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Help me Family Dr. You're my only hope.

Episode LXXXVIII - one last thing before I quit...

I finally had it. I caved and I called the Oncologist. I had spent the past month in so much physical pain I was not really functioning. I barely got my kids to and from school. I would get them there and then get into bed. Anything other than essential care was becoming unmanageable. I was postponing appointments (even my very needed medical ones). There just seemed to be no relief. Since Tamoxifen, I was just constantly fighting pain and fatigue and it was just becoming unbearable. So, I caved and I called to complain (again) last Friday...

And it happened. It happened just like I feared. They had nothing to offer. The nurse basically told me to go find another doctor because they do not deal with those issues. However, they would see me if I could not get in with another doctor. For real! Even though the symptoms occurred due to cancer treatment. Even though the cancer medications seem to be causing the symptoms. They do not deal with it?!?!?!

So, after a brief cry (which I never do) I had three options...

  1. Quit the Tamoxifen and hope cancer stays away. Not a good option.
  2. Live a horrible bed-ridden existence, but be alive. Not a good option.
  3. Find a doctor who will listen. Sounds better than the other two!

I am sure there were other options, but I hurt to bad to think of any. So, I called my family physician. He could see me... I just had to get to Tuesday...

Leaving to hopefully get options...

Thank goodness I called and made the appointment. For the first time in a long time someone heard me. I was not looked at like my symptoms were in my head. I was not questioned if I really felt the way I said I did. My family doctor listened... he actually listened to my complaints.

Then something surprising happened... he gave me options to help. Between the constant pain, continued neuropathy, muscle twitching, balance problems, inability to think, and additional hearing loss... I might still have some nervous system issues that I got during and from cancer treatment. I mean I was on medicine for it that I got off of after treatment ended. Maybe (hint - Oncologist) that should have been considered before now. Of course the family doc listened to all my other complaints ranging from insomnia to fatigue (not exhaustion, but I-can't-function-fatigue).

I just want to be in the 0-6 range...

Lyrica. It was an option to hopefully block my pain receptors from constantly telling my body that I hurt. Hopefully it can stop those signals and I can begin to do things that I want to. I was willing to try about anything. I was ready to at least try something... and I had an option!

The other "I will just mention it" complaint was that my throat was mildly sore. Even though I did not have a fever and my throat was not red - I had strep. In my youth, I had strep so much I had to get my tonsils removed. It was something I have not had to deal with since I was 18 years old. Since my immune system weakened during cancer treatment I have had it three or four times over the past year. Hopefully, it will not become a pattern. As for now, I am sure strep probably amplified my exhaustion and feeling horrible.

In my head...

I am now more medicated on a regular basis than when I was in cancer treatment. Ironically, I am taking more medicines daily to function then when I had cancer. Who would have guessed that?!?!

I haven't even put all my pills in there yet...

I was so glad that I made the doctor's appointment!

Lyrica appeared to help. I had to increase the dosage to find the amount that worked for me, but it does block the pain. And it takes exactly 30-45 minutes to kick in. So, anytime I am late on my dosage, I know! The pain is still there and I get bits and pieces of it throughout the day, but I am able to function. I am able to actually do things. I am not forced to sit down, stop, or lay down due to my back, my bones, my body.

Attempting some exercise since I feel mildly human...

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
- Lao Tzu

Episode Reference: Monkey Wrench, Foo Fighter's song


  1. I'm so glad you found someone who would listen! This scares me. I'm supposed to start on my anti hormone therapy in a couple of weeks. Instead of Tamoxifen, I'll be put on Arimidex, which is an aromatase inhibitor (you know for post menopausal women, they use those instead of Tamoxifen). All of the side effects scare me to death. I love, love, love your posts and your blog. You amaze me with your attitude and your spunk! I want to be like you when I grown up (heehee!) Seriously though, you rock and you are someone I look up to. You are fighting this fight so well!


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