Sometimes I am just amazed at all the new words and cancer lingo that I have picked up in this pink journey of mine. If you are not familiar with a MUGA (MUltiple Gated Acquisition) scan, it is a nuclear medicine test to evaluate the function of the heart ventricles. Specifically it is used to test my left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) rate of blood. This test is used to monitor my heart’s overall function while taking the cancer drug Herceptin. While Herceptin is an excellent drug to fight the HER2+ cancer cells, it can affect ones heart function and in some cases cause serious heart damage.
In May, I had a baseline MUGA scan done before I started Herceptin. My baseline score was 55. A normal score is between 50-80. My treatment plan has me scheduled to take Herceptin for a full year. So having a beginning score of only 55 made me very nervous. Many people’s scores are reduced as they continue on Herceptin and if you have too low of a score, you may have to stop Herceptin or cut back on your treatments. Because it is a wonder drug for breast cancer patients who are HER2 positive like me, I was really anxious to have my first MUGA done since I started Herceptin.
I am thrilled to share that my recent MUGA score was 61.9. I am so happy and relieved to know that my heart is functioning well and that my score was actually higher than the baseline one. So that means for now, I am tolerating the Herceptin well and it’s not causing any damage to my heart.
One other update to share is that my radiation or rads as we call it in the cancer lingo world, is going well. On Thursday, I will be halfway done with my treatments. My skin has just a mild pink look which is similar to a sunburn. I am using my gel cream twice daily and so far my skin is holding up.
Anyway that’s all the MUGA and rads news I have to share. Now I’m off to work on a new recycled tote bag project that I’m trying to get done. I’ll be back to share it soon, until then — Happy Green Crafting to all!