Mar 01, 2010 - 12:25 pm
I just got back from my appointment with my gynecologic-oncologist, and he is recommending that I take a break from chemo now!! MY CA-125 dropped from 47.2 3 weeks ago to 42.5 from my labs taken Thursday. Although that is not within the normal CA-125 range of <35 range, or anywhere close to my lowest CA-125 of 11 following my initial carbo-taxol protocol, my gyn-onc seems to think that "mid-40's range' may be my new 'normal' range. He said "How can we know what your CA-125 was before you ever got cancer? It could very well have been in the mid 40's. And with the on-going inflammation that you are experiencing from your prior radiation, your CA-125 may stay at that slightly elevated range, and still not indicate cancer activity."
He said that my chemo-onc was recommending that I do 6 rounds of carbo-taxol again if my CA-125 went up, and that there is really no right or wrong decision to make now. He said this is when cancer treatment is more an art than a science. He gave me the BIG internal exam (where he goes up the rectum way uo to where my overies used to be!) and could feel NOTHING wrong. With the clear CT/PET I just had, he said he could see no reason to subject me to additional chemo at this time!!! So my oncologists appear to disagree, but my gyn-onc is the specialist in UPSC, and the head of Women's Health at the hospital, and I am sure his recommendation will be taken. I'm on a treatment BREAK!! The gyn-onc wanted me to come in in 2 months for a monitoring CA-125, but I requested that they do it in 6 weeks, just in case it shoots up again and we need to change our minds.
Interesting and hopeful statements to share with the rest of my UPSC sisters and those in recurrence: He said that he won't be surprised if I am already in remission, and that it could very well be a prolonged one. He has seen women go into remission and stay there for years. He said that my immune system may bring my CA-125 down on its own. He said that if my CA-125 stays the same (in the mid-40's range) without chemo when I have labs drawn in 6 weeks, he will be fairly confident that the mid-40's is now my 'new normal' CA-125 range. He doesn't use the word 'cure' for recurring UPSC, but he did say that there is no reason that I couldn't be in a multi-year remission that stretches on and on. I promised him that I would use the break to get strong again and in top shape so that when I need to go on carbo-taxol much much later, I will again be battle-ready.
So, I will join the ladies growing HAIR again!! woo woo!!