(First, I want to set the scene, as it's quite peaceful right now. I'm sitting at our dining room table, facing the Christmas tree. Lights are dimly lit here and there, and my cup of tea is hot. Rory is asleep, Jason is in New York, and Maybe is freshly-bathed and laying next to me in her bed. Inhale. Exhale. Enjoy.)
We've been waiting for about six weeks to hear whether I was going to be able to get into a clinical trial. I've been taking one anti-estrogen injection since late August (when chemo ended), but that injection just isn't enough to keep this bad boy in it's box, as I like to say. There have been tests and hurdles, and as of last week, I seem to have passed them!
The clinical trial I'm now in basically includes taking three anti-estrogen meds. The first is the injection I'm already getting monthly, which will continue. This is a drug that many women have been taking for years to ward off a recurrence. The second med is an oral anti-estrogen I started taking on Wednesday and will continue to take daily. Many women have been taking these first two meds together as part of a clinical trial, as well for about 12-18 months. The third med is an oral anti-estrogen that I will start the day after Christmas and will take once/week. This one is not yet FDA approved, so can only be given to a small number of patients. Really small. Meaning, I am Patient #4 in the world to be taking this drug combination. Yes, I'm THAT special, and I'm not sure I like it.
The good news is plentiful:
1 - When you are on a clinical trial, you are under constant care by great docs!
2 - The side effects of two of the drugs mimic the symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, crazy mood swings (sorry Jas & Ro!), and stiff joints. I may feel about 10 years older than I am, but overall, those are really tolerable side effects!
3 - The worst side effect of the third drug is a rash, which they can control with a mild steroid.
This week is a bit rough in the transition of meds for the clinical trial, but hopefully in about a week I will feel much more like myself. This transition (including a transition in "happy meds" that help me deal with the hormonal mood swings) is making me a little volatile this week, but should be better soon. In the meantime, it has made my brain peek into the dark side of things here and there which has been a little difficult and scary. I don't feel quite so invincible without my meds, I guess.
So, my wish this Christmas is for peace. Not world peace like Miss America. Just peace inside my brain and my body.
Happy and Healthy Holidays!!!