Friday, August 6, 2010


This last bout of chemo is still managing to make me grumble - I'm ready to get my taste buds back, I'd like to get my guts back to normal functioning, I'd like to not be so damned tired all the time, and I'd definitely like to get my brain waves flowing the right direction . . . but if those are my biggest complaints, I guess I should just shut up! Hair would be nice too. :o)

Had my EKG yesterday - except it wasn't an EKG! It was an echocardiogram - I guess I need to get my ears cleaned too! And I had one just like it before this whole ordeal started, which I'd totally forgotten! Chemo brain!! (I'm going to use that excuse for a long time to come!!)

A Doppler echocardiogram is an ultrasound, similar to what we think of when a pregnant gal gets to see her baby moving in her belly, except it looks at your heart valves and muscle and blood flow.

It's actually quite fascinating to watch! The heart, like the rest of the body, is an amazingly sophisticated system when you get to see it in action - the valves pumping and
opening and closing - to hear the sound of your blood pumping thru the mitral, aortic and pulmonary valves - see the volume/pressure of the blood flow - and see the muscles contracting. I really enjoyed the experience (especially since I have no recollection of the prior appointment!!).

In official medicalese, it is Doppler echocardiography, showing pulsed wave and continuous wave images with spectral display, transthoracic, real-time with image documentation, and with color flow! There's a whole series of pictures here showing all the basic images I watched of my own heart. I took a few of my own too!

This one, with colors, is showing the direction of the flow of blood thru the valves.

And this next one shows the ventricle muscle itself contracting (just pretend you can see it moving!).

The delightful and informative tech didn't run screaming from the room, so I'm choosing to assume that I'm fine, and can progress to the next bunch of treatments - the Herceptin IVs - 11 more sessions of that stuff, starting in 10 days.

Meanwhile, I've finally hooked up with another lymphedema therapist. My swollen arm is driving me nuts, particularly my hand, so it'll be interesting to see how this gal might di
ffer in her approach from the last one!

I have four appointments with her starting this coming Monday. Cross your fingers, please!!

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