Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Schedule

I take a lot of pills, not as many as I used to when I was going through treatment, but still, more than most. Most of them are vitamins, a full multi vitamin, b complex vitamin, vitamin b-6, vitamin d (keeps me from being tired not enough sun in Northern Michigan apparently for most) etc, some are prescribed, like the anti anxiety pill I take, got those from my doc when I was told my course of treatment. I remember thinking how the fuck am I going to get through all this shit? I called my doc and I remember it like it was yesterday, told her I thought I needed some anti anxiety, sounded like she was eating lunch, she was very calm, I think I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin. I recall telling her what I was going to have to do 4 rounds of adrymicin/cytoxan, 12 rounds of taxol, with herceptin, then herceptin for the rest of the year. Yeah, I can see why you would be anxious is what she said or something like it. I remember babbling something like yeah I don't take meds so you should give me the lowest dose possible. I can just imagine what my chart notes look like for that day.

I also take synthroid for hypothyroidism. That pill starts my day. Have to take it on an empty stomach. Then I wait a half hour to an hour to eat. Wonder why that is. Don't know. I should ask my doc next month, going to an appointment for a med check.

I take tamoxifen, a cancer fighting pill. I take that until 2013. Can't wait to be done with that one, once that is done I will be officially done with treatment. That will be a sweet day. Yeah you are thinking it is just a pill, not as bad as chemo or radiation, but still, it is treating my cancer. It is another reminder, and the hot flashes totally suck, but as far as side effects go, they are not too bad.

The other pill I take is an anti depressant. I have to take that with dinner. I took it once without food, ugh. Ever have food poisoning? That was what it was like, and I was house sitting. that was great. Being in an unfamilar environment totally nauseous. I should have started the anti depressant earlier than I did. I have been pretty positive throughout treatment and survivorship, but I realize that I cannot do it alone, that is why I asked my doc for the anti depressant. That was probably one of the hardest things I did. I wasn't feeling like myself and I knew I was in a bad place and I didn't want to keep going down that road.

Then after a while I tried to get off the anti depressants, with doctors approval of course.

That was a mistake.

Anti depressants are hard to get off of, bad withdrawal effects. Not good if you are in radio. I recall calling the docs office talked to the office manager Carla or Nurse Debbie. Yah I think I am going to stay on the meds. I feel like I am either going to start crying or punch someone in the face. She asked me if I wanted to talk to the doctor. I said no. Just put it in my chart. Why? I thought, so she could tell me that was a good idea? I can be a pain in the ass sometimes.

I follow my schedule regularly. Tonight I will take my vitamins and anti anxiety before bed, anti anxiety will help me sleep.

Tomorrow I wake up and take my synthroid, and start the schedule all over again.

Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern standard time on wmktthetalkstation.com podcast of the show is also available

Check out my show The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com available on demand now and also available on itunes


  1. I used to take synthroid anytime with/without food until I realized you are to take it on an empty stomach for best absorbency. Now I take it with a small glass of water when I awaken in the middle of the night (which I always do). At least that is one more pill I don't have to juggle in the daytime.

  2. Hi Mel,
    I work at Breast Cancer Action, an education and advocacy organization (bcaction.org) and I happened upon your blog. We recently sent out some information about Tamoxifen and anti-depressants I thought you might want to see: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6098/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1116000&t=

    Take care,

  3. Awesome Caitlin Thanks for the info!! Yes I had heard that certain anti depressants counteract tamoxifen. My doctor knew about this as well. Remember readers we are our own advocates!!! Always ask questions, no question is too embarrassing to ask!!!