I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer after a routine self exam.

I'd had my routine mammogram in Nov. of 2005 and felt the tiny lump in May of 2006. Unsure of what it was, I had my husband feel it and a couple of my girlfriends. :-) After starting to worry that it didn't feel like one of the fibroids I'd had in my breast (destroyed by chemo), I called the dr. She reviewed my previous mammogram and called me back with an appointment to see the surgeon. I had a lumpectomy and was told that it was cancer. After the surgery, they said they got it all, but I needed to have chemo and radiation to make sure.

After my first round of chemo, I ended up in the ICU with my immune system shutting down and my heart enlarging from the Adriamycin RX I received. The next day, I was diagnosed Congestive Heart Failure. Although 7 years later I am cancer free, I now live with what I believe to be a worse diagnoses of Congestive Heart Failure. It is killing me slowly. Even with medications and an implanted cardiac monitor, I still suffer because I have to limit myself on things I eat and do.

I am surviving with the love and help of my family, friends and drs. Just taking it one day at a time.


  • disneyfan2008
    disneyfan2008 Member Posts: 6,583 Member
    take care of

    take care of yourself...thinking of you..


  • vernetta325
    vernetta325 Member Posts: 10

    take care of

    take care of yourself...thinking of you..


    Thank you so much, I pray

    Thank you so much, I pray that you or anyone you know, never has to go through this or anything like it.

    Stay Healthy

    See your dr regularly.

  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
    I am so sorry for your CHF. 

    I am so sorry for your CHF.  We should all know the signs and symptoms of CHF and heart attack, because, not to scare anyone, cancer and/or its therapies can be hard on the heart.

    In 2007, at the ripe old age of 54, I had a heart attack.  Turns out, my cardiologist believes my heart attack was caused from undiagnosed metastases because 1) the rest of my heart was in excellent condition (good collateral, no stents or bypass needed) 2) the artery affected was a small unusual one 3) cancer can cause weird clotting events to occur.  I don't understand it all, but, when I was diagnosed with the mets, my cardiologist was convinced this was the cause.

    Regardless of the cause, I believe part of my good outcome was being aware that breast cancer, radiation and/or treatments ALL make us higher risk.  Because of this, I chewed a nasty regular aspirin and called 911 and didn't bother to wait and see.

    Don't be frightened but do be vigilant breast cancer survivors:

    "What are the signs and symptoms of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)?

    Signs and symptoms often get worse over time but can appear suddenly or get worse quickly.

    • Chest painimage or palpitations (strong, fast heartbeats)

    • Shortness of breath that may get worse when you lie down (I would say big red flag here and see a doc asap)

    • Fatigueimage and weakness

    • Swollen legs, ankles, feet, and abdomen from fluid retention

    • Changes in urination

    • Coughing up pink, foamy, or bloody sputum

    • Decreased appetite, nauseaimage, abdominal pain, and weight loss"


    "Heart Attack Signs in Women

    1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
    2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
    3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
    4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
    5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

    If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away." 

    I would add one more symptom that Katherine (my smart PA daughter) had warned me about: denial.  I remember her warning me that denial is also a symptom, and, when I had that elephant on my chest feeling coupled with an I just want to sleep this off moment, I knew it was time to call 911.

    PS I included the symptoms for female heart attack, not male, simply because the symptoms are about the same except women may have more nausea and shortness of breath.