Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Dr. Chemo Visit and Other News

Not Dr. Chemo actually; another oncologist in the practice. We'll call him Dr. ChemoReplacement (CR).

Venita got the go-ahead for chemo tomorrow (#7 of 8). Blood counts are good. She's going to start methyl B-12 for her chemo induced peripheral neuropathy, if Maxwell will share his pills. Since maybe chemo 3, Venita has had tingling in her fingertips and toes, but now she is starting to get weakness in her knees.

Dr. CR agreed with Venita's concern that her breathing problems might be heart related, and ordered a MUGA scan (see MUGA scan defined here). Venita had one of these scans before the Adriamycin chemo because that drug is contraindicated with a weak heart. Adriamycin also can damage the heart.

Dr. CR explained that the MUGA scan measures the efficiency of the heart at pumping blood out of the left ventricle. "Normal" is around 60%, meaning that each beat/constriction of the heart moves 60% of the volume of blood out of the left ventricle. Venita pre-chemo rate was 72%, which could be indicative of high blood pressure. (Venita was running somewhat high on blood pressure before she got on Paxil for stress.) The follow-up MUGA scan rate will be compared to the pre-chemo MUGA scan rate.

Other recent events:

Venita had a pulmonary function test at Dr. Primary's office last week. No official results yet, but the tech indicated that Venita's breathing is weak. (We guess Venita telling them that wasn't proof enough.) The deep breathing for the test put Venita down for 2 days.

Yesterday was Maxwell's one-year anniversary of his diagnosis of diabetes. As part of the celebration, Venita did blood glucose tests on both Max and his littermate Ennis. Max was fine; Ennis showed diabetic numbers (in the mid 300s). Ennis is back on insulin, but the bottle in the fridge is old and doesn't seem to be doing much.

A friend took Venita for a ride on a Harley motorcycle last week. She hadn't been on a bike since the early 1980s. It was a short safe ride, and Venita really her brief stint as a biker chick.


Alice said...

I hope all goes well with the meds. Congrats to Max on his anniversary and I know Ennis will be better after his dental. Any tatoos biker chick?LOL


julie said...

wishing Max a happy glad he has managed to stay in remission..Ennis will be right back there too soon, I am for you...I am so sorry you are still feeling so weak and having breathing troubles..Thank God only 1 more chemo to go. I pray your test results will come back ok for the MUGA Scan...and that you can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel..lots of love, Julie