Monday, September 1, 2014

You can't trust anyone

 I hate to sound melodramatic but it is true!  As a cancer patient you can't trust anyone.  I used to trust my oncologist explicitly, I trusted her with my life!  Now that trust is shaken and I don't have as much faith and trust in her or any other doctor or pharmacy.  I will tell you why. 

The City of Hope a world class leading cancer center located here in California came out on the local news on the results of a study they had performed regarding Paxil and Tamoxifen.  Paxil is a drug used for depression and anxiety, given to a lot of cancer patients for depression and Tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker used for pre-menopausal women and both drugs have been on the market for 20 years or more.

Studies on the interaction of both of these medicines have been done since 2010 and most recently in January 2014, it was announced February 7th on KTLA 5 local Los Angeles news channel by the lead research oncologist that it is proven that Paxil renders Tamoxifen INEFECTIVE.  This is devastating  news to breast cancer patients and any estrogen related cancer!  I am ER positive that means estrogen receptive, so my cancer grows from estrogen and it is a matter of life and death that I rid my body of ANY estrogen.  So for almost a year both my oncologist and my local pharmacy did nothing, did not see any negative interaction of that combination thus causing my cancer to come back and eat a HOLE in my iliac bone and cause me to be stage 4 Metastatic.  INCURABLE.  Before their negligence my cancer was curable and now it is not.  I interviewed several big name pharmacies in my area and 95% acknowledged they were aware of the Paxil/Tamoxifen interaction.  One pharmacy was shocked and amazed that the interaction wasn't caught and supports my professional negligence claim.
We can't rely on professionals with our lives.  Sad but true.  We HAVE to do our own research, check for drug interactions, ask questions, seek second opinions, etc.  Doctors are human too and make mistakes, however it is our health and our bodies and our responsibility.  I learned the hard way, please don't end up like I did.  My cancer reoccurrence was avoidable, and now I have to live with it.  In 3 weeks it will be a year since my oncologist gave me the results of my pet/ct scan and delivered the devastating news.  The past year has been one heck of a rollercoaster.  I was so angry and it has only been the last 2 months that I have come to terms with my anger and see the positive in this situation. 

*Look for post on cancer and anger