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Posts (42)

Sun, Apr 28 8:32am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Welcome to Connect.

I think the decision to take an AI for 3-5 years is one of the harder decisions of dealing with Breast Cancer. I took Arimidex for 6 months prior to surgery as part of research study. As a result, I know the Arimidex did what it was suppose to do based on test results during diagnosis and then again after 3 months of Arimidex. With that being said, it came with side effects, for me it was depression.

I stopped taking after surgery, then did chemo and radiation. I have had multiple discussion with oncologist about AIs and have agreed to try Letrozole for a month and then will meet with oncologist again.

I am willing to try it, but if side effects are to severe, I will re-evaluate.

Everyone has different reactions to meds. And you hear more from those who have negative side effects then those with no problems. My sister had breast cancer and had no problems with AI.

Good luck
Laurie

Thu, Apr 18 8:58am · Tips needed: How do you manage finances during a big medical event? in Just Want to Talk

This great topic, if dealing with major or multiple medical issues, taking care of billing and insurance can be very stressful and time consuming at same time you have anxiety from medical conditions. I had three separate medical issues in 2018, and still trying to resolve some of the charges and insurance claims.

I have private insurance (Blue Cross) and not covered by Medicare.

Here are few things I do to help with billing and insurance:

Pre certification. If in doubt, call insurance company about what needs pre certification. My insurance company (Blue Cross) uses another company for pre certification (AIM) so sometimes it takes multiple calls. If something needs pre approval, call your clinic and make sure they know it requires pre approval. Never assume that the clinic knows what insurance company requires. At Mayo they have separate department that can help you with pre certification. Here is web site with Mayo contact info: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-needed-how-do-you-manage-finances-during-a-big-medical-event/

In order to keep track of bills and insurance claims I use a spread sheet. For every medical charge, I enter the information into spread sheet. Example of information I enter: date, type visit, and amount clinic charged. When I receive the insurance EOB, I then enter the amount insurance paid.

This can be time consuming, but it makes it easier to determine if insurance has not processed a charge.
I also have separate tabs in spreadsheet to keep track of prescriptions, travel expense, parking, etc…

At tax time, this spreadsheet has all the information I need to determine medical costs for a year.

This process may not work for everyone, but I have been doing for years, and it works for me.

Laurie M.

Thu, Apr 11 5:55am · Ginseng and Fatigue in Breast Cancer

My Dr. told be about a 2012 Mayo research study showing ginseng may help with fatigue in cancer patients:

https://www.mayo.edu/research/forefront/ginseng-fights-fatigue-cancer-patients

I have just started taking ginseng, so too early to know if will make a difference.

Has anyone else tried ginseng?

If a Breast Cancer patient, make sure you notice statement in article about some off-the-shelf ginseng is sometimes processed using ethanol, which can give it estrogen-like properties that may be harmful to breast cancer patient.

I ordered my ginseng from Ginseng Co-op from Wi: http://www.ginsengherbco-op.com/ . They are mentioned in article. You can check prices at their web site.

I doubled checked with my care team to make sure that ginseng would not interfere with other medications I was taking.

I am hoping it will restore some on my energy.

Laurie

Thu, Apr 4 8:10am · Cording / Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS) in Breast Cancer

Does anyone have experience with Cording, also called Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS)

I recently found a rope like structures under the skin in my armpit. I asked my radiation oncologist about and he explained it was called Cording and is scar tissue. I had a lumpectomy and few lymph nodes removed 6 months ago and I did not notice any cording. I am on my 3rd week of radiation and cording is now apparent.

Here is an article on cording:

https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effects/aws

The dr did give me some stretching exercises.
I am interested in hearing from others who have had cording and if you had any treatment for.

Laurie M

Fri, Mar 29 12:54pm · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

AI prior to breast surgery was part of a research study, can read more at

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01953588

Based on biopsies done prior to AI and again 3 months after start of AI, the tumor was responding to AI.

Laurie

Fri, Mar 29 12:25pm · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I was on arimidez for a study after breast cancer diagnoses and prior to surgery. The depression was terrible, but stayed on for 6 months. I stopped taking right before lumpectomy surgery and depression improved within days. After surgery had chemo and currently doing radiation. My oncologist wants me to take arimidez again when radiation is done and I will probably give it another try, but very concern about depression side effects.

Laurie

Sat, Mar 16 8:52am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Good Feet is a store located in MN and one in Wi that sells arch supports – https://www.goodfeet.com/

Wed, Mar 13 8:33am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I lost my hair after 2nd treatment of chemo (Adriamycin / cyclophosphamide)

Laurie