Goodbye letrozole hello which chemo?

Hello I’m a rarely posting member since diagnosis Dec 13 with primary BC and secondaries to liver and spine soon after. I’ve had EC chemo which worked well then Tamoxifen which very quickly stopped working to Doxetaxol which again worked well and since May 2105 letrozole has kept me stable. I was monitored with blood tests and all stable until recently so I had a scan which showed stable bones and liver progression. So I have had quite a long time with letrozole and apart from the normal aches and pains from it I have been very well, indeed even now I still feel well. (I also have denosumab) My onc thinks I should now go onto capecitabine or another IV chemo up to me.

I ride horses a lot and am still thinking of finally getting myself a horse. But I am slightly concerned that the hand and foot side effect of capecitabine may scupper riding? Has anyone kept up riding with this chemo? I’ve got 3 weeks to decide what I want to do. I have kept up riding throughout all treatments to date! And this ‘time to decide’ time will also hopefully also include yet another riding holiday. Any advise welcomed!

Hello London
Welcome and glad u have posted and hopefully someone with cape experience and horses will be able to help you with the question .
Sorry letrozole has let u down as its a easy treatment than chemo but hopefully you can keep up your normal routines and enjoy your horses again.
Personally, I’m not good with it all …my friend was going to give me riding lessons …got to her stable and the horse looked at me funny and I couldn’t get on it …so decided it was better I tried something else !!!
Carolyn xxxx

Hi London1

Its good to hear you have been able to get on and enjoy life whilst on hormone treatment, it’s great when it works so well for so long as taking a small tablet every day is so much easier than any chemo I’ve been on! I had a good 4 years on arimidex before progression in my bone mets as well as a dx of liver mets meant I had to change treatments. I went onto Capecitabine and found it a very manageable regime after a couple of cycles. It took those few cycles I think for my body to adjust to having chemo but after that I didn’t have many SEs. I did get occasional splits in my fingers and very dry heels but no real pain with either. I found using a high urea content cream on my feet ie a cracked heel balm which is usually 25% urea as opposed to Udderly which is 10%. Also you can ask for Vitamin B6 tablets which is meant to help with any broken skin problems. A dose reduction can also help, as can an extra week off if your skin needs time to heal. Some ladies do seem to get very bad hand and foot problems but not everyone. I would say it would give you more freedom than going onto IV chemo, which inevitably have more SEs.

Nicky x

Thanks! Feeling well and having a liver full of tumours seems at odds and am certainly dreading having chemo poison in my system again. I knew about the cream but not the vitamins. I’ll add that to my list along with the mushroom extract for the onc when i see her again in 3 weeks time. Not taking anything for 3 weeks before I see her is also a bit scary! Sian

Hi Sian, another rider, yippee! I have been riding for…ahem…58 years and horses are my lifelong passion, unfortunately the body is becoming less enthusiastic! 

Anyway I was on Capecitabine for 2 1/2  years and found it quite an easy chemo, MUCH easier than IV. It didn’t affect my riding at all, I did wear gloves and my feet tended to get sore with walking a lot, not riding. I have 2 horses at home (one retired) and ride one most days. I used to compete a lot but feel more tired now on my current trial drugs, still muck out my 2, lug haynets and bedding etc etc. 

I do worry about what will happen to the horses in the fullness of time but they just make me happy right now and I know they are my therapy.

Best of luck with your decision and keep me posted with your new horse!!

Thanks! Exactly what I needed to hear! I’m off to Portugal next week for a pre chemo riding holiday? I’m 56 and since diagnosis I’ve ridden more and more horses are indeed wonderful therapy with Lusitanos the best of all. Sian

If only! ? But despite all I really am thinking of finally buying myself a horse! I had one on loan for a couple of months but it turned out he had a back problem that I had not been told about. And time is not really on my side so I sensibly I couldn’t buy him. But I’m still hopeful (most of the time!) I’m certainly looking forward to Portugal next week!

Opphs just seen the message was for still here not me!