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CYNTHIAHOARD's Photo CYNTHIAHOARD SparkPoints: (35,140)
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1/29/12 1:43 P

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I am on Arimidex (since October) and have been pleasantly surprised about not having side effects. I have a very close friend on the other hand who is miserable. She has constant hot flashes and night sweats, drenching the bed every nite. She was originally on Tamoxifen but because of side efects was moved to Arimidex. They tried her on Effexor and she got the dry heaves. Has anybody found a solution to dealing with their hot flashes? Cindy

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CONCHA77's Photo CONCHA77 Posts: 6,710
1/29/12 9:58 A

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Thanks, PINGPONG,
Yes, it's only been one week ago today that I began my arimidex and thus far I really cannot feel the effects EXCEPT when I took my med at night I could not sleep well so I switched up and now take them in the morning and much, much better. I am just about over my "bug" and beginning to feel much better.
I go to my first mamm this week and also first Dr appt. I am feeling confident that all will work out.
Happy Sunday, everyone.
Hugs and Health.


If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.




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PINGPONG6's Photo PINGPONG6 SparkPoints: (17,874)
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1/26/12 11:19 A

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@concha77 - I think your flu bug is probably just that. I had no side effects from the arimidex until after 2 weeks, and my dr said it takes 6 weeks to tell what side efffects it might have. I recommend taking in the AM because one of my side effects is having trouble getting to sleep. When I switched to taking it in the AM that improved significantly although didn't completely go away.

I do have trouble with pain in my hands and a "trigger thumb", but it is consistent and not getting any worse than it was after about 6 months on arimidex (I'm now at 18 months). It is worst in the AM but usually after I get moving it becomes less problematic.

Edited by: PINGPONG6 at: 1/26/2012 (11:23)
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CONCHA77's Photo CONCHA77 Posts: 6,710
1/26/12 11:09 A

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Thanks so much. I am thinking positive. Just this "bug" that's getting to me... Appreciate all your thoughts and also thankful to have this team for support. Hugs.


If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.




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TWILIGHTNAN's Photo TWILIGHTNAN SparkPoints: (17,864)
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1/26/12 10:41 A

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I took it every morning, much easier to remember pills in the morning. I have NO side effects and was also told it takes several weeks for it to get into your system and work. But don't expect side effects, just go on with your life. If you wait for bad stuff and expect it you may over imagine things. I kept waiting and felt nothing. They say possible joint pain, well I had both hips replaced from arthritis and you would think all my joints would hurt due to susceptibility but nothing. Night sweats and menopausal symptoms yes, but I'd been through Menopause already- actually 3 times with the cancer! lol! Just be thankful there is something out there to keep the BC at bay. I would take any little side effects compared to getting it again as I have. Yes I was 'cured' of the Estrogen positive BC but now I have a different type. I don't have a choice or a pill to take, chemo is the only treatment so be thankful you can take a pill. Always look at the bright side. Your glass is half full! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CONCHA77's Photo CONCHA77 Posts: 6,710
1/26/12 9:37 A

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I am on Day 5 of armidex but at the same time have some sort of the flu so can't figure what's making me feel what???? Someone on this team said it takes a while for the med to take effect. I also hate taking meds but I certainly don't want to hear that I have breast Ca once again.
My question is: Would I be better taking armidex in the morning, and why? I have been taking at night before I go to bed? Reading this post someone said morning might be better.
Thanks in advance.


If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.




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GENESIS2012's Photo GENESIS2012 Posts: 1,284
1/25/12 7:50 P

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I found this thread very interesting because I started taking Arimidex in May of 2011 and came very close to saying "to heck with this whole medication thing". I had a lumpectomy on 1/8/11 - it was an estrogen fed BC - no spread, no lymph nodes involved. I had balloon radiation (2x/day for 5 days). I had no noticeable side effects from the Arimidex until about Aug. 2011. That was when the joint pain started getting bad. I spoke to my oncologist and I was switched to Aromasin about a month ago. I still have joint pain in the hands and "trigger finger" in my right thumb but I am doing much better. The arthritis in the hands is uncomfortable but I trust my oncologist and he thinks the protection the medication provides in my case is worth the discomfort - as long as it isn't debilitating. I find that exercising helps and I, too, am more active now than before. I agree with the general consensus - you may have to try several different meds before you find the one that works best for you. I'm managing the joint pain in the hands by using heat and Tylenol. I do the breakfast dishes by hand and in the evening we have tea and I wash those cups by hand also because the warm water really helps my hands a lot. I also bought a pair of moisturizing gloves and I put Bio-Freeze on my hands and put the gloves on while I'm watching TV at night. The gloves keep the warmth in and it really helps too. I am very fortunate that I live in a community with heated pools and spas and so I use them almost every day and get a tremendous amount of relief from this. There isn't really any easy answer to any of our questions but we just have to follow our instincts and trust our doctors I guess. I think what cinched it for me was when I told my Chiropractor I was thinking about getting off the Aromasin and he said not to be so quick to do that. He told me that while he's not a big fan of Rx drugs, he's had a lot of patients who have taken these drugs and they had very good results with them and that most of them were able to manage the joint pain after a while. I seemed to have a change in my thinking after this discussion and for some reason I've been able to deal with everything much better now. Whatever you decide to do, good luck and stay positive! emoticon

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 TLSB

Carol
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TWILIGHTNAN's Photo TWILIGHTNAN SparkPoints: (17,864)
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1/23/12 11:01 A

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I took Arimidex for a year with no side effects. i was happy to take it if it keep the Estrogen positive breast cancer away.
That being said I was taken off it in November, 11 months after starting it. Wasn't working for me or it probably did for the type of cancer I was originally diagnosed with but I was taken off it when my breast cancer came back but this time it's HER2. So I am back on Chemo but a different type. You should always find the positive in things and MY positive is now that I no longer have Estrogen positive BC I can have soy products again! emoticon I am loving my Soy milk and Boca crumble and burgers! See, there IS always a bright side to stuff.
Back to the post....while on Arimidex I knew the side effects and kept waiting for some but felt fine and noticed no changes. I did have a bone density test and have not had another one to compare yet but I think all is well. Everyone is different and even if a person experiences some side effects if it will help you with recurrence you should try to deal with the draw backs.

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MONIQUEDVA's Photo MONIQUEDVA SparkPoints: (13,343)
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1/22/12 9:53 P

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I'll be honest...several of the posts have truly surprised me. I haven't heard anything good about Femara, so the positive up til now has been great to hear.

I have been taking Arimidex since October 1st, 2010 & I have no side effects I am specifically relating to the drug. I was diagnosed back in Dec of 09 with Inflammatory BC. I had chemo, blood clots (either caused by the cancer or by the treatment) then more chemo, then surgery, then radition...oh golly this is boringgggggggggggggg...

While I personally do not like to take drugs & it actually took me several months to decide to take the Arimidex (think he wrote the RX in June)...now that I am on it, I have no specific compaints!

Monique or just Mo
"Where there is great love, there are great miracles."


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BSCOTT58 SparkPoints: (35,414)
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1/22/12 6:56 P

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I had Stage 2B Breast cancer in 2009. I started Arimidex in March 2010 (at the end of my chemo sessions) and took it until October 2010. I had trouble sleeping and low energy. My doctor took me off of it in October because of the symptoms, but we finally determined (in December that my problem was hypothyroidism (possibly from the chemo, but not sure). Anyway, I started on Femara in October 2010 and have had no problems at all. (Of course, I am also on medication for hypothyroidism). Cancer is a scary beast, but you do have a say on what side effects are acceptable to you. If you have side effects that you cannot accept, ask them to change your medication. They have various options depending on your medical history.

GLOMER's Photo GLOMER Posts: 4,471
1/22/12 12:47 P

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Hi - I have been on Arimadex for 3 1/2 years. Side effects so far have been minimal. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal CA stage 1. I have more energy and do lots more exercise than I ever have. I'm not even sure the sometimes pain I get is from the drug.

Anyway there are lots of us out here but you just have to trust your MD and your body.

Eastern Time Zone


I expect to pass through this life but once. If, therefore, there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing that I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now as I shall not pass this way again.



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MAMAENUFF's Photo MAMAENUFF Posts: 1,143
1/22/12 10:44 A

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Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) stage 0. I was prescribed Tamoxifen and I took it for 1 year only. I made the decision to stop taking it on my own because, I was afraid of the risk of uterine cancer. Six years later I was diagnosed with stage 2 BC, had a lumpectomy followed with chemo & radiation. After the treatments were over I was started on Armidex, took it for 3 mos. and started getting very bad joint & bone pain. I couldn't sleep at night because of the pain & tingling sensations. I spoke to my onc and she changed prescription to Femara. Have been taking it for 3 1/2 yrs. now with no problems. Please note that Femara is given to women you are post menopause.

Hope to have helped you with your decision making. Best of luck to you!

Margaret

Margaret
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JOYSGARDEN's Photo JOYSGARDEN SparkPoints: (34,119)
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1/21/12 8:22 P

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I did the 5 years on tamoxifin without bad side effects. I didn't have to worry about uterine cancer, as I had had cervical cancer 5 years before, and had a total hysterectomy at that time. You have to do what you "feel" is right for you, but I would suggest doing a lot more questioning, and perhaps trying it, and see how it goes. If it keeps the cancer from returning, to me, it would be worth a few side effects.


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JOCALAT's Photo JOCALAT Posts: 1,036
1/21/12 5:25 P

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On tamoxifin....just hot flashes and initially wicked leg cramps but they both have gotten better...I saw my onc in Nov and we have discussed 2 years on tam, maybe 3 and then changing to femara. There is a teacher, my age, same diagnosis in my building and she really liked the femara better...we'll see. I say read up on it but keep an open mind because everyone reacts differently....

Edited by: JOCALAT at: 1/22/2012 (11:08)
PINGPONG6's Photo PINGPONG6 SparkPoints: (17,874)
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1/21/12 2:24 P

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I have been taking Arimidex for a year and a half now. While I can't say I like taking it, it really has not affected what I do greatly. My side effects have been problems with getting to sleep at night, which improved some by taking it in the AM, some pain in my hands, and very occasionally my thumb will "snap", which they call trigger finger..

They started me with Tamoxifen, but after doing a DNA test took me off of it, saying I didn't have an enzyme that is necessary to process it. I was thrilled with that move, because the Arimidex is nowhere near as dangerous as Tamoxifen. Last summer I was having some problems and my oncologist told me to take a month off from the Arimidex so we could identify what was related and what was not. Most of the issues were not related. For some reason, I have been doing better since I went back on it than I did before, so my doctor thinks that I might have an issue with it building up and may at some point need another break.

I have heard that some women have hot flashes when taking taking Arimidex, but I do not.

I totally agree with you about quality of life, and I can't say that Arimidex has changed my quality of life at all. Some of my most strenuous hiking has been done since my cancer treatments and since taking Arimidex, and I exercise regularly and travel a lot. Keeping in mind that every person reacts differently, my suggestion would be to try it. At least for me, cancer is a whole lot scarier. And just because you start it doesn't mean you can't stop taking it if it does affect you adversely.

Just my thoughts - hope they help a little.

Myra

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DEETHEDIETITIAN's Photo DEETHEDIETITIAN Posts: 254
1/21/12 1:26 P

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I have a long story but I am going to make it short as possible.
I was diagnosed with stage I (not spread to lymph nodes) ER+/PR+ breast cancer and I opted for a double mastectomy with reconstruction so I did not need radiation. I received 4 doses of chemotherapy (just in case, it was adjuvant therapy) ... I then -- begrudgingly went on Tamoxifen (even though it increased my risk of uterine cancer)....

nearly a year after being on Tamoxifen I had a uterine ultra sound (because something didn't feel right) and my uterine wall was 7 mm thick (it should be 4 mm thick)... my doctor did a biopsy and it was negative. Still... we opted for a total hysterectomy which I had done on December 5th ... so now I don't need to take Tamoxifen (good thing because I gained 30 pounds on that medication!!)

Now my doctors are talking about me taking Armidex or a similar aromatose inhibitor. I've heard about lots of negative side effects including severe arthritis.

I don't want to take anymore drugs. Especially if they will limit my activities and cause me pain. There has to be something said for QUALITY of life. I've pretty much made up my mind but I am wondering what others of you have chosen to do and how it has worked out so far.

Thanks,
Dee

PACE Yourself ~ Positive Attitude Changes Everything.
Positively,
Dee


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