Friday, 3 December 2010

Heart Explained

I emailed my docs for an appointment to see Dr Murphy to discuss my heart.  I met Dr Murphy when I had heart failure back in 2009 after Mesothelioma Action Day.  These pains in my heart area are worrying and although it is great being alive it does get you down when you get up everyday in pain and feeling yak and no one really understands.  Plus it doesn't help that you feel guilty moaning when after all you are still here against all odds.

Last night we all ventured out for the meeting, I tried to explain the pains that I have been having, I must admit I do find it difficult to convey pain into words, my china man was my best at explaining but these pains aren't like that.  He duly listened and wrote notes here and there.  He did explain that what I explained didn't really match an ulcer either and it certainly didn't match that of angina or a fatal heart attack on the way.

He had pulled up my previous records and was able to explain that after surgery the heart had moved and twisted slightly, which makes the ecg look odd.  He also explained that my heart has to work harder to get the oxygen round the left lung because there was a lack of blood vessels but the same ground to cover.  My breathlessness can be caused by this because I'm not collecting enough oxygen in my lungs so by pushing myself in some cases I'm not doing myself any favours.  My resting beat is probably the same as a healthy person's walking beat.

I was telling my eldest brother this on the phone last night and he said Maybe you need to exercise more!  I have decided to just give up trying to explain anything to him, as the more I overdo it the more I push the heart the larger the muscle will become which could mean my muscle losing some of its elasticity. 

I asked if he thought I expected too much from myself and in a nutshell he said yes.  My anatomy is nothing like it was and surgery doesn't always put things right, which in our case it doesn't. Parts of us are removed so as we can keep on going.

I have been listening to my body these last few days, I have stayed in doors where it's warm, but I feel like a wimp - do others that have been through this feel the same.  Dr Murphy said I was remarkable still carrying on as if nothing was wrong, going to work and taking dogs for walks etc.  I took this as it was meant, a compliment.  Yet in everyday life it doesn't really help because we are born independent and you don't expect others to do things for you.  Looking out the snow is so tempting but there is no way I can run around the garden chasing the dogs, I just wouldn't get my breath and then when that happens it feels like your whole chest locks.  As for what is causing the pain no answer, it could be scar tissue, it could be from the chemo still or even worse it could be my old friend.

One thing I do know is that I am getting worse but could this be explained by the cold weather. 

If you have had surgery to remove your cancer please let me know if you are suffering fro a heaviness in your chest and the feeling of an iron ball sitting there.

I also hope that I do get an appointment for my CT Scan in January and maybe I might get a gastroscope done to see what is going on down this channel. Just to wake up normal (ok not quite normal because my left side will never let that happen) but to just have leftside pain would be wonderful, jumping out of bed on a morning feeling great is my aim in life.

I hope Debbie had her operation today so she can get sorted and started on radiotherapy.  Timing of treatments is so important for everyone with meso.  Do you sometimes feel written off for normal problems because you have mesothelioma?

On that note I think I will sign off.

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