Yesterday was chemo day. Also it was my once a month check in with the doctor. He ordered a PET scan to see what the scoop is with my swollen right abdominal wall. That is where the liver is. He also prescribed Femara because my tumor marker isn't going down. This is a medicine prescribed for cancer that is estrogen positive. What it does is suppress the estrogen so that the cancer cells don't have food to grow. I had a hysterectomy years ago, so it is estrogen produced by my liver, and adrenal gland that will be suppressed. The information that puzzles me, in the info on this drug, is that it has a side affect of causing fractures in bones. This happens because of a decrease in bone density. It also causes fatigue (yay!) I have copied the basic info on this drug directly from the manufactures website. You can read it below:
Important Safety Information
Femara is only indicated in postmenopausal women. You should not take Femara if you are premenopausal. Your doctor should discuss the need for adequate birth control if you have the potential to become pregnant, if you are not sure of your postmenopausal status, or if you recently became postmenopausal. You should not take Femara if you are pregnant as it may cause harm to an unborn child. You should also discuss with your doctor what to do if you are nursing a child.
The use of Femara may cause decreases in the density of your bones, increases in bone fractures and osteoporosis. Monitoring of the density of your bones may be required.
Some patients taking Femara had an increase in cholesterol. Your doctor may require the monitoring of cholesterol in your blood.
Some women reported fatigue, dizziness and drowsiness with Femara. Until you know how it affects you, use caution before driving or operating machinery.
Some women had moderate, temporary decreases in white blood cell counts. The medical significance of this is not known.
The most serious side effects seen with Femara are bone effects (fractures, decreased bone density and osteoporosis) and increases in cholesterol. Other common side effects seen with Femara include joint pain, nausea, weight decrease, vaginal irritiation, and pain in the extremitites. Other important less commonly reported side effects include blood clots, other cancers, stroke, heart attack and endometrial cancer.
My concern is that I already have to be careful about using my arm and my hips because the cancer there can cause fractures. It worries me to take something that can double the risk. I guess I will have to cover this all with the doctor next month or call and talk to his nurse before I see him.
I had my once monthly treatment of Zometa, to strengthen my bones along with my chemo yesterday. This causes a lot of bone aches and pains. Plus fatigue. In addition I began taking the femara. Today is a really gross feeling day for me. I am tired and emotional. I am trying to be positive and cheerful. It isn't really a successful effort. On a happy note my computer has just returned from being repaired at Frye's electronics. As soon as Mo gets it all set up I can go back to using a speedier pc. Hurray!!!!