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Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

14 REPLIES 14
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Thank you all for all your replies. I must admit I did not expect any replies at the time I wrote I just wanted somewhere to vent my feelings.
Unfortunately my wife cannot take anti-depressants due to yet another serious illness she has. She was on them for years before someone spotted what was really wrong with her. Its a very rare physical illness that leaves her confined to a wheelchair. For some 8 years they told her it was all in her head then they found that she really was ill. So she does not have the highest regards for doctors. The anti -depressants were one of the worst things she could have taken.
I tried bringing the subject up when we have been in the doctors together. The problem is we cope. May sound backward but because we do, especially me, they seem to think we can keep on coping. I tried visiting the doctor alone but all I get is we will chat when you are with your wife. Next time we visited together basically the doc did not want to know. Your coping so keep on coping attitude.
Her cancer doctor / consultant is in London. She goes to London for treatment for her other illness while she is there she goes and sees him for her cancer care. So there is no way I can go to London. I doubt if the consultant would see me anyway without her being there.
So thanks again for all the support. I really is appreciated. Nice to know there are some nice people out there. The feeling of being alone is a little less knowing there are others who can appreciate in some way how I feel.
Thanks girls 🙂
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi husband M - my heart goes out to you and I echo everything the others have said. Maybe you need to consider a slightly more obvious approach and share your tears with your wife in the hope that she will see that there is indeed a problem. Either that or take, dare I say, a slightly firmer approach e.g call the doc and arrange a home visit - I'm sure they would agree under the circumstances. One thing seems certain, you can't go on like this and if I was in your wife's place I would thank you for taking some affirmative action - albeit maybe not straight away...

I wish you all the very best x
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Ah Bless you , please please get your wife the help she so desperately needs. The Chemo sent me into an early menopause and the double whammy of the Tapoxy Fen made me feel mental. I was a nervous wreck all the time and felt and did some very strange things. My GP put me onto Setraline and Diazepam for the Anxiety which he said was worse than the Depression for me.
you love your wife and she needs you more than ever. PLease peservere and let us all know how you get on at the GP. This will help you save your marriage.
Sending you big bear hugs and positive vibes to get through this nasty time and the Curse of Tamoxifen. Love Tracy x
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi there,
it does sound like you are both going through the mill - I really feel for you both. Again it does sound a bit like how i was when i got very depressed - eventually i agreed to go to my GP and he prescribed citralopram - it really has helped and I feel much more like 'me". I don't know how you manage to persuade your wife to go to the GP though - i was very against it at first but things got so bad I gave in reluctantly and to be honest it was one of the best things i did. Perhaps you have a mutual friend/sister in law you could talk to? Tread carefully though as I know if someone had been talking behind my back (however well intended) I would have hit the roof.
good luck and hang in there!
Caroline
ps sorry if this sounds like I'm talking about me me me but it's the only way i can make a comparison - your wife may be completely different but it's just done to try and help

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/undergoing-treatment-hormone-therapy/tamoxifen-d...
It's not the thread I remembered reading - but it does show you how many women get depression after BC dx - whether it's Tamoxifen related or not!!

I hope that helps and that you can persuade your wife to seek help. You both deserve it!!
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi Husband M

Just a thought - but the behaviour you describe sounds so much like my OH when he is suffering with depression. I know exactly what you mean by the eggshells and not being able to do right for doing wrong.

Depression is a known side effect of BC and/or it's treatments. I think your wife would feel much better if she were prescribed a mild anti depressant such as amytriptiline (sp?). I've heard that this (or something similar) is often prescribed along with Tamoxifen, and it would help with the flushes and sleep deprivation as well as the mood swings. My OH has been on this for years (for anxiety and depression - which runs in his family) and it has helped him a lot.

I understand that your wife is unable to see that she has a problem. Could you arrange to go with her to her next check up with her oncologist or doctor? Maybe then you could mention your worries about her? Or perhaps you could phone her BCN (Breast Care Nurse) on her behalf - but be careful there - she might not like to feel you are being underhand.

There have been ladies posting on here before (I'll see if I can find the link - then maybe you could get her to read the thread?) who have said thier character changed completely on Tamoxifen and that they didn't notice it themselves until their families took action. So you are not alone!

Isn't this just a ****y disease?!

Hang in there!!
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi Husband M
I so feel for you and you wife, I am on Tam as well and its blooming awful & the worst thing is I know im being horrid sometimes and I feel so bad about it the next day then I get all teary , my poor husband has really been through the mill these last few months its bad enough having to be dx with cancer but the treatment can be just as hard to take, Is it possible to suggest to your wife about seeing her dr for some advice ? she may not thank you for it to begin with but its worth a try , Im sure your wife feels like I do & guilty about how she is sometimes but the drugs just take over I feel like a coiled spring sometimes just waiting to let rip and unfortunately its the ones we love & are closest to that get the impact , you sound a very caring man please dont bottle it up come on and have a chat whenever you need to theres always someone ready to listen , good luck to you both

Janice

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Dear Husband M, my heart goes out to you. Like many of the previous posts I can relate to the situation your wife is in, a BC diagnosis, treatment and now Tam, but also your position too. Firstly, grab all the help and support that you need with both hands - this forum, the helpline and maybe your own GP. Secondly, is there a mutual friend that may also have seen the changes that you could talk to - or maybe they could try and find out how your wife is feeling? It is a very difficult situation as until your wife sees there is a problem she will not be open to help so all you can do is seek help and support for yourself. Take care.

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi..I echo what Roadrunner says..the tam is a double edged sword...if you take it the side effects are quite horrible at times and if you don't then the alternative is not thinkable...I started taking tam in july12 and immediately the cycle of insomnia..then tirednes..the flushes..if you don't joke about them then you'd cry!!!...it made me awfully depressed at Xmas and I am wondering if this is a symptom for your wife...I went to the doc who gave me meds to counteract this and it helps with the flushes as well...I wasn't unpleasant to anyone but that is not my way...I am more least said soonest mended...but everyone if different..your poor wife is suffering and in turn so are you..my heart goes out to the both of you and I hope I have been of some help...

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Hi Husband M,
Like Looby B has said you have made the first step by coming on this site, this in itself shows that you want to help your wife or you wouldn't have done so. I am sure you will find support from others here who may be experiencing similar symptoms to those of your wife. I was diagnosed two years ago with Breast Cancer, started Arimadex (like Tamoxifen but for post menopause) 16 months ago with some pretty horrendous side effects, hot flushes but the worst side effectbeing joint pain during the night. Tiredness like Road Runner says can be a real problem. I wish you well.

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Is your wife getting enough sleep? I found the hot flushes on tamoxifen extremely difficult to deal with. There was a period when they were waking me so often during the night that I am sure I was missing out on some vital part of the sleep cycle. I turned into a screaming harridan at home. I was very unpleasant and difficult to live with. When I got some medication to help calm the hot flushes down, and slept slighty better, I was a different person.

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Heart goes out to you and your wife, phone the helpline on here and speak to someone, they will guide you in the right direction, keep posting, wishing you all the best xx

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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

You've made the first step in getting some help there will always be somebody here to listen to you I am currently at the beginning of my cancer journey so can not really offer anything other than a empathetic ear feel free to vent your frustrations whenever the need arises be strong g:)
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Re: Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

Dear Husband M

I wonder if you have considered calling our helpline 0808 800 6000? We have trained professionals who can listen and support you.

It sounds as though you and your wife have had a tough couple of years with her diagnoses and treatment. The consequences and side effects of a cancer diagnoses and treatments, impact on everyone within a family unit, not least of course for the person diagnosed. Below are links to 2 publications on our website. The first is to a factsheet about Tamoxifen which includes information about possible side effects and the second link is the factsheet about menopausal symptoms which can sometimes be one of the side effects of Tamoxifen.

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/tamoxifen-bcc20

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/menopausal-symptoms-breast-c...

I do urge you to call our helpline as speaking to someone can often lessen the sense of isolation that many people in your situation feel.

Anna Brown

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Not the woman I married. Tomoxifen curse.

My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer some 2 years ago now. I said right from the begining that I would support her in what ever way I could. In that respect I can honestly say I have. I try and take as much pressure off her as I can, without making her feel 'out of it' so to speak.
She is, or was, a lovely woman but the effects of Tomoxifen are really getting to me. I do practically everything in the house but when I vacuume I am "doing it on purpose just to annoy me" and some other REALLY nasty comments from her. When I walk the dog I am "only doing it to get away from her". So I say ok I will stay in. "thats right take it out on the dog" Ok then we will both go out and walk the dog "***** off you are being awkward!" If it was not so tragic it would be funny.
She says some really nasty and cruel things. Ok I keep telling myself its not her its the drugs but its really begining to have an effect on me. I starting to get very depressed and feel like I am walking on egg shells all the time. I cannot even ask her if she would like a coffee, "I am perfectly cabable of getting my own!" Then if I make one for myself its "you never think of me"
I am sitting here in another room in tears while she is in the other room ranting at the television. I probably sound like a real whimp but I am not. So many times I have even felt like hitting her for the snide comments she makes. I never have and hope never would.
Tried suggesting she goes back to the doctors and ask to go on another brand of Tomoxifen but all I get is "why should I!"
Its ok suggesting she gets some help but she does not think there is a problem with her. Over the years I have lost contact with past friends because we simply dont go out anymore.
Sorry to rant on, but I just had to tell someone.