Hi, I have not been on here for a long time. I was diagnosed with BC last year. All treatment finished apart from on Tamoxifen for 5 years. I have been on it since May. I didnt get the physical side effects as my my periods stopped with chemo so had the hot flushes then. My periods then came back around July time.
What I do seem to suffer with is and especially a week before my period is depression. I am also very irrational, irritable, over sensitive and not very nice to be around. It can last for 2 weeks. Im thinking its a combination of PMS (but so much worse then ever with my periods coming back) and my hormones being suppressed with the tamoxifen.
I hate being this way and by partner is really having to put up with a lot! my libido is non existent too and get very insecure about our relationship especially in those two weeks were ever emotion is heightened.
Im guessing there isnt a lot I can do and I have to ride through it? Is there anything herbal or natural I can take to help me? Im not going on anti depps as tried it in the past and they really didnt agree with me.
Any advice would be very grateful.
Hi Tippy & Pir - Thanks for your comments. I will have to see BCN I think and have a godd old chat about this. I was dx in Feb 09. WLE removed 2 tumours. One in situ and one invasive. No lymph node involvement. Had rads and then onto Arimidex. Throughour all I have just gone with the flow. Didn't feel the need to question too much especially as I have met women who are having incredible struggles just to stay alive and I kind of feel quite humbled. I do know now though that I need to find out what my options are and as Tippy says we need to be able to make informed choices.
Thats my next move - get some info and then decide what I feel is best for me. Thanks. Will keep you updated XXXXXX
hi cordurroy, ive been off arminidex now for 10 days(i had been on it for 3 weeks and the severity of the pain was indescribable, my hips gave way on me while walking downstairs) my onc says he will chat with me when i go for mark up on 31st of dec, i want to try letrozole and see if that helps, but i do not want any with streoids. im also goin g to ask for statistics for me as my cancer was rare(tubular)least likely to spread and least likely to recurr for staying off hormone therapy altogether, but i will make an informed decision when ive tried other options, it seems that its not one size fits all with these pills. on the subject of refusing HT a lady at my local weightwatchers has refused it but i dont know her reasons or how long since her surgery etc but i will chat with her.
My surgeon adviced me last month to take a two week break from medication to allow myself some recovery time from joint pain and then a change of pill. I did it and it kind of worked eventually but, like you, I´m too scared to leave it for more than two weeks so back in Arimidex and the underworld of black humour and joint pain. I think you should talk to anyone from your BC team before you do anything. They may recommend a change of pill...I have already been in Tamoxifen and Fareston (the "holiday" was from fareston) and now new in arimidex (2 weeks of it already). The joint pain is slowly coming back and unfortunately, arimidex has brought back the nausea...Oh, joy!
Can you make an appointment with either your surgeon or your oncologist? Ask you GP to be referred if needed! You are not moaning! our medication affects our quality of life so it needs to be controlled.
I also have a very demanding job and I have found that yoga helps a lot to keep me mobile and upbeat. I have my own daily practice tailored to my BC needs by a qualified yoga instructor. We review the practice every month in a one-to-one session so the "asanas" (postures) change to help with whatever I am going through. It is not cheap (about 30 pounds for an hour one-to-one) but at least, as I said, it keeps me mobile and in a positive frame of mind!
I am a lecturer and the memory thing is driving me bananas. I stand in front of 40/50 people in a lecture everyday constantly asking them "what was I talking about?" or forgetting words, names, dates...very funny for my students but highly annoying for me, really!
So yes! God help the ones we work with! Take care!!!!!
HI all - Hope everyone had a good Christmas.
Have any of you ever made the decision not to take the meds? I haven't taken Arimidex for the last few days. Just needed to feel better. And I do!!! Now I am dreading going back onto them. Will have to start tomorrow ( I did try and convince myself that I wouldn't bother taking them again but I am too scared to risk that).
I have spoken to BCN about how i feel but no-one got back to me so just felt as though I was moaning. I will have to speak to someone though. Cant go on like this.
Is anyone else feeling this way??? and has anyone got any advice please?
Many many thanks for your comments AND UNDERSTANDING OF HOW THIS LOT FEELS.
Whilst I would not wish this on anyone it is sort of reassuring that I am not alone with the way I feel. Its proper bonkers just now and I have quite a demanding job (management for local authority) and rely a lot on my memory, being able to sleep also helps, and thinking strategically and being tactful all of which requires maintaining an objective approach.........None of which fits with Hormone treatment side effects. God help the tax payers!!! But I am doing my best XXX
MERRY XMAS TO YOU ALL xxxx
Hi Gill, well here I am posting at this time of night as sleep is also a major problem. Yes like you my memory is dreadful, I was shopping in town tonight and left my handbag on the floor in a shop and only noticed when I got to car. Luckily shops were open late and it had been handed in phew! Learning is also a no-go for me and it is so frustrating as I used to have an almost photographic memory, probably a bit of old age too. Not looking forward to tamoxifen but surely it can't be any worse than arimidex? Speak soon hopefully, take care, susieque.
hello Susieque. I am on arimidex for 5 years - I started in 2006 - and will hopefully complete 2011. I had a break of a month - and tried tamoxifen because of the joint pain - but really six of one and half a dozen of the other...
Have you noticed any depleted memory type functions with Arimidex? I definately do not remember things the way I did - also find it takes a lot longer to learn anything - I hate it!!!
Hi Gill, Thanks for commenting. Well I have been changed onto tamoxifen, but not due to start it for another 2weeks when hopefully the arimidex will be out of my system/Out of the frying pan and into the fire? comes to mind. Can I ask why you are only going to be on arimidex for 3 yrs? I thought that it had to be for 5 yrs.Perhaps the gym is the answer I need to get fit, roll on 2010!
I have been on Arimidex (off and on) for 3 years. I have found that the only thing that helps the joint pain, the mood swings and depression, is excercise. I am in the gym at least 3 times a week, more if I can.. roll on 2011, when I will hopefully finish with this wonderful little drug!!
Hi to everyone posting on this thread! Have been on arimidex for 1 year now (post lumpectomy/chemo/rads) and I honestly feel awful. I was taken off it for about a month whereby my mood improved and I eventually managed to stop crying. Oncologist and myself decided to give it another go but after 8 weeks are back to square 1. I have onc: today and honestly don't know whether it's worth trying the others which he suggested last time such as tamoxifen or femara?
The depression is severe and I am already taking high dosage of anti-dep:(not working) and I have no control over my emotions,just want to stay in bed or house and cry continually. This is no way to live when time is so precious, and it's so unfair on everyone else. Any suggestions as I am at my wits end?
Just read your post on depression. I'm afraid I'm in the same boat as you, have been on Arimidex now for 1 year and the joint pains are awful... I feel like I've aged 20 years in just one also have long sleepless nights where I think too deeply about things; and now have this bad depression on top. Had Radical Mastectomy, after Chemo and Radiotherapy for ILC late diagnosis had it for 18 months also A/C clearance as it had invaded 5 lymph nodes too.
Just seems that it is taking me forever to pick up cannot get anywhere near like my old self. My Doc says this is quite normal and it's not the Arimidex, just a stage some of us go through. Anyway have booked in for a L/D Flap reconstruction in Feb 2010, I hate this awful prothesis and it is so uncomfortable. Don't feel guilty about your depression you'll get through... just keep chatting to the great people on this site. Good Luck xxx
I have been to see breast care nurse and was informed i could try a few days off the Arimidex. I did this and felt better. Slept better. More energy and bone pain not as bad. I do think it would have improved more if I had stayed off the Arimidex.
Now waiting to speak with breast care nurse again to see what can be done. I have mixed feelings though, because if I change my meds will i have to get used to other side effects. Also feel like a bit of a failure if I give up on the Arimidex.
Have to say I do not normally moan and feel really guilty especially as many others have to go through so much more than me just to stay alive. Its only a little pill after all!!! And others have to have chemo and stuff.
Sorry for blathering on but it is good just to get things off your chest.
I was suffering with depression,anyway,before I was diagnosed in 2003.Was on loads of meds for it. Since the end of treatment 2004 i hit the gym. And it has made a difference to the depression .I am now off meds for depression but I have to go to the gym everyday or I dont cope,but thats me. So exercise does help and with the SE of Arimidex it also helps.
Not been on this site for ages. Diagnosed in Feb this year. Had WLE, radio therapy, then Arimidex. Thought it was all over and under control!!! I should be so lucky - have to say first 3 months on Arimidex was soooooo painful. Then it improved and I felt like I had just got over a really bad dose of flu. I even posted on this site that there IS hope and it will be alright. Now I am not so sure- I feel awful. Really depressed. Muscle pain never really dissapears. Not as bad as first few months, but painful all the same. Ankles, wrists, shoulders. The depression is awful. I have no confidence and cry so easily. Everything is an effort. Just not like me at all. And all I do is feel guilty because I am not as strong as people think I am!!
There is a weekly drop-in at our local hospital. I am thinking of going.
Sorry for being such a misery - but thats how I feel, and everyone thinks I am fine - they shoulld try living with me. Good job my hubby is a star! Have taken a lot from you ladies, good just to know I am not alone with the way I feel.XXXX
I think you will find its Arimedex making you depressed can you get switched to another hormone tab? I was on arimedex for 18 months and our house was h*ll as i was in such a bad mood and very very down and depresesd.
Unfortunately although you could say fortunately ! i was diagnosed with further secondaries so taken off arimedex and tried exemestane for a short time before they decided my c was no longer responding to hormone tablets. However, since being off arimedex and even when i was on exemestane i became more myself, less arguments in the household as i was not as 'picky' about things and i realised i never really laughed or enjoyed myself on arimedex - at one point the doctor prescribed me prozac but i didn get the prescription i tore it up and thought i dont need this and that was enough to haul me out of the spiralling depression althou this was shortly before being further diagnosed with more secondaries - i also partly blame the arimedex for giving me secondaries as i was so down and miserable which is not good for fighting the cancer so no wonder it came back 🙂
I would recommend goin to see you onc and asking to be switched - appreciate it means its one less drug you can take for your survival but if its affecting you really badly i think its well worth it xxx
i too have had a few bouts of deppression, but i tried everything before i actually gave in and took anti deppressants, and they sometimes do make you feel worse at first. but that can be the deppression itself. ive found they have really helped me, when i was at the lowest, and am for one glad there was something there to help.
i appreciate you may be able to help yourself with excercise good nutrition, therapy and support of friends and family, but try not to leave things too long, i did that once and it made matters worse.
take care x
Hi I too am suffering from bouts of depression and am on Arimidex, have been now since January and the list of side effects are getting longer. I have spoken to my BC Nurse about this and she is sending me to see oncologist tomorrow as she said they may be able to change the medication.
I have been to health shop and they have some good natural remedies that might help the only trouble is they are expensive and they take months before to you might see a result. I personally don't think I can live feel low all the time. Am convinced it is the Arimidex that is doing it.
Might be a good idea to speak to your BC Nurse to see if she can help.
I'll keep you posted on my visit to oncologist tomorrow.
Fish oil supplement (or just eat lots of fresh fish) might help, diet in general very important. I can't take anti-depressants either, they turn me into a robot! Also have recently discovered accupuncture, which though I have no idea how it works, lifts my mood instantly and helps me to get more/better sleep.
BCC always advise that you check with your medical team before taking anything other than what has been prescribed for you.
Is that right, you can not take Arimidex with St John's Wort.
I didn't know that and have been taking them together for a few weeks
Hi Dee, I'm really sorry you're feeling so low. Have you been feeling like this since starting Arimidex? I stopped taking tamoxifen because it made me depressed (as well as having a whole load of other effects). Once I came off it, psychologically, I was better in about a week. I'm now on arimidex and zoladex and feel much more myself mentally, although the other SEs are pretty much as bad as before.
I had trouble with tamoxifen, but other people seem to have problems with arimidex. It might be worth trying another drug, as they all seem to have different effects on different people.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
Sorry to hear you're suffering this way. Please do give the helpline here a ring I'm sure they'll be able to give you some support in this. Calls to the helpline are free, 0808 800 6000, lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm Sat 9am - 2pm
Hope this helps.
I think it depends on how severe your depression is. The NICE guidelines for depression managed in primary care is cognitive behaviour therapy with or without antidepressants. It would be worth asking your GP to refer you to a therapist or counsellor as this would be a very good start as often depression can be improved by different ways of thinking. However, if your depression is severe, you may also need medication to help. You also said that you have a bad reaction to antidepressants. Which ones have you tried? The problem with antidepressants is that the symptoms you are suffering with, especially anxiety can be made much worse initially and people stop taking them.
Is anyone suffering with depression? I hope you are not but if you are, what treatments have you tried. I am very depressed and trying to avoid antidepressants because i HAVE HAD BAD SIDE EFFECTS IN PREVIOUS TRIALS.
Anyone know of any possible ways of lifting mood without drugs. I am on Arimidex and so I cannot take St John's Wort.
I would be so grateful for any suggestions.