Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trying not to read anything into the number . . . and a cancer rant

I got the results of my CEA today - the CA15-3 won't be ready until tomorrow because they have to send it out. At any rate, the CEA was 1.9. Anything less than 3.8 is considered normal.

However, even when the cancer was at its worst last February 2008, when we discovered the skin and bone mets, my CEA was still only 1.2 (that was in January). It never got higher than 1.2 until this March 2009, when it was 1.4, then last month, it was 1.6. It's creeping up a little bit.

From what I've read, the jury's out as to whether or not the CEA is a good measure of cancer activity; it works better for some patients than it does for others. The CA15-3 is considered to be more sensitive.

I'll get the CA15-3 results tomorrow, which may be a more reliable measure. I've been distracted all day because it's higher - didn't really feel like teaching today, but I had to. It was good to teach though - got my mind on other things. But it certainly has affected my mood today. I guess it doesn't help that I'm tired today - stayed up past 11pm working on a grant proposal and watching TV. I did, however, get a good 3 1/2 hours sleep before waking, then got another 1 1/2, then another 1 1/2, so it was okay - just not long enough.

Need to get to bed at a more decent hour, shortly after Idol is over. Until then, I need to: grade three sets of papers and edit my little grant proposal. Oh, and balance the ol' checkbook. Laundry's washing, so that tomorrow, all I have to do is pack.

Remind me not to travel during classes. It always seems to add more work. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed today between housework and grading papers, wishing I could put off the Norway trip until June. On the other hand ... if the tumor markers are up, that might mean changing my treatment regimen and I might not be able to .. .

Okay, got to stop that negative thinking .. .

The Cheeky Librarian today posted a link to someone's cancer rant . .. she made a lot of good points (I assume it's a she, but they're not sure who the author is) and it sorta fits my mood, so I'm posting the link here:

UPDATE: I found a site that discusses the CEA ... I feel a bit better after reading that. A rising CEA can also be caused by an infection, which fits what I think might be going on with those lung spots. I still have that slight cough. But . . . some nagging doubt still remains.

Think positive thoughts, right?

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