I’m still taking the oral drugs. It’s been over a month, which means thankfully there are no chemo infusions to deal with, for now. I went to Dana Farber on Monday for a check-in and had my usual blood work. The ‘tumor markers’, two blood tests which are done each time, are always something to anticipate. This week, only one of the markers showed up on the computer screen before the end of my appointment. My “CEA” number was way up — not great. Hmmm. However, my liver function numbers were down to normal — fantastic since the cancer we’re worried about is on the liver. In general I feel pretty good. I can for the first time in several months complete my normal exercise routine. During chemo treatments it was not possible to finish 35 minutes of step aerobics (my chosen form of daily torture). My NP and I decided to no longer pay attention to my tumor marker numbers … … even if your “CA-15-3” number is high, she said, I’d pay no attention. Apparently the tumor markers sometimes correspond closely to disease progression and other times do not. Since last month my numbers were down while the scans showed my cancer growing, we decided that my tumor marker numbers are no longer big players in deciding what course of action to take.
I guess that’s okay. I just happen to be person who likes numbers. I love numbers. They swirl around in my head often. My dad was a mathematician and I take after him, to some degree. But I suppose I can learn to pay less attention to these numbers. We’ll see.