Monday, August 17, 2009

day +727

As scheduled, this morning I had an echocardiogram (ECHO) followed by the placement of a 24-hour Holter monitor to record the electrical activity of my heart. The last time I had either of these was before my last transplant - at least two years ago. The many cycles of chemotherapy and radiation have put me at risk for cardiomyopathy, which is the weakening of heart muscle that causes inadequate pumping of blood. It's not a done deal that I'll ever develop cardiomyopathy, of course, but today's ECHO and the many that will surely follow will hopefully give my doctors a heads-up on any suspicious activity.

I've had several ECHOs over the years and the novelty of the experience has yet to cease. As I lay on the examination table, my chest moist with gel and stickies, I looked in wonder at the grainy images of my aortic valve flicker on the computer screen. That little guy was busy opening and closing. Very busy. Way too busy (thankfully) to stop and say hello to its observers. And the music - that beautiful melody - that I heard pulsating with so much strength and grace is the loveliest rhythm imaginable. It's the rhythm of courage, of perseverance, of love, of intelligence, of hope, and of life.


Comment Blogger missingheart said...

This is such a beautiful post, Duane. I'm so glad to hear that heart is up to snuff. It'd better be - you've got some teaching to do! I can't wait to hear your experiences as you join that field.

Sarah (and Scott)

12:15 AM  
Comment Blogger Benjamin Rubenstein said...

Short and sweet, my man. Keep beating.

That damn Adriamycin!

2:05 PM  
Comment Anonymous Anonymous said...

totally with you on the ECHO. felt the exact same way last one i had. you said it better, though. good luck with teaching-you'll be great.

7:38 PM  
Comment Blogger Cathy Bueti said...

Hi Duane,

Such a beautifully written post!! Wow! I am glad to hear your ticker is doing well! :)

9:54 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks. :D

1:48 PM  

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