Friday, March 5, 2010

Had I But Known ...

... I might have bought ones of these Seuss Land wigs while we were in Orlando 8 years ago! I've since looked for one of these but no luck.

Well. No more blood since yesterday morning, I'm happy to report. I didn't drink any fluids all day yesterday because I was afraid to go to the bathroom. Eventually I got too thirsty (and my wiser head prevailed) and I drank ... peed ... and was relieved in more than one way! Today I heard from the oncological nurse and got started on what I need to do just to make sure we've taken the precautionary measures. I saw my family doctor. I have appointments lined up, one for an ultra sound and one with a "groinacologist" (haha - that's what Nora calls them) for a biopsy. I had blood work done today ... two needles later. I have teeny tiny, rolly veins. Now some waiting. There's very good reason to believe this will turn out to be nothing but I'm glad we're making sure of that.

I'm also happy to say that I'm finally seeing steady improvement in my joints, tendons and muscles! Hallelujah for that!! I can go from sitting to walking much easier and quicker than I used to be able to do. There's much less time spent doing the "Frankenstein walk". YEAH!! Maybe the Arimidex is finally clearing out.

There are also some changes in the bone/muscle aches. Where I notice it most is in my arms. Previously my arms mostly ached at the joints - shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers. Now my joints are less bothersome but the aching is mostly in the long bones or muscles of my arms. In particular, the area between my elbow and wrist aches like a stiff muscle when I use that arm. I don't notice it if my arms are still, but if I exert any strength, I feel aching in the length of them. I wonder if this isn't from the Tamoxifen, which can cause muscle and bone aches, just not as badly or as frequently as with Arimidex. Maybe my being very sensitive to Arimidex that way means I will also experience that side effect with the Tamoxifen.

I find I'm so tired and dragged down lately. I suspect the Tamoxifen is largely to blame. At first I thought it was just because of feeling more drained than anticipated from returning to work, but now I wonder if it isn't the Tamoxifen since I can feel just as whipped on a Sunday. I've lost that feeling of sunshine and light in my brain. I miss that feeling. It was so temporary. Tamoxifen can cause "brain fog" and depression, so I really do wonder. These drugs ... Tamoxifen and Arimidex ... are very powerful pharmaceuticals ... chemicals ... and while they have good records for doing what they're supposed to do, I'm not convinced they're the only way to go and, in fact, maybe there are better ways for people who react badly to those drugs. I'm not very happy about what they're doing to my insides ... my mind ... my bones ... my organs. More and more, I'm considering going off Tamoxifen and turning to natural aromatase inhibitors. My naturopathic doctor told me in passing this week that she had found something that might be the ticket but we haven't had a chance to discuss it yet. All of my research makes me feel more confident about the possibility of going off Tamoxifen and getting some quality of life back. As scary as it is to go off the cancer centre's protocol, I am thinking about it. Today. Who knows how I'll feel tomorrow. It's very scary. I'm trying to give myself the best possible chance of living for a lot more years but with quality of life and not just quantity. There are no promises. Like I said ... SCARY!

And now for a little stream of consciousness thinking ... some of my darker thoughts. I don't think I'm being paranoid but it is a matter of being aware and then using one's own best possible judgment.

While I'm grateful for the medicine I've had access to that has been killing cancer cells (I hope), I don't entirely trust the powers behind it. I don't trust it because I don't trust pharmaceutical companies. I don't believe there are altruistic pharmaceutical companies. They're in it for the money. It's in their best interest to have all women who fight breast cancer taking their drugs for 5 or more years. They're expensive drugs. Why aren't they forthcoming about some of the serious side effects that have been proven, such as the joint problems so many women experience on Arimidex and which isn't even mentioned in the literature that accompanies the drug? I thought that legally they had to warn of serious side effects.

What if (just as an example - I'm not saying this even might be the case) we learned that taking optimal amounts of Vitamin D could prevent breast cancer from returning? What would happen to those big pharmaceutical companies? They can't patent something natural like Vitamin D. What if we learned that taking optimal amounts of Vitamin D could cure cancer (a stretch I know ... but just imagine)? All those chemo drugs ... suddenly, for the most part, unnecessary? Can you imagine how wonderful that would be for humanity but how lousy it would be for big pharmaceutical companies? While we wish for a cure for cancer, pharmaceutical companies probably don't ... unless they discover it and can make tons of money with it. They wouldn't be happy to find out that cancer can be eradicated by something simple ... something they can't patent. Do I sound paranoid? Hmmmm ... I don't think so. I've seen close-up how greed and corruption works. It's shocking and you don't want to believe it. But if it exists at levels that I've had the misfortune of seeing then you can bet that as the stakes get higher, the more likely it is. Pharmaceutical companies are huge. I believe corruption is rampant and that sometimes they suck otherwise well-intentioned scientists and doctors into their evil vortex. I believe that. Evil.

Just my musings ... when I should be simply enjoying the beautiful day. I'll start doing that now. Right now.

Have a good weekend, everyone!



  1. Hi Heather. What your thinking is exactly how my husband thinks. He has said at times that there probably is a cure for cancer but nobody wants to give it because it is such a money maker. He also thinks that the states probably hit there own towers and not the afganistands. (I'm not a good speller). He dosen't trust anyone or anything. You and he could have a great conversation about all the cruption in the world.

  2. Hi Lori! Sorry I missed you and my fellow splurgers last night!

    If we ever have a splurge dinner where we invite out husbands, you might want to make sure your husband and I are seated at opposite ends of the table! I have a feeling that if we got started we might be able to clear a room. I wonder if he knows some lawyers like I know some lawyers?

  3. corruption - and lawyers - definitely seem to go hand in hand! The all-mighty dollar overrides ethics of many lawyers, and, as you know, that is from my own personal experience of having been employed by the same law firm as you, and dealing with them *&^)%, especially in management. Unbelievable what some will stoop too! and then try to pretend they do no wrong, even after the Labour Board says so. I hate to even think about them! Glad I am out of there!

    On a brighter note, Luv the photos - especially Cherub Kevin! You should make that your boudoir pic - or is it already?? Look forward to seeing you soon!


  4. Hi Bonnie! Oh yes ... you, me, and many other innocents vs evil, inept, corrupt lawyers right here in Saskatoon. WE WIN!! I can't tell you how many times I've thought about my gratitude, at least, for the fact that our experience turned me AWAY from law firms as prospective employers. I would never work for a law firm again. Never, despite the fact that I actually really liked the work. The likelihood of working for corrupt individuals is why I would never risk it again, though. My kids, after having seen what happened, would never enter the field and probably would never have anything to do on a personal level with anyone in the field of law either. I shudder at the thought. As awful as that experience was, Bonnie, at least it gave us an obvious reason to get out of there. That's the take away.

    I need to hear all about your holiday so we must get together soon. I'll email you to arrange something.


Sorry for the word verification thing. Without the comment spammers are relentless!

Thanks for commenting!