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Can my food be my medicine?
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An_243479 posted:
Has anyone just said "screw this..I am not going to be miserable for the next five years, dosing myself with Arimidex and anti-depressants, hobbling around because my joints and bones ache, keeping a chair by my bed to pull myself up each morning, not being able to carry my grandchildren because my wrists and fingers hurt and feel so weak?"


That's what I said. I was diagnosed with HR2+ cancer 12 months ago; opted for a bil mast, had clear nodes, chose not to have radiation, chemo, took generic Arimidex for 6 months and was in constant bone pain 3 months after I began the treatment.

I did a lot of research online and found that there are many foods that are estrogen blockers-- I told my onc that I did not want any more chemicals in my body. He suggested Tamoxifen as an alternative to AI. I just said no. It took about 4 weeks for the bone pain to go away, but I feel almost normal now. I do have some aches in my left shoulder and right hip that I did not have before, and I know that my teeth were also weakened because sometimes all my teeth hurt.

I am trying to eat and drink in a very careful manner, keeping my weight low, eating the right stuff, esp. cruciferous veggies, including supplements with vit D and B, nuts, salmon, sardines, fiber to help flush out the estrogen that can be reabsorbed into the body if left there too long, etc.

I don't know if I am shortening my life span (hope not)--at age 65. I just made a conscious decision that cancer was not going to determine how I would spend the rest of my days.

My question is: Is there anyone else out there who has decided as I have, taken cancer by the horns, said "Screw You, Cancer" and is still out there to tell about it?
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Surfside6 responded:
YES! Basically my exact words. Am so torn about stopping drugs. Had small tumor, lumpectomy, early detection, no nodes involved. Convinced by onco. that I needed drugs after "balloon radiation" as a precaution. Tried them all over 2 years. Side effects horrible. A month ago went on Tamoxifen but really expect to stop everything and let it play out. I have fibromyalgia and doing very well except when I take these drugs. I will be 68 next month. Quality of my life is more important now, especially as I am a constant caregiver. I just pray I make the right decision. Let me know how you are doing via this website. All the best
 
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kiwiallright responded:
Thank you for your post. I am like you. Had two different BC Cancer and after the first round I decided not to take tamoxifen, I was good for eight years before BC rared its ugly face again. I went through the works in 2009, tried femara in 2010 and lasted about a month. Then later in 2010 I tried Aromasin and that about sent me to the funny farm so came off it, I then tired it again 2011 and I just could not get into it. Then later last year they found that it had metaztized so am taking Femara again it is helping to keep the cancer stable for now. I have chosen not to do chemo again, the Dr said that it did not work.

I am so into quality and that has been compromised and it is so very frustrating not being able to do what I use to do.

It is a person personal choice in what they do. Enjoy life and be grateful that you have this opportunity to do the things that you may have always wanted too. I also feel that the more drugs you give your body the more quality you lose, the madder the cancer gets and then it starts fighting back, by then you are so weak from all of the treatments it wins. So Yes - Screw You Cancer - I am going to enjoy living -- even if it is for today, but I am going to do my best to get the most out of it.

Good Luck and enjoy life.
 
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curiousnk replied to kiwiallright's response:
Thank you, Kiwiallright! We may not have the perfect solutions, but they are OUR solutions. God willing, we will still be here for another 30 years, minus the boney aches and pains brought on by these meds. And it truly is about quality of life.
 
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curiousnk replied to Surfside6's response:
Hi, Surfside 6. I can so relate to your feelings. Sometimes I think we are just experimental rats, as research bumbles its way to finding out what makes BC tick. (It doesn't help that all the oncs at the cancer bldg are men.) And you are so right about quality of life. You don't appreciate it until you wake up one morning and everything hurts-and keeps on hurting day after day.
Prayers for all of us as we try to do the thing that is right for us.
 
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Surfside6 replied to curiousnk's response:
I have an appointment next week or so and after stopping my tamoxifen for the last two weeks, I am beginning to feel more like myself. Am determined to stick to my guns and stop all these drugs and keep a positive attitude. It will be easier to be positive if I am feeling human again. Wish me luck
 
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curiousnk replied to Surfside6's response:
Hi, Surfside 6. My prayers are with you (and all of us) who are stepping up to retake control of our lives. I hope you will do a lot of research online to see what foods will be very helpful now that you are not taking the meds.
When I was taking the AI, my nails became so thin and brittle that a simple bump made them split and crack. Since I have taken control of my diet my nails are hard again, and my hair has quit falling out. My teeth were also weakened and I am planning to take a trip to the dentist/oral surgeon in hopes that I can recover/fix the damage that was done.
Please eat well, taking a day to buy groceries that are specifically for your benefit...the whole family will be better off eating the foods you eat, but you know that not everyone is into kale on your sandwich instead of lettuce, or salmon twice a week, etc. My family and I also do a lot of buffets now so that I can choose the greens, fish, etc that are helpful to me, but still gives them the choice to eat whatever they wish.
I will walk this journey with you if you wish. I don't know if we are making the right choice, but it is yours to make, as it has been mine. God bless you, dear sister.
 
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curiousnk replied to Surfside6's response:
Hi, just thinking about you . Hope you had a good visit with your onc. and that you continue experiencing well-being.
 
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Surfside6 replied to curiousnk's response:
Hi - I was having a little trouble logging in. Sorry
I go to dr. this week or next, and am taking all four meds with me as a physical message that I am not taking ANYTHING MORE. I gave it a good shot for 2 years almost and every drug had side effects with each. I wish I could pass the pills onto someone who needs them and perhaps cannot afford them, but regretfully, that is not possible. Legally. I have been off the Tamoxifen for about two weeks or so and beginning to feel more like myself. Thanks to you Curiousnk and all the other wonderful people on this site who are with me and supportive. I'll try to let you know what happens after dr. visit.
 
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Anon_130687 replied to Surfside6's response:
Best of luck on at your appointment. Please share your doctor's feedback after - I'm interested to hear!
 
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Surfside6 replied to Anon_130687's response:
Confusion on date of appointment. Next week for sure. I'll be in touch
 
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curiousnk replied to Surfside6's response:
In the meantime...eat your veggies! ...esp the cruciferous-kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, blueberries( in a class of their own). I hope my insides are reflecting how I look and feel on the outside, because except from some residual joint pain in the big bones, I am feeling great.
My thoughts have been with you and I am sending you lots of positive energy on that next appointment!
 
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curiousnk replied to curiousnk's response:
Hi, somehow the same discussion is on two sites. I was unable to find you but have thought about you often. I am hoping your dr. visit went well. Let me know how you are doing!
 
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Surfside6 replied to curiousnk's response:
I'm finally here - the two sites are a pain! And I have been busy. Have not been using my computer much as I have my left hand in a splint, which I will go into in a minute. At dr. appt we had another long talk about meds and he told me it is his job to give me all the info and statistics, but ultimately, it is MY decision and he respects it. Have been off all meds about a month now I guess and I feel so much better. Even my friends can see the difference. I see my surgeon in July and Onco. in December again. He is such a kind man, I know he wants the best for me.
Now about the splint - and this is the scary thing.
In December 2011, had pain in my left wrist and below....short version, not carpal tunnel. Two different drs diagnosed tendonitis. Had ultrasound therapy and PT, but no luck... In a splint for a month or more. Got worse. XRay shows "unstable", whatever that means. Went to orthopedic surgeon last week - has no clue - x ray shows nothing. Thinks it might be early arthritis. Am on another round of PT/ultra and anti-inflammatories. Is helping a little. Feels like a giant cramp in my hand and now half way up to my elbow. Cannot be without splint or twist my hand or severe pain. Keeping my fingers crossed this is NOT a new cancer or something weird like that.
I did mention it to Oncol. and he says it is unlikely, although IF the cancer does come back in either breast (or elsewhere), they cannot CURE it. They can treat it, and a mastectomy, for example, but no cure.

Will be 69 on Sunday (yes, April Fool's Day) and am still convinced I am doing the right thing for me....no more meds. My hubby is 75, has Parkinson's and dementia, so I am a 24/7 caregiver. I have to be able to face the day without pain. And if I get a reoccurrence, I will deal with it then.
Still believe a good attitude can do wonders. A lot easier to be optimistic when you are not in pain. I cannot complain about my cancer experience. I was VERY LUCKY and had wonderful care and wonderful friends/neighbors/family support.
Hope this finds you well. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.
 
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Surfside6 replied to Surfside6's response:
It's me again. I typed in paragraphs but afraid you might not see everything as it was long, so I took out the extra line. I know...it looks awful. Now I realize you could have seen it properly if I had left the spaces in. Sorry. I'll do better next time.


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