Monday, November 9, 2009

Give me back my ovaries, dammit.

Sunday morning Dr Galliford came in to discharge me a day earlier than expected.

As a final word of advice he says, "Remember, no lifting and no vacuuming. Call me in two weeks."

"Um, when do I start hormone replacement therapy?"

"Oh no. I don't want you doing that. Not with your history."

Well then give me back my ovaries, dammit.

"When do I resume taking my Tamoxifen?" I already know the answer is 2 weeks, but I want his opinion.

"I think you can stop with the Tamoxifen because I've removed your primary estrogen source. But check with your oncologist." I already have. Menopausal women take Tamoxifen for two years instead of five.

Dr Galliford's comment totally took me by surprise and I knew I'd be going home to spend some time with google and then hunting down a naturopath. I had kinda already decided to have a naturopath hold my hand through this venture anyway after reading Sexy Hormones by Lorna Vanderhaeghe.

There was a big uproar over Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) a few years ago when a huge research project by the WHI (Women's Health Initiative) determined that HRT gave a woman a 25-30% higher chance of developing breast cancer and other risks.

There have since been found some flaws in the results, but of course that doesn't make a good story so the further story is not widely published. Even most doctors, like my own, are unaware that for women who have already had breast cancer HRT can in fact reduce the risk of recurrence.

November marks the time for my next six month check with the oncologist, so this is good timing. I shall sweat out any hot flashes until I see him and I get some more direction.

Coincidentally my first day without an IV (when I could put on real clothes) was Halloween so my pjs didn't really have the impact I was hoping for.  :)  
Although my anesthetist nearly peed himself laughing when came to visit.   

Even after my IV was removed, I continued to require extra oxygen because my levels kept dropping.
Breath deep, Mrs Ziemer, breath deep.

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