March 9, 2007
Rest assured, O Best Beloveds, that this story has precisely the happy ending we would hope for, but goodness, it was thrilling there for a bit.
You all may recall that when we last checked in with the Tumor Markers, they were at a very pleasantly low 25. Well, the next month they went to 27, which I was assured I was a dope for fretting over. After all, that’s still in the normal range of 0-32. (In the immortal words of one of my docs awhile ago, “There is no more normal than normal.”) But last month? 42. A fine number usually, but not in this context. And yet, Dr. W. gets on the phone, and he sounds positively cheerful, just his usual happy-go-lucky self. Eh, he said, it could be so many things, including nothing, so what we are going to do is wait a month, and then do your regularly scheduled every-six-months PET and bone scans and see if anything’s there. If nothing’s there, then great. If something’s there, then I will put you back on some chemo, but very very mild stuff, milder than you had last time, as you’ve had enough toxicity for the time being. (A sentiment I echo, as you can imagine, to say nothing about the relief my hair felt.) I would wait even longer if this were bone or skin mets, he added, maybe even as long as four months, but this is liver mets and I can’t mess around.
“I can’t help but notice,” I said, “that you do not sound worried.” “I’m not worried,” he all-but-chirped. “I’m…concerned. But I’m not worried. And I’ve got so many things to try that regardless, this should only be a set back.”
So Steve and I decided not to be worried, and spent a month doing the usual things. Remind me to send you some food porn about Joel Robouchon in Vegas. Then I went in for PET and bone scans this week, still totally blithe and care-free, oh, you betcha, that was us. And today, we went to see Dr. W. and hear some results.
And….NEGATIVE. Negative on all those cancer things, no cancer showing, nosirree, nothing at all. “How about that?” said a delighted Dr. W. Now, we still have to retest markers–results sometime next week–but he says that I always, always present on the PET when there is something up with my blood, not to mention the fact that my cancer is a fast-growing sort, so by now if there really was something there it ought to be showing up on my scans. Presently, he’s laying down a bet in Vegas that this time my markers will be down in the 30’s, and that this was just an anomaly. He says he often has women who are perfectly cancer free who have markers in the 40’s. And if it wasn’t? If the markers go up? The usual every-month blood test, and after three months, we PET test again. It’s possible, after all, that there is something wee growing in there, and by then it would show up. Then again, if the Faslodex does its job, it could well zap that out in the interim. (“Heck, if I had that tumor vaccine, I would put you on it right now,” grumbled Dr. W., whose vaccine trial has gotten mired in complications.) But if nothing else, I’ve got another three months of freedom. More to the point, right now, I have negative tests, after all that worr–I mean, concern.
“Booty dance!” I shouted in the room with Dr. W and Nurse Lori and Steve, and you will just have to imagine how many complied, and what we all looked like doing so.