LIVESTRONG:

What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).


So the focus has shifted yet again, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.


I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

WARNING:
Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Common Cold and Congestive Heart Failure/Cardiomyopathy

This past week I've seen both the Cardiac Electrophysiologist, who installed my ICD, and my regular cardiologist, who did the cardiac catheterization and will follow me from here out.

And the timing was optimum as this cold lasted a good 12 days. Thankfully, I am finally feeling human again. That's not to say I am back to my "not so vibrant" new me. It set me back dramatically. But at least I'm not feeling so stuffy, bloated, coughing a lot, and not sleeping well. Although I am still out of breath at the slightest activity, like walking anywhere.  :-(

So it has been quite a setback for me. I was walking a mile and going to the mailbox and back before. And feeling like I could start to do more. This recent cold did work into bronchitis again.  It has set me back to where I can walk around the yard a bit if I limit it to the flatest areas I can find, and pause often whenever the slightest incline. My cardiologist tells me that colds may be hard for me to handle going forward, so I need to be careful and dilligent when out in public. I had not gotten a flu shot since surgery was so close. But next week I am marching myself down to get flu and pneumonia shots pronto!

So that's the latest. One day at a time.... Two steps forward, one step back. Patience, for sure.

More about Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy here. And click the link to read the entire test:
The American Heart Association estimates that 4.7 million Americans have congestive heart failure (CHF) and that 400,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the coming year. Heart failure is the leading cause for hospitalization in people over the age of 65, and the risk for developing the disease increases with age. The risk for developing heart failure is slightly greater in men than in women. African-Americans are twice as likely to acquire the disease as Caucasians, and mortality from the disease is also twice as great in this group. Since the 1970s, heart failure has been on the increase because the number of people aged 65 or older has grown. Approximately 20% of CHF patients will die within 1 year of diagnosis, and 50% will die within 5 years.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood throughout the body (but not all patients with heart failure have congestion). There are two categories of congestive heart failure: systolic and diastolic. In the systolic type of the disease, blood coming into the heart from the lungs may be regurgitated so that fluid accumulates in the lungs (pulmonary congestion). In the diastolic type, the heart muscle becomes stiff and cannot relax, leading to an accumulation of fluid in the feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen.

Congestive heart failure is in itself not a diagnosis. Rather it is the physiological result of damage to the heart caused by some underlying condition. Therefore, it is not enough to say that a person has congestive heart failure. The CHF has to be due to some underlying process, and that diagnosis is important in terms of treatment and prognosis.

Cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle is damaged and no longer functions properly. It is divided into three categories: dilated, hypertrophic, and restricted. Dilated cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle becomes thin and stretched, may be caused for unknown reasons (idiopathic), by alcoholism, and by endocrine or genetic diseases. Restrictive cardiomyopathy results when some disease process restricts the movement of the heart. This may be caused by amyloidosis, prior heart surgery, and diabetes, for example. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the heart muscle becomes enlarged and thickened, is due to high blood pressure and failure of the heart's valves.

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •

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