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Friday, February 6, 2015

Kicking cancer's ass - day 527

I wonder if there's a correlation between hemoglobin levels and hot flashes?

I had a lot of hot flashes during chemo, and during that time my red blood cells and hemoglobin levels were up and down (mostly down).  After chemo, the hot flashes settled down some.  During my surgery in November my hemoglobin tanked.  It went lower than my lowest chemo level.  After vitamins, protein shakes and three iron infusions, my numbers are hopefully much better than they were two months ago.  I won't know until I go back to Dr H on February 17th.  However, for the last month or so, my hot flashes have gotten progressively worse.  The last few nights I've been kept awake going from hot to cold, hot to cold.  I also have a headache that won't go away.

The estrogen-blocker that I take (Tamoxifen) is known to cause hot flashes, or make the ones you already have worse.  A lot of my fellow survivors who are also taking Tamoxifen complain about their hot flashes being bad.  I've been on Tamoxifen since last February and until now I didn't have much to complain about.  However, I haven't been on it consistently because I had to stop for radiation and both surgeries this year.  Now that I've been taking it daily for three months, maybe the side effects are getting the chance to take hold.

What's your guess?  Rising hemoglobin equals more hot flashes, or can I blame them on Tamoxifen?  Or a combination of both, plus the fact that I was instantly thrown info menopause six months ago thanks to surgery?

Either way, I'm ready for some relief.  I've had a headache nonstop for four days and every day my hot flashes get worse.  Enough already!

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