LMS has a never ending capacity for springing surprises. Katie and I expected our meeting with my oncologist today to focus on the size of my tumours and the side effects I've been having from the chemo, we were pretty taken aback then when the oncologist's opening remarks were that the scan shows that I have heart failure.
I must admit that I hadn't realised heart failure was a graduated condition, to me it suggests someone in an intensive care unit wearing an oxygen mask and wired up to a heart monitor. In my case heart failure seems to mean that the function of my heart is impaired resulting in me getting wheezy and breathless especially if walking up hill or having to walk quickly.
It seems that my heart problem is related to the fluid retention that I've been suffering from. The previous chemotherapy drug that I was taking, Doxorubicin, is known to be cardiotoxic and the oncologist thinks it may be the cause of my current issues.
The good news from the scan is that the tumours appear to be stable, though it seems that the extra fluid I have in my body is making the comparison with the previous scan less straightforward than usual.
The plan now is that I will have an echo-cardiogram and see a consultant cardiologist to review my heart condition. I will also have a two week break before my next chemotherapy treatment, hopefully this will give time for me to get rid of some more of the fluid before starting the next cycle and will also provide time to get an opinion from the cardiologist. I have to say that I'm not looking forward to the next cycle, the fluid retention has become more extreme with each treatment and was particularly problematic this last cycle.
On to more pleasant topics, we just got back today from a week in Norfolk. One of the aims of our trip was to see and photograph barn owls. We had some very good sightings of these ghostly looking birds but unfortunately we didn't have any opportunities to photograph them. We did manage to capture a tawny owl on video though, we put our trail camera out in the garden of the cottage we stayed in and this is what it filmed:
Not the best video but we were amazed to discover a tawny owl visiting the cottage garden.