Dream Creator

Dream Creator
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Just a small town Canadian dreamer... This started as the diary of a young woman's experience with breast cancer and continues 5 years later as the diary of a woman, like many other, who has decided to take her lemons and make lemonade. **If reading this blog for the purpose of learning about my breast cancer experience, PLEASE START AT THE OLDEST POST (October 2009) AND WORK YOUR WAY FORWARD**

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Spent 4 hours in the Emergency Room last night at our hospital.
I checked myself in at 6pm after my heart palpitations started getting progressively worse and I almost fainted AGAIN yesterday for the 5th time in the last few months.
I don't know when my heart palps really started...I guess it was about a year before I was diagnosed with cancer. I would have one or two thumps here or there and just chalked it up to the 15 cups of coffee I was drinking back then, or the stressful life I was leading.
When I was diagnosed with cancer I stopped drinking coffee almost altogether. Once in a while I enjoy a latte here or there but nothing regular.
Then I started Herceptin. In July of 2010 I started Herceptin and I think one of the only side effects is heart function loss, heart failure and/or heart palps.
In September I started working part time again. I started doing hair about 4 days a week at a quiet little salon....things started getting busier.
In October Selkirk College called me and asked me to take a full time temporary instructing job, teaching hair in the cosmetology department.
I had to take it, chance of a life time!
But, because it wasn't permanent it meant me having to keep my hand in the other pot...juggling both my clientele I was just starting to build, and my new instructing job...sometimes working 6 days a week or at least a few 10-12 hour days to juggle it all. Not to mention a family on top of it!
In March I was presented the opportunity to open my own little hair salon.
I knew the owner of my current salon has been looking to sell off and on and I knew I didn't have much stability by staying there (my life stable? HA!) so I needed to solidify a small, affordable place that I KNEW I could afford long term and work when I wanted, how I wanted without any conflicts around me and grow as a stylist once college was out.
I have always had my own little studios in my home in Calgary and I even had a successful little commercial salon there as well which proved to be a great asset when I sold it. Other than living in Calgary, it was the most fulfilled I have ever been in my career.
I had to take the project of opening my own space while the opportunity was available to me.
So here I am.
My life is busy, YES.
I am happy, YES YES!
But in November I started losing a noticeable amount of weight and having heart palps.
I had tests done to see if there was anything serious going on with my heart, but they would either not see anything wrong OR I would have a palp-free day on the days they tested.
In January, I had lost even more weight and my palpitations continued...I almost fainted twice this month from my irregular heart beats.
March rolled around and I decided to quit my HERCEPTIN on round 13 out of 17 (4 short if you can't do the math) in somewhat of agreeance with my doctor.
The heart palps stopped, for about 2 weeks.
I did start having lattes a bit more regularly and the odd glass of coke as well....
Last week the thumps came on meaner than ever and I have been exhausted.
A day of your heart skipping beats and thumping and feeling dizzy takes it's toll on you...by the end of the day I would be exhausted.
Yesterday I went to a hair cutting class in Castlegar and right after lunch I started getting mad thumps in my chest. I almost fainted a handful of times and had to sit down and excuse myself to go to the washroom.
I decided to check myself in to the ER last night and was immediatley hooked up to a monitor. I was glad to be there. Finally they could see what I was feeling, while the thumps were happening.
The diagnosis?
Well the funny little doctor that was on call says they are PVC's. Normal irregular heartbeats cause by an irritation to my heart...cause by who knows? Caffeine, Stress...Herceptin? Yes, I still drink tea and the odd coffee and coke, Yes, I have some stress in my life and I am a busy girl...Maybe the Herceptin is still in my system? I am not really sure when it flushes itself out...
My only worry is that it could be something more serious.
The funny, little doctor said that "Unless the palps are happening in long runs and causing me to faint, they are nothing uncommon."
Well, I explained to him they have almost made me faint several times. And that they happen in runs of about 4 in a row sometimes lasting about a minute. He said "No, they would have to last a lot longer than that, like several minutes, and you would feel a heavy chest and get sweaty."
Well I certainly don't get sweaty, so that puts me in the clear??
I don't trust just any doctor anymore.
Upon 5 minutes of Googling (I know, it's bad, never Google a symptom) I noticed that heart palpitations can be cause by Ovarian Tumors as well as Thyroid problems. Both of which are NOT unrealistic for me. I HAVE been losing weight and Thyroid runs in my family...I am getting a hysterectomy this summer because my chance of Ovarian Cancer is skyrocketed since my BRCA1 gene diagnosis. So I am going to look a little further.
Blood tests are on their way and a visit with MY doctor on Friday is in the works.
With that being said, I hope it isn't anything serious...and this morning I woke up and began my first day without ANY caffeine, and so far no palps!
My doctor (and my husband) ordered me a day off. I am to sleep in and relax all day. (What!??) I figure that means I clean my house?? I mean really? Just sit here? HAHA, kidding. I know how to relax...and I plan to today and try to tackle these thumps on my own and get them gone for good!!