March 8th, 2011
In this weeks research (and no, I'm not over doing my research. I do some then I move on to watching mindless TV after hitting my head against a wall a few times--- just kidding!). This week I discovered that there is a conection to Tamoxifen reducing and/or eliminating the manic side of manic depression, aka bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed with this a million years ago as a kid & again as an adult. My symptoms subsided after my mom died.
Since getting cancer I've been on the roller coaster, or "cancer-coaster," and it's difficult to tell what causes what at this point. But I am more down than up. I keep telling my friends at school that I am really tired or depressed & they all respond by saying "Yeah, me too. All I want to do is watch a movie and sleep in." It doesn't help anymore mentioning it because 22 year old pot head students are all going to say they are tired, but they don't fully get what tired really means to a bc survivor (I do cringe when I use the word, but I'm at a loss here for alternatives).
Anyways, I searched a lot online & discovered of course that there are extremely limited options for anti-depressants while on Tamoxifen, and somewhere in my research I came across a drug called Modafinil that is used to treat people with sleeping disorders so they can get more energy & be awake. It stands to reason that if Tamoxifen is reducing and manic symptoms in the bi-polar patients that this Modafinil might reduce my depression symptoms and possibly increase my energy. So I Googled the two together to see if there are any connections or interactions and I found this article. It sounds like, not only will it increase energy (which in turn MIGHT help us sleep), but it also improves memory and brain function. For those of you with chemobrain you might want to ask your doctor about this one!