Monday, January 24, 2011

Had my fourth muga scan today

Had my fourth muga scan today - and quite astonished to read now that I was injected with a small amount of radioactive isotope before the scan. I dunno, maybe I am losing it. I know it takes place in the nuclear medicine section of the hospital, that it says "radioactive:everywhere as in the toilet there, plus this is the fourth one I have had and have done lots of reading up about it - but did I forget? Or was I too concerned with the score?
Part of what can be detected from a muga is the rate at which the heart emits.
Prior to my treatment for breast cancer, I was sent for a muga to get a base reading.Cannot remember exactly what I scored but it was in the 70s. After chemo (and radiation???), it went to 65 and after herceptin, to 60. Today it was 62 and the doctor there said all was looking good. No dilation - but not sure what that means....
This is why one has a muga before and after breast cancer treatment
I am not certain if the 2 point difference means anything but am glad that it is moving up again.
The radiologist who did my mammogram and scan last week said if the damage was caused by the chemo, it is irreversible; if caused by herceptin, it will revert back to normal. So he said I should go up to 65, which was my score pre-herceptin but it didn't.
I see the oncologist next week so he will clarify matters.
Anyway, was not unhappy.
Learnt something about myself, well, The Yoga Man pointed it out and it's true. After a stressful situation, I eat. So my compulsive eating is post stress. Must have been hassled re the muga cos afterwards, ate and ate. First some Jerusalem dates (roasted dates, yummy) and then a frozen yoghurt and then a piece torn off from the gruyere cheese I bought to make a marrow and tomato gratin for dinner.
Well, what I really wanted to say is that I got chatting to a woman while waiting for the scan. She was there cos her husband was having a PET scan. He has prostrate cancer which has spread to the bones. Has had cancer for 11 years and is now on phase 3 of a trial, based in the US but tested in Switzerland, and sees the same oncologist as me. Also thinks he is fabulous! Part of the trial is that he has to have regular PET scans -- every three months. And although he looked pretty well to me, she said he was in hospital last week.
Impressed that we South Africans are eligible for such trials and that my oncologist is part of that. I know there is a research unit at the oncology centre and must say, I do know someone who went on a trial here with the same oncologist and is now very well.
Makes me wonder if anyone in South Africa was on the same trial Daria Maluta was on. Very possible. She died on January 22 from liver problems caused by the treatment which ironically did shrink her tumours. Opened Facebook and up popped the birthdays - it would have been her birthday today. Not 100% sure but think she would have turned 50. Or 49. And Facebook can be so sickening. Many of her "friends" have wished her "happy birthday - and many more", not knowing that she has died.


  1. Gillian, ironic isn't it that Daria has been wished a Hapy Birthday unwittingly. May she rest in peace.
    Not able to comment on your Muga Scan. They are new to me. Good luck with your oncologist next visit.

  2. Fascinated that you are not familiar with the muga scan. Did you not have a scan to check the impact of chemo, and other breast cancer treatment, on your heart? Interesting....but I guess everyone is different. All my treatment could affect the heart and all of it was focused on my left side. Mmmm.. going to ask others if they also had a muga. Maybe it was just me? I know that it does appear that the no/minimal cardio rule is particularly strict for me although I know someone else in the same situation.

  3. Glad your numbers are moving up. I think the MUGA all depends on what drugs we're all getting. I know that Adriamycin, Hercptin & Tykerb affect the heart, but not sure about other drugs.

    With Daria's b-day on FB, I just kept thinking about her husband, how he would feel when he saw the birthday messages.

  4. Thanks Julie. Not certain if the two points makes much difference but still delighted it it moving up rather than down. I had AC chemo, radiation on the left side and herceptin and it is clear from my muga that that treatment did affect my heart. So no wonder I am not allowed to do much cardio and not allowed to increase what I do. I am just so grateful - and keep repeating this - that I started off pretty healthy and fit. So now although my muga shows a huge difference, I am still way above normal and so no cause for concern (it appears). But as my sister said this morning when we were chatting about it (am staying with her in Cape Town on a short holiday): if you were so healthy, then why did you get cancer? Ja, the million dollar question.....And I eat so healthily, I do not believe it is from what I eat.. ag, who knows...