“It’s over.” It’s hard to believe that I can say that. It’s over. Really…over. Done. My cancer is “so 2017. So last year.” I’ve had surgery and finished 30 radiation treatments. Now, I get to move on with my life. I get to say this due to a personal decision that I made in my cancer journey. My oncologist per the cancer protocols recommended I start endocrine therapy. Specifically, it’s recommended I begin a daily intake of Tamoxifen for the next 10 years. Because I had ERPR+ cancer this drug is supposed to attach to my hormone receptors and decrease the likelihood of my cells going all rogue again. That’s all fine and dandy but those who know me know how I feel about pharmaceuticals. I find it interesting but not in a funny way that the recommended length of treatment used to be 5 years and now it’s ten. Guess if people graduate from taking the med then the manufacturer loses a client. Can’t have that. Probably in 10 years they’ll recommend 15 years. Then, there’s the issue of the side effects. Early menopause. Swiss cheese bones. Increased risk of uterine cancer. Ummm…what are the benefits? Reduces my risk of reoccurrence by 50%. That sounds worth it, right? Well, you have to look at the actual numbers. With the treatment I’ve had, my chance of localized reoccurrence is 7% and chance of a fatal reoccurrence is 3%. Breast cancer has a tendency to come back all sneaky and be really, really nasty. Next time, I won’t be able to have less invasive surgery and radiation. With the Tamoxifen, I drop to 3.5% reoccurrence and 1.5% fatal. With all my numbers, I decided that the side effects and being beholden to a drug and having a DAILY reminder of my cancer just wasn’t worth the gains. It’s all preventative. It’s all based on what ifs. I told my oncologist that I understand I’m making a potentially fatal decision. But, I make a potentially fatal decision every time I get in my car.
I won’t be ruled by fear. If my cancer comes back I will deal with it then as I’ve dealt with it now. I can eat well, exercise, practice stress reduction, continue working with my naturopath, etc. I’ll have yearly MRIs and quarterly exams. I’ll do my monthly self-exams (or even find someone to help me with that, lol). I will not be a passive participant in the cancer industry.
So, on that note, this will be my last post. It’s over. Now I’m just healing. And ready to rock 2018. Thank you for all your support.