December 17, 2008

Next treatment: Arimidex

The new spot in my breast is apparently a cancer recurrence. The full pathology report indicates it's highly ER/PR + and Her2/neu negative, as in the past.

My oncologist will start me on Arimidex, the remaining estrogen blocker that I have not already tried. I'll take a pill daily. Dr. G says that stopping the tamoxifen will help anyway, and I may even lose some of the weight it's added to my 5'4" frame. Dr. G also told me the risk for ipsilateral (same side) metachronous (recurrent) breast cancer is about 14%. He thinks the safest bet about the potential lung lesion is that it, too is breast cancer and therefore would likely respond to systemic treatment.

Arimidex (anastrazole) is closely related to Femara (letrozole), which gave me good coverage for about 2.5 years. The side effects are osteoporosis, which would be addressed by continuing me on IV Zometa, and joint pain, for which I'll have pain killers. Who knows? I may get a long enough run on Arimidex that by the time it stops working, something new will come along.

So this is good news all around. I moved up and down on the merry-go-round, but everything is still very treatable. A new drug for a new year....


  1. 1.Good luck on the Arimidex--hope you feel well and ARE well!

    2.Thank you for introducing us to Molly Moon's idea of a great breakfast. I tried it at home this morning with good quality oatmeal, cranberries, and a *small* scoop of Haagen Dazs Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream. WOW. I was blessing your name and Molly Moon's with each scrumptious bite! Good thing I am genetically slim, but still...can't do this too often!

  2. Anonymous11:24 AM

    I admire you for many reasons, one of which is your ability to keep track of new developments in cancer treatment, all the meds that are available, etc.

    At some point we can compare osteoporosis notes. (Before the advent of the wonder drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, many of the medicines robbed the body of calcium - which gave me osteoporosis by the time I was 45.)

  3. great that you have such attentive compassionate caregiving mds!
    lots of prayers this treatment is the right one.

  4. Claire, I would try the oatmeal with Graeter's ice cream next time. Mocha chocolate chip or coffee ice cream on hot oatmeal....mmmm.....