Today I had my very first BONE MINERAL DENSITY scan. It was painless, non-invasive and quick. Easier than an x-ray. So why would I need or want this test? Throughout my research and patient advocacy I have learned so much about life AFTER treatment. It is busy and complex. In fact, my sister mentioned yesterday that BC patients really need a PA to help keep track of everything! She is not wrong. Self care is still my full time job and it will remain that way forever. I am pretty committed.
During treatment chemo pushed my body into menopause, then we added ovarian suppression, the drug Tamoxifen and finally full ovary and tube removal (surgical menopause). So here I am, no ovaries and taking Tamoxifen (for the next 5 years). Both of these treatments are very hard on your bones. Sudden loss of estrogen can cause sudden bone loss. So my oncologist (is the best!) and I agreed that a baseline BMD test was a great way to start. Once this test is complete, as well as some bloodwork I will begin an osteoporosis injection twice a year for 3 years. This injection will strengthen my bones and help prevent the possibility of my cancer metastasizing to the bones. This is a form of prevention, just like Tamoxifen.
Along with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and Vitamin K, these injections will most likely keep my bones strong for years to come!
My next steps are literally steps! Walking! My oncologist could not stress enough how important walking is for the health of my bones. So the next time I invite you for a coffee date, be prepared to take it "to-go" while we walk around the block!