Service with a Smile

Talk about full service.  Not only did Dr. Semien send unsolicited email yesterday afternoon to let me know I could email questions and concerns to her, but she also emailed today with a helpful study abstract and then called to ask over the phone whether I needed to discuss any issues after yesterday’s appointment.  She also mentioned that she had done some literature reading yesterday after our appointment and noted the trend for T1a patients like me was adjuvant therapy, so she felt that treating me was the correct course of action.  How reassuring!

The nuclear medicine department also called today to set up a time for a Multi Gated Acquisition (MUGA) scan, which will allow them to evaluate the baseline efficiency of my heart. They will draw a small amount of my blood, add a radioactive tracer, reinject the mixture, and then image my heart with a gamma camera.  I will be reevaluated every 2-3 months with a MUGA while in treatment, as cardiomyopathy is a possible side effect of both Herceptin and Taxol.  The treatment will be suspended at any point if my left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF, measuring the fraction of blood being pumped out) decreases by a certain amount or percentage.  Furthermore, a persistent and significant decrease in cardiac function would justify therapy discontinuation.

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