Thursday, September 10, 2009

Call from Oncology office

It is the unwelcome surprises in life that trip us up and cause us pain. But God never misses an opportunity to pick us up and help us learn and grow from life's interruptions. ~from "God Things Come in Small Packages"

Each time the oncology department calls it is about my treatment or lack of treatment. And, each time they call it leaves me upset, frustrated and second guessing myself. Yesterday they called and had another option for me since my breast cancer is Estrogen receptor positive. She was talking about a pill that has fewer side effects and would not be as harsh as chemo therapy and radiation. I finally asked if it was Tamoxifen and she said yes, that or something similar to it. I know enough about it to know the side effects: serious side effects of tamoxifen are blood clots, strokes, uterine cancer (don't have to worry about this one anymore), and cataracts. Other side effects include menopause-like symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, joint pain and leg cramps. Since I already suffer from about five of these symptoms, the first major one being blood clots, does this really sound like something that I want to risk?

All of the doctors have been telling me for the past year that we needed to wait on the breast cancer and concentrate on the endometrial cancer. It was slow growing and we could take care of it later. I guess my question is, "Why didn't they suggest Tamoxifen a year ago?" I might have considered it at that time, or would the side-effects been to risky then along with the chemo? But never at any time was this suggested until now.

I asked the PA what difference it would really make whether or not I took the Tamoxifen and she had to agree with me that it wouldn't make any difference in my outcome because of the spread of the endometrial cancer. She said that they felt they needed to offer me some options. I know they are just doing their job but the position that I have taken on treatment takes a lot of courage and I am not sure that they understand.

I would pray that this could be a peaceful journey. Dear God, please give me the strength and courage to face each new day with joy in my heart.

I have many friends and family fighting their own battles with health right now and they need prayer as well.
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