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Bs1952, September 7,  2019  10:07pm EST

So scared

My name is Becky. I have been on an unbelievable journey since June 2019. I went to my internal med doctor for a routine yearly physical and was dent for my annual mammogram that I have had since I was 40 yrs old now I am 67. Received the dreaded call from the imaging center that I needed to come back for a 3d mam and ultrasound. Received call from my int. Med. Dr. To go to see a surgeon. So the month of July and Aug has been having a biopsy and then told I have stage 1breast cancer. So when I had surgery to have a lumpectomy this is when they discovered my afib. When they rolled me into the OR the anesthesiologist started yelling you are in afib. Do you always go into afib when you have surgery? Told her I did not know what she ws talking about. Needless to say that led me to a heart physician to have me wear a heart monitor for the month of August. Went to heart dr. yesterday and was told I do have afib and has put me on 25mg metoprolol 1/2 twice a day and 5 mg eloquis twice a day. So afraid of what this means for my life expetency and what I can and cant do? So sorry this is so long. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.

7 Replies
  • rfedd
    rfedd, September 7,  2019  10:31pm EST

    I was diagnosed I may. Was referred to a cardiologist who did an echo cardiogram of the heart. As well as the same meds you are on. He tells me heart itself is in great shape. Seeing an EP in Oct. Meds are keeping things in check so far. My trigger was eating ice cream too fast. The cold set off my first major event that put me in the ER. Being careful now.


  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, September 7,  2019  10:44pm EST

    Becky, Have you seen or been to an Electrophysiologist Doctor? You said a heart doctor but an EP may be next up if you don’t have one yet. How many EKGs have they monitored you with?  I used to have lots of “triggers” upsetting my AFIB episodes. Like lots of Frozen yogurt, way too much caffeine, spicy 🌶 shrimp, and believe it or not not enough MAGNESIUM. Yes Magnesium is one of the best minerals supplements I’ve ever taken. Brand name Dr Best Magnesium chelated 200mg 2 tabs AM and 200mg 2 tabs PM. They are large tabs but sore far over the last 3.5yrs my AFIB has been held at bay(controlled) . 

    Let us know your updates Becky. We are all here to share our progress or life’s challenges in our heart rhythm funky strange world.

    depotdoug Doug

  • depotdoug
    depotdoug, September 7,  2019  10:48pm EST

    One more thing. I had an anesthesiologist guy(MD) way back in 2008 that had an attitude problem too. Like he would tell me why are you asking me so many questions. Like I was questioning his professional knowledge. I just wanted to know about my anesthesia complications. Doug

  • lmaj
    lmaj, September 7,  2019  10:56pm EST

    Hello Becky.  That’s a lot to deal with since June ... you have two things that need addressing simultaneously.  

    Just like you now have an oncologist, you need to get an electrophysiologist— a cardiologist that specializes in irregular heart rhythms.  You need to find out what type of afib you have — type that comes and goes or persistent, etc   You are on a beta blocker that controls heart rate and eliquis to prevent stroke but the dr may want to prescribe an antiarythemic drug — see if that works to keep you in normal sinus rhythm  if not than you might want to explore an ablation   

    I was diagnosed August of 2016 and my symptoms were pretty terrible so had an ablation April of 2017   Still on all my meds ... then aug of 2017 the drs discovered a very large flat recital polyp— so had that removed and had 5 colonoscopies within one year  now it’s once a year   So I understand how life can just change on a dime  and how scary it is to face all these changes and what that all means. I was 66 when diagnosed   Now i’m 68  

    I think it’s good you had regular mammograms and the cancer was caught very early.  

    Please keep us posted  with all if it   And do your homework   This site offers lots of resources and check with other sites like the Cleveland or Mayo Clinic web sites   They can offer lots of info   

    All the best   Linda 



  • DkinAA
    DkinAA, September 8,  2019  9:06am EST

    Bs1952, I too had afib and cancer back-to-back, with a few extra treats thrown in. All happened 4 yrs ago. Afib is very individual- we have to find what works best for us. Although it can be scary and at least annoying, it can be dealt with pretty well. It looks like you are on the “standard” first level of treatment. The Eliquis anticoagulant handles the dangerous part of afib, which is stroke risk, so life expectancy isn’t really an issue. It’s more learning to live with the condition. Anxiety comes with afib, but most of us have learned to deal with that too. Something I’ve been reading is that it’s important that your heart doc (preferably EP) and oncologist know about the other condition - unfortunately we patients may need to ensure this with our questions. Keep us posted with how you are doing!

  • Spencer
    Spencer, September 8,  2019  4:34pm EST

    Becky - I know how you feel.  I was there in October 2017.  I was very fit and never worried about the next heartbeat... then I am told that I have AFib and we must operate.  I barely could spell AFib before I was on the operating table looking up at the doc.  Well, it was he sitting up and seeing my Doc eating donuts in the OR.  So I guess this is routine.    But for you and I it is not routine, but something scary.  So first, don't panic.  AFib can be controlled.  You will always have it, but it can be made so quiet that your normal heart takes over.   So don't panic.  Many of us on this board have had AFib for years.  I can see just a toddler with a year and a half AFib free.  It took a lot to get me there, but for most, it takes far less.  So what to do now... talk with an EP and see what they say.  You did not even know you had AFib until told in surgery.  I would take that as a good sign.  What does this mean for life expectancy, if you take the blood thinners (eloquis) you will reduce the risk of stroke that you have?  So this drug is important.  After that, there should be no significant change.  But getting someone to look closely at your heart and come up with a solution is important.  What can you not do?  You can do whatever your heart will let you.  The drugs that you are taking will depress the heart rate, and it will feel like you are out of breath much easier.  

    Tell us what the Doc says.  Many of having gone through just about everything they could think of.  We can help you and help you to understand what is going on.


    In the Sunlight

  • tolsen53
    tolsen53, September 9,  2019  9:57am EST

    Becky - A-Fib is lifelong, there is no "cure". You can take steps to control it and hopefully keep it at bay and dormant, but it's not a once-and-done disease. Your cancer is the more important issue to deal with. Your cardilogist has started you off right by getting you on Elequis, this will help prevent a stroke, which is the biggest danger of A-fib. That gives you time to get organized, get educated about A-fib, abd then seek qualified help with an EP.

    Stop is a great placed to start your education, there are a lot of resources there. Several hundred of us with A-Fib just attended their yearly conferecne and heard from many of the top EP's in the U.S. and the world. You can, for a fee I believe, get access to the replay of the entire 2 1/2 day conference.

    Read all you can about A-fib, formulate a list of questions, and then get your cardiologist to reccomend a good EP, and go ask them your questions.

    We all know this is scary, and many of us are scared at least some of the time because of our a-fib, but I can tell you, having had it since 2003, that you can still live a full and meaningful life.

    Good luck.


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