Friday, June 22, 2012

Cancer....what cancer?

I am not really sure what to write.   I am a little confused these days and not just about my illness but my life in general.   In a week, it will be eleven years since cancer has essentially taken over the way I live my life.  Not in a day to day way, as I refuse to become a slave to the disease, but in a futuristic way.  It seems that no matter what major issue arises in my life, such as whether to work or not, where to live, whether to travel, etc., the first question that comes to mind is how is my health.   Or how will it effect my health, or is there decent health care.   It is a running theme, not only with myself, but with others in my life that I must some how consult my 'cancer' before making any major decisions.   It can be a very annoying and frustrating way to live.    I mean I got rid of my husband for very similar reasons!!!!!!!

Most people don't think, well what if I get sick, or what if I need to go to the hospital, etc when making life decisions.  Not that they might find they don't need to answer these questions in crises situations, but it is not the deciding factor in their life.   If it was, we would consider them 'neurotics' and tell them to get on with life and stop worrying.   For some reason, when you have cancer, it doesn't seem that you are allowed the same freedom.    I am getting really tired of it.

My latest appointment shone the light on this dilemma most acutely.   I was re-diagnosed with OVCA in November 2010.....the third diagnoses.    So, it has been 19 mos since this beast has risen its ugly head.  I know that I have always had the disease, but it has not always been visible to the eye.   Well, 19 months ago they found a tumour.   We have been following it and making decisions to leave laying dogs lie and that has been fine.    Yesterday, I received the results from my CA 125.   I hadn't had the test since last September 2011, and so was prepared to see an elevation of levels.    Although, I must admit I always consider the alternative that perhaps I am cured and it will be back down to 7 or 8 (the normal being anything under 35).    Well, neither of these situations arose.   It seems that my CA 125 is remaining relatively constant which is completely the opposite of the two previous times.    At the initial diagnosis it was almost 4000, dropping to about 6 after surgery and 6 rounds of chemotherapy.  Then in 2005, just before my second surgery, it was 3400....we watched it for 15 months rise and finally decided to go in and take those suckers out.   At that time it dropped to 14 before chemo!!!!!   So as you can see it is a relatively good marker for me (not necessarily for everyone unfortunately).   Well in 2010 it was at 39 after sitting at about 7 or 8 for four years.   I knew it meant that the cancer was growing again, and low and behold the tests found a tumour in my right lower abdomen on my psoas muscle (I had a tumour removed from that spot almost five years earlier).    Again, we decided to watch and decide as things grew and changed.   It has been 19 mos. (and they figure the tumour was there about 4 mos before we found it) so its coming up to almost 2 years of growth.....and my CA 125 yesterday was a whopping 52..??????     Not the huge increase we had seen in previous times.  

Needless to say in my books that was like finding out I was cured!    Although, my doctor doesn't like it when I use these words as he thinks I am tempting the universe to prove me wrong :)....but even he said he couldn't really tell me why this was.....I mean the tumour is there, it is growing albeit slowly but nothing like in previous times.   I have been pretty healthy, not too much pain, although I find I am alot more tired these days.   As I have said in past posts though the tiredness may be just the effects of getting old!!!!!!....or it could be living eleven years with the pall of cancer over my head and it has made me exhausted.

So, as of today, my new mantra lived without considering cancer!!!!!....I am going to look towards the future, make decisions for the future without the constant nagging of 'what about your cancer'......who knows I may not have to do anything for another two years and there are many things that I can do in that time least that is how I feel I am running with it......:)

Here's to tempting the universe....... Cancer, what cancer???????


Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and you cannot imagine how good it has made me feel to read your history and know you are still doing well. I was diagnosed with Stage 3C OV on May 27th/2011. My world changed for sure but I am doing very well right now, but definitely feel the stress at times. Reading about your roller coaster ride has helped me. Just got my 3 month CA 125 results and at 7.5 which is fabulous, but here I am thinking about all of this and I found you! Thank you for sharing your experience.
Keep well.

Journey-woman said...

Glad I was able to give you some comfort....its a difficult journey but none of us are truly alone....keep well, and keep me posted on how you are doing.