I’m off to Duke (driving myself there, for once!) to get my first Zoladex injection to begin shutting down my ovaries. My type of breast cancer fed off of estrogen in my body, so we are moving on to the final phase of my treatment: 5 years of making sure there is zero estrogen in my body. Basically, we are inducing menopause. This will be different than regular menopause, though, because instead of taking estrogen replacement therapy to minimize the uncomfortable side effects (irritability, weight gain, hot flashes), I will instead take a drug type called an aromotase inhibitor to make sure I have absolutely NO estrogen in my body. Everyone is impacted by side effects of this treatment in different ways, so hopefully I will have minimal irritability, minimal hot flashes, and minimal weight gain. If not, well, I hope you can just remember the good ol’ days when I was a nice person.
I am also having a bone density scan today, too. Early menopause is associated with premature bone loss, so we have to monitor for that. There are drugs that can stop the bone loss, but they only give you that once you begin to show signs of bone loss. I think this is stupid and I keep arguing that I want to take these meds preventatively, and the doctors keep saying no. I will keep arguing today. 🙂
I will get an ovary-shutdown injection every month for 5 years. Yep. That’s 60 injections.