We are 218,616 members in 81 forums discussing 154,833 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Heart Damage After Chemo

Forum: Stage II Breast Cancer — Meet, share and support others with Stage II Breast Cancer

Posted on: Feb 9, 2019 04:22AM

Bonnie110 wrote:

I've just learned that I possibly have heart damage due to the Chemo drugs AC. Has anyone else had this happen?

I first told my Oncologist about my shortness of breath a year ago, she said it was all in my head. 6 months later, with same symptoms, she sent me for pulmonary tests which came back clear. Now my primary care dr said I most likely have heart damage due to the chemo drugs. The heart harness test came back normal but when I did the cardiac treadmill stress test I was only able to walk for 2 minutes before my bp shot up to 185/150 and my heart rate skyrocketed to 187 and I was unable to breath. I was unable to finish the test and it takes 6 minutes on the treadmill to get a reading. I see my primary care on Monday but everything I've been reading points to major heart damage such as cardiomyopothy from the AC. I'm so scared, it's like I'm looking at a death sentence.

Dx 9/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/2/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (13 results)

Posts 1 - 13 (13 total)

Log in to post a reply

Feb 9, 2019 03:05PM vlnrph wrote:

I was able to avoid Adriamycin as part of my chemo regimen so will not be facing the situation you are in.

But, because it's the weekend and you've already been reading enough to scare yourself, I suggest you do something to become distracted until your doctor can explain the treatment options available. It may not be as bad as you think! At least your oncologist finally took your complaint seriously.

Just like we give this advice to those with new cancer diagnoses, it would probably be a good idea to have someone attend the Monday appointment with you to help listen and perhaps take notes. Meanwhile, try to find a non-strenuous activity that might even be fun. However, this is not the time to learn kick boxing or go sky diving...

IDC too! šŸŽ»šŸ’ŠšŸ‘ŖšŸ© šŸ‡«šŸ‡® Rt MX+DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema 9-2011; switch to letrozole 3-2014 for 1 yr; bone mets 8-2018: Zometa, rads to spine, Faslodex/Versenio Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2019 11:56AM BellasMomToo wrote:

Bonnie, so sorry you are going through this. I'm having the opposite problem with my heart, but thought I'll post about it here in case anyone else has a similar issue. I don't think mine is related to chemo (I had TCHP), but who knows?

Two weeks ago I was at a dog park and passed out. I wasn't doing anything -- just standing around and the weather was comfortable (high 50s/low 60s). I felt a twinge in my abdomen, then shortly after I felt tingly and told my husband before I collasped. I was only out for a couple of minutes, but when I came to I was unsteady. My husband drove me to the ER. I was able to walk-in. The admittance desk took my BP and pulse and took me in right away.

In the ER, my heart rate was low -- it kept bouncing between low 50s and mid 30s so they admitted me. I was alert and felt okay, even when my HR was in the 30s. In the hospital I was hooked up to a heart monitor. They did blood work (all fine), chest xray (fine) , echo cardiogram (fine), and a treadmill stress test (passed with flying colors). They decided that my bradycardia (low HR) is probably normal for me, but don't know why my HR drops so low. (My BP is normal, about 110/60.) I was told I may need a pacemaker.

I spent two nights in the hospital. Before I was released, they implanted a heart monitor in my chest. I have a transmitter in my bedroom and every night the recordings get sent to my cardiologist. If I have another episode or if my heart doesn't feel right, hopefully the recording will show something. If it doesn't, then the cause may not be my heart.

I've been running on the treadmill for many years. I think my HR used to be in the 60s/70s (before BC), but now it's in the 50s and I wonder how low it can go w/o killing me. I know herceptin can cause heart damage, but my echos have always been fine. I can't help but wonder if chemo has caused whatever issue I have now. Anyone else with heart issues after chemo?

Dx'd at age 56. Tumor found by my annual mammogram -- cancer can grow fast! Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 10/6/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR- Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2019 12:14PM - edited Feb 10, 2019 12:20PM by Denise-G

I had a heart attack during AC chemo, but thought it was side effects and it wasn't discovered until about 6 months later when the symptoms really got bad so I went through alot of tests. I also had permanent heart damage from Herceptin. My heart rate was over 120 all the time. When my MO got my ECHO, he told me my ejection fraction (EF) was scary bad (dropped from 65 before chemo to 29) and got me stat to the cardiologist. That's all the bad news. I was terrified. I had severe cardiomyopathy. I was so mad I lived through chemo, but was going to die from a bad heart.

The good news is I am now 7 years out from treatment. My cardiologist put me on meds that I still take. I see him only once per year. I am asymptomatic and feel great. My EF never recovered it is still 29 - had an ECHO a few months ago, but I do really well. I am 62 years old now - was 55 when all this occurred. My cardiologist never scares me about it and says I am doing great.

Get to the best cardiologist you can. If you live in a larger city, they now have Cardio-Oncologists and Cardio-Oncologist Departments just for those of us with chemo heart issues. Don't be afraid of the meds. They are so hopeful. Oh forgot to tell you - my sister also went through chemo. She didn't have a heart attack but did have cardiomyopathy as well. We are on the same meds and get to share stories. She is doing great too. She is now 4 years out.

You will feel better and get through this! It takes some tests and tweaking medicines, but it will be okay!

www.denise4health.wordpress.com my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/27/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2019 12:47PM Bonnie110 wrote:

Thank you Bellas Mom for posting. You have no idea how much it means to me to read others stories. Im so sorry for you and all of us who fought so hard to beat cancer but then end up with heart issues we never had before.

One of my disappointments came when my oncologist wouldn't acknowledge the possibility of a link between my shortness of breath and the chemo & radiation treatments. That being said, I now need a diagnosis so I don't have to live each day fearing that its my last.

Dx 9/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/2/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2019 12:53PM Bonnie110 wrote:

Thank you Denise for sharing your story with me.

I never gave thought to heart damage from chemo. After fighting so hard to complete chemo & radiatio, and side effects of Arimidex, now to realize theres heart damage.....its disheartening. At this point, I'm just plane scared.

I always said my goal is to live to 90, (I'm 64 now) or at least long enough to dance with my youngest grandson when he gets married, now condisering he's 3 years old, I still have a lot of life left to live.

I'm so thankful to have the support of everyone here. God bless

Dx 9/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/2/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2019 12:58PM Bonnie110 wrote:

Thank you for responding to my post & for talking me down off the ledge of panic. Your humor was a welcome relief. I am appreciating the messages everyone is leaving, it really gives me hope.

Much love to you & my beloved Wisconsin. I was born in Milwaukee & still consider it home.

Dx 9/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/2/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2019 05:20AM santabarbarian wrote:

bellasmom, could your episode have been a vasovagal response / vagus nerve? I passed out from one of those....

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2019 06:09AM BellasMomToo wrote:

Santabarbarian: That's what the Drs thought. But if it was, I don't know what triggered it. There were no stressors.

Dx'd at age 56. Tumor found by my annual mammogram -- cancer can grow fast! Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 10/6/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR- Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2019 06:50AM santabarbarian wrote:

Could it have come from the pain you felt in your belly...? A sharp pain can initiate it. Mine happened when, during an IV, I fell asleep, bent my arm, and drove the needle deeper in.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/12/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2019 07:56AM - edited Feb 11, 2019 08:05AM by Bonnie110

This Post was deleted by Bonnie110.
Dx 9/5/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/9/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 12/2/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2019 12:15PM BellasMomToo wrote:

santabarbarian: It wasn't a sharp pain. It wasn't even pain. I'm conscious of any abdominal 'feeling' because I had two abdominal abscesses in 2017. The first one was aggravated by/caused by chemo, not sure what caused the 2nd one 10 months later. (I passed out, went to the ER, and they did a couple of CT scans which showed another abscess. I was hospitalized for 5 days and put on IV antibiotics for 3 weeks.) So in the summer of 2018, I had a partial colectomy which should have taken care of the problem.

This time there wasn't a need for a CT scan cause they palpated my abdomen and I had no discomfort what so ever.

So, I don't know what happened. I don't know if a vasovagal syncope would cause the HR to keep dropping, even hours after. (During the 1st night in the hospital, my HR dropped to 30 as I was dozing off. The nurse ran in my room, I woke up, but felt fine.)

One of the men who was there when I passed out, told me that his wife occasionally passes out too and Drs don't know why. She is also a BC survivor and has had other health issues. They wonder if medications she has taken in the past have anything to do with it.

Dx'd at age 56. Tumor found by my annual mammogram -- cancer can grow fast! Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 10/6/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR- Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/1/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2019 04:25AM Kindergarten wrote:

Hi, there!! I am 15 years out of Breast Cancer! I was just recently diagnosed with Acute Systolic Heart Failure! I had Chemo, Radiation and 11 years on Aromasin! I have a wonderful cardiologist and He seems to think I can live a long time with Meds!!

Kathy Dx 11/17/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/4/2004 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/28/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 6/4/2005 Breast Dx IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2019 04:35AM Kindergarten wrote:

Yep, Denise, My EF is 25! I was put on entresto and A new beta blocke

Kathy Dx 11/17/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/4/2004 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/28/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy 6/4/2005 Breast Dx IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

Page 1 of 1 (13 results)