Normal heart

Oct 30

The short version: I’m back on Herceptin, people!  The report from my echocardiogram is three pages long, and every section contains the word normal in it.  I love being normal on medical reports.  Normal and boring: that’s me!  Yes!

::happy dance::

The long version: I became a cardiac patient because my ejection fraction (EF) (the pumping quality of my heart–specifically the left ventricle) dropped below fifty percent.  My heart was probably damaged by my first chemo drug; administering this drug was a calculated risk, and the ugliness of my cancer warranted use of the biggest weapon in the box.  An EF of <50% is suboptimal.  To try to restore heart function and improve EV, I was put on medication in August.  Yesterday’s echocardiogram showed that my EF is now in the range of 55-60%–woo hoo!  Not only has my heart function not dropped, but it actually improved since my last echo in August.  Dr. Gold, appropriately, gets a gold star because my heart medications are doing their job.

I am thrilled.  I’m really glad that my 33-year-old heart has gotten with the program, and seems to understand that we can’t have any decreased functionality because–ahem, I am 33 and have a lot of living to do!

There is still this pesky question: if my EF has improved and my echocardiogram shows normal function, then why am I having cardiac symptoms?  Maybe a radiation side effect?  Maybe something else?  I will see Dr. Gold (cardiologist) next week and he will weigh in.  None of my doctors feel this is an urgent situation, so I am content to shrug and go with it.  After these echocardiogram results, I am feeling really good about my long-term cardiac condition, as well as the likelihood that I will be able to stay on Herceptin.

::happy dance::

I’ve been thinking about faith today.  To be honest, I’ve lost some faith in my body: it let me down in a big way.  Breast cancer at 32?  Really, body?  Heart damage at 33?  Really, heart?  It is inspiring to me to see how God is using doctors, medicine, and technology to heal my broken body.

Medicine offers percentages and statistics to explain and predict.  The numbers don’t make me feel better; especially when I’m on the wrong side of the percentage.  I feel lucky that I’m able to rest in my faith and know that God is good, and He is working.  Come what may.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. –Psalm 62:5-8


  1. That’s awesome news! Prayers continue to come your way!

  2. Ginger /

    Yay!!!! Great news!!! Prayers for you as you continue to rock!

  3. So, so glad for you! Yay, heart, let’s hear it for healing! I continue to pray for you, your family, & your fantastic medical team.. I am so inspired by your posts.

  4. Sharon Hajek /

    Happy dance. Happy dance. Dancing with the Lord.

  5. Excellent news! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. xoxo

    • So happy to hear your good news. Your positive attitude and motto to “”do today well ” is a great inspiration to me. We all need to remember everyday that He Is our rock and hope, our everything! There is goodness in each day, we just have to see it. I got to help at my grandson’s preschool party today, what a joy to spend time with a group of excited ,innocent 5 yr olds! Life is good, 1 radiation down 32 to go,

  6. Your heart is important. ♥ I’m grateful for your wonderful news!

  7. This is truly wonderful news! Lots of Happy Dancing along with you…

  8. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Big smiles from Tampa! Sent lots of prayers your way as I was having my own echocardiogram yesterday. Jen, the heart symptoms can be due to unrelenting stress; not mental or emotional (which you clearly do not have), but rather physical. It’s called hidden stress because it goes completely unnoticed until the heart (or IBS, unrelenting headaches, sudden “bad” back, etc.) spits out symptoms. Meditative breathing can help ~ so take a few deep breaths right now and know that all of your “peeps” will continue sending prayers and positive thoughts for you and your entire team of miracle workers!

  9. MommaJ /

    Thank the Lord Jen…what wonderful news!!! My heart has been heavy for your heart although my faith hasn’t wavered 😉
    Only God can use the skills of your medical team, work through them and bring the desired results! We are blessed for you!! Have a wonderful day……celebrating 😉

  10. That is wonderful, wonderful news! Maybe your problems are from stress and anxiety. I know your head is on straight but I think sometimes our bodies won’t listen. You have been through a lot girl! I have a friend who was put on heart medication and wore a monitor for a few months and it was all due from stress. She is a mom with young children and she was just getting belted with one stressful event after another. She is totally fine now 🙂 She was just going through a rough time and I guess her body was letting her know that.You are so amazing, Jen! You inspire me to “Do Today Well.”
    Karen from Memphis

  11. So pleased you’ve been deemed boring!

  12. I am a former cardiac patient and get symptoms when I am under stress and then the symptoms get worse the more I think about them.
    I am so glad that normal is the word!

  13. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Jen, I understand, and live, with heart problems due to my battle with the big C. My motto is- “I will not die one day before God has planned and I will fight to live each day.” You are doing a good job of living well. Stay focused and LIVE today well!

  14. Kim Bunn /


  15. Genora /

    Trust in the Lord with All your heart, lean not to your own understanding, and He Shall Direct Your Path!!!!

  16. Pat Powell /

    Jennifer dear- I have received and read all your letters up to date. You write beautifully – from your description of talking about Mrs. Doctor Wonderful = or the purchase of pretty dresses for the girls!!!! Yes all WONDERFUL!!!!! I am so very happy and proud of you!! Love MaXXXXX