Friday, December 07, 2012

CA125, Food Trucks, and Birthdays

I met with Dr. W yesterday, and we started round 6. (I'll have 2 more Thursday treatments before round 6 is over). Seems my anxiety was warranted because my CA125 jumped from 8 to 17.9 this month. Dr. W was quick to ask if I've had a cold, been sick, etc. and then blamed the jump on my lingering cold/cough for the past several weeks. I cried. And he prescribed Xanax.

As far as that CA125 goes, to keep things in perspective, prior to surgery in March 2011 my CA125 was well over 1,100. Before starting my newest chemo regimen in July 2012, my number was 25-30. The normal CA125 range is generally anything under 32-34.

Dr. W was actually very reassuring and said that this one test is not enough to cause me to worry because there are many explanations for the jump in blood work. He also pointed out that this never happens to me, my blood work is always consistent. This info didn't necessarily feel encouraging to me since those numbers are headed in the wrong direction, but he clearly meant it as a good thing. He also gently reminded me that while this may not have been easy, my body has handled the chemo very well and I've had absolutely none of the possible serious side effects. He said to relax, enjoy my Christmas holiday and we'll worry about the CT scan in January (I am tentatively scheduled for January 7.) He squeezed my shoulder and the nurse hugged me as she handed me the kleenex box and exited the room.

And so we wait. By the time I left the office (after sitting for 2.5 hours in the big chemo room, which was a great reminder to me to always choose the little private room), I was feeling a little more emotionally put together. While this jump in blood work could possibly mean the start of something big and bad, there are also reasonable explanations for it. I am going to do my best to put it behind me and enjoy the next month. Sometimes easier said than done, but I'm going to give it my best effort. Xanax just might help with that. The anti-anxiety medicine he prescribed last year I took only sporadically and did not notice an extreme change, but I also didn't need it most of the time. I have a feeling I might need it to survive this month of waiting.

By the way, my friend Andrea texted me Romans 15:13, which is the verse I posted on my blog yesterday. Except she hadn't read the blog yet - so clearly it was one I needed to hear again.

I go back this afternoon for the dreaded Neulasta shot; we're celebrating Brian's birthday tonight at his parent's house; tomorrow Camden's elementary choir is singing at the local mall. After that I'll be crashing for the next 48 hours or so. As usual, I've loaded up the DVR with mindless food network/HGTV/Reality TV shows that I can doze my way through.

And a couple of Instagram pics from yesterday.

Not my favorite place to be. The lady in the far corner in pink is only 47 (she was the youngest person in the room except me - and I'm a good 10 years younger than her - so you can imagine the group we had) and it was her first treatment. She asked the room if we had any tips for her, and I honestly just didn't have the heart to tell her that she was about to have the absolute worst 6 months of her life and if she's really unlucky and the chemo doesn't work, she'll get to just keep on for as long as her body can take it. I just smiled at her, told her that it would be hard but that she could do it and to stay on top of her meds. The other woman I spoke to was in "my" overflow room, she had such a sweet spirit about her. I was feeling really good about stopping to see her until she mentioned this is her second recurrence and that she's starting something called The Red Devil along with Cistplatin (which is one of the toughest chemo medicine ever; it's what I took last year when I spent weeks on end unable to get up from the couch and lost 30 lbs because I couldn't eat; what I did eat just shot right through in both directions). I didn't know how to tell her that she was going to be absolutely, positively m.i.s.e.r.a.b.l.e. We talked for a while and as I was leaving, she told me that she "hopes this is the end of the road for me." And we had a really good belly laugh together, because of course that came out just a little wrong when you're speaking to someone with cancer. What she meant, of course, was that she hoped Round 6 would be end of cancer treatment. ;)

Lunch with my friend Tina at a Food Truck made up for it. I totally forgot to take a picture until we were driving away. This is YaYo's Truck. Really good!

And Brian reading our Advent chapter for the night out of The Jesus Storybook Bible. And, yes, that would be a tacky sheet taped over my French doors in he kitchen because we haven't ordered the expensive blinds for those doors yet, but I can't stand the thought of having people look inside the windows after dark.

And after all the "fun" medical news, how about a quick break to wish Brian a happy 37th birthday. We celebrated last night with homemade cards from the kids. Rory helped me back vanilla cupcakes with coffee buttercream icing (yum!) and he chose Tacos for supper. Ironically enough, he chose Tacoritos for dinner tonight at his parents, which are essentially tacos without the shell. I guess he is in a taco kind of mood. This man of mine is kind, patient, hardworking, and loves us unconditionally. Happy Birthday, Brian. I love you!


Across the Miles Photography said...

I love you my friend. Praying for comfort this month & for 2013 to bring much better news!!

Christine said...

Oh Melissa. I'm so sorry you received that news on your CA125. That absolutely STINKS. It sounds like a very rough morning in general. (The food truck, however, looks awesome!) I'll be praying that you can put this out of your mind and enjoy the season. Hugs friend.

Amy said...

Oh, Melissa, I'm so sorry that your CA125 was up and I'm praying now that it is due to what Dr. W said and nothing major at all. I know it's so hard not to worry and fret. Praying that you are able to focus on Christmas and your family and not on the unknowns.

thewonderfulhappens said...

Girl, please take your xanax. I'm not gonna lie, after reading about your day at the doctor, I kind of need one too. Praying that you are able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest!

MyEbella aka Kim said...

I guess I should tell you that we have had broken blinds in our back windows for almost two years... I guess I shouldn't be proud of that! Just think about what you could see!

Vicky said...

I don't know if this will bring any comfort to you or not- but my built in tumor marker is the lymph node under my arm that shrinks and grows. Each time after starting new treatment it has gone from golf ball size to practically pea size... and then steadily it starts to grow again as treatment becomes less effective. So I wasn't shocked when it began to grow (my tumor markers also rise along with it but I don't have them drawn again till January) But then at the same time I got the cold/cough/ sinus infection. After the nasty Levaquin- I was shocked to discover the lymph node went back down- its pea sized again. All of this to say- I do think your doctor could be right :) And I used Ativan myself- pretty close to Xanax- I only take as needed, but use it if you do need it- it does help! Prayers coming your way!

Annette said...

When I saw the picture, my first thought was "Oh, cool - a backdrop!" I didn't think "tacky sheet" at all!