Supporting women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer


by jw

After just over 2 years on tamoxifen (I was pre menopausal on dx) my onc suggested I change to aromasin (exemestane). She said that studies had shown there was a better outcome by having 2-3 years on tamox and the remainder of the 5 years on aromasin. I was quite pleased about this as I had read up on it and was going to ask about it anyway! After a blood test to check that I was menopausal I started taking the tablets.

With tamoxifen I had aching joints and hot flushes and I put on weight. My joints had started to feel a bit better before I started aromasin, and at first I didn't notice any difference, but after a few weeks the joint pain came back with a vengeance! Instead of just my knees it was my ankles and then my feet. I continued to put on weight and I think that made it worse too. I took ibuprofen and lived with the pain!

After about 18 months on aromasin I had a dexa scan and was found to have mild osteopenia and was given calcium tabs.

I tried to lose weight but never got beyond half a stone and convinced myself it was because of the pills. In January this year I was 3 stones heavier than at dx and decided I must do something about it! With the help of the weight loss forum I have lost just over a stone to date, it's hard work and it's going slowly - but it is going and it can be done!

In March this year my 5 years of hormone therapy were up. Instead of taking me off the pills my onc gave me a choice to stay on them if I wanted. This completely threw me! There are no guidelines on how long to take aromasin, so for the time being I'm still taking them as to be honest its my comfort blanket, and I'm scared to stop them! I see my onc again in September and I'll discuss it again then.

My joint pains have eased quite a bit in the last few months since taking rosehip supplements. They were recommended to me and I was sceptical but they seem to be helping.

So thats my experience of aromasin, it won't be the same as others, but I'm grateful to have been given them, and have coped with the side effects. In hindsight I think I could have helped myself by taking control of my weight sooner and doing some exercise!