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Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

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Unread 04-22-2009, 09:37 PM
Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

I was wondering if there was someone out there who has had a total Hysterectomy (ovaries too) and has to take Arimidex?
I had breast cancer and if someone out there has had the same I would like to know how you are feeling and coping.
I haven't taken my first Arimidex pill yet as I am frightened I will feel the same way I did when I was taking Tamoxifen. My doctor took me off that as I was terribly depressed and physically sick all the time. Could someone please help?
Cheers, Sharon
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Unread 04-30-2009, 08:20 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Hi Sharon,

I had breast cancer and also had a bilateral salpo oopherectomy like you did. I didn't do the Tamoxifen at all - I was already considering the surgery since I had heavy bleeding and a cyst that needed to be removed...so I just went ahead and had the surgery. Then I went through radiation. When my radiation was finished, my oncologist started me on Femara (which is an alternative to Arimidex.)

Have you started taking your pills yet? I can understand how you would be afraid, especially if you had problems with Tamoxifen. I was nervous about starting my pills too, and I hadn't taken Tamoxifen!

My experience was that I felt a little nauseous for the first few days (which is a side effect that's listed), but then it went away. I was overly warm every night for the first 2 weeks or so, until I started wearing my summer pajamas (and it was January in the Midwest - normally I would have been cold!) For me, that's gotten better and I wear lighter weight winter pajamas now. I'm wondering how I'll tolerate the summer temps, but I'm grateful that I'm not having the terrible night sweats that I've heard some people describe!

I almost didn't write, because I don't want to make anyone feel bad if they're having awful symptoms. But I wanted to let you know that for some people it's not that bad. I don't know how I got so lucky with this - but I'm grateful! Also - if you have problems on the Arimidex, ask to try the Femara. When I was checking out my options on some forums, it seemed that people didn't have the same side effects with one as they did the other - and both drugs do exactly the same thing. I had decided to ask for the Femara, and then when I got there, I found out that's why my Oncologist prefers to use.

Let me know how you're doing!
Unread 07-23-2009, 02:58 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

I also had breast cancer over 5 years ago (yea!!) Took tamoxifen for the all 5 years, and now they are recommending me to go for a total hysterectomy and then take femara or arimidex. My hysterectomy is 8/10 I m a bit concerned but I guess I have to do it! How are you doing? did you take it?
Please keep me posted I will be in your shoes pretty soon.
Sending you all my best
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Unread 07-23-2009, 03:03 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

My daughter is on her 5th yr of Arimidex...she has had joint pain and weight gain from it. She has to take it at night to avoid the nausea she had in the beginning...but she said the side affects were alright as long as something was on board to fight recurrance. She's worried now about what if anything she will go on the last part of this year. I think it affects everyone differently but it is a help in fighting against cells getting out of hand and causing problems. I hope you can come to grips with it and maybe anothe drug would be available if that one doesn't do the trick.
Unread 07-23-2009, 09:09 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Usulatan - I'm not the original poster that you're "talking" to, but I thought I would pop in with a reply anyway. First of all, congrats on your 5 years of survivorship! That's awesome!! I'll be glad when I get that far along...I'm at just over a year.

I just wanted to update what I said about Femara back in April. I'm still not having any bad side effects, and I feel really blessed after reading all the problems that people have had with Tamoxifen and Arimedex. Once in a while I get a little warm "flush" - but it's not anywhere near a hot flash. It's just a little warm feeling. I sleep like a log at night. In fact, the only "problem" that I've had with Femara is that I'm sleeping really well and it's hard to wake up in the morning! I'm happy to have that be my only side effect!

Now, I have to say...I *do* take the vitamins that are suggested for hot flashes on this site. (I can find that list for you if you're interested.) I've actually been taking them for years, so it wasn't something new to me. I don't know if that's helping or not.

My Oncologist really prefers Femara over Arimedex, because of the side effects that some people have with Arimedex. For me, I think it's good to know that there's 2 drugs that I could use. Knowing that if one med didn't work for me, and that I could try the other one gave me a little more confidence.

As for the hysterectomy - I think you'll be really glad that you've had it when you're on the other side of surgery. For me, it's nice to know that my body isn't making any estrogen. And honestly, I have felt so much better since I had the hysterectomy! I worried about it before hand - thinking that I would never be "the same" (without Estrogen, etc) And it's true, I'm not "the same" - I'm better!

The very best of luck on the 10th! I hope you come back and let us know how it goes, and what happens with the new meds.
Unread 08-05-2009, 08:55 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Monn Dancer:

Thank you so very much for your reply. I am now ready for the surgery praying that everyhting will be ok. I will keep you posted
When you can please give me the list of vitamins I need to start taking some more. Specially we need to take calcium and avoid Boniva
Thank you again
Unread 08-06-2009, 08:22 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Hi again Usulutan,

Your surgery is coming up fast now - are you nervous? I had to keep myself really busy before my surgeries to keep from dwelling about them (and making myself nervous from dwelling!) Have you got everything ready at home?

I did a search on this site for "Hot Flash Cocktail", which is what this combo was called. Here's the list they had:

Hot Flash Cocktail

* 400 IU vitamin e (mixed d-tocopherols)
* 500-600 mg calcium citrate with 400 IU vitamin d
* 200 mg magnesium citrate
* 500 mg vitamin c with bioflavonoids
* Omega-3 fatty acids (equivalent of 360 mg DHA & 240 mg EPA)

With the Omega-3 fatty acids - you can't take flax oil, since it's a phytoestrogen. See if you can find odorless fish oil, and take one a day. Fish oil will often cause people to burp when they first start taking it, but it DOES go away if you give it a chance. With the odorless fish oil, a lot of people don't even get the burping - but if they do, it doesn't have a fishy taste. (I know, that sounds gross, but fish oil really IS great for you!!)

(as a side note, my doctor actually has me take double the calcium, magnesium, Vit. C and Vit. D than is listed above)

I hope you'll come back after surgery and tell me how you're doing. I'll have you in my thoughts and prayers on Monday!
Unread 08-07-2009, 07:00 AM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Hello Moon Dancer:
Thank you again for your response. I am going crazy, thank God my kids (6 and 9) are keeping me busy.
I m having my surgery in Orlando so I need to leave a day before to be there on time
I am taking vitamins already "Realfood organics Ultimate daily nutrition and a new one that is New chapter bone strenght w/ mag,Vit D800IU and K complex , calcium 685mg have you hear of it? I do need to get the fish oil and thank you for telling me you secrets
I was going to stop taking them before the surgery, with the tamoxifen did you?
I m in Tampa where are you?
I pray that I am doing the right thing being 42 and hopping that everything will be ok.
Oh one more question, did you get the hot flashes right after the surgery?
Sending you my best
Unread 08-07-2009, 09:01 PM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

I can't take credit for that vitamin/supplement "recipe" - like I said, it was listed on the site here! It's great that you're already taking most of those things...maybe it will help. I didn't see Vit. E in what you're taking. Don't forget that one - it will also help with dryness (which you'll notice, especially once you start either Femara or Arimidex!)

You're supposed to stop taking things like Vit. E and fish oil at least a week before surgery, since they can be blood thinners. The other vitamins are fine to take right up til the day before surgery (and start again when you get home.) As for when to take your Tamoxifen - I know you're supposed to take that every day at the same time, and NEVER miss a dose. But since you're having an oopherectomy they'll be switching you over to one of the post-menopause drugs. Did you ask your Oncologist about taking it around your surgery? I would want to check on that, since they're so darn obsessive with our hormones! Think you can get through to your doctor on the weekend?

You have to believe you're doing the right thing..because it's what you're doing, and you won't know what would happen if you didn't do it. I CAN tell you that I felt better after my surgery, than I did before. We can't have the estrogen from our ovaries anyway - and I was relieved not to take Tamoxifen (especially since I keep hearing horror stories on the side effects!)

Hot flashes.... I thought I was going to have them as soon as I awoke from surgery too! I had read suggestions of ways to deal with hot flashes - things like having one of those little hand held fans - and I took all that stuff to the hospital with me! LOL But no, I didn't have any hot flashes, and I have not had any hot flashes since then...not even one. My surgery was at the end of September 2008 - so almost a year ago. I had worried so much before surgery about "never being the same again"...and I'm happy to report that it was needless worrying. After surgery I felt better than I had in a long time. Plus, no more monthly periods - what a blessing that has been!

I started taking Femara at the end of December, and I had a week or so of feeling really warm at night (a lot of people experience night sweats with those drugs - but I just felt warm) and then that went back to normal. Once in a while I'll feel a little overly warm...like a little flush...but it's nowhere near what I hear a hot flash is like, and it could be just because it's summer and I'm hot? Whether taking those vitamins/supplements is helping out with the hot flashes or not, I don't know. I'm just really grateful not to have hot flashes!

Sorry that you have to leave a whole day before your surgery. You'll have to keep your mind busy so that you don't get worried. KNOW that you're in good hands and that you have friends (including me) and family praying for you. In just a few days you'll finally be on the other side of this - and that is a much better place to be!!!
Unread 08-14-2009, 07:23 AM
Re: Having to take Arimidex after Total Hysterectomy

Hello Moon Dancer:

I am back!! OMG I m still very sore, but wanted to let you know that I m here. I will try to send you a message soon to keep you posted LOL

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