength training class that helped as well. Swimming helps with restoring flexibility and range of motion, too. Good luck — keep moving!!

Thu, Jan 3 2:22pm · What Are Your Best Tips for Before and After a Mastectomy? in Breast Cancer

My advice: take the pain meds, do as much activity as you can post surgery, and take advantage of the offers of help. Be prepared to be tired from the anesthesia. Best wishes — you've got this!