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Tachycardia and Chemo Tachycardia and Chemo

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  #1  
Unread 07-07-2007, 12:54 PM
Tachycardia and Chemo

I had round #2 of Adriamycin/Cisplatin this past Monday. I seemed to be doing ok until Thursday night, when I had a pounding heartbeat and lightheadedness just before going to bed. It calmed down when I got in bed and I slept well all night. Friday morning, I felt shaky and just "not right". I was due at the onc. office for Neupogen and Neumega shots, and got my daughter to drive me. When I walked in to the doctor's office, I told the nurse I didn't feel well and wanted my BP taken right away. My BP was normal, but my pulse was 131. I was told I had "tachycardia" and the next thing I knew I was in the cardiologist's office. An EKG was done and I assume it was normal. Pulse down to 104, pretty normal for me. I visited with the cardiologist for quite a while and he had all my previous records sent over from the hospital. I've never had any heart trouble but had lots of diagnostic work when I had pneumonia last fall, and an echo last month before starting this chemo. On Monday I will have another echocardiogram and start on a heart event monitor for 30 days. This is scary because I know Adriamycin can be toxic to the heart. But, I also suffer from anxiety, made worse by my fear of this chemo! So far today I am fine, but afraid to move around much. I'm also afraid my onc. will take me off this chemo when he gets back in town from vacation. I don't have any questions, but needed to tell somebody. <sniff>

Adrienne
  #2  
Unread 07-07-2007, 05:07 PM
Tachycardia and Chemo

I'm so sorry you're going through this, Adrienne. I hope your gyn/onc has good news when he gets back from vacation and consults with the cardiologist.

I hope you can find some fun, relaxing things to help the weekend pass quickly for you!

Gina
  #3  
Unread 07-07-2007, 06:14 PM
Tachycardia and Chemo

  Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher2
I had round #2 of Adriamycin/Cisplatin this past Monday. I seemed to be doing ok until Thursday night, when I had a pounding heartbeat and lightheadedness just before going to bed. It calmed down when I got in bed and I slept well all night. Friday morning, I felt shaky and just "not right". I was due at the onc. office for Neupogen and Neumega shots, and got my daughter to drive me. When I walked in to the doctor's office, I told the nurse I didn't feel well and wanted my BP taken right away. My BP was normal, but my pulse was 131. I was told I had "tachycardia" and the next thing I knew I was in the cardiologist's office. An EKG was done and I assume it was normal. Pulse down to 104, pretty normal for me. I visited with the cardiologist for quite a while and he had all my previous records sent over from the hospital. I've never had any heart trouble but had lots of diagnostic work when I had pneumonia last fall, and an echo last month before starting this chemo. On Monday I will have another echocardiogram and start on a heart event monitor for 30 days. This is scary because I know Adriamycin can be toxic to the heart. But, I also suffer from anxiety, made worse by my fear of this chemo! So far today I am fine, but afraid to move around much. I'm also afraid my onc. will take me off this chemo when he gets back in town from vacation. I don't have any questions, but needed to tell somebody. <sniff>

Adrienne
Wow, Adrienne,

I am as dumb as a stump. I have had the rapid heartbeat after each chemo and I am on Adriamycin. No one told me to watch my heart beat. Last night, 3 days post chemo, my heart felt like it was double pumping. Almost came out of my chest.

I have one more chemo so I better mention it to my dr. It did calm down and I slept ok.

I am in total shock after this chemo session. My side effects have been soooooo bad that I have been down, and I mean down, for 10 days after chemo. This time I seem to be doing so much better....so far. More energy.

Hope all goes well for you. We need our hearts....lol.

Juanita
  #4  
Unread 07-07-2007, 11:11 PM
Tachycardia and Chemo

Well, Kate and Juanita, I guess misery does love company. I feel better knowing that others have had a similar experience. I'll bet it has something to do with my counts and maybe not drinking enough water. I hate to have to go on the monitor--more hassle to remind me of all this--but will do as told. Juanita, I'm glad you're almost finished. I've been wondering how you're doing.

Adrienne
  #5  
Unread 07-08-2007, 04:47 AM
Tachycardia and Chemo

I also had an episode of heart pain after my third chemo, even though I was taxol/carbo. My oncology nurse made me go to my family doctor (only a mile away) for an EKG. Thankfully, I called them and they were waiting for me, ushered me right in and got the EKG.

Both doctors reminded me of something: the heart is a big muscle and a lot of times, when you have the "normal" aches and pains from chemo, the muscle of the heart also has a hard time.

You should always get it checked out though, because it could be something else, but the doctors said this is often expected.
  #6  
Unread 07-08-2007, 06:05 AM
Tachycardia and Chemo

I had the tachy, too, during carbo/taxol. My heart was running fast and also skipping beats -- arrhythmia -- plus I was having "chest pains." I also get anxiety and while that is what the chest pains felt like, it was sort of never-ending and so my gyn/onc sent me for a cardiological work up.

The cardiologist did an EKG and echocardiogram and (surprisingly!) declared me fit as a fiddle. I found it surprising since everything else was falling to pieces. The cardiologist said something similar to what will to win mentioned -- chemo is a large burden to every system in the body, including the heart, but a healthy heart can get through it. I was so glad I went.

It makes sense that your heart would be taxed while you are being poisoned, plus there's a couple other things. Steroids are a massive stimulant which some people react to more than others. And then there's that same subject of anxiety, which can cause all these symptoms, including tachy, palpatations, missed beats, shortness of breath, and pains in the chest and even left arm. Shortly after this my gyn/onc advised I start taking 1 mg of Ativan (anti-anxiety med) each night to help me sleep, and this did away with the majority of the heart stuff, as well.

I hope that any of this is helpful to you and that you and your docs figure out a way for you to get through chemo without the unpleasant cardio stuff.
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