Yesterday was number 6 in my endless number of chemo treatments. It went reasonably well. I think that I'm starting to get used to this schtick. I'm starting to find the nurses that I prefer and the infusion suites that have the best view. I also found out why I prefer the left seat in the suite. The infusion pump is on the right of the seat and my port is on the right side. I never made the connection of a tube crossing over my body and the logistical challenges it introduced, just because of the seat I chose. The learning never ends. :)
We met a woman who is in a similar situation to me who had a lot to say about nutrition. She had some good ideas that we are going to try out. And some that I just can't. One specifically, that has been brought up by so many other cancer patients. Medical marihuana. Due to my job and the sensitivity that is involved with it, even prescribed medical marihuana is a no-no. I find it interesting that so many cancer patients find it incredibly beneficial for relieving a multitude of side effects. But again...absolutely not an option for me. I'd stand to lose my job, health insurance, life insurance...you get the idea. So I'll stay with my prescription opiates and various other medications and keep rollin' on.
I also have two bits of positive news today! I can walk. :) With the injections getting easier to administer and not just a week old, my leg is about 95% better. No more limping and much less pain. I'm a happy Jake. So I have a year left of the injections which I'm happy about with the increased risk caused by two of my chemo drugs. I just have to be careful about not bleeding...at all.
The second piece of good news regards that CEA number that I referenced many blogs ago. This week's number is still higher than my last measurement. But it's the amount higher that is the good news. In the last two weeks, my number rose only 9.1 points. This is the smallest rise in the number since we've been on the new chemo drug. This COULD mean that the new treatments are slowing things down. It could mean that the treatments aren't doing anything, but that something else in my body is impacting the number. That's why they call it a suggestive number instead of a diagnostic number. BUT...it makes me feel good for the weekend. And of course, since I'm a geek and I have some time on my hands, I decided to start trending it. You can see from the chart below that it was relatively low at diagnosis and spikes quickly after starting treatment. Now it's starting to level out, and the hope is that it stays level or even starts dropping.
So...While it is no sure thing. It is something small to celebrate and sometimes that's big enough to make a difference. And it makes me happy. 9.1 is a good number me this week. And now I can't wait to get labs done in two weeks. Speaking of two weeks...we will be going over my next CT results then. So...Big day for me on the 21st. Technically I won't need the CEA number because I'll have an actual diagnostic measurement. Pictures of the crap growing in my liver and colon. We'll also see if it has started to spread. My Dr. was very surprised that my lungs were still clear with the aggressiveness of it's rate of spread. As a Tuba player, I'm crossing every finger that I have that it stays out of my lungs for as long as possible. Being a realist, I do recognize that a move to my lungs is more than just a possibility, but a very good probability at this point. But I'm hoping to delay that until we figure out the liver thing.
So let's keep the good news flowing through the week. And remember that even small bits of good can do great things for you and the world around you. Stay positive and keep smilin'.