Thursday, 9 July 2015

PS to the last post - Zoladex

I know, another post - on the same day! Almost unheard of other than at peak times of crisis.

Having just re-read my post about starting Zoladex, I thought I would update you/the blog, as what I wrote was factually incorrect, which is irritating and also dangerous if someone reads it and follows the same advice I was given (mistakenly) by the GP that gave me the first implant.

Basically, last time I wrote about it I was somehow under the misguided illusion that I didn't have to take Tamoxifen any more.


I double checked with the 12 yr old GP that gave me the implant, and he was sure that I could stop taking the Tamoxifen pill every day. Rather unlike me, I hadn't done any independent research so blithely followed his instructions and cancelled my repeat prescription. 

Fortunately I saw Mr Pain for a check up the week after, and when he asked where we were at with treatment etc I mentioned the Zoladex and said that I was so glad I didn't have to take the Tamoxifen any more....... cue me looking like a complete idiot when he reminded me that even women who are post-menopause have to take Tamoxifen (or its equivalent) for 5-10yrs if their cancer was oestrogen positive.


So, I hot footed it back to the surgery and have added Tamoxifen back to my list of drugs. I've also ensured that the 12yr old GP has been educated regarding the reasons for this type of treatment.

I know, calling him a 12yr old is mean, and I know that GP's can't be specialists, but it turns out that had he read the instructions from my Oncologist, we wouldn't have gotten into this mess.

It has been a timely reminder to me that only one person is in control of my treatment, and that's me. Not a mistake I'll make again, with any luck. 

Other than that, v little drama regarding the side effect of the Zoladex. My cycle returned as normal, to my bitter disappointment, after the first implant, but I'm now 1/4 of the way between implant 3 and 4, and have not had another period, which is definitely a positive side effect.

The hot flushes aren't that fun, particularly in 36 degrees Celsius, but I'm trying to embrace each one as a sign that the drugs are working and are sticking two fingers up to cancer. The chewable calcium and vitamin D tablets are not delicious, but my nails seem to be a lot stronger, so I am getting over the taste pretty quickly.

The first two implants didn't hurt, but the 3rd was really painful - it has taken 10 days for the pain to diminish. I see my Gynae consultant on the 15th and shall ask then whether I can go to 12 weekly implants rather than 4 weekly - if it hurts like that every time from now on I shall be needing the Emla cream again!

All in all, lots of positives, other than the fact that more research into cancer and it's strength as a carcinogen mean that I am on the wagon, except for very special occasions. I believe that the NHS are going to change their guidelines as to what a "safe" level of alcohol is. 

If you want to read more about it, click here, herehere, and there's even a Wikepedia link, here.

Obsessing much? Me? Surely not.

I don't drink often anyway, but on the basis that I don't "need" alcohol to survive, I shall steer clear as much as possible. We've now found that Tesco sell bottles of bitter lemon at £1.50 for 4, so I shall drink that (the slimline/low sugar version of course) instead, just minus the Gin.

Happy Days!

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