Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tick Tock

Like clockwork, something hits me every three weeks.  I don't know if it's remnants of chemo, since I understand it stays in your system for three months.  It could possibly be the Herceptin or something else entirely.  But every three weeks, I get knocked down for several days.

It starts with fatigue, then all over body pain, sometimes so bad I can barely move, dizziness, weakness and shortness of breath.  It lasts 3-5 days and feels almost like when I was getting chemo.  Luckily, it's not nearly as intense.

Thursday of last week, I went to the park, and after climbing a set of stairs, I had to rest to catch my breath.  By the time I got home, I had to sleep for a couple hours just to be able to function again.  I thought I was just really out of shape, even though I've been on the treadmill daily.  But then Friday morning, while sitting on the exam table at the breast surgeon, they clocked my heart rate in the 130's.  I realized that my exhaustion the day before was from Tachycardia not from being out of shape.

I had the same issue when I was on chemo and was the reason I started on a heart beta-blocker in October.  Now that I'm on Herceptin, which can also damage my heart, there is some concern that there may be toxicity issues.  If that's the case, we would need to stop the Herceptin and try to repair the function in my heart.

Due to the elevated heart rate, being short of breath upon small exertion, and even waking during the night to catch my breath, I met with the cardiologist this morning.  He wants to do a more detailed echocardiogram which looks at strains.  It's a newer, more precise imaging tool that looks at the myocardial function of the heart (blood flow and muscle use).  I should be able to do that in the next week and get the results soon after.

Meanwhile, I'm on the way back up with energy.  The body pain is slowly getting better.  And I should be back to "normal" in no time.  One day closer to cancer being behind me. 

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