Friday, February 8, 2013

Looking for a Sign

I'm not a sailor, but I'm sure there is some nautical analogy for what I'm experiencing today.  I am lost at sea, looking for a sign to tell me which direction I'm sailing, what I'm sailing into.

Today is Friday, and I'm scheduled to see my doc on Wednesday to check my liver enzyme numbers.  As a reminder, these are the three enzymes that were elevated last year at this time that ended up being the lighthouse signal that something was wrong and the cancer had returned and spread.

At my last couple of appointments (10 days ago, and a week before that), my liver enzymes had begun to elevate a little, barely into the official "high" range, which of course, made me a little nervous.  The doc told me he was clearly NOT nervous about it, because it was common on these meds.  Whew.  I asked how, in the future, if they continued to elevate, we would know whether it was a sign of cancer growth or just a side effect of the medicines.  The answer was that we could always do a CT scan if needed to check.

Today the nurse called to talk about a shift in the doc's schedule for Wednesday.  In talking, we decided maybe I should come in today to get my labs drawn so we could see if I still needed to be on the doc's schedule for Wednesday.  I went in, and my enzymes have taken a bigger jump up.  Still, hard to know what that means.

Another measurement that gets checked periodically are my tumor markers.  This is a general "cancer measurement", but it has a lot of variability, so is only somewhat useful.  Well, my tumor markers have gone up, too.  The nurse told me, though, that when cancer cells are dying, tumor markers can jump up then come back down.

So... I have lots of data points and no idea what they are pointing at.  The winds are changing.  Either things are getting better, or they aren't.  Either storms are coming or we'll see blue skies.  For now, I'm holding on to the ship and trying to appreciate the ocean.

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