The plan has always been to start on tamoxifen and then switch to an aromatase inhibitor. During my six-month checkup with my oncologist today, she did just that. I start letrozole (brand name Femara) tomorrow. All the research indicates better survival rates on letrozole than tamoxifen. Some research is now suggesting women should take hormonal therapy for 10 years instead of 5. I'm not ready to contemplate that just yet. Let me make it five years cancer-free and then we'll talk.
If you've ever wondered what 24 months of tamoxifen looks like, here are 24 bottles of tamoxifen lined up on my dresser - stretching from one end to the other. Yes, I've saved them all. Every empty bottle has felt like a feather in my cap. Why do I suddenly feel the urge to sing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall?" haha!
I guess the most difficult part of these past two years has been the weight gain - 40 lbs. in two years. That's a lot of extra weight especially since I was already carrying an extra 10 lbs. when I started treatment.
But I'm not going to worry about the weight gain today. As a matter of fact, I am not going to worry about ANYTHING today. I just hit my two year mark and I feel pretty good.
Obviously, letrozole has it's side effects - mainly bone and joint pain. I have friends who have taken it and said the pain wasn't that bad. They said it was more of a nuisance than anything and they took Advil to control it. I have also had friends who simply couldn't tolerate it. I'm hoping I can deal with it and just move on.
On to Year Three!