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Exactly 10 years after undergoing a double mastectomy, Julie’s oncologist has officially given her the green light to stop taking the cancer-treatment drug tamoxifen.
Julie announced the good news on the March 23 episode of her and husband Todd’s podcast “Chrisley Confessions,” noting to their listeners that her oncology appointment was on March 22, literally a decade to the day after her surgery at Johns Hopkins in 2012.
Julie was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and has since revealed it fed off too much estrogen in her body. In addition to her double mastectomy, she underwent a radical hysterectomy in 2013 to decrease the estrogen her body produced, according to "Us Weekly." She was later declared in remission but remained on tamoxifen until now.
On the podcast, Julie and Todd explained that while they are grateful the medication saved her life, it came with a bevy of side effects they’ve lived with for a decade. Julie noted on the podcast that she deals with mood swings, joint aches, weight gain, brain fog, and memory loss, all of which are caused by the medication.
“I will never forget, during the first year after this happened, I would lose my phone,” Julie explained. “I remember Season 1 of ‘Chrisley Knows Best,’ I literally spent the entire season searching for my phone because I would lay it down and couldn’t find it.”
She said there were many times over the past decade she worried she was developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“It was so scary to me. I went and had testing done and it has been determined that this is just a side effect of this medicine,” she said. “Now, I don’t know if it will correct itself, I don't know if it will get better, get worse, whatever. I’m also 10 years older. But I am glad that I can go off of it for sure.”
Todd also noted she struggled with her weight as well. He revealed, despite keeping her weight steady after three kids, she began gaining weight for the first time in her life on tamoxifen.
“I remember you saying to me, ‘Listen, you’re alive, you’re cancer-free,’” Julie said. “‘Weight is something that we can deal with down the road, whatever, but that should not be your main focus. Your focus is to be healthy and take care of yourself.’”
Todd added: “Well I am thrilled, I’m so happy, I’m so proud for you because I know that the medicine has been a struggle for you, but it’s also been a blessing.”
Julie concluded by noting, even though this was a big, positive step forward, she plans to continue to be open and vocal about her health going forward.
“If it helps one person, then I feel like all the stuff that I've gone through has not been in vain,” she said.
“I know I'm not the only person listening to this podcast who has experienced it or is experiencing it now,” Julie added. “So just know that you’re not in it by yourself. We’ve all kind of been there.”
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