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Nov 17, 2016 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

On Feb 2, 2016 I was diagnosed with IDC, Mucinous type. I had 2 separate tumors in the right breast. I elected for bilateral mastectomy with natural reconstruction, a tough but very satisfying route. I was then prescribed Arimidex. I took it for about 4 months and had multiple side effects that were intolerable: severe insomnia, severe mood swings, depression to mention a few. As a result, I was prescribed sleeping pills and anti-depressants. I finally said this is crazy and my oncologist took me off the Arimidex and put me on Femora. I also stopped the antidepressants and sleeping pills! I took 2 Femora pills, 1 each day, and had the worst diarrhea I have ever had in my life that lasted a week with stomach upset for a month. That ended that. I am now on Aromasin. I started with 1/2 tablet for a month. I will now add a whole tablet every other day for a month. Pending my reaction, I will then move to the prescribed daily pill, taken in the AM with a full breakfast. If this does not work, I will go back to 1/2 tablet and stay on that for 5 years!

I am very concerned about several things. First, the protocol is for women to take the prescribed dose-1 tablet on any of the three aromatase inhibitors daily for 5 years. It does not take into account if you are 5’2″ or 6’2″ tall. It does not take into account if you are 120 lbs or 350 lbs. It does not take into account if you are Caucasian, African American, Asian, Native American or from Mars. It does not take into account if you are 25, 55, or 75. It is a one size fits all protocol and my oncologist is not very sympathetic about me altering the dose.

I am one of the most blessed women alive. I did not have to have chemo or radiation. I could have had a double lumpectomy as my breast surgeon said given what I have and my age, (slow growing, rare-2%, that strikes women 68-72 usually BRCA negative), with radiation and be fine. I could have had the right breast removed and left it at that. I was quite large breasted so didn’t like that option. I had 2 breast biopsies a week apart, a third biopsy the next week on my hip (negative for anything) and a sentinel node biopsy the forth week. I was done. I elected to have bilateral mastectomy as I knew I was never going through this again. If anyone is interested in knowing what “natural reconstruction” is, I am willing to tell you.

My whole point is that these protocols need to be worked out with your medical team and you need to be in charge of our own health. I found an exceptional book that helped me through my decision making and can’t imagine doing this without it. It empowered me to decide and keep deciding based on my body and how I physically reacted to all of this.

Blessings to you all on this horrible psychedelic trip God is good and is holding my hand every step of the way.

Aug 10, 2016 · Types of breast reconstruction: How to choose? in Breast Cancer

Am wondering where you are in this process since it has been nearly a year since your posting but will reply anyhow. I am mid-DIEP and know I have made the right decision for me. I had bilateral mastectomy March 10, 2016 with immediate reconstruction. My belly fat was transplanted to my chest. The first surgery was 8 hours with 5 weeks recovery. 2nd surgery was June 22 lasting 4 hours, 10 days recovery. The third and final surgery will be early 2017 and should be day surgery. Insurance has covered all. The final result will be natural feeling breasts and I will never need another surgery to replace anything. Also, I will never need another mammogram. There is no doubt this was the correct route for me and I would do it all over again. Good luck and God bless you. I am available if there are any questions.

Aug 10, 2016 · Getting second opinions in Breast Cancer

I was diagnosed in Feb 16 with two tumors, IDCM and immediately requested 2 things: BRCA test and a se one opinion. My diagnosing Doctor set up the 2nd opinion, not with a friend, but an institution of my choosing. I have known this dr 25 years and was afraid he would be offended but did it anyhow. He wasn’t. Then, rather than having him do the surgery, I opted for natural breast reconstruction and had both my bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction in a town 100 miles away. My original doctor has supported me all the way. I highly recommend a book called, Breast Cancer, 50 Essential Things to Do. Good luck and feel free to contact me.

Aug 10, 2016 · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I’ve been on anastrozole for 5 months and so far my only major symptom has been insomnia. I am up to an average of 5 hours sleep a night at this point. I am also having chronic mild headaches but not sure if that is related to my chronic migraines or the anestrozole. I will see my neurologist in Sept and discuss with him. I did lose some of my hair after my first surgery (8 hours) but that has pretty much stopped now. I had IDC, Mucinous type, 2 tumors, Stage 1 and Stage 2. I elected for bilateral mastectomy with natural reconstruction using my own fatty tissue. I am the most blessed woman as I did not need Chemo or radiation but anestrozole is wreaking havoc with my emotions and depression. Good luck and blessings to you.