>Making Adjustments

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I previously talked about decreasing my caffeine intake to see if that would help decrease the hot flashes, dizziness and bouts of nausea I’ve been experiencing with the tamoxifen.  We’ve switched to decaf coffee at home. (Though I’m still drinking tea with caffeine.)  We’ll see how that goes.  I’m also now taking the tamoxifen at night to see if it cuts down on the nausea during the day. So far, it just makes sleeping even more difficult than it normally is.

I’m also going to have to adjust my vitamin intake until after the radiation is done.  Some vitamins, especially antioxidants fight against free radicals.  Free radicals in the environment can damage all cells, but in the case of radiation they are focused on cancer cells. Antioxidants help keep free radicals from forming or if they do form, neutralize them.  (Breastcancer.org)

The vitamins to avoid: A, C, D, E and COQ10.  I normally take COQ10 and D3. I started these vitamins after I started going to the Metabolic Research Center to loose weight. Prior to taking these vitamins, if someone down the hall sneezed, I caught a cold.  After I started losing weight, getting more fit and taking these vitamins, my immune system (at least in regards to colds and flu) increased greatly.  One of the side effects of tamoxifen (yes it seems I learn of more each day) is an increased  risk of infection. People taking tamoxifen are cautioned to stay away from people with colds, etc.

I work in an elementary school – otherwise known as a germ factory.  And since Murphy runs my life, I’m sure that now that I won’t be taking my immune boosting vitamins, I’ll be sneezed on my by at least five children a day.

This will also impact my walking. I’ve been trying to work my way back into walking and exercise.  My goal is to get back up to walking at least once a day five times a week. (As it gets warmer, I want to walk twice a day).  With an increased risk of infection, that means no more walking when it’s freezing outside.  Before the first surgery in January, I would get up at 5:00 a.m., put on three layers of clothing plus my coat, gloves and knit cap and take a quick walk around the neighborhood.  Now, when the alarm goes off, I check the temperature and if it’s freezing or below, I skip the walk. I don’t want to “catch” a cold.  Of course all of this (except for the tamoxifen) is temporary.  Once the radiation treatments have been completed, I can go back to taking all my vitamins. By that time, the weather will be warmer  – perfect for walking in the mornings before school.

I know I’m being sort of whiny about all this, but I wanted to talk about it today because these are things that I had not considered that I might need to change. Some of the information came from my doctor (not being able to take Vitamin E and COQ10), but other things  – tamoxifen lowering my resistance to infection and not being able to take Vitamin D during radiation, I found out by googling.   At every doctor’s visit they always ask if I have any questions. I don’t know if it’s because by the time the doctor’s visit rolls around I’m on information overload or what, but most of the time I can’t think of any questions.   I always think of them later.    Fortunately, I do have Sharon, my BCN to help answer questions in between visits.

Hopefully, my droning on and on about all the changes I’ve been going through, will help someone else think of the questions they should be asking and/or point them in the right direction for information and support.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Joyce
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 14:44:00

    >Praying that one day at a time, you'll be strong, physically and emotionally!!

    Reply

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