Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This month's tumor marker numbers

I received my tumor marker numbers today - my treatment was yesterday. The CEA was up to 7.6 (from 5.7 or 5.8 last month) and the CA15-3 was down to 36.4 (from 38.7 last month). Anything less than 3.8 is normal for the CEA and anything less than 33 is good for the CA15-3.

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 (or was it 5.8?)
11/2/2009 - 7.6 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
Nov 2 2009 - 36.4 U/mL

Hmm, how does one interpret these results? The nurse yesterday said (and I may have said this before) that sometimes the number spikes after starting a new treatment before it comes down again. Sooo . . . the fact that the CA15-3 is going down is a good thing and maybe the CEA went up because as cancer cells die, they put off more of the protein (carcinoembryonic antigen) into the blood. Hmm, I kinda like that explanation, huh?

Tired today. Stayed up too late last night. Too much caffeine late in the day yesterday. Then a long class today . . . gonna take it easy tonight. It was a beautiful day today - a beautiful moon last night - can't complain!

3 comments:

Spirit said...

Each day in and of itself is a blessing. Most of us forget that today is all we have, so embrace it. And leave the late night caffeine alone. For myself, no caffeine after 5 pm. Dee, numbers are numbers. This might sound like a cliche, but we tend to get wrapped up in said numbers. Take them for what they are worth and move on. Not sure about 'loving' those cancer cells, but I understand what you are trying to say. Love ya'

Liz Kreger said...

That was kinda my thought as I was reading your list of markers ... Huh? I never quite know how to read 'em, so I rely on Dr. D to give me a "this is good" "this is bad" response.

Hang in there, Dee. I kinda like the nurse's explanation myself.

Dee said...

Hi Dad,
Yes, I know that I shouldn't focus so much on the numbers . .. doin' a little less of that this month, but the fact that one went down - it's an encouraging sign that the things I'm doing to heal myself are showing some fruit!

The idea with "loving" the cells, at least for me, is that I'm equating the cancer with old issues of mine and rather than fight them or ignore them, I'm trying to love them and bring them to resolution. The old issues won't go away if you try to ignore them; however, if you show some compassion for them, try to understand them, and tell them they don't need to keep calling attention to themselves, that everything's okay, they are more apt to go away because you've dealt with them in a compassionate, loving way.

Hi Liz, Yep, I like the nurse's explanation, too. I hope you're doing well!