Wednesday 18 November 2015


Today I had my first MUGA scan. 

Isn't MUGA a strange word? It stands for Multi Gated Acquisition Scan. It's a proven nuclear medicine test designed to evaluate the function of the right and left ventricles of the heart. (That's what it says on Wikipedia anyway)

I need to have a MUGA scan before I start my course of Herceptin on 1st December. I'll then have MUGA scans every three months going forward until my course of Herceptin is finished. This is because Herceptin can put a strain on your heart and they need to make sure it's still functioning correctly. 

The MUGA scan process involves having your heart tested via a machine to check what your normal heart rate is. Mine was all over the place. The nurse advised she thinks she's recorded my normal heart rate - even though I'm obviously anxious. 

I then had to lie down and rest for 30 minutes. After that I was given a radioactive injection in to my arm. As my veins are hardening this proved quite difficult. The nurse was really nice and perserved and eventually we got the  injection in. I say 'we' but I actually didn't help at all. Except for closing my eyes, making the odd funny face and whimpering. 

I had a radioactive injection before my surgery so I wasn't disappointed when I didn't gain any super powers. Well maybe I was just a little bit. 

I was then allowed a cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. The nurse tells me they always suggest you bring a cheese sandwich but in fact it can just be any food that's fatty. I'm getting a plate of chips from the cafe next time then.

After waiting an hour I went in to the scanning room. The nurse placed wires on my chest and stomach. I laid down and had to put my hands above my head. I was then moved inside the machine. The machine started to slowly revolve and I had to keep very still. 40 minutes later the scan was complete. FYI 40 minutes is a long time to have your hands above your head.

Then I was free to go. Unscathed. (Apart from having arms like jelly)


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