My most recent blood work shows that overall, everything is fine. My white and red cell counts remain below normal, but that pretty much has become normal for me. They've been consistent in that range for over a year now.
My low potassium levels that were of minor concern have responded to the supplements I take and are now in the normal range.
My tumor markers have dropped another 20% and are now normal.
Wait ... did you read that right?!?! Yes, you did! MY TUMOR MARKERS ARE NORMAL!!!!!!
Starting at 62.6, my CEA is now 3.6. This marker has been very reliable for me and having a normal value means that whatever cancer is in my body (It's still there), is so small that it's not able to release the protein that's measured in this blood test. I will remain on my current chemotherapy and it looks like I will live to see another day or two (or weeks or months and dare I hope? Years?).
I'm back in my Bible writing project after taking an almost two-month break. Still in Joshua, slogging through names of towns and villages. I'm also participating in a study on Galatians with some dear friends. Getting out of the Old Testament to the fulfillment of the Law via Jesus in the New Testament is good for me and helps to clear my mind. I still have a myriad of questions, but I am comfortable with them.
My first response to hearing the news of my tumor markers is pure joy. Overwhelming joy. Overwhelming gratitude. Overwhelming emotion. As one of my favorite fictional characters once said, "I feel as though someone has handed me the moon and I don't exactly know what to do with it." (Anne Shirley, "Anne of Avonlea" by LM Montgomery) I give thanks to God for his abundant grace in my life full of questions and doubts. I'm thankful he has gifted me with such good results.
I am still conflicted because yesterday, my friend, Michelle, with Stage IV breast cancer was hospitalized after passing out due to extremely low potassium levels. She also has an infection and today, it was discovered that she has a fractured hip due to cancer tumor load.
Today, my friend, Wanda, was hospitalized with pneumonia and low hemoglobin. Also with Stage IV breast cancer.
Why am I doing well and they are not? it's hard to celebrate when your friends are suffering.
I was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle last week and the article went live today. You can find it here: http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Breast-cancer-awareness-month-offers-little-when-5820640.phpas I was also interviewed (by phone) this morning by a major health-based website and am being considered to participate in one of their patient panels in early December to bring more insight to the needs of the metastatic breast cancer patient. I'm hoping to learn and grow through this process on how to be an effective advocate.
There you have it ... moody me ... extreme highs and lows within hours of each other. Still trying to find my voice and role in a conflicted world. This I cling to ... God is real and he loves me. I don't understand his ways, but I cling to him because nothing else is stable enough to handle the upheaval around me.