Thursday, January 24, 2013

Low counts, but tumor markers lower too

This cycle of chemo has definitely made me glad that it is the last one, for a while at least.  I got a fever and some skin problems again this weekend.  My doctor had given me an antibiotic to have on hand in case there was a problem which I started, but it wasn't doing much.   This was probably due to my  white blood cells being too low again making me moderately neutropenic.  So, I'm having to be extremely careful and limited again about being out and around people.     The doctor put me back on steroids  to see if that would help, and it does seem like that broke my fever.  Unfortunately, the skin stuff hasn't really improved as much or as quickly as in the past. I was also given a different antibiotic to try if things didn't get better within a couple of days, and it looks like I'll be filling that today.  We are rechecking blood counts tomorrow, and hopefully, those will have gone up.  I just need to get & stay as well as possible, and have those counts  be high enough over the next week and a half to have the surgery on the 5th.  It will be so wonderful to actually be able to be back around people and shake hands, hug, remove my invisible 3 feet protective bubble, etc. without worrying about my blood counts soon!   After 3 1/2 months of worrying about the counts, waiting out another week and half sounds like such a short amount of time, but if you'd include my getting/staying well for that in your thoughts and prayers, it would be appreciated. 

The tumor markers that we did last week showed a decrease in both tests.  It was only about 5 points down for each, but anything down is in the right direction!  Also, I had to be reminded that the tumor markers are measuring proteins that are released from both live & dead cancer cells so even a little jump up during active chemo can be normal.  Since these last tests were done during chemo & before the last shot of it, hopefully, we'll see a bigger decrease a little further down the road.    

My petscan is Wednesday of next week, and I will get those results on Friday.  I'm nervous for those results, but the tumor marker decrease does put me at ease that things are still moving in the right direction.  I have to keep reminding myself that this scan may still not be the full picture, like the tumor markers, because the chemo continues to work for a bit of time.  Since telling the exact number hasn't been definitive on either scan and sizing the actual spots was a problem last time, I am expecting that we will primarily have to go by the SUV, how brightly the places light up or are active, again which could be impacted by dying cells as well.  

I would so love to hear that there is no evidence of the cancer anymore, but while I definitely believe all things are possible, I need to  remember that all things are in His time so that I don't get too hung up on being happy with only complete elimination when things are still working. 
I feel like I just need to add Matthew 6:34  -  " So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own" and Isaiah 41:10 - "Do not fear, for I am with you" to the repeated loop of Psalms 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God" that plays in my head and brings me peace and calm.  


  1. I hope those tumour markers keep heading down, and soon than later you can be free of your 3 foot bubble. :) Be well, Catherine

  2. It's funny cuz I consider myself a loner in many ways, but actually being quarantined from people must be depressing. I hope you're keeping your spirits up. I'm sure it's challenging. Those verses are the very ones that give me strength in times when I feel impatient. He will take care of us and comfort us like no one else can.

    *sending you a big fat virtual bear hug* :)

  3. Way to go, Nancy!!!!!!
    I pray that you will have good results on these next tests. God give you strength and healing!! Love you!