January 24th, 2011

Heart Function is Going Down

Today was the day of the clinic and chemo.  After a discussion with my oncologist regarding the result of last ultrasound, unexpectedly I was told that I had to hold Herceptine due to my heart function going down.

Underarm  Lump

A radiologist who looked at my ultrasound test told me that it would be ok to leave the lump unless it grows bigger.  Yet the lump is about the size of a ping-pong ball.  The oncologist will get an opinion from the surgeon.

Leftover Two Lymph Nodes

My lymph nodes are 1.6 cm and 0.6 cm, which are both within the normal range although I learned that this didn’t mean they were non-cancerous as my pathology report had reviled that I had 13 cancerous lymph nodes that were normal size after the mastectomy.  The oncologist didn’t appear to be concerned about them because the one that was 1.6cm was already identified in last CT scan in November and the size hasn’t changed, and the other one was too small to consider as a cancer though it was found this time.  She is rather concerned that PET scan may show inaccurate result because my lump was poked by a needle biopsy.  She recommended me to wait for a PET scan for a few more weeks.

Heart Function

Herceptine requires a check-up every three months because sometimes it may affect a heart, although it doesn’t have side-effects like chemo drugs.  When I visited UCLA to get a second opinion I heard that usually this bad effect on a heart appears at the very beginning of the treatment.  I have been on Herceptine since last June, so the report that my left ventricular ejection fraction was getting down was totally unexpected.  According to the oncologist, the normal measurement is 50-55% and mine was 60%.  Yet the first one was 77% and the previous one was 64%.  She said that if the function goes down more than 16 %, Herceptine should be held until the next scan shows improvement.  This seems to happen often, but it is a little bit discouraging to hold Herceptine, especially as we are still discussing if the lymph nodes are   clear or not.