Thanks for the good wishes. My sister had her breast surgery yesterday, we've only heard that she's doing well. I hope to talk to her today. As I've said, the Penguin cap is controversial, and you hear good and not so good results but I'm hoping for the best. I believe her chemo, at this time, is expected to be every three weeks. That will work well for me since we'll have to drive four hours there. I have the world's greatest chauffeur, my husband, who willingly signed on for the task.
You're so right about the nose hair and eyelashes. I guess we forget they do have a purpose and I've especially missed my eyelashes. I constantly have something getting my eyes. It's become sort of a torment. We're going to my husband's 50th high school reunion this weekend and I'm afraid I'm not enthusiastic about it. There are four events, and I've had an endless round of shopping trying to find anything that I feel good in. The recent chemo, and arimidex along with stress fractures in both feet have kind of sucked the fun out of it. I also look pale and wan. Well, enough of my whining.
Hi Jenna, I sent you a reply when I saw this post, but I had a confusing message from Web MD about trying later, and I see now that it didn't go through.
Thanks for the good thoughts for my sister. She's having a bad time and we're trying to rally lots of family support. The Penguin cap is somewhat controversial, but it's an actual series of caps that you rent for use during chemotherapy. They have to be kept in a freezer at a very cold temperature, you put the ice filled cap on one hour before chemo and wear it for the infusion and then about three hours after. The theory I think is that it freezes the hair follicles so that the chemo drugs doesn't harm them. It's quite a process, my job during her chemo will be to change the caps for her when one gets too warm. I hope I'm smart enough.
Thanks for the information on Arimidex. It clears up a lot of questions I had. I'm glad that you have a great support group. I haven't been able to find one where I live, and I believe I could really benefit from it.
Roberta, I'll join with Jenna in welcoming you back. I was so hoping you weren't away with health issues, so good to know it was telephone lines, as aggravating as that is.
I agree it's been a weird summer, with the terrible flooding. We've now cooled down too, still some rain coming today and tomorrow. We live on a hill also, I think if we ever flooded the whole world would be in trouble. We've had garage flooding, just minor, but lots of flooding around us.
It's good to hear from someone who's a veteran with Arimidex. I had such trepidation about taking it, I'm now glad that I made the decision to go ahead with it. It really helps so much to hear about even some of the lesser side effects that on my own I wouldn't be able to identify. I mentioned to my oncologist last week that I seemed to have worsening sinus problems, and recently I've noticed that I seem to have sort of a low grade headache most of the time.
I'll mention that in a few weeks I'll be going up to Northern Virginia to help my sister use the Penguin cap in her chemo. She is one of my triplet sisters and they were blessed with beautiful thick, dark hair and she wants so much not to lose it. I know this is very controversial but I sure hope it works.
Hi Jenna, I'm glad to see your post on this subject. I've not checked in for awhile, it seems you have spurts of being on the medical merry-go-round, and then it stops for awhile. I'm still fairly new to Arimidex, been taking it since about April. So far I haven't noticed increased bone pain, but it's hard to differentiate from arthritis when I'm having pain. Did you have the bone pain right away when you started on the drug or is it something that comes on gradually? I'm 68 years old so when I get up in the morning and everything hurts I'm not sure which it is. I try not to take pain relievers because I take so many other drugs. I'm going to get the "bio-freeze" and try it. Thanks for this tip. It's good to know of something that may bring relief without putting another darned pill in your mouth.
One thing I've noticed, or maybe just hadn't paid attention to before is some hair thinning. I know this can happen with Arimidex. I'm kind of horrified that it seems to be mimicking "male pattern baldness". I'd just gotten to love my curly chemo hair and enjoy my new short hair style, which my hairdresser trims every three weeks, to keep it neat. I'd hate to go back to caps. Oh well.
Jennifer, thanks for your reply, you were right, I had to pay attention to what in my heart was the right thing to do. I ended up emailing my surgeon directly, and he answered in nine minutes. I was astounded. He sent a very kind message, in essence saying that he thought I should wait for surgery until my sister's condition is known and things have settled down. I feel very relieved so I guess that's what I wanted to hear. Again, thanks for your input and good wishes. JanieView Thread
I'm so glad you've finished your treatment and doing well. And I appreciate your input. I now have another worry about the surgery and little time to talk with my surgeon. I'll add that it's difficult to reach his office. My sister had the appointment with the breast surgeon yesterday, and he outlined two treatment options depending on the results of genetic testing which he wants her to have right away. If the test is positive his advice is to have a double mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. If it is negative, then it's a lumpectomy, radiation and possible chemo. She was diagnosed Stage IA, triple negative with an Onco DX score of 35, so her chances of recurrence are pretty high. My question now is whether I should have the surgery at this time. I had my mammogram yesterday on my remaining breast so don't know results yet. I am wondering if I should wait and find out the results of my sister's test and if it is positive then have a right side mastectomy and look at reconstruction later. My Onco DX score was 93%, which I know is sky high.My thinking is that it doesn't make sense to have the reconstruction and then possibly have a mastectomy. I'd either end up with one breast, just opposite to what I have now, or undergo two long surgeries. I have a brain aneurysm and am not sure my neurosurgeon would be ok with two Diep flap procedures. Anyway, I'll stop for now, as you can see I'm agonizing over this and very sad for my sister. She's a triplet so her diagnosis has dire repercussions for the other two. They are identical and so are considered genetically identical. Thanks to all of you who listen to me, that's what it feels like. Best wishes and good thoughts to all, JanieView Thread
Hi, I'm not sure about the androgen hormone and facial hair growth. I had a hysterectomy at age 38 and my doctor told me that I would begin a gradual menopause. They didn't remove my ovaries. In a couple of years I had two facial hairs, quite noticeable so I just shaved them. Last year I was diagnosed with stage three ductal invasive breast cancer. I had a mastectomy, chemo and now take Arimidex, will for five years. Now I have noticed other random hairs on my chin, different because they come and go. I shave them also. I don't know what part of this is causing the facial hair growth but I just am careful to watch for it and take care of it. I don't obsess, just glance in the mirror in the morning. Only on this site would I be discussing my facial hair, but I do think it's important to share these things and let others know that they're not the only ones troubled by these possible side effects of cancer, and or hysterectomy. No woman wants facial hair. I'll mention that my sisters and I have a pact that if we're ever unconscious in a hospital that one of the others will make sure that we do not have facial hair growing. So you see, it's important to me too. I'm going for surgery Wednesday and have already packed in my hospital bag a small hand mirror and razor. There's no such thing as a stupid question, in my opinion. And I am very sorry that you've been through so much and I wish you the best and will be thinking of you. I hope you'll come back and let us know how you're doing.
Jennifer, Thank you for your input, it was reassuring to actually hear from someone who has actually had a mammogram on the reconstructed breast. I'm sorry to hear about your recurrence. Do you have a treatment plan already? I'll be thinking of you and wishing the best for you.