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Thu, Jun 11 11:23am · Cancer Treatment Induced Heart Disease in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

Your story is so similar to mine. My Hodgkin's treatment was 1978-79. I also have a miracle baby. Never ever had any idea my heart was so damaged until I sought a diagnosis and treatment for dyspnea beginning in 2016. After multiple tests and multiple doctors in various locations, I finally received a diagnosis of radiation induced heart disease at Mayo last October. Since then, there have been treatment options to determine. I had triple valve surgery May 18 and still hospitalized.

Mon, Apr 27 10:33pm · Corona Virus & Heart Issues: Hope Everyone is Staying Home. in Heart & Blood Health

I travel from Iowa to Mayo in two weeks for open heart surgery: three valves replaced and an RCA bypass. Haven’t left the house since my return from Mayo on March 13. Trying my best to stay as healthy as possible for what promises to be a major assault on my body. I’ve lost sleep over the question “should I risk possible exposure to covid19 and go through with the surgery, or should I put it off and hope to live long enough to do it in the future?” A crystal ball would sure come in handy. Lacking that, I’ve decided to minimize my focus on hypotheticals and stick with my decision to trust Mayo. Tough times for sure…

Mon, Mar 30 4:13pm · COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? in Heart & Blood Health

Hi heartbreaker,
Why would you choose not to have CABG? It took me quite a while to work up the courage to agree to the triple valve surgery and CABG. Everything I’ve read indicates my odds of surviving the surgery are not wonderful. But I have confidence that the surgeons at Mayo will give me the best shot possible- at least at living through the surgery. Quality of life on the other side is a mystery and a huge gamble. Right now, I function independently, and while I’m limited physically compared to my personal past (for example, I can no longer swim because I get severely out of breath), there are many who are far worse off than I. I’ve asked myself “should I just roll the dice and skip this massive surgery and enjoy what time I have left?”. I wish I had a more concrete view of what the progression of this disease will look like without surgical intervention. In the absence of that knowledge, my decision-making is driven by faith in the skill of the docs and my own lifelong compulsion to fix what’s broken.

Mon, Mar 30 3:56pm · COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? in Heart & Blood Health

Thanks for asking Colleen. I’d love to get some recommendations for keeping mentally and physically healthy through this very frightening time.

I’m logging all my food using “Lose-it”, an app that allows me to set goals for weight, exercise, calories, and each individual nutrient. I especially watch my sodium, water, and fiber. I have not been exercising, but did a little walking today. I plan to be more intentional with that. I need to wean myself from watching and reading the news for hours and hours each day. I won’t give it up entirely since I know it’s important to be informed. But too much time spent focused on the enormity of this Crisis – especially when individuals are mostly powerless to have an impact on its spread or duration – is a recipe for panic. And panic intensifies stress which batters the immune system. None of us can afford to compromise that.

Mon, Mar 30 3:43pm · COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? in Heart & Blood Health

Your exercise advice is quite timely. While my CHF makes it difficult for me to walk far, I did go out today and managed a block or so. While I was exhausted afterward, the 60 degree weather, sunshine, and quiet lifted my mood considerably. I’ll try to do that daily….maybe even gradually increasing the distance.

Fri, Mar 27 8:13am · COVID-19: Anyone else dealing with postponed heart procedure? in Heart & Blood Health

I was scheduled for triple valve surgery and CABG on March 23. That has been postponed due to pandemic. In a way, it’s a relief. On the other hand, I worry that I’ll be able to stay healthy long enough to have the surgery. Anyone else dealing with postponing necessary procedures? How are you handling it?

Thu, Feb 27 10:43pm · Cancer Treatment Induced Heart Disease in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

Hi Marti,
I have been spreading the message regarding the potential for heart damage as a result of cancer treatment. In just the last week I’ve encountered two women with recently diagnosed breast cancer. I gently raised the issue with them and encouraged them to talk to their oncologist about exploring ways to minimize heart damage. It’s a tough topic to even consider when dealing with such a diagnosis. You just want to survive the cancer. To have another worry thrust on you at such a vulnerable time feels intrusive. But while I regret sharing info that’s less than happy news, the fact that I wish I’d been forewarned when going through treatment keeps me telling the tale.

I so appreciate you sharing your story. I’m letting folks know about the CCS also. Please continue to share any interesting articles you find and I’ll do the same.