It has been quite a while since I have written to this space. I am sorry for the absence, but I wasn't sure what to write or how to write it. Some of the side effects of the Tamoxifen have been affecting me.
First of all, let me go back a bit and tell you that when the Oncologist gave me the medication, he also gave me a list of the possible side effects...
- sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
- sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
- chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate;
- pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
- nausea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, muscle weakness, confusion, and feeling tired or restless;
- unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge;
- irregular menstrual periods;
- pain or pressure in your pelvic area;
- blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights
- easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- new breast lump
- upper stomach pain, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
- hot flashes;
- bone pain, joint pain
- swelling in your hands or feet;
- vaginal itching or dryness;
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;
- headache, dizziness, depression; or
- thinning hair
This is not a complete list of side effects, but it is enough to tell you that I looked at the list once and then put it on the fridge because there are so many, I didn't want to get myself paranoid and become a hypochondriac about it. Sam read them and committed it more to memory so that he could know if I was experiencing any of them, (he is a sweet kid like that) and he tells me when I do list one of them. The first thing I noticed was some depression now and then. I have found out, though, that usually if I mention it to someone, they tell me things like it is reasonable for me to be depressed from time to time because of all that I have been through in the last year, which I guess is true, but it also doesn't quite fit how this depression is. The most depressing aspect of my life right now is that my neurological symptoms have returned somewhat, but this depression really seems to have nothing really to do with that. It really feels chemical in that I will have this sudden feeling come over me and I don't have any particular thoughts going through my mind at the time. I review my thoughts to make sure it isn't some negative thing that has happened that I have repressed or something. It is not like anything I have ever experienced before. The depression lifts just as suddenly and inexplicably as it arrives. I am sure it is a side effect of the medication, but it doesn't make it any less real. It is really disconcerting for me because my personality is such a look-on-the-bright-side and make lemonade out of lemons that I don't know quite how to deal with it. It is like my personality is taken away ever so often.
I have checked off other side effects such as losing my balance, loss of appetite, tiredness, thinning hair and flu-like symptoms, but the depression is the only one that has been difficult.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and blessings. We continue to need them.