Chemo Damaged My HeartI'm happy to find this site because it's where people like us can go and tell about our experience, and someone is listening and can understands and maybe able to help. In 2004 I was diagnose with stage one breast cancer and I had chemo every three weeks for six months and after I completed my chemo I had 38 weeks of radiation. I had to have a Muga Test to see if my heart was strong enough to withstand chemo and my Ejection Fraction at that time (2004) was 66% that is great, so my heart was in great condition for chemo.
In 2005 I started having shortness of breath but I didn't know what was going on and did not know how serious these symptons were. The shortness of breath continued for for about 3 months until one day I could not get out of my car and walk to my office at work, at that time I knew something was very serious wrong. I call my Oncologist he told me to go to ER, after a number of test they found fluid around my lungs, it was so much they had to drain it from my back with a very long thick needle. That is when the doctor told me I have Chronic Systolic Heart Failure and my Ejection Fraction was 30% and that the Chemotherapy had damaged my heart. I was put on a a special heart program and medication for a year with this diagonosis and my Ejection Fraction came back up to 45%. My Cardiologist said I will have to continue taking my medication for life.
In 2013 I retired and had to change cardiologist and my new cardiologist said I was doing so great my ejection fraction was at 50% and he was taking me off two medications. I was concerned because the cardiologist that diagnosed me in 2005 said that I will be on this medication for the rest of my life. I mention it to my new cardiologist he said "I don't see why you would need to stay on medication if you don't need it". In 2015 I notice half way in my zomba class I wouild be out of breath. Went to see my cardiologist he said he is putting me back on one of my medications because my ejection fraction was 35% and told me to come back in one month. I did and my ejection fraction had drop to 20%. I lost faith in this cardiologist, so I found another cardiologist he said my heart was too weak and I could have a stroke or heart attack and I needed an defibrillator implant to monitor my heart and keep me alive. I had an defibrillator implant in March 2016 and I'm back on all of my medications. Still going to Curves working out but not zumba. I'm happy that I changed doctors when I saw things were not going right, and I'm happy with my new cardiologist. Never feel bad about changing doctors it could save your life.