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I'm so happy to see your post here and I admire your open-mindedness toward alternatives. I hope you'll keep coming here with your thoughts, questions, and ideas. And I hope your recovery goes smoothly without the bad side effects you had before. Gaining weight and having your joints ache sure isn't fun. :-( You shouldn't be having to hate your self-image. You definitely need to continue your active life because so much about that contributes to our health and survival.
I, too, had a bilateral mastectomy after two separate bc diagnoses. I had chemo and radiation after the first diagnosis, followed by Tamoxifen for 5 years. After that, I was given Femara by my onc. I took that for about 3 months and abandoned it. The reasons I quit Femara were that I hated the side effects, and I did some homework. I went to the library and read the actual research studies on Femara. I found that for my stage of bc, Femara had no significant effect on survival, and that the producers of the drug were exaggerating their claims of effectiveness. Follow-up editorials in the Journal of the American Medical Association supported my opinion. I took the articles to my onc and he just shrugged and offered me some other drug. I was appalled. I encourage everyone to go back to the original studies on their meds and become informed about them. Sometimes the original data can be daunting (lots of charts and statistical analyses); I asked some science and math-oriented friends to help me understand them and interpret them correctly.
I currently take no prescription meds. I, too, am active and busy, and I want to live life fully. I've adopted the ideas in the book "Blue Zones" by Dan Buettner, which include a diet modeled after the long-living peoples of the world. I take lots of supplements and eat a diet full of veggies and fruits, lots of legumes, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, green tea, etc.
The best alternative to hormonal therapy is also the most controversial: I eat a lot of soy. I know this raises the hackles of lots of women, but this is what I believe. What the drug companies don't want us to know is that Tamoxifen is basically a knock-off of a substance in soy. They altered it just enough to call it a drug that they could patent. Aromatase inhibitors are very abundant in legumes (beans) and some other foods. We can eat our own aromatase inhibitors, safely, without side effects. And while we're at it, we gain health in other ways, through the increase in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats they contain. If you're interested in learning more about soy, I'll be happy to post. But if you do fear soy, because of its bad reputation among some people, I won't go on about it right now. I respect your right to make up your own mind on that. But many smart doctors, including Dr. Susan Love, now approve of soy and eat it themselves.
Yes, definitely, the turmeric (and its more powerful active ingredient, cucurmin) can help alleviate joint pain. You have to get enough of it, though, as a tiny bit might not be effective. I also recommend that you take a tablespoon of high-quality refined fish oil every day. Extra-virgin olive oil can also help the joint pain by reducing inflammation. Start getting gelatin into your diet----not in the form of Jell-o, but as the pure kind such as Knox or a brand that you find in a health food store. Stir a Tbsp. into soup, juice, etc. every day. It dissolves best when cold but then it begins to thicken quickly, so either drink the cold liquid quickly or heat it (as with soup). I sometimes just make a cup of veggie broth or organic chicken broth with gelatin in it (dissolved when cold, then heated).
Start using ginger roots in cooking, and take ginger capsules. The raw and powdered forms have different modes of action and both are good. Very helpful for our joints because ginger is highly anti-inflammatory. Garlic is also very helpful.
There are lots of other things you can do. I have to apologize for not having time to post more right now. I'm getting ready to travel and have lots to do. But I promise to get back to you again later. There is so much you can do to help your joints naturally.
I wish you well in making the decisions about future treatment. It's complicated, but now, while you're waiting for test results, is a good time to get online and begin educating yourself about the alternatives. Here is an excellent place to start. You can read the summary, then click on the more detailed topics in the green box below the summary.