Saturday, April 21, 2012

A perfect "10"?? Er, not quite...

My CA125 (tumor marker) number has been steadily dropping.  This week, it went from 15 down to 10!  That is the lowest it has ever been, and it should indicate in most normal women, that the cancer is non-existent or decreasing.  However, I have never been normal. 

My CT scan showed some areas that appeared to be tumor implants on my liver, so my doctor sent me for a PET scan.  They got me in the very same day for that scan.  I love Cancer Treatment Centers of America!!  :)  The PET scan confirmed that there is cancer on my liver.  To me, this was pretty good news.  If any cancer was present, I was sure it would be all over the place (like it usually does).  The fact that it is currently confined to the surface of my liver is good news! 

My doctor gave me three treatment options: Abraxane, Taxol weekly, or Taxotere.  They are all part of the 'taxol' family of drugs.  She thinks Abraxane (Paclitaxel) is the best option, as it is wrapped in an albumin nanoparticle that delivers the drug into cancer cells without the toxic solvent usage in Taxol.  I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has had this drug in the past, and their experience with it.  The main side effects are joint pain, hair loss, and low WBC and RBC counts. 

I will let them know my decision next week, but I'm leaning towards Abraxane.  I had Taxol a long time ago (with Carboplatin), and my cancer continued to grow during that time.  I am hopeful that with the better 'delivery' method for Abraxane, the chemo might actually do some good.  Also, my doctor promised me that we would scan again after a few treatments and see if it is helping.  My CA125 is obviously not indicative of cancer activity at all, so scans are the only way to tell what is going on in my body.  If Abraxane isn't working, we'll be able to switch to something else pretty quickly. 

I feel pretty good.  I am not as energetic as I used to be, but I am able to work full time, go on vacations (we just got back from Vegas - lots of fun!), and I have good quality of life right now.  I know my time is running short.  I plan to continue to enjoy each day.  I am almost at my five year survival mark (July) which is not common for women with recurrent ovarian cancer. I am so very grateful for the time I have been given. 

My CT scan also showed that I have a small hernia.  I noticed an achy feeling there for a few weeks (I think I did it when I was trying to lift my luggage for Vegas - oops!).  Right now it is not a concern, and it won't be fixed until I am off of chemo.  I'll use it as an excuse to get out of house cleaning  ;)

I hope everyone is doing well!  Enjoy the beautiful spring! 


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Denise Jordan said...

How are you these days?