I have written several times about the dreaded aromatase inhibitors, or as many of us prefer to call them, the drugs we love to hate. Those posts are among my most-read and most-commented-on posts. Plus, I get emails regularly from women who are sharing about their struggles and frustrations with these drugs. So yes, it’s a hot topic. But I am writing about it again because it’s also an important topic. And of course, these drugs are prescribed for women (and men) who’ve been diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
First of all, I feel a responsibility to stress again that this blog is not intended to be a place to receive professional medical advice. Also, while I very much value every single comment shared here, comments shared are not to be interpreted as medical advice either.
However, this blog most definitely is a place where you can come to receive validation. Sharing is welcomed and encouraged.
If you are experiencing nasty side effects from these drugs, at the very least, you deserve validation from your medical professionals as well. Your issues should never merely be brushed aside. You also deserve some help in managing any such nasty side effects.
Never suffer in silence. Just do not.
Another reason I am writing about this topic again is because I have now reached and passed the five year mark of being on an AI. I started on Arimidex and that was a disaster. I switched to Aromasin. I am not side effects free by any means, but I am doing much better on it. Knock on wood.
At my last several oncology appointments, my oncologist and I have had pretty much the same conversations. Among other things, we always talk about how I am doing on my “chosen” AI. It always comes down to the same question, how well am I tolerating it? I always squirm when I’m asked this question because for some reason it feels like it’s my fault if I say, I am not tolerating it. It feels like I’m not toughing it out or something. On the other hand, I totally “get” the question and why it’s asked. I’m glad it’s asked.
As far as adhering to this drug, it’s always been more or else, I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
Sometimes choices totally suck.
As you may or may not know, it’s often recommended these days to stay the course, or in other words, continue with your prescribed adjuvant hormonal therapy beyond five years. Of course, your oncologist might be recommending something else based on your situation.
I have reached that five-year mark.
So now what?
In my next post, I’ll share about my decision to continue or not, and why I made it.
And yes, AIs are still the drugs we love to hate.
Are you on an AI or tamoxifen, or were you?
Have you reached the same five year juncture and if so, what are your plans regarding taking these drugs?
How are you doing side effect-wise?