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    Nocmom asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Has anyone had experience with Femara (aromatase inhibitor) since finishing chemo/surgery/radiation?

    5 answers
    • Nocmom's Avatar
      Nocmom

      I agree that quality of life is much more important than living a life of pain and misery. I have always had a high sensitivity to medications. I had terrible reactions/side effects to my chemotherapy and radiation. After reading as much as I can find, and hearing about others reactions, I have decided not to take the Femara. I am still suffering some of the side effects of both chemo and radiation. I can't see me adding more things on top of these. Also, I run a low Vit D level as I am lactose intolerant. Still waiting to see how my DEXA scan (bone density) turns out. I talked with family and friends about my concerns (those who have been with me throughout my treatment and have seen the side effects), and they are in agreement with me about not taking it. Of course, they understand that it is my decision, but I am glad to have their support on my decision. I am going to enjoy my life now, and let fate determine my outcome. I am not accepting of living a dependent life of broken bones, constant pain, and not being to drive eventually, which is what I see as the end result of this drug. I have started eating a healthy diet, especially with those foods that are considered to help against cancer. I have started an active physical program that I will increase as my strength/Fatigue allows. And I am including "dancing" to the Oldies and Richard Simmons as part of my program. I used to dance all the time"back in the day", especially the disco! (was a disco queen...LOL) I am looking at naturalist approaches to cancer related health. It seems so much more body friendly than doing drugs!

      over 4 years ago
    • workit's Avatar
      workit

      If I read your journey correctly, you had lumpectomy not mastectomy & reconstruction. You might be a good candidate for swimming or a stationary bicycle, less bone impact, both those exercises are weight-bearing helping to minimize the risk of bone stress fractures.

      Dr. Melinda Irwin at Yale is an exercise specialist researcher who does breast cancer studies. Go to Pubmed, select the 'advanced' link near the top of the page, then search her by 'author-first' in the Builder pull-down menu, then type in 'Irwin ML', hit search, you'll find her articles there.

      An exercise study:

      http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/64/8/2923.full.pdf+html

      perhaps you can do fine with exercise and not the aromatase inhibitors!

      Good health to you!

      over 4 years ago
    • Nocmom's Avatar
      Nocmom

      Thanks Workit! Yes, swimming ad stationary bicycle are included in my exercise program. Received the DEXA results, and am -1.8 in the lumbar spine area. Hip bones are good. Will be working out a weight bearing type program to help improve the osteopenia in my spine. I am thinking the swimming/aquatic exercise program will help a lot with that, too. Continued good health to you, also!

      over 4 years ago
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    Nocmom shared an experience

    Decision Point: Am currently deciding on whether or not to take aromatase inhibitor, Femara, due to potential side effects. Also considering a clinical study, as requested by my Med. Onc. Dr. Am 99% sure I will do both, but wanted time to research more information on the Femara.

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    Nocmom shared an experience

    Loss (Job): Was a critical care stepdown nurse, but had to quit my job due to chemo side effects. Took early retirement and qualified for disability

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    Nocmom shared an experience

    Side Effects (Multiple listed side effects ): Am too tired to go back and forth to choose all listed side effects, and don't know how to click all at one time. Still have fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, hair is slowing growing back, still have low blood counts (red and white), low potassium level, chemobrain, insomnia, taste buds almost totally back, generalized weakness, other but can't think of them due to chemobrain.

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    Nocmom shared an experience

    Radiation (External radiation ): 33 Rad. treatments. Blisters developed, severe fatigue continued (post chemo), severe pain to left breast after "boost" treatment of the last 8 days (direct radiation only to scar area of lumpectomy instead of total radiation from breast bone across chest to left axillary area including collar bone area). Severe pain is less now, 3 weeks later, but still have occasional sharp shooting pains into my left breast. Have been told it will get better, so we'll see!