WHAT IS Tamoxifen?
I have been taking this drug for almost 5 years… Side note: I had to retrieve my hospital folder to look for the date I started taking Tamoxifen on my medical schedule lol because I don’t remember the finer details bwahahahahaha! I’ll put this here in case I forget – I officially started this medication on 6 November 2012.
I was told that Tamoxifen is a “Hormone Therapy”… that will prevent my cancer cells from spreading and hopefully keep me in remission for a few years. Tamoxifen is NOT preventative for any new Cancer that may occur but is given to treat my CURRENT Cancer. I have written about the side effects many times and it is exhausting to keep repeating myself – so in short IT IS ATROCIOUS! And my doctors have sentenced me to TamoxiHell forever…
So I stumbled across a support group for Tamoxifen patients on Facebook and I was overjoyed that so many women were taking this medication and that I was not alone. Many of them find that the side effects are life changing and the impact has negatively impacted their quality of life. Fewer women tolerate the drug and adjust their lifestyles accordingly.
Every now and then a debate arises: So what EXACTLY is Tamoxifen? Is it toxic? What does it do? Is Tamoxifen Chemotherapy???
Many Doctors will argue that it is NOT chemotherapy… Many patients will argue that it IS! In essence chemotherapy is a highly toxic substance used to stop or interfere with the rapidly dividing cells in the body (both healthy and malignant).
Tamoxifen is called a ‘Cytostatic Agent’ which ‘inhibits cell growth’… HeLLLLllooooo? WHaaaaAAT???
Don’t believe me? Ask Dr Google… or better yet have a good long look at the attached pic…
“Cytostatic (chemotherapeutic) refers to a cellular component or medicine that inhibits cell growth…
*Hysterical Voice* Also Tamoxifen can cause Secondary Cancers – cervical, uterine, endometrial and liver… never mind the fact that it Sometimes DOESN’T WORK!
Okay…enough of that…
Here’s how I deal with the AfterParty:
- Severe stomach ache – you are probably constipated, try a fruit smoothie. And if you aren’t sorted then try a mild laxative. I avoid laxatives because diarrhoea is scary (green juice works best for me). Do NOT eat cake or samosas as this will lead to more constipation and leave you full of sh*t literally!
- Bleeding mouth and gums – use a soft toothbrush or better yet use your sanitised fingers to clean your teeth and gums. Also add some Betadine mouthwash to your oral routine to keep the nasties at bay.
- Nose bleeds – stop drop and roll into your bed. These are evil and need your urgent attention. Relax and don’t blow try to go with the flow? If you bleed a whole towel full GO TO HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS IMMEDIATELY!
- Bleeding Bum – Gross – I know… Piles… eeeeuuuuwwwww! I just can’t even deal… Cry!
- Pain in your Liver/Back/Neck/Shoulder/Head – No it is Not Cancer – STOP THAT!
Hows that for Toxic? I am done with being in denial of the fact that I am still being treated for Breast Cancer. And it SUCKS that Tamoxifen is Chemo… and it makes me feel kuk!
Finish en Klaar!