The oncology appointment went very well yesterday. I had some blood work done first, then saw the doctor. Because they do the lab work right there in the office I can find out the results of the blood work the same day it’s done . . . but I had to wait until the very end of the appointment. Talk about suspense.
Anyway, everything came back looking great. The cancer marker they look for, something called CEA (don’t ask me what it stands for), was 0.4. 0-5.0 is normal range so the oncologist was just giddy over my low number. Cancer cells reproduce very rapidly and CEA levels in the blood increase as a result of rapidly dividing cells in the body. So if the number is elevated, it means somewhere cells are reproducing like rabbits. A good indicator that cancer has set up house somewhere. So 0.4 is about as good as it gets. Praise God.
I was also told the port in my chest can finally be removed. Surgery is scheduled for May 12. This port is the last remnant of anything having to do with cancer. Once it’s gone all I have left are the scars (physically and emotionally).
This is interesting: As for my questions . . . and the doctor’s responses . . .
My sudden allergy to cashews (since chemo)–never heard of chemo causing allergies but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
My continued sensitivity to sun and burning easily–chemo ended five months ago so it is out of my system but, again, doesn’t mean it can’t be a hold-over side effect.
My numb fingers and feet–textbooks say it always resolves, sometimes taking up to a year, but clinically sometimes it never fully resolves.
My port?–outta here!
Now that I’ve had cancer and chemo, is my life expectancy going to be shortened?–No. No. No. Once I make it past that magic five year mark and am officially declared cancer free it’s as if I never had it in the first place (except for the scars).
So there you go. You now know as much as I do. I’m rejoicing and praising God for the good report.