In medical waiting rooms all around town, there’s a magazine called Living with Cancer. Haven’t read it, but I guess I should, because that’s me. Just back from a visit with the surgeon, after the oncologist’s office, chemo, and X-rays of my always-painful wrist yesterday.
Blood was drawn yesterday and I was hoping the benchmark tumor marker would continue to descend, but it was not to be. My CA125 is back up, to 57. When I expressed dismay at still being beyond the normal range, the surgeon said, “I consider these numbers garbage. There’s any number of reasons why the CA125 could be up. It doesn’t matter, as long as it stays in the same general range. Just look how far it’s come down since you started this round of chemo.” Nevertheless, can’t help feeling a little disappointed.
The surgeon went on to tell me about another patient with a history similar to mine. He said as long as she stayed on chemo she did OK; but as soon as she went off, her CA125 number headed up. He said she went on that way for ten years. So as I’ve said before—it looks like my CA125 number will rule the rest of my life. The surgeon agrees with the oncologist, who said again that I should plan on chemo every three weeks as long as I tolerate it well, which so far I continue to do. The surgeon found no masses or other clinical symptoms, so that's good.
Saw the rheumatologist last week in hopes he could help me with my painful joints. He said, “Well, you’ve been at this a lot longer than I have. What would you like to do?” Not much help. We settled on an injection of steroids, et al., into my wretched wrist, and that seems to have helped some. And I’ve decided to go back to a slightly higher dose of an oral steroid—still well within the safe zone—and try harder to live with the unpleasant side effects. I’ll also layer in another kind of OTC pain reliever to see if that helps. Haven’t heard back yet if the X-rays showed anything fixable.
Thank you again to all my faithful family and friends who continue to cheer me with encouraging comments. I love you all for your support and caring.