Surgery scheduled . . . abnormal EKG . . .

11 May

I have a new surgery date – May 17th. I haven’t written because I have been trying to get everything done in time for the new date – take care of pending things, arrange for caretakers post surgery (I will need to have a person stay with me for a week after surgery), dog care, cleaning, and soon – some cooking (probably this weekend – I eat organic food as much as possible – so I plan on preparing some meals ahead and freezing these so as to make everything easier post-op).

Yesterday was taken up with phone calls – literally 6 hours of my day yesterday was spent on the phone with medical providers. At one time, in an effort to speed things up – I was on two phones – on hold with UCLA Oncology and on hold with Hoag. It proved to save me a few minutes, I guess. Although, I am not sure that the in-stereo-hold-music was worth it.

So now I have new surgery date, but, it may not go . . . my pre-op EKG came back abnormal. So, now it is off to see a cardiologist – only my cardiologist is not available until . . . yep, you guessed it . . . May 17th. Charming.

Instead, I have an appointment with a nurse practitioner who is board certified to do pre-op clearances in cardiology. I am not too keen on this option. But, it is what it is.

The drug herceptin has cardiopathic potential – meaning that it can cause damage to the heart. I was on herceptin infusions for over a year. It was something I was worried about before I embarked on my treatment plan last year. But, while there is a risk that herceptin will damage the heart – the risk of not taking herceptin is certain – without herceptin the cancer would go unchecked, unstopped by even the most drastic of chemotherapy protocols. So, really, there was no choice.

While on herceptin a patient is monitored by a cardiologist. I have echocardiograms about every three months. So far these have all come back normal. I am waiting on the results from the most recent echo (I had this test last week). So, hopefully everything will turn out fine.

When I had the EKG last week, it was on the same day the I got lost trying to park, ugh. I was very distressed by the time I found my way to the pre-admission screening at Hoag, so maybe that is why the EKG was abnormal? I don’t know much about this stuff. And, I am hoping that I do not have to learn much about it either! 🙂

So, maybe I will have surgery on the 17th and maybe it will be postponed.

Hopefully everything will be fine.

Please say some prayers, I really appreciate it.

Love and peace,

Lisa

2 Responses to “Surgery scheduled . . . abnormal EKG . . .”

  1. wendy April 11, 2015 at 8:43 PM #

    Lisa,
    We’re you able to get herceptin without Chemo? My doctors won’t give me this life-saving drug for my her2,+3 without the poison.
    -Wendy

    • cancerfree2b April 13, 2015 at 4:30 PM #

      Hello Wendy, I had chemo plus Herceptin. So, no I was not able to do Herceptin without chemo. I asked about it, but did not actually request that I have only Herceptin. I asked if it was possible and I was told (at that time) that it was the hope to be able to one day not have chemo as part of the equation – but that there had not been any studies that showed Herceptin without chemo was an option for me. I got the impression that it was not ever done with “early stage” breast cancer – to just do Herceptin without chemo.

      But, I could be wrong on that. And, I did not pursue it because my doctor made it pretty clear that in my case (again, everyone is different) that it was not a safe alternative – that my best chances were to go through neoadjuvant chemotherapy (I did TCH – Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin) and then continue with Herceptin for a total of a year of Herceptin Treatments. That is what I did (along with bilateral mastectomy, lymphenedectomy and radiation.

      It is simply no walk in the park, still isn’t and I am NED. I don’t know what the current treatment options are with Her2+ other than Herceptin still of course being part of the equation. Friends of mine who have been diagnosed with Her2+ cancer since my diagnosis – have all had similar protocols for their treatment as I did. There have been a few differences. I just don’t know of anyone (doesn’t mean that it isn’t done though) who has done the Herceptin without chemo. But, again, please understand that I do not know if that is done or not.

      I hope you are doing well, or as well as someone who has been diagnosed with this horrible disease, can be.

      I can say that my life improved over those early days of just getting diagnosed. There were a lot of incredibly scary days (and chemo was a part of that fear, for sure). But, things are better for me now than they were. I wish it had never happened, but it did. I am changed, but I am doing alright, on lots of days I am doing way more than alright.

      I wish you all the very, very best. Please say in touch.
      xoxox
      Lisa

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