I saw the oncologist this morning and now it’s official. My oral chemo, the daily letrozole tablet that I’ve taken for five years, ended today. I’d be in a celebratory mood, except that I’m supposed to see the doctor again in six months and, in the meantime, be weighing whether I want to take the letrozole for another two years. Two more years is a compromise with some standards of care that now suggest a total of ten years. It depends on what type of cancer you’ve had and what side effects you may be dealing with. He said it could reduce my chances of a recurrence by about 2%.
I’d pretty much come to terms with the idea that my thinning hair and really annoying hot flashes were likely just due to my age and that stopping the letrozole wouldn’t make much difference. But the doctor seemed quite confident that the letrozole has indeed been the cause and that those things should soon stop. That would be more than welcome.
If stopping does make an obvious difference — in the thinning hair, hot flashes, and general fatigue — it will be tough opting to take the drug for two more years. I hate having to make decisions like this. Especially if I feel notably better between now and October.
I’d been worried about assorted aches and soreness in the operated breast for a couple of months after Christmas. Vague, off and on kind of thing. First time since the original surgery that I’ve experienced any discomfort. I considered an earlier appointment but dragged my feet. Who wants to hear that their cancer has come back?
Anyway, the doctor wasn’t worried. He said temporary swelling or fluid build-up could cause that sort of thing, even though it hasn’t happened before. Didn’t sound to him like a recurrence, and he recommended massage if it bothers me again.
My next mammo is scheduled for August, but if I get concerned, he’ll schedule it earlier.
So that’s about it. I’m obviously relieved that he wasn’t concerned about the soreness and eager to have the damned hot flashes go away.