Thursday, May 26, 2011

CEA Result - and a nice visit with my godparents

I just got my new CEA result - updated from 3+ weeks ago. It was 12.4. It was 5.4 (or 5.6?) at the beginning of the month.

So, that indicates the remaining brain tumor. But my inquiring mind wants to know how long those tumors were growing - because in theory, when my CEA was 41 or higher, the tumors could've been there. But then it fell to 5 after surgery after the majority of what active cancer was in my body was taken out with the April 1 surgery. Or maybe the brain tumors weren't there until I stopped targeted treatments and Chinese herbs prior to surgery and they grew rather quickly because I didn't take them for a few weeks because I felt so tired and fatigued. If the tumors weren't there before surgery and started growing in late April, they grew fast. That's a disturbing thought. So, I don't know how long they've been there or if stopping targeted treatments and herbs caused the brain tumor growth. I just don't know and that bothers me.

The CEA may go up briefly, too, as I get radiation as that indicates rapid cancer cell death. And, maybe the 12.4 is an indication of some of that rapid cancer cell death after the first whole brain radiation treatment. I already have a little less weakness in my hand and I'm steadier on my feet so that tells me that some of the swelling has decreased in my brain - partly attributed to the steroids but I can also say that radiation helped.

The bottom line is that we really don't know. Joanna, in a comment to my earlier post, said that my life is better because I choose not to worry about things I can't change. She hit the nail on the head. I can't change that fact. I can only change how I keep the damn stuff from continuing to grow. And, that is worth more of my brain cells than worrying about why it all happened or how long things have been growing or what I did wrong. Who really knows? But I can do something for the future. : )

My godparents came down from north-central Washington yesterday and got in a bit late, but we visited for an hour before I went to bed. They hung around for most of the day before heading back up to Portland, where their son was at a meeting. It is a good 9-10 hour drive and luckily they are retired. I couldn't believe they made the trip, but when I asked why, they said it was because they've learned that if they have time, they need to make the effort to see people because you never know when another chance may show up. It's very very true. No time like the present, eh? I think we're going to go plan to visit them in August, after my son returns from his trip back East. They have the Omak Stampede and that might be a fun time to visit and see people I haven't seen in many many years.

I feel very very fortunate to be surrounded by so many good people. It touches me more than you can know. Thank you!

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