I do have a new prayer request though. One of the biggest parts of my treatment is the 10 plus years that I will be taking the hormone therapy drug, Tamoxifen. As a reminder, my cancer was highly estrogen receptor positive. This means that estrogen binds to the receptor sites of the cancer cells and is what makes it grow. Tamoxifen works as an anti-estrogen--it actually binds at the cancer cell receptor sites since it looks like estrogen (but is not). So, since those cancer cells can no longer grow, they die. I have been told that Tamoxifen is my key for survival and to prevent recurrence of cancer. In fact, my MD Anderson oncologist told me that this was one drug that I could not even miss one day taking--it is that important. Well, I have been on Tamoxifen since I completed my radiation therapy in early June---and I have been having problems with it. About a week or two after I began taking it, I broke out with hives all over. I take my tamoxifen at night with dinner; each morning I would awake covered in hives. The only change in my lifestyle was taking the drug, so I have assumed it was due to that. I began taking Benadryl every night before bed, and that really helped control the hives. Then, after about 3 week of hives, I stopped taking the Benadryl and my hives didn't return....for a couple of weeks. Oh...and by the way...I had no idea that taking Benadryl was contraindicated with Tamoxifen. Apparently, it can prevent it from working, and the Benadryl side effects can be increased when taken together.
Two days ago, I awoke with hives once again. Unfortunately, they progressed as the day progressed. Yesterday morning, I awoke with hives all over my body, literally from head to toe. I was miserably itchy and even Benadryl didn't help control them. When my lip began to swell, I thought I probably should notify my oncologist. So, I did and they wanted to see me. Apparently, when your face and lips begin to swell it can be somewhat of an emergency. I took a prednisone (I was already loaded up with Benadryl) and headed to my appointment....with the kids.
|Entertaining the kids at my doctor appointment in the exam room with their favorite things: food for Abbey and the ipad for Luke.|
1. Please pray that we will figure out the best solution for my body with regards to preventing cancer recurrence, and keeping it away!
2. Please pray that my PET scan on August 13 shows NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE (NED)! That would be pretty exciting and it is what we are expecting! :-) If it does, I think we need to have a NED party!