Thursday, May 27, 2010

Soon, a new chapter

On Tuesday of this week, I had a PET-CT scan to follow-up on the previous scan of six months ago. You might recall that I have been taking Hexalen® chemotherapy capsules for 14 days and then no capsules for 14 days during the past six months. I called these my "ChemoCaps." By the way, this was my fourth kind of chemotherapy during the past two years.

Another reason I had this scan was because my oncologist had seen an increase in my CA-125 tumor marker numbers during the past month or so. (Note: going up is bad, going down is good)

In a few hours I will be in the doctor's office to discuss my/our new treatment plan. Along with me will be one of my dear friends. She will take notes, ask additional questions I might not have asked, and then we will get something to eat.

After dinner I will go to my weekly, Thursday night cancer support group. I'll tell you, on Tuesday after the scan, I headed over to my regular, art therapy cancer support group; I was feeling emotionally vulnerable and fragile. Again, one of the best places to be--in a support group!

P.S., If you can schedule your scans/tests early in the week, in some cases, you may get your results before the weekend. Waiting can be hard ... on everyone.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Hello Michelle, this is Dr._ calling..."

At the Farmers Market
March 2010

It is hard not to be alarmed when my oncologist called. He never calls unless I have left a message for him. He just called.

It is Friday morning and I'm planning a little trip.

"I'm concerned that your CA-125 is rising," he began.

Since I was in for a check-up two days ago and blood was drawn, he was concerned with the results that just came in. When I saw him on Wednesday, the plan was to begin taking the 6th month of my ChemoCaps (8 Hexalen capsules a day for 14 days). Up until last month the medicine was bringing down the CA-125 tumor marker.

As a result of this decrease, I have been feeling pretty healthy and confident.

But on Wednesday, when I asked what April's CA-125 was, he reported, "65." I knew it was up from the previous months, but I quickly responded, "Oh, a hiccup!" (I'm thinking, the number just went up and then it will drop--right! But it didn't drop THIS month either.

Two days ago the plan was to have a PET scan in a few months, depending on the results of my monthly blood draw. STOP THE PRESS!

My doctor of six years is calling in for an immediate insurance approval for a PET scan, asap.

"But Doctor, I'm planning on taking a little trip, can I still go?"

"Sure, Go and have a good time!"

We both chuckled--the quality life of a person with cancer is so often determined by the results of the monthly, or regularly scheduled scan and lab work.

Right, sure,
celebrate! With this hanging over my head...

Think the big picture:
He is catching this early,
There are more chemotherapy medicines to help extend my life, as he is treating me,
But, why did I throw-up two days ago? This has happened twice in the past two years of chemo.
What's that ache in my hip?
What will the new chemo be like?

But he is catching it early, or is he?
Ovarian-type cancer has a mind of its own...

...Go and have a good time...