Hi everyone, here's a health update.
I got some bloodwork results today and my bloodwork is the best it has been since I was diagnosed with cancer. The CEA is a blood tumor marker for colon cancer. A person without cancer would have a 0-3, a smoker might have up to a 5 or a 6. Anything over that indicates metastatic activity. People with severe metastatic activity could have numbers in the hundreds, mine was in the 70's when I was first diagnosed.
Today, my CEA was 1.2.
My family and I are rejoicing in God's goodness to us in this and I wanted to share it with you. Again, many thanks to all of you who have prayed for me over these last two years.
This doesn't mean I'm without cancer. My latest scans show many tumors still present. But they have all shrunk. And although this CEA marker isn't the last word, when the number decreases it shows that the cancer is being surpressed. So, even though the tumors are still there the cancer is being suprressed.
As far as treatment goes, I am currently on a maintenance treatment with a drug called "Avastin." The medical folks call this a "biologic," it's different than what we typically think of as chemo. Avastin has always been one of the drugs I have gotten in my chemo cocktail, but now it is the only thing I am on. It doesn't have near the side effects as the others. The only real side effects are bleeding and high blood pressure. I haven't had any bleeding, and the blood pressure is being managed with medication.
These days I am still pretty fatigued and sleep a lot, but I am thankful that most of the other ugly side effects I had when I was on the full regimen are gone. My nurses have told me that chemo patients can struggle with fatigue for up to 5 years, so it actually helps to know that - though I wish I had more energy this fatigue is not unusual.
The plan now is to continue the maintenance treatment and I'll get these blood tests every couple of months or so. I will have another CT scan in January. If the CEA goes up or other blood stuff gets goofy or if the scan shows tumor growth then we have to consider other things. But for now, for at least the next 2 months I get to live a fairly normal life, just going in for the maintenance treatment every other week.
So again, thanks first and foremost to God for these days of respite. And also, many, many thanks to all of you who have prayed for me and my family.