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CA125 Info

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2007

I'm sorta new on this site have been reading all for a while. I was in treatment for 18 cycles of taxol/taxotere,carboplatin,and avastin. My 125 finally dropped to the normal range of under 35 in march. My gyn'onc said remission and was going to cut me lose, I was alittle worried since it had taken so long to go down, so I asked for 2 more cycles,which he gave me. 125 stayed down and dropped a little. So I have been without treatments since April. First check-up was end of June and 125 had dropped almost 14 pts with no treatments. I was thrilled! But as I read here alot of you have low 125's and are still in treatment should I be concerned? Also How the heck long does it take for the hair on your head to come back? Some around the sides, nothing much on top. I will truly feel like I'm in remission when I see my hair again. Just a note my gyn/onc never thought I'd even get to remission let alone get off treatments, so I feel very fortunate at this stage. Any advise would help reassure this still very scared individual. Thanks Liz

saundra's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

Enjoy your low numbers! Did you have surgery before the chemo?
I only had 4 chemos and then surgery. My last chemo was 3/31 and my hair is starting to come back but I have to start chemo again next week for at least 6 times and maybe 12 so I will lose it again, I am sure. Welcome and stay tuned. Some of the more experienced will give you answers, I'm sure. But we are all different in some ways. ((Hugs))

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2007

Saundra, thanks for your reply. Yes I had surgery before chemo. Did debulking,removed omentun,appendix, and all but vagina. No spread anywhere else or in the nodes.!25 started at 800+ and came down fast at first then slowed until finally got to 34. Next appt.is 8/29 for exam and 125 results. I bulked at the 90 days in between visits and we settled on about 2 to 2 and a half instead. I have a wonderful gyn/onc, they have a team of 5 at the OSU James and they all are involved ineach case I am very lucky to have found them. Again Thanks for responding Liz

saundra's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

I'm in W. TX and had my surgery July 6th at Baylor. I too, am blessed with a team from Texas Oncology. My CA-125 went from 2988 to 34 with the four chemo. Prior to that my cancer had spread too far and wide for the surgery. I am looking forward to the day that I will not have to take chemo and be considered in remission. Watch out world, here I come!

jamilou's picture
Posts: 201
Joined: Mar 2005

Everyone's numbers are diffrent but most doctors agree that if they stay under 35 then you are in remission. My numbers went from 125 to 75 after surgery, to 20 after my first treatment. Now they stay between 7 and 11. What they look for is a sharp rise or even a gradual rise in your number before they start to worry about the cancer returning. It is such a hard thing to not worry when you are in remission because you know that it can return. Even as a long term survivor I still deal with the worry! Congratulations on your remission and keep in touch with us and let us know how you are doing!

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Welcome, Liz! I see you've already gotten some well-rounded responses. I agree with everyone - while CA125 can fluctuate for a number of reasons, they look for consistent upward swings. Sounds like you have some really good doctors who will keep an eye on that. Is OSU Ohio State University? As to your hair, try to get a diet high in protein going. That's what builds hair, skin, nails and so many other things. It may seem slow now, but one day you'll realize you have enough there to play around with. Mine was EXTREMELY short for my daughter's April 27'th wedding (my last chemo was July 2006). But everyone LOVED it and it was so easy to take care of and right in style! So, hang in there. Visit us again. You've come to the right place for lots of hugs, prayers and support!
Till later. . .

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Liz, welcome to the board. I am so glad you are in remission and to stay there since April is a really good sign. Some of us have low CA125s with lots of signs of cancer and others have ca125's of 2000+ and have little cancer. Each person is different. :-) Didn't help much huh?

As for the hair it seems like it's 3-4 months before you can really say you have a style. I always get it trimmed as it grows out so it looks like a style and not that I am growing out my hair from chemo. :-)

Sending lots of prayers n hugs your way. BonnieRose

Posts: 163
Joined: Oct 2005

Welcome always to the site, Liz, and let me tell you what was told me when I finished chemo the first time...try not to live from test to test. Enjoy being cancer free. I made it 3 and1/2 years in the first remission, but was stage 111c and so it had migrated from ovaries to the omentum and that made my chances for recurrence more probable. The ca125 started climbing over a period of months, which gave time to test for other things first, as I had liver pain. Now, with 3 or 4 recurrences, the ca starts climbing and I have to switch therapies because the last one isn't working anymore. It takes quite a spike for the docs to get worried tho, and for you that will be agonizing with each visit, but try to forget about it in between and go on with the business of living and loving life. Your life will naturally seem different. I had to find groups like this and the wellness group at hospice. A good support system lets you talk about what you are feeling and sometimes, even the family and loved ones will not understand what you are going through..as much as they want to. I sort of felt like "what now" when the docs cut me loose. Really strange to not be hanging out with chemo nurses and doing therapy with the gang at the office.

I got peach fuzz after a couple months and then it went curly. It did seem very slow tho...and so soft at first, like a new baby's hair. Nice thought. Hope your day is good and you find peace in this new stage of managing after cancer care. There are guided imagery tapes that may help. Bella Ruth Naparstek from Health Journeys puts out a whole series and has a wonderful voice for relaxing to.
All the best to you and stay well!

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