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Dec 12, 2019 · Cancer Related Brain Fog: How do you cope with it? in Breast Cancer

I don’t have any real medical evidence and can only speak for myself and my experience with AI meds and tomoxifin. My husband is not very supportive of my side effects and sometimes even makes fun of me when I can’t think clearly. Thus, I just keep my mouth shut and deal with these challenges as best I can. Last year I was on Anastrozole for about 6 months, and the cognitive side effects were awful. My doctor switched me to Tomoxifin for a few months last spring in an attempt to relieve the cognitive issues. But for me the Tomoxifin was just as bad. Then she gave me a break from all cancer meds to see how I responded. I was off meds for 4 months this past summer; my memory and ability to think clearly was much better. I began taking extemestane in late September. So far, I think it’s better than the other two meds, but there are some challenges with it also. I had some joint pain with Anastrozole and that was also relieved during my break from meds this past summer. I’ve practiced yoga for about 25 years and that also helps. However, my yoga practice is also more difficult now, and sometimes I just don’t do it at all anymore because it’s not as enjoyable with the joint pain. I’m hoping that since my side effects were much better during my break from meds, that when I finish the next few years of taking them, that I will return to my old self again. But I’m not counting on that…

Dec 5, 2019 · Cancer Related Brain Fog: How do you cope with it? in Breast Cancer

Just google ‘cognitive function and aromatase inhibitors’. There is a lot of information available. You’re right Laurie, it is technical, but for me there was still a lot good information to learn from. Though I am truly grateful for the medication to help reduce recurrence of breast cancer, but the side effects can be very challenging. I’m 66, I’ve worked very hard to be financially secure during my retirement years. As grateful as I might be for these meds, I’m also disappointed that my quality of life has been compromised by an essential treatment for breast cancer.

Dec 4, 2019 · Cancer Related Brain Fog: How do you cope with it? in Breast Cancer

Thank you Laurie! I’ve found several things that cause me to have brain fog on my cancer journey. For me the worst is the estrogen lowering medications we need to take for years after initial treatment. I was on Anastrozole first and thought I was loosing me mind! I couldn’t think straight at all, and my memory was so bad I just retreated from everyone because I felt like I was sliding into dementia. My husband makes fun of me and frequently makes ‘cute’ comments about my poor memory and cognitive function. It’s very hurtful, but I suppose that’s how he copes with my cancer journey. I have an amazing oncologist who has worked with me to try different medications to find one with the least side effects for me. She even gave me a break from meds for a few months this past summer to see how I responded. Within a few weeks off the meds, my cognitive function was pretty much back to normal. In late September I started on Exemestane, it’s not great, but better for me than Anastrozole or Tomoxifin that I’ve also tried. I’ve learned to adapt to these memory side effects by writing myself notes and using my iPad to calendar, and make lists to keep track of things. These cognitive side effects of breast cancer drugs aren’t often discussed, but for some of us, they are very real. Unfortunately, until there is a ’cure’, we must do the best we can to live with the treatments available. I try to look at the positives rather than dwell on the things that can’t be changed. But being positive about treatment is challenging sometimes too! I am grateful for the medical advances that we do have, and that breast cancer most often is no longer a death sentence.

Nov 3, 2019 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Karen, I agree with Trixie! You’ve got this!! I was also pretty scared when I had my first mammogram after treatment. It’s pretty much normal to be anxious, scared, and concerned. But for me, I’d rather know if there is another cancer so it can be treated as soon as possible. I don’t want this DAMN disease sneaking up on me when it’s too late to do anything about it! Everything turned out fine for me at my last mammo, Odds are that it will turn out just fine for you too. I’m quite sure though, that I’ll be just as scared and anxious when it’s my time for a mammogram again… Always remember that you have all of us rooting for you! You are not alone in this journey, all of us totally understand your fear. And a mammogram is the best way we have, so far, to detect breast cancer in an early stage. Keep up posted! We’re rooting for you!

Oct 26, 2019 · Switching Aromatase Inhibitors: Questions about $ and drug plan in Breast Cancer

Cfacarol, I’m on the same boat with you… I’m also on Medicare with the AARP drug supplement through United Health Care. UHC iwon’t pay very much in my state. My out of pocket cost for Exemestane is nearly $200 a month. I’ve been very pleased with my AARP drug supplement until this issue with Exemestane. I have had dreadful side effects from both Anastrozole and Tomoxifin, so my doctor switched me to Exemestane. My side effects from Exemestane are very minimal compared to the other two drugs! I have bought a 90 day supply (at that high price) of Exemestane and it should last me until January. There are other Medicare supplement plans out there that will cover it. I have an appointment in early December with a specialist in Medicare supplements. He is not an insurance agent, but an advisor who is very knowledgeable and specializes in Medicare plans and supplements. His customers, like me, pay him directly for his time and advise, rather than him getting paid a commission from the insurance companies to ‘sell’ their product. I will be reviewing what’s available for coverage for all of my prescriptions at this annual visit with him, but mostly seeing what’s available to cover Exemestane. I don’t know yet if it’s best to go to another supplement plan than the AARP plan, but I do believe knowledge is power. I intend to become as knowledgeable as I can regarding costs of Exemestane, it’s working very well for me so far and I don’t want to give it up.

Oct 20, 2019 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I’m also in your situation with costs. I’m also on Medicare with AARP drug supplement and recently was prescribed Exemestane. I feel much better with it than I did on other medications, but AARP pays little of the cost. My husband is still employed and I work part time. For now… we are able to stretch finances to afford it, but I’d much rather be putting that high drug co-pay into our retirement funds for the day when we only have Social Security for an income.

Oct 19, 2019 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

Sparklegram, I’ll post whatever I find out for everyone here to review. But it’s likely to depend on what your individual Medicare drug supplement insurance is willing to cover. Unfortunately the AARP coverage is through United Health Care insurance, and they cover very little of the cost for Exemestane. They cover Anastrozole and Tomoxifin very well, but not much on Exemestane. Many drug costs also depend on state insurance laws.