Apr 13, 2005 - 9:54 pm
I am a 39 yr old breast cancer survivor (July'03)from Toronto, Canada - I was stage 1, node negative invasive ductal carcinoma. I had no family history of cancer on either parent's side and yet it still managed to find me. I had 2 surgeries and 5 weeks of radiation in 2003. I was on tamoxifen for 9 months (Sep03 to Jun04) to help reduce my chance of recurrence. With my family doctor and my oncologist's approval, I went off tamoxifen in June 04 because of the awful side effects it was causing. Nine months after stopping tamoxifen (Mar05), I have been told I have a 1 cm cyst (along with quite a few other smaller ones) in the myometrium layer of my uterus, thickening of the lining of the uterus and the u/s results are suggesting that I may have adenomyosis. My monthly cycle has been awful for the past few months with painful cramps, pelvic pain and almost daily,irregular bleeding. It has definitely been an unwelcome guest in my life and has been causing havoc for me in the bedroom (thank god for a very understanding and supportive boyfriend).
My GP got me a quick referral to a gynecologist this week. Unfortunately, I was not impressed with his non-chalant approach to my concerns. We had a 10 minute "chat" and a 10 minute examination only to have him tell me to get some blood work done and "monitor" it for the next 6 weeks. He discussed briefly my "options" if it does not get better. I've already put up with my period, the painful cramps, pelvic pain and the daily spotting since the end of Feb (it's now Apr 13) - and now he wants me to "wait" and see until June 2nd (my next app't with him). In addition to those symptoms, I've also had aches up my spine (painful to touch the area), other back pain (unrelated to the cramps) and sore ribs. Basically, at times, it feels as though someone hit me with a baseball bat.
I will be asking my GP for a second opinion (to a female gyn) as alot of what I have read on this site and other reputable cancer websites seem to point to uterine cancer. I also know that having a history of BC means I am more at risk for uterine (endometrial) cancer and when I read the signs/symptoms of uterine cancer, they are very close to what I've been experiencing. Taking the Tamoxifen for even the 9 months does not help the cause either.
I'm wondering if anyone else out there has experienced the same problems after being on tamoxifen and, if so, what the outcome was. For obvious reasons, I am quite worried that I may be facing a new challenge all over again - all because of a drug that was supposed to help me beat one form of cancer but may have given me a new one?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I am trying to deal with this latest "bump in the road".