I'm a 32 year old female 7 years in remission from stage 2 Diffuse large B- cell NHL. Treatment consisted of 8 cycles of R-CHOP and 6 weeks of mediastinal radiation. I've had a few medical issues over the years due to my treatments but nothing debilitating or life threatening in any way. Until now that is... About 6 months ago I began noticing what I thought to be heart palpitations. I wasn't too alarmed as I try not to overreact at every little thing that comes along. However 2 months ago at my annual check up my primary Dr noticed a significant murmur and ordered an echocardiogram. The test was done two weeks ago and the findings weren't good. The very next day I received a call that I was being referred to cardiology. The echocardiogram report showed that I have Mitral valve regurgitation, Aortic valve regurgitation and Tricuspid valve regurgitation. My left atrium is slightly enlarged, they suspect that I have a left ventricular systolic dysfunction based on the enlarged left atrium and I've been diagnosed with A-fibb. Needless to say I've been terrified since I read this report. I meet my new cardiologist in 2 weeks. But in the mean time I've been doing as much research as I can on this type of heart disease. Most importantly I wanted to know what caused all of this damage?!?! Well, low and behold I've found countless articles and studies on the affects that mediastinal radiation has on the heart. My echocardiogram is literally a textbook example of the post radiation results some years down the road based on the readings I've found online. RADIATION INDUCED VALVE DISEASE RADIATION INDUCED HEART DISEASE I am devestated that no one ever mentioned this to me. Not one Dr ever said anything about early onset heart failure when radiation therapy was suggested. I am a young mother of 4 gorgeous children and I am heartbroken that this is happening. Is there anyone else out there with a similar story? I desperately need support from the people who understand the ongoing emotional struggles with this disease. I really thought after almost 8 years after treatment that my cancer nightmare was over but it's come back to haunt me.
Thank you for your kindness and taking the time to read this.