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Cherie C. Recipient

Heart damaged by chemo

My heart was damaged by a chemo drug and that's why I have heartmatelll. Did anyone else have that experience?

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Don T.

HI, my name is Don and I received chemo for u late stage Lymphoma in 2009 and later was diagnosed with CF. I received my lvad in 2018

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Brad C.

On behalf of my dad: My dad had hodgkin's disease and was diagnosed with heart failure in 2017 and had his LVAD implanted in September 2017

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Mike S.

I also was diagnosed with Lymphoma. I was treated with eight cycles of R-CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, and rituxan). The doxorubicin in this mix is suspected of causing heart failure. My heart failure occurred five years after my chemo, progressed rapidly to stage four, and resulted in an LVAD in 2015. That seems to be working well, and I lead a normal life, but with very little energy.

A friend who also had lymphoma and the same R-CHOP treatment quit the chemo after three cycles. It cured his lymphoma and he never contracted heart failure.

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In reply to by Mike S.

Cherie C.

My heart failure was due to avastin. I had chemo in aug. 2016 to Nov. 2016; was in remission until April 2017.  Started avastin in May 2017 and ended in July 2018. In August. I had heart attack and received lvad in sept. It all happened fast.  I was told later that this is a bad drug.  I'm adjusting to the new life  but grateful to be alive. Thank u  and everyone  else who posted and shared their story.

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Mark H.

Yea. It's rather a common cause of CHF. I went through chemo back in 1981 for a rare form of bone cancer. It finally took my heart out in 2009. I got a heartmate 3 dec.2017. And a transplant Apr. 1 2019. I turn 50 this year. I am looking forward to moving on with my life after 10 years. 


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Deborah C.

Yes, my husband had heart failure after receiving chemo for prostate cancer. He lived 3.5 years with his VAD but the cancer returned with a vengeance. He passed away last April. He knew he would never qualify for a transplant since if he went into remission he would be too old to be eligible for a transplant after 10 years.


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Lisa J.


I finished my chemo May 2018 for breast cancer and had my heartmate implanted in September 2018. I agree, it went very fast.   The heart failure was far worse than the chemo I had to endure. 

I appreciate that you posted your question.    My oncologist made me feel that heart failure is a very rare occurrence.  Based on my visits to cardiologists and this post I feel differently. 

Glad to be alive but I hate dealing with the equipment.  I was very active and I hate the restrictions.  Don’t get me started on the cords that seem to twist and form knots on their own.   One more issue to discuss in therapy!

I am 52 and I have to wait for a heart transplant for 5 years because of the cancer.  Chemo....the gift that keeps on giving.  Suck it cancer  

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Becky G.

Hi Lisa,

My mother-in-law had breast cancer, and she developed heart failure from the chemo. Her doctor told her about 5% of people develop heart failure from chemo. She unfortunately didn't survive long enough to receive an LVAD, the cancer spread throughout her body and eventually ended her life. She was hoping the heart would get her before the cancer did - cancer sucks!  It's a much more painful death. :( 

My husband has an LVAD now, completely unrelated to his mother's condition.  I know the cords and the equipment are very difficult, and I can only image how hard this is when it came on so suddenly for you and your family.  I hope the cancer stays away for you and you can live a long life. 


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In reply to by Becky G.

Mark H.

CHF is worse. I like many people I thought cancer was the worst possible way to die. It’s not. End stage heart failure is worse on a whole new level. And keeps you in the same lack  of energy state, “for a longer period of time“.  With a poor quality of life and barely clinging on to life. Going through chemotherapy usually lasts no more than 5 years. ( you can see the light at the end of the tunnel) . CHF lasts for the rest of your life, unless you get a transplant. But that comes with its own list of complications. And constant reminders of your fragile life. (But very much better than CHF). Both are worse on the care giver than the sick one. But having gone through it myself. CHF is definitely the worst.

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In reply to by Becky G.

Lisa J.

thank you for your response. I am sorry about your mother in law.  

When I was struggling with my decision to implant the lvad my doctor reminded me that at least I had a choice. He had other patients who did not not. So I am grateful I have more life to live. 

One of the factors they feel may contributed to my heart failure is a genetic component of cardio myopathy. My father passed away from the disease. I never knew it could be inherited. I am getting tested to see if I have the gene.  Curious if that is a consideration for your husbands family.   

I hope he is doing well and enjoying his new normal. 

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Tracey W.

Hi there. My husband, age 47, received his LVAD at the end of May. He’s actually still recovering in the hospital. He was diagnosed with End stage heart failure less than a month ago and received his Heartmate III May 30. He had 6 rounds of R-Chop to treat non-hodgkins lymphoma back in 2008. He was only 35 at that time. It’s amazing to me that when I asked doctors back at our local hospital if the cancer could have done damage, I was met with a hard “No” for a response. We were told that it’s the radiation that does the damage, which was a lie. I feel like I need to start a campaign to alert people that have had chemo to have their heart checked regularly!!!

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Michael O.

I am 73. I developed heart failure about 4.5 years ago. They put me through numerous xrays and cat scans to qualify me for a heart transplant and I was placed on the list. About 5 months later I was diagnosed with non Hodgkins Lymphoma, which I now believe was triggered by the radiation I received. I reacted well to chemo. They also urged radiation which I relunctantly accepted. The tumor was in my chest, but the doctor stated that they could focus the radiation to miss the heart. I went into afib immediately after the radiation and they could not get me out of it. I was going down fast but the LVAD saved my life. I have had it since Feb 2018. I feel good. I exercise and have regained my vigor. I still work as an attorney and can enjoy my grandson. I do all the work required for the LVAD and so far no complications. Life is worth living. Keep up the fight and I wish all of you the same outcome 

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Pam J.

What a wonderful story! I’m very happy for you, thank you for sharing. I didn’t know anyone could be placed on a transplant list after age 70 or maybe 71. Was that an issue? 

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In reply to by Pam J.

Michael O.

I believe that I got on the list after age 70 because I was in very good health and fitness except for the heart issue caused by afib rather than a heart attack and/or heart disease. I feel very fortunate that the LVAD has been almost perfect for me, allowing me to do virtually everything I had done before. I realize that some people have serious problems but the chance to live better is worth it