January 21, 2015

Yesterday I had an echocardiogram. I’ve had EKGs before but not this ultrasound 2D view of my heart.  It was very cool to see all 4 chambers of my heart pumping and hear the valves working.  I also learned a new term – ejection fraction, which is a measure of how well the heart is pumping with each beat.  Generally, the number quoted is for the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber for the heart.  55-70% is normal; my test came back at 60%, quite normal and healthy.   Yay!

The echo took about 30 minutes, but the technician informed me that for subsequent tests (every 3 months) they’ll only need to calculate the EF, which should only take about 15 minutes.  It was pretty painless, except for the view of the aorta from the neck.  (As a refresher, Herceptin can cause loss of heart function, so an echo was done to get a baseline of my heart function.  I’ll have regular tests to monitor my heart function.)

I had a really great phone call with my good friend Mike last night.  He’s a doctor and can relate easily to what I’m saying, from the science to all the other parts of dealing with this situation. He offered from our very first phone call about my cancer that I could call him to talk about anything, including complain about what’s going on.  It was great to talk through things with someone who can be very matter of fact about the situation, but who also knows me pretty well. Thanks, Mike, for letting me bitch to you!  ♥ you!

Tomorrow is the chemo education session, and the next day is my outpatient surgery to have a port installed.  Things are rolling right along, and that’s good.

January 13, 2015 – Part 2!

I got a phone call at my Conference Room F “meeting” (aka Happy Hour at Fiorello’s) from Dr. Priya’s nurse.  My echo cardiogram has been scheduled for Jan 20 at 11 am, and the chemo education session for Jan 22 at 3 pm.  Turns out that I’m going to have a port put in (I assume my chest) and Dr. Priya wants that to happen by Jan 21!  It’s a short outpatient surgery to put the port in (and take it out) and Dr. Priya wants to give me a few days to recover from that before the first treatment.  I suppose that means I could get my first treatment as early as Jan 23, but I want to try to schedule the treatments so that I can make certain commitments.

In yesterday’s post I failed to mention  that the other advantage of the chemo reducing the size of the tumor and therefore less tissue removed during surgery is that Dr. Ching was concerned about the location of my tumor.  Apparently, it’s very close to the skin, and she wasn’t sure she’d be able to get clear margins on the first pass.  I was really hoping I wouldn’t need two surgeries; I’m hopeful that I definitely won’t need a 2nd surgery now.

I have started receiving all sorts of things.  I find it astounding that people are taking time out of their busy lives to send me something, never mind all the prayers that I know are being said by friends, prayer circles and churches!  My village is large and wide ranging:  it is with all of your good healing thoughts and the light of love that I will get through this.  Thank you, my friends, for believing in me.