Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tumor Marker Update!! Stray Cat Visualization Working?

Today was what I am now calling a "Z" Day - now when I go in to get my monthly Zoladex in my abdomen (Zoladex shuts down my ovaries), I will also get Zometa intravenously. Zometa makes my bones harder and more difficult for cancer to lodge there - remember that the cancer was in my bone marrow, not on my bones. Zometa keeps it that way.

While I was there, the nurse mentioned that she was going to have to get four vials of blood for various tests - one each for the two tumor markers CA 15-3 and CEA, one for the CBC (blood chemistry - red and white blood cell counts), and one for a CMP (metabolic panel - i.e., calcium, potassium, etc.). I asked if they did the tumor markers last month and they did, so I asked what they were.

The CA 15-3 was 14.5!!! Down from 18 in August! The story of the CA15-3 levels are as follows (below 31 is "normal"):
Sept 2007 - 23
Jan 2008 - 31
Mar 2008 - 36
June 2008 - 23 (started radiation that month)
Aug 2008 - 18
Sept 2008 - 14.5 YAAAAAAY!!!

And, my CEA was 0.5. Normal is below 3.8. My CEA has been either 1.1 or 0.9 - three or four of them since Jan 2008. In September, it was half what it was earlier this year!


When chatting with my oncologist (see that post here), I told him that now that we shut down the "cancer cell factory in the breast area", I could now turn my attention to my bones. He agreed that he felt the cancer cell factory was indeed shut down.

And, I guess it really is! Radiation, visualization, the meds, the herbs, acupuncture, qi gong, meditation, reiki, etc., is working, I tell ya!

Also, for the first time in a long time, my blood counts today were normal! Usually, I am slightly anemic with slightly low red blood cell and hematocrit levels. Well . . . they were in the normal range! My acupuncturist has me taking a Chinese herbal supplement called Gynostemma, which helps to "build blood". It says to take 3 to 5 3 times a day, which I was doing but when I started Xeloda and Tykerb, I started only taking 2 at night so as not to give my system too much to handle. A couple of weeks ago, after an acupuncture treatment in which we are trying to strengthen my blood (and also the bone marrow, which produces blood cells), I started taking 2 of them 2 times a day. Guess it's working, huh?

Not even having to get poked three times today will take away the good feeling associated with that news! (I jinxed the poor nurse today - several months ago, after someone poked me twice and didn't catch a vein, she came in and was able to do it. She said that I shouldn't have said that because she probably wouldn't be able to find a vein. Well, she couldn't. She felt really bad, so another nurse came in and found one. Got the job done.)

A good day, wouldn't you say? : )

I'll say it again, but stronger - it's a great day!!!


Carver said...

Wooohooo! This is great news to read Dee. I am very happy for you.

MisAnthropology said...


No wonder you looked so chipper yesterday.

Dee said...

Hi Carver and Mary,
Yes, I am chipper! Happy. Now if I could just get caught up at work! : )