I've never been one of those folks who wade gradually out from shore, acclimating to the frigid water a bit at a time. I know it's going to be miserable, so I just want to get it over with and get on with things. So I run out to the end of the dock and just jump in that cold lake. Take the hit and hope it gets better, or at least that I'll adjust.
In this case, of course, it won't get better. But maybe it could be kept from getting really unbearable for just a little while longer. Obviously I don't have the luxury of time for exploration and experimentation. I've researched until I'm blue in the face, and have done so from the time I was diagnosed. I'm not learning anything new, really, just "reviewing the situation," as our friend Fagin burbled so charmingly in the old beloved musical.
With my history with drugs, etc., I know I'm going to take a big hit, side-effects wise. All the options have lots of dire potential, and the main two at this point - Tamoxifen or one of the Aromatase Inhibitors (AI's) - are more or less equal in the awfulness of their different Worst Case Scenarios.
I don't have time to mull it over, really. If I don't already have brain mets (my own personal Worst Fear Ever), or spine mets (usually a quick ticket to the end - "Do Not Pass Go, in the laughably unlikely event that you reach it,") then they are unlikely to be far behind. I have to throw everything I can at it.
I'm not giving up on the alternative treatments. I'm adding more, and reinstating some old ones. It is possible that one of the several things I'd stopped doing since the last scan was critical to the stasis the cancer seemed to be at that time. It is possible that other options could bring some relief. But it is time to throw everything reasonable at this monster. And all things being equal with the hormonal chemo treatments, I guess I'll take the one that has even a very small advantage in time-to-progression**, percentage-wise.
So I'm jumping off the end of the dock. Aromasin it is.
Kindly ignore any screeching you hear in the next little bit. I'm hoping I will adjust.
**As my doctor reminded me several times on Friday, none of the options will lengthen my life. They might keep the tumors smaller for a while, and keep the spread down for a while... but then the progression will likely be faster when it does come. It's a case of balancing the side-effects of the medications against the side-effects of the tumors during that period when the meds keep the tumors at bay. Which is an unknown, in itself. We're just gambling here, folks, and it's pretty steep house odds.