Why Stop Now

I have taken NO Femara since Wednesday (so this is day 5) and I have decided, at a minimum, not to take it until after vacation which ends in August.  What is interesting is that my blood pressure was back down to my normal range this morning (93/69), after only 5 days!  My knees still hurt but I do feel the joint pain subsiding in other areas.

I was afraid of telling my husband that I wanted to stop taking this, since I knew he would worry.  We had a good conversation on this yesterday, as he is concerned about me NOT taking it, and I am concerned if I DO.

Here’s my rationale:

  • I need to balance the risk of a recurrence of cancer with the risk of all the side effects from the drug (in my case, I have experienced elevated blood pressure, headaches, lack of sleep for the past three months, pressure behind my eyes, severe joint pain, and vaginal dryness and pain — fun stuff).
  • These side effects have made me feel like I’m 90 years old on most days, and I’m tired of feeling that way (and tired of crying about it).  I have been unable to exercise, I’m tired all the time, and there are other impacts that I’d rather not address here!
  • I have made so many positive changes in my lifestyle, the most important of which is following a whole food, plant based diet.  I have continued to research this topic and the overwhelming evidence demonstrates that this type of change prevents cancer.
  • Once the joint pain subsides, I will be able to resume exercising, something I have been unable to do due to the pain.
  • I have fretted and prayed and meditated on this subject for the past 3 months.  In my gut, it is the right decision.

We did talk about trying an alternate schedule, like taking it every other day, or one week on/one week off.  I figure I will wait until vacation is over and I’ll revisit the decision then.  For now, these are my “drugs”!

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5 thoughts on “Why Stop Now

    • I asked. She said they are all “aromatase inhibitors” (another is Arimidex) and would all have the same effect. Just different versions of the same thing. The only other option was Tamoxifen but that’s for pre-menopausal women and has issues all unto its own. She didn’t speak about not taking it as an option. I tried to have that conversation with her, but no go. For now, it’s a “break” and I’ll continue to research the benefits of Femara versus the benefits of natural/dietary changes.
      By the way, I had my leftover zucchini boats and added some brown rice the second time. Much better!! 🙂

      • Ah I wondered about the difference in the medications.. Did not know that about Tamoxafen.. Yes a bit of rice makes the difference!! Have a good week…

  1. Hi – I respect your decision. I am on Arimidex – as you know another Aromatase Inhibitor. I started October 11, 2012. For the first 7 months, I could barely walk or go up steps. It was absolutely horrible. Then something switched in Month 9 and it has been so much better. No longer do I have to take one step at a time or need help getting out of a chair. I didn’t do anything different. It just got better….

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Diane! Who knows if I will stay off it long term. I’m afraid to take it and afraid not to take it. For now it’s the right decision for me to take a break but we shall see! Hope all is well with you!

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