Just taking a tablet - aaaargh!

So what do you lovely ladies say to (well meaning) people who refer to hormone therapy as ‘just taking a tablet’? I have a lovely friend who has been a massive support during my active treatment (surgery, rads, tests, appointments), but now that I am ‘just’ on tablets, she seems to be of the opinion that my treatment is over and all is back to normal.


My life is nowhere near back to how it was - I am really struggling to come to grips with my cancer diagnosis mentally and emotionally - but my friend just cannot seem to acknowledge that cancer does not end when the active treatment ends. How do I explain this to her?





I would tell her that in terms of active treatment, that is surgery and rads/chemo, that part of your journey is completed, but this little pill is going to do everything it can to prevent a recurrence and it very much part of your ongoing treatment because you are going to be on it for 5/10 years.  My Oncologist described my tamoxifen as the belts and braces part of my treatment.


It is very difficult as physically there can be nothing to really show what you have been through, unlike someone who has a broken leg/arm, but mentally the recovery is still going on.


Have you thought about having some counselling to help you to deal with the whole thing, I must admit I had it earlier this year and it was the best thing that I did, lovely comfortable safe environment in which I could talk freely with someone who was not emotionally attached to me.


Sending you loads of hugs


Helena xxx



Hiya rosie
It’s hard to explain to friends and family about how it is …hence the reason this forum is so useful with real people that understand. …
I have secondary bc and frIends and family think that by popping my hormone tablet daily. .I’m cured and I will be fine !! It’s not intentional but hard to explain.
Sometimes once u have been through the treatment …u feel sort of isolated and vulnerable but as time goes by …it gets easier and becomes just a blimp out of your life .

It’s understandable. I naively thought that would be the easy part. Taking a pill is nothing in comparison to surgery, chemo or rads? Or so I thought…i wasn’t expecting to deal with the side effects daily and knowing this is how it’s going to be for 10 years. So people can’t possibly know this. Some friends can be empathetic, others just don’t get it. This is why this forum is so great…we all get it!
Sue xx

Rosie, I know just how you feel! It isn’t helped in that I know a couple of other women who have had no side effects from the tablets and tell everyone that it’s nothing. 

It isn’t just the side effects you do get, it’s the knowing about the increased risk of all sorts of nasties. I take tamoxifen, and the list starts endometrial cancer, stroke, heart attack, thrombosis, cataracts…it isn’t just taking a pill is it?


So no, you’re not alone, I’m just glad to have the company of this wonderful supportive community, but it does make it difficult to relate to other people except on a very superficial level.