Thursday, October 31, 2013

Matters of the Heart

October 29, 2013
Just spent two hours getting a detailed Echocardiogram done due to dizziness and shortness of breath. Plus the heart monitor I'm wearing has recorded 31 "events" so far. The tech isn't allowed to say if anything is wrong, but she did say I wasn't crazy when I'm feeling weird stuff happening. And then when it was over and I sat up, she asked me if I was okay about 62 times. The test results will be sent to the Oncologist and the Cardiologist today, and they'll call me if it's urgent. Otherwise, I'll see both doctors next week.

October 30, 2013
Today has been rough. I have been very weak and short of breath just standing, walking or showering. And I've been throwing up all day. I've uploaded a total of 42 "events" on the heart monitor, and the when I talked to the Cardiologist just now, they indicated my heart rate is in the 160's when I'm not doing anything but standing up. They said it's called Atrial Flutter. So, what that means is, if I continue to be weak or lightheaded over the course of the evening, I am supposed to head to the ER and be admitted to have my heart treated.

October 31, 2013
A big thanks to my friend, Brenda for taking me to the ER last night, even though she didn't appreciate my singing or Forrest Gump impressions.
The latest update:
My big accomplishment was taking a 10 minute shower yesterday, which took 30 minutes to recover from the activity. I could hardly move the rest of the day and couldn't keep any food down. I decided to go to the ER last evening after many attempts to stand up resulted in losing my vision and not being able to breathe. I almost passed out as soon as I walked in the ER, and they immediately wheeled me right back to the Chest Pain unit.
My blood pressure was really low, around 89/50, but every time I changed positions, my heart rate would jump from 80bpm to over 130bpm, sometimes in the 160's. I got really lightheaded and short of breath. They were fairly certain it was a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the artery to the lungs). But after an Xray and CT scan, they determined that wasn't the case. They didn't really address the heart monitor readings that the Cardiologist provided, so that still may be an issue. The Echocardiogram came back fine from Tuesday, but I've had 18 more events on the heart monitor since last evening (for a total of over 60 events since Friday). I'm still waiting for the Cardiologist to call back today to tell me what to do.
When the blood lab report came back, they told me that my white blood cell counts are around 4 (which is low), and my Hemoglobin is 10 (which is also low, but not terrible). They don't usually do a transfusion until the Hemoglobin level is below 9, so they just pumped me full of fluids to increase the fluid volume in my body. The labs didn't show I was dehydrated, and even with two bags of fluid, my blood pressure remained really low, so I don't know what that means. They just told me to move really slowly (sitting up for a minute before standing....standing up for a minute before walking).
Being that yesterday was day 6 after chemo, the blood levels will lower even more over the next 4 days, with day 10 usually being the worst. After talking with the nurse at the Oncologist today, they may or may not be able to do chemo next week. But the Oncologist will look at the reports from last night, and I'll meet with him on Tuesday to discuss my options.
It was a LONG night, and we finally got home around 3am. And so far, today is just more of the same, shortness of breath and weakness. Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers!!

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