24 hour Heart Monitor & Side Effects of Chemo

Posted on Posted in Blog, Staying Healthy Post-Cancer

Hey guys,

I’ve just handed in the heart monitor that I had on for 24 hours and I am so thankful to be free of it! It was quite small – not as heavy as the one I had on a few years ago – but rather than clipping on to my waistband, it was in a little bag that went over my shoulder.

If you’ve never had a heart monitor on before, it’s basically a small device the size of an iPod that is connected to 5 wires – the wires are attached to electrodes that are stuck on to your chest and around your ribs.They also give you a diary to fill out throughout the day if you experience any symptoms – the monitor measures your heart rate and is analysed by a cardiologist to pick up on any abnormalities.

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First of all, let me just say that I cannot STAND any wires touching my skin since the chemo days when I had a Hickman line for 9 months so having a heart monitor is never much fun but this time wasn’t so bad. You can’t have a bath or a shower while it’s attached to you which is frustrating but the worst part for me was the irritation from the sticky electrodes. I was soooo glad to peel them off this morning & can’t wait for a nice bath later.

The wires were tricky – sometimes I pulled them by accident & because I was so used to having the Hickman line, I kept thinking I was pulling the wire out of myself rather than just pulling on the electrodes. It was a strange experience but thankfully, I didn’t manage to disconnect anything & it all went rather well!

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After we took it back it to the hospital, we went shopping & had a big hot chocolate at Caffe Nero 🙂 I had the heart monitor on in the first place to check up on the palpitations that I had when I had a kidney infection so I should find out the results within the next few weeks. I’ll keep you updated!

My heart has already been weakened by the chemo & that’s another reason why they like to check it’s all okay. I’m more at risk of heart failure too – not as scary as it sounds as they can give you pills to prevent it. The long term effects of treatment do crop up now & again; most of the time, I don’t even remember I had cancer but things like this bring it back. Chemotherapy is the reason I’m here but I really hope drugs become available that don’t have the horrible short term & long term side effects.

I hope you’re all doing okay & still smiling,

Allie x

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