Friday, March 26, 2010

MUGA scheduled

I'm not one to whine.

I promise. As long as you don't ask my husband, my children, my friends, or read my facebook updates, that promise holds up.

Okay, maybe there is a tiny amount of whining.

I've looked back on my blog and there isn't a profound amount of complaining, or else I'm in denial. To my way of thinking, I've remained true to my nature - I don't like whiners, so I try not to be one. There are enough people out there who complain contantly and my goal is to let people know they can get through this.

So, please indulge me for a moment:

This shortness of breath is really, really hard. Frustrating and hard. A pain in the butt and hard. Exhausting and hard.

I have bone aches that make me want to sit in a hot bath all day and note to self: update that hot water heater if I get mets. Better yet - get a hot tub. I have no appetite and have to force food down my gullet. Mostly candy, yogurt and bananas, which is weird and not anything I ever wanted to eat before, but it's something. I have fatigue. I'm dizzy and I have wobbly spaghetti legs.

But, it's the shortness of breath that is really bothering me. It's been the worst thing so far. It's what is keeping me sitting in one place all day. Day after day, I stare at a pattern on the wall where my wet dog shook mud off and don't have the breath to clean it. It keeps me from having a conversation. I have to take a breath in the middle of a sentence. It's what's keeping me from eating much. It's hard to eat and not breathe. People keep asking me why I'm sighing.

When you can't catch your breath, life is very uncomfortable.

I have a renewed sorrow for those lung cancer patients I sit next to in the infusion room. Their coughs are disgusting and irritating but it's gotta be hard to live forever with lack of breath.

My red cells are low which is probably causing this symptom, but it could also be caused by herceptin-induced heart failure. A very significant number of people on herceptin get heart failure and have to discontinue.

I have a heart test April 1st.

Oh, don't worry, if it comes out I have heart damage, it's reversible. I won't die of it. But I'll have to quit herceptin.

Herceptin is an insurance policy I don't want to give up.

Chemo is over next week and if it's simple lack of red blood cells - I'll recover soon. So, think bad blood and healthy heart thoughts for me.

Okay, I'm done complaining now.

At least, until my husband comes home.


  1. Oh Ann, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time breathing! What does your doc/onc say about this? Hopefully it's only a red blood cell issue and will go away after your next (and last!!!) chemo. I, too, am worried about the Herceptin that I will start in two weeks. Heart problems run in my family and I'm scared that my heart won't be strong enough to endure a full year of Herceptin.

    I've never been much of a complainer either but I think during this time of our lives we have a right to complain as much as we want!

    Take care of yourself.

  2. Vonda, the onc was sort of non-committal. Could be anemia, could be LVEF. I'll find out next week I guess.

    Here's hoping we both stay strong enough to have it for our full course! It would suck to have this miracle treatment and not get to take part.

  3. Hey - glad to hear your last chemo takes place next week! It was a tough journey - but we are getting there :)

    P xox

  4. Hi Ann,
    Good luck with your last chemo next week - my last is on April 1 (and like you Herceptin for a while after that).

    I hope your LVEF from your MUGA is good, and means you can continue to keep getting your Herceptin.

  5. Oy. That's a tough one. Only once did my red cells drop so low that I was too exhausted to do anything. I don't remember breathing problems though. That's tough stuff. You deserve to whine.

  6. You say potato, I say potato (doesn't exactly mean the same thing written, does it?) If what you are doing is whining, then whine. I think you are making women listen. We are being made aware of our risk by you alerting us to it!
    I am working with AmpliVox to promote the Pink Podium Promise Campaign, which is a breast cancer awareness initiative to partner with breast cancer organizations and events across the country. We are giving away Pink Podiums! We hope the donation will help raise the bar on being heard. Awareness is the first step towards the cure. If you know anyone who can use or you can yse a Pink Podium, contact me!

  7. I remember the shortness of breath. It's a terrible feeling. It was terrifying wondering if it was the Herceptin causing it. For me, it went away about 2 months after the chemo was done. I hope it's the same with you. My MUGA scans were always normal throughout treatment.

  8. TWO MONTHS after chemo? I hope not. I was willing to do it for two weeks after chemo.

    I will get an iron supplement to take as soon as the initial SEs of this last chemo wear off.


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