Tuesday, 28 July 2009

what a day

Arrived with Julie at the Oncology department, and the first thing was, they didn't have our details anywhere. Hello heart failure…but they soon found everything and off we went to the waiting room. Waiting…waiting..and MORE waiting! Bugger. They were 1 hour behind. Sitting there feeling sick. Eventually Julie went in, and came out with a good result - she will be scanned soon, and as it's near her 5 year mark, that seems sensible.

Off she went to the pub to wait for me. I was an age…but everything went well, and as I came out, Aj arrived to pick me up, and off we went to the pub to meet J and celebrate our brilliant results, PLUS Julie's birthday!

Brilliant - my CA 125 is back down to 6. Last time it was 9 - mine seems to nip up and down between 9 and 6 so I am very happy. Dr Hong was happy, Aj was happy and life is good! The norms are 0 – 35 (μg/mL).

Today I discovered something that I was 'sort of' aware of, but didn't really take much notice of as it doesn't apply to me. But since hearing my friend MA's story, I took more interest. MA's CA 125 jumps about all over the place – but this may be the reason for her not to worry too much.

The CA 125 is a marker. [well, it's also a Chinese aeroplane, but there you go…]. It can be the harbinger of a recurrence of ovarian cancer if it suddenly shifts by more than 20 points. But for example, my tumour was leaking CA 125 into my system before surgery. Many tumours don't. If the tumour isn't leaking into the system initially, the CA 125 isn't very reliable as a marker afterwards.

So before my surgery, my CA 125 was 1149. After surgery and before the first session of chemo it was 161 [25/03/08]. It went down to 30 before the 2nd session of chemo [24/04/08] – it was 7 before the 5th session of chemo. Now it is 6. Last check up, it was 9. Therefore, my CA 125 levels are a pretty reliable guide to what is going on with the cancer in my body. Right now it seems there isn't any. YAY!!

Dr Hong was quite concerned with the constant pain in my side. But she doesn't want to scan me yet, as I was pretty much blasted with radiation last year [sound scan, cat scan blah blah]. She seems to think that as my CA 125 is steady [i.e.: it is following the same constant pattern it has since the outset], and I have no other symptoms, that we can wait until November [next check up] and see where we are. Even if it was a recurrence [which it bloody isn't!], 4 months would make no difference to the treatment/outcome.

So. I am now cancer free for another 4 months! Phew…we are totally exhausted, and both off for an early night - good news is great, but waiting for it? Aaargh…


  1. Open invitation to you and your readers to participate in the Being Cancer Book Club. This month we are discussing "The Light Within: the Extraordinary Friendship of a Doctor and Patient Brought Together by Cancer". “When young gynecologic oncology fellow Lois Ramondetta was first summoned to the room of a new ovarian cancer patient, neither she nor the forty-nine-year-old professor of religion she encountered named Deborah Sills thought they had much in common. They certainly had no idea that they were about to embark on a transcendent odyssey that would become a soul-deep friendship. Now their heartfelt story, The Light Within, follows these two women through a decade of friendship and “big lives”—husbands, children, friends, and careers—ultimately crossing the country and traveling to foreign lands, where they spoke and wrote together about the intersection of doctors, patients, and spirituality. Both women searched together and openly for answers with honesty and intimacy until Deborah passed away in the spring of 2006.”
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  2. Don't you just hate it when your kept waiting, thats the bit that gets me to be honest, the old palpitations start.

    Great news on your CA125 too. now you can relax ( healthwise) for another 4 months xx


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