Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Through a Lense Darkly

I hadn't heard from my oncologist. Usually he calls a week after my blood draw with information on my tumor markers. As of today, he hadn't called, so I called the office.

I was pretty sure they were up. They've been rising with mathematical precision...multiplying exponentially...In June, 98; now, 298. I had been hoping that they had dropped, that the Faslodex and Zometa were working. Nada. The oncologist is on vacation and I'm not due to see him until October. I'm due for another Faslodex injection in a couple of weeks.

I think back...what has changed in the recent past, in the last two years really which would have caused the cancer to come back and so virulently? Sleep? Yes, I've been getting less than I probably should, but what mother of a teenager doesn't? My diet remains good, and in fact, for the entire period of Lent this year, I gave up sugar.

Yes, I'm under a lot of stress. Having a 17 year old daughter doesn't make for the most relaxing of times. I think back too to when I was first diagnosed, and then with the recurrence. I remember begging God to just let me make it long enough for my daughter to be older, and not in so much need of me. Well, 17 would be that....and then I start being disgusted with myself. That kind of thinking is magic thinking....there isn't a higher being out there who is ready to snip the threads of my life just for fun.

It's easy to get into this kind of thinking. For most of us, there is no real known reason as to why recurrences, or even the initial cancer starts. There's nothing really we can do except to live our lives as healthfully as possible.

And don't let our fears and wild imaginations get the best of us.


  1. You wrote in an earlier post about why you blog -- that got me thinking a lot about why I follow your blog, I don't follow any others. I follow your blog because you give me hope and a sense of inner strength. I was recently diagnosed, last February, with stage IV breast cancer and came across your blog while searching for information to better understand my diagnosis. I am sorry to hear that your cancer markers are rising; I hope that knowing how you have given me strength is helpful to you.

    Thank you, Lisa Lamb

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Isn't waiting the absolute pits? That's the worst part, I think. I recently had an MRI and because of the holiday, won't know any results until next week at my appointment.
    Hope your blood work shows stable numbers.
    Vicky F

  3. Hi Lisa Lamb! Thanks for letting me know that I am helping you. I really felt that the markers rising would mean that I was letting my readers down. I am learning more and more about people who are living longer with a stage IV diagnosis...I'm just hoping we can figure out what to do this time.

    Vicky, I have had inopportune times each time I was diagnosed...the first time that the biopsy came back, it was on Good Friday! I really pushed. I'm hoping that the next draw will show that the Faslodex/Zometa combo is finally kicking in.