It’s mechanism is in simple terms a chemical shutdown of my ovaries. Since my cancer is ER/PR positive, this makes the most sense to me.
So now the hiccup. Isn’t there always a hiccup??
If the Cancer Clinic approves me, it’s free. If they don’t (and I’ve already been turned down once), then my extended health plan covers it at a cost of $100 (or so) bucks to me (that’s $400 or so picked up by the health plan). OUCH!
Two questions are on your minds right now and I’ll answer the first one: why was I turned down? It’s not about age and weight, it’s about research, or in my case lack of research. There are studies on chemo + tamoxifen, chemo + surgery, surgery + tamoxifen, etc. (you get the picture), but nothing on zoladex+chemo+tamoxifen. Well, truth be known, clinical trials for this combination are only just starting, and the results are 10 years away. Vancouver Island is not a clinical trial area (only potentially 5 people would qualify and that’s too small a sampling for accuracy).
The second question: why would I bother? My oncologist and I both believe in being proactive and aggressive in the treatment. The tamoxifen’s mechanism is to block estrogen and progesterone from bonding to cancer cells, but it can’t work 100% of the time, so let’s reduce the amount of hormones in my blood.
Pretty logical to me, but obviously not for the decision-makers.
So, the goal is to get me on zoladex and then schedule me for an oophorectomy (how’s that for a word, eh?? it’s just ovary removal). Until I see the surgeon, at the moment I’m in a holding pattern. Oh yeah, new surgeon too. I could be on it for months or just a few.
That’s it, that’s all.
Otherwise I should tell you that I am doing well. I still tire easily, though, and that can take a while to come back.