Hello everyone


My yearly mammo found a small lump back in Dec 2021. I had a lumpectomy in Jan 2022 and finished radiation in April. Then started Letrozol. My cancer was ER and PR position. Prior to my diagnosis I would get hormone replacement in pellets (estrogen and testosterone) in my hip and I took progesterone every night. Now all my hormones are gone and on top the Letrozol is sucking the last little bit of estrogen out of me.  I’ve become this crying mess. Oncologist put me on Cymbalta 30 mg. I stopped crying but feel drugged. Working on changing med. with no hormones I’m having a lot of fatigue and with adding an depressant it’s even worse. I guess I. Wondering if this the best it gets. I have no pain so should just be grateful that lump was very small, found very early and I got to keep my breast because I know it could have been a lot worse. 



Hiyer Gardenia,

Welcome to BCNow.

Some people sure do struggle with the hormonal changes of these treatment plans, and then there are those who sail through it without a side effect. Through my time reading on here, and on menopause forums (it is relevant as some of the menopause effects for some people are very similar to taking some of these medications), there are definitely a few people who have their quality of life affected hugely by the drug therapies and ‘loss of hormones’. The fact that you were taking HRT and have had to stop it will make the change all the more considerable. You say you are working on changing med - has your GP got a plan for which one to move to ?

You asked ‘Is this as good as it gets?’. I can feel your sadness in the question and I truly know how awful it is to be at the mercy of hormonal changes. My answer would be - no it doesn’t have to be, as providing you have a good team by your side, and a proactive GP who listens and tries different approaches to make you feel better then ‘different’ is possible. Any treatments you take are your own choice of course and all discussions need to include the importance of your mental health, but bear in mind that many people do settle into the hormonal treatments, just as people settle into menopause when everything equalises.