Saturday, June 6, 2009

What a Great Nurse and Other News

You know, sometimes people tell me that they seek cancer services up in Portland and/or Seattle, as if the service here won't be as cutting edge or whatever. But you know what? I have always made a choice to have my cancer treatment here, primarily because I don't want to have to travel any farther than I have to and also because I do think I get great care.

Today is a case in point - the nurse (C.) I talked to yesterday about the CEA results said that she would be at the Infusion center today and if she had a chance, she'd call me with the CA15-3 results. Well, she called me this morning, after I went to a baby shower.

The CA15-3 was 19.7. I've had numbers below 20 (since August 2008) for nearly a year on that tumor marker test. That eases my mind because I think the CA15-3 might be more sensitive as a marker for cancer.

Here's the history:

Sept 2007 - 23 U/mL
Jan 2008 - 31 U/mL
Mar 2008 - 36 U/mL
June 2008 - 23 U/mL (started radiation that month)
Aug 2008 - 18 U/mL (week of August 4th)
Sept 2008 - 14.5 U/mL YAAAAAAY!!!
Oct 1 2008 - 19.6 U/mL
Oct 31 2008 - 15.3 U/mL
Nov 28 2008 - 19.5 U/mL
Dec 30 2008 - 16.0 U/mL
Jan 22 2009 - 15.4 U/mL
Mar 2 2009 - 17.8 U/mL
Apr 8 2009 - 19.6 U/mL
May 5 2009 - 18.4 U/mL
June 4 2009 - 19.7 U/mL

Remember that anything below 33 is considered normal.

Here's the history for the CEA:

1/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
3/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
6/2008 - 1.0 ng/mL
8/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL (need to double check this number, but it was in that 0.9 to 1.2 range)
9/2008 - 0.5 ng/mL
10/2008 - 0.9 ng/mL
10/31/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
11/28/2008 - 1.2 ng/mL
12/30/2008 - 1.1 ng/mL
3/2/2009 - 1.4 ng/mL
4/8/2009 - 1.6 ng/mL
5/5/2009 - 1.9 ng/mL
6/4/2009 - 3.0 ng/mL

For the CEA, anything below 3.8 is considered normal!

So, I won't freak out too much yet. The nurse, C., thought that maybe I should go see my primary care doctor about what might be causing the slight coughing/wheezing that I have, to try to get to the bottom of whatever respiratory might be going on.

In other news, I ended up with diarrhea today. I doubled my dose of Tykerb today and another blogger I know would complain of diarrhea with Tykerb. I also had seafood last night - a couple of mussels and shrimp - and I don't know if my digestive system was bothered by that. It's wiped me out today, even though I think I had a good night's sleep. I was supposed to also go to my colleague's house for a party, but I think I better stay home and rest. Sorry, L. & J.!!

And, in other news, the garage sale was okay today. I think we had three cars stop by from 12:30 on, so I don't think it was worth it to have it until 4pm. But Scott and I earned over $100 today. Of course, we have a lot more we can sell . . . we'll see how we do tomorrow! Mom and dad were a great help and they even ran to the grocery store for me because of my digestive problems! They're great parents, aren't they?

A very big note of appreciation goes to C. for taking the time to call me with the tumor marker results today. I get great, personalized care!

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