Owner of a Lonely Heart
June 22, 2019 – Six months ago I was lying in a hospital bed wondering, “What the hell happened?”
Honestly, I knew what had happened – I had a heart attack! Actually, I had several heart attacks – myocardial infarctions – over a twenty-four hour period. It was surreal. I wasn’t supposed to have heart problems. I have plenty of issues with Stage IV cancer, so no one – myself included – was focused on my heart.
My doctors monitored my cholesterol numbers – good, but not great – and my liver values (also pretty good and stable). My heart? That was something obese people or older people worried about. Not me.
So my melanoma journey diverged to become a health journey. I not only had metastatic melanoma and any recurring skin cancers to worry about; now, I had heart problems to keep me up at night.
Once again, I was fortunate. There was no damage to my heart from the 100% blockage of my right coronary artery (RCA). My new cardiologist put a stent in my RCA and, less than 24 hours later, I went home. My release from the hospital gave new meaning to I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
Note – Here’s the link to the original post about my heart attack: All I Want for Christmas Is…
Christmas and New Years came and went. By mid-January, I was slowly adjusting to my new daily pill regimen. The meds did their job and my cholesterol significantly decreased.
At the end of January, a thirty-six session cardio rehab stint began (see Heart Update at the bottom of Status Quo). Three times a week I spent an hour riding exercise bikes, walking on treadmills, and getting my heart rhythms monitored. Rehab grudgingly became a good routine. After almost three solid months of consistent exercise, I was feeling pretty good and looking okay. (Still need to lose another 5 – 10 pounds.)
Rehab ended in early May and my heart grew lonely (hence the title of this post). Not really. But I did miss the routine and the normalcy of rehab. The steady exercise was good for my heart and, surprisingly, my soul. During that period, I realized that I still have it in me to change. That’s the key – to want it. I have to continue to motivate myself to stay healthy.
The rest of May was hectic for us. A couple of trips along with time at the beach. My cardio routine was broken and it’s taken awhile to get it back. Sometimes good beer and good food will do that.
So, I’m now the owner of a lonely heart. It’s mine and it’s up to me to keep it beating. Like the lyrics of the original Yes song: You’ve got to want to succeed.
|Miss Susan grows some beautiful irises.|
Melanoma Update – In early June I had my six-month CT scan and blood work. Everything was virtually the same as last November. No new tumors and my existing tumors remain stable and unchanged. Great news! My dermatologist took an additional margin on my back (Ouch!) which turned out to be benign. Also, great news! (See Wake-Up Call for details.)
Heart Update – Nothing new to report (other than what you read above). I’ve been having some issues with excessive heat and humidity. Who doesn’t? I see my cardiologist at the end of July. Hope he has some answers.
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