Thursday, April 2, 2009

What, Exactly, Is This Measuring?

So today I had my second infusion of the new regimen, with Zofran beforehand to stave off some of the low-grade nausea I felt during the last week. I remembered, at some point a few days ago, that part of me feeling weird and a bit crappy was no doubt because I basically started chemotherapy last week, at least as far as my body was concerned. I'd been off for weeks, and was feeling pretty fly, and then WHAMMO. Hit in the guts with toxins again. The fact that my mind saw it as a continuation, and a milder one at that, does not mean that my body felt it that way.

I didn't get my tumor marker value last week, because the blood was drawn minutes before I saw Dr. Specht and it generally takes 3 or 4 days to calculate the number, so I saw it today. 54, down five points from 59 a month ago. Normal range, still, is 0-37. It begs the question: what, exactly, is being measured? Is it just those little partying rogue cells that didn't show up anywhere specific in the PET, but are still swimming around pretty thickly? Do dead cancer cells still being sloughed affect the counts? I'm assuming the spots in my brain have something to do with it, too, because clearly cancer cells can cross the blood/brain barrier.


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