Monday, October 5, 2009

And the markers continue to inch up . . .

I received my tumor markers and they went up again. My oncologist's assistant said that it might take a couple of months to see the numbers come down again. So, I guess we'll wait and see what happens. I'll talk with my oncologist on Wednesday and ask him how he interprets the numbers. Oh, the numbers are: CEA was 5.8 (up from 5.1 last month) and the CA 15-3 was 38.7 (up from 31.9 last month). Last year, my CEA was 0.9 and the CA 15-3 was 19.6.

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
7/2/2009 - 3.7 ng/mL
8/3/2009 - 4.2 ng/mL
8/31/2009 - 5.1 ng/mL
10/2/2009 - 5.7 ng/mL

And, here's the CA15-3.

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
July 2 2009 - 22.1 U/mL
Aug 3 2009 - 29.7 U/mL
August 31 2009 - 31.9 U/mL
Oct 3 2009 - 38.7 U/mL

I think I read somewhere that the CA 15-3 measures a protein that is put off by cells that have died. So, conceivably, I could interpret that number to mean that the Femara/Tykerb combo is killing off the cancer cells and causing the number to go up.

Am I reaching at straws or what? Perhaps - I'll see what Dr. K says. And, stay on Femara and see what happens next month.

6 comments:

Carver said...

I'll be sending out good vibes for you Dee. I'm commuting more to Durham for work so busier adding in the drive time but I've been keeping up with your blog through bloglines just haven't popped over as much from my feed reader to comment. Good to see all your travels and I'm hoping for better news next time on the tumor markers. My good thoughts are heading that way.

Liz Kreger said...

Same here, Dee. Sending out good vibes and hope you get positive news. Not always sure what the numbers mean specifically ... just really understand the meaning of tumor markers when Dr. D gives 'em to me ... but this doesn't sound like a huge jump.

Keep us posted.

Spirit said...

Hey Dee. Ditto previous comments. I noticed that the CA15-3 on Mar. 2008 was 36 U/mL. And it is 38.7 now. You got it down before, you can do it again, yes? Back then, were you in intensive treatment that brought it down? Stay positive, there are a lot of people sending healing vibes your way. Yep!

mapdr said...

Yes...you are killing them off. At least that is what I choose to believe. Hang in there and continue to surround yourself with the positive healing vibes coming at you from all over the world. If, as Spirit states, intensive treatment is what did it before, how can I help?

Cat, Jeremiah, Finn and baby limpet said...

I'm sending only positive thoughts. I choose to believe that you are killing them off...no negative thoughts here...only fighting positive thoughts that the ugly cancer cells are being pushed out by the strong positive cells. Would love to hang out soon...baby wants a hug from Dede soon!

Dee said...

Hi everyone,
I really do appreciate all those good thoughts and healing vibes! I know that they are there - it's just really nice hearing it sometimes, so thank you!

And, Spirit and Renee, the intensive treatment that brought the number down before was radiation treatments to the skin. Not sure if they can do radiation to those tumors in the left lung .. . it might be that the risk right now is much more than the benefit. Let's just hope that the numbers do mean that the cancer cells are dying off faster now that I'm on Femara ...Not sure what more you can do, Renee, but continue to be my friend - that goes for all of youse! Right?

And, I would love to hug the baby, Family O-G, but I have a cold right now ... maybe when I'm better in the next week or so?

Love to you all!