Cancer log 187: Hot flashes and size changes.

Very little to today’s follow-up with my oncologist, everything looks fine, only two things worth noting:

a) we talked about switching me from Tamoxifen to the other med whose name I’m forgetting, but which you can’t go on until you’ve not menstruated in at least a year, which now applies — the disadvantages are that the new med is likely to bring on hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. The advantages are…unclear. It’s been the standard of care, I think, and she’d sort of prefer that I made the switch, but there’s not enough evidence that it actually has long-term recurrence reduction that she’d push for it. We decided to leave it for now, but I’ll probably try switching over at our next six-month appt. As she said, if there are going to be hot flashes, better to have them start in winter than in summer…

b) she asked about my weight loss, and I told her that I hadn’t actually lost any pounds, but that I’d been lifting with a trainer once a week, strength-training, and that was probably what she was seeing, because I had gone down about a dress size and a half over the last year. A fair bit of fat turned into muscle, I think. She said that sounded right, and that she’d particularly noticed it when listening to my…lungs? It was so straight and clear? I was honestly a little confused by that bit and not sure I was hearing her right, but I didn’t want to make her go over it, but she seemed approving, so I guess it’s all good.

Turning fat into muscle and continuing to take Tamoxifen (or the other med) are basically the only things I have any real control over, in terms of reducing risk of cancer recurrence. So I’ll keep on with it. The kids used to play this great board game when they were little, called “Go Away, Monster!” That’s a little bit how I feel now, when I think about cancer recurrence — stay away, monster. You’re not wanted here.

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