Sherryl learned some disappointing news today from her oncology nurse practitioner. The tumor marker has been monitored since she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has fluctuated between 34.4 and 54. The goal is to keep the tumor marker in the low- to mid-20s, and it was 24 on October 31, 2007. As of today, less than 3 months later, it is significantly higher at 149.
Sherryl's oncologist explained the treatment plan will be to finish the 6-week course of radiation therapy; Sherryl has reached the half way point with 3 more weeks to go. The next step will be to schedule a PET scan which will show if the cancer has grown at the original sites and/or appears in more locations. In addition, more blood tests will be performed. Depending on the outcome of those tests, coupled with other indicators level of pain, doctors may prescribe for Sherryl another course of chemotherapy treatment.
Sherryl continues to take Tamoxifen, so news that the tumor marker has spiked comes as a shock. Her appetite is very good and she is experiencing no symptoms related to cancer or the treatment she is receiving. In addition, blood counts are exactly where doctors want them to be. These are all huge factors doctors consider as they determine the future course of treatment.
Following her appointment today, Sherryl spent time with a very good friend, then came home and went to bed early. She is emotionally drained by this news and is striving to maintain optimism as she awaits the outcome of the tests that will be performed once radiation therapy has concluded.
Sherryl was able to fully enjoy all aspects of the holiday season and did not have significant worries about cancer, the treatment she's receiving, or side affects that accompany therapies. A tumor marker that is higher than it ever has been brings much worry, and it's going to be a long 4 weeks between now and the time PET scan results are available. So it's time to rally for RaRa. Thank you for continuing to send to our sister wishes of hope and prayers of love. Your thoughts and prayers are very much needed and appreciated at this time.