Angela’s Corner: Tamoxifen – The Side Effects I Cannot Handle

IMG_0725With every prescription drug comes the chance of side effects. These side effects can be big or small, or something in between. Most of my side effects are small, in my opinion, and can be dealt with easily.

There are some side effects that I am not pleased to possess. While many women will suffer through the effects of hot flashes or an increased sensitivity to the sun, I suffer at times with anxiety, quickness to anger, and irritability. These all are new to me. Sure, I have had them all at one point in my life, but the frequency has definitely increased.

When my anxiety hits, I often feel helpless and want to break down into tears. It’s hard to describe the feeling I feel inside and I have no idea what triggers it. All I know is that it’s a feeling I do not like and if I am going to have this symptom, I am glad it is as infrequent as it is.

Now, this irritability and quickness to anger are two symptoms that I truly wish would just go away. Working with kids throughout the day and heading home to my wonderful daughter only to be irritable is not something I enjoy. My daughter is the most precious thing to me and she doesn’t deserve when my anger is directed towards her. Most of the time, I’m like a water fountain, the anger can turn on and off quickly. However, there are those moments when escaping to take a break is very much needed. I’m not pleased to see my patience wearing thin more often than not, or that my students and family see these mood swings. It’s not the type of person I like to be.

I realize I’m not alone; many people suffer through drug side effects. The longer you take a prescription the more side effects may develop further down the road. It’s up to each individual on how they deal with them. Inform your doctor, keep an open communication, and see what effects are manageable and which are not. If you’re like me with kids, at times they need to be reminded that all will be okay in the future, that the effects may come and go in frequency, and most importantly, they need to know that it is not their fault. A number of my side effects are manageable and can be lived with until the end. The others I listed above, well, I just need to figure out my own way to control them.

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