I used to think this term, echo, was just the cool sound that came bouncing back and blew past your face after yelling into a deep ravine. I have learned in the past 6 months that it is more than just that cool scientific bouncing of sound in air. It is in fact, a special test used to measure the function of your heart and all its' valves and ventricles. This brilliant test is also probably something that escaped my knowledge due to the fact that I am a young (hey don't knock it, in cancer terms I am young), active, healthy person who doesn't have heart issues. Well.... fast forward to now. I am so grateful that they are so cautious about everything cancer related. Not that they have a huge choice when they are pumping my body full of chemicals that are completely TOXIC!
As many of you know, I had an echo a few weeks back. Yesterday, I met with my oncologist to have some blood work done and to go over the echo results. It's not that it was horrible scary news, but it wasn't normal good news. I have mildly impaired left ventricle systolic function. A lot of words to say that the blood going in works fine, it's the pumping out that is not working as efficiently. It is a side effect of the drug, Herceptin, that I will be on for the next year. With this knowledge, they have postponed my Monday infusion and scheduled another echo. What my oncologist is hoping to see is that the function level is not decreasing. Stabilized is okay, increasing is even better, and pumping like a seasoned marathon runner is what I am voting for. I am not limited in what I can do, in fact the opposite is true. Exercise is helpful to strengthen the muscle. I had been hesitant to do any running cause I could feel my heart was pounding differently when I ran, but I have been walking a ton. Boy do I hate starting over, but I am a highly motivated individual!
While I am not overly concerned about this set back, I would ask for your specific prayer for this. It will be an ongoing issue that they pay close attention to for the next year while I am receiving the infusions. You can bet I won't be waiting around to hear what they say. I'll be proactively moving and working towards a stronger healthier me.