Monday, July 25, 2011

Needing my dog's perspective!

So over lunch today I went to see my cardiologist/electrophysiologist. It was essentially a post-ablation appointment and a check up to see how i'm doing after my heart procedure on 5/31. At the end of the June they did a 48 hour holter monitor on me to see if I was having any irregular heart beats. I certainly wasn't feeling any heart palpitations and have been grateful for being able to sleep through the night ... if anything, I've been sleeping too much now as I find myself feeling fatigued by early evening. Well ... my cardiologist today tells me that the irregular heart beats are back! It's not as bad as it used to be and i'm also not having symptoms, which I guess is a good thing. Before my ablation I had 53,000 irregular heart beats in a 48 hour period. At the end of June the 48 hour holter shows that I have 16,000 irregular heart beats. Unfortunately they aren't able to tell at this point if it's coming from the same area (the right ventricle) or a new area (potentially the left ventricle). He wants me back in 3 months ... I'm scheduled to get another 48 hour holter done on October 10th. The not so good news is that if it gets worse (which is highly likely) it will lead to sleep problems again but hopefully it's the right ventricle again and not the left ventricle. If it's the left ventricle where the electrical problems are coming it could be an even more serious problem, and could be related to the heart disease I have of left ventricular non compaction. I guess for now, I'm just grateful that I can sleep and I don't feel the symptoms yet of my heart flip flopping.

My cardiologist gave me clearance for surgery next Monday. I go in for a lumpectomy. There's a fairly substantial sized lump in a new area of my left breast. My surgeon told me last Wednesday that it needs to be removed and sent to pathology.

Meanwhile the followup pathology report came back for my dog ahnung regarding her breast cancer. I spoke to Ahnung's oncologist and he says it would be reasonable to simply monitor her closely. The pathology report says the margins from the excision were anywhere from 3 mm to 8 mm (not ideal according to the oncologist but acceptable) and the cancer was graded based on two different scales ... one indicates it's a low grade (grade I) cancer, the other indicates it's a moderate grade cancer (grade II) ... "60% of dogs with grade I disease had local recurrence or metastasis within two years of initial excision." He recommends having her checked by a vet every 6 - 8 weeks for the next year to closely monitor another tumor/mass growing in one of her mammary glands. My sweet girl is amazing though ... she had this huge incision on her belly with staples in her for almost 2 weeks and it didn't even phase her. One would never even know that she has cancer ... she's a survivor and has the ability to defy all odds. I watch her live and cherish each moment.

As I sat in my cardiologist's office today and he tells me that i'm once again having irregular heart beats I feel this heaviness come over me. There's a part of me that's tired of all these health challenges. For the past two years it seems like it's been one thing after another with no reprieve. I go in on Monday for a lumpectomy and will then have a week of having to wait anxiously for the results of the pathology report. And now only 2 months after my heart procedure it appears the electrical problems in my heart are back again and there's a good chance I will have to go through another heart procedure. Part of me wishes I could trade my body in for a newer model :)

But then I remember how two weeks ago I was consumed with worry over my sweet Ahnung ... I received the greatest gift of a cancer diagnosis with her that at least gives me hope and gives me more time with her. She's not stressing ... if only I could be more like her :)

If only I could live and experience life through the eyes and spirit of my north star, Ahnung :)

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