I saw my oncologist’s physician’s assistant, Nicole, today. It’s a regularly scheduled appointment, part of the regimented protocol my treatment follows. This is also the first appointment since my last blood tests.
It’s good news all around. Though there’s no specific test for pancreatic cancer there are a few blood markers which can be helpful.
The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test measures the amount of this protein that may appear in the blood of some people who have certain kinds of cancers, especially cancer of the large intestine (colon and rectal cancer). It may also be present in people with cancer of the pancreas, breast, ovary, or lung.
Cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) is used to help differentiate between cancer of the pancreas and other conditions, as well as to monitor treatment response and recurrence.
A physician looking at my blood numbers and not knowing my details would see I’m anemic. We’re on that. Chemo brings those numbers down and Neulasta helps bring them back up (a little). So anemic, but under control.
I am five weeks away from the end of my treatment. Four more chemo sessions to take. No one looks forward to chemo. Certainly not me.
Cancer has shown me I’m strong… or maybe it’s made me strong. Chemo sucks, but I can do five more weeks.