Monday, October 23, 2006

Bloodwork Mostly Good Last Week

We saw Dr. Bergen last Wednesday, and I also got to visit with the new dietician at my cancer center. I've been keeping a food journal that I'm going to take her so she can review it. I'm also reading a book called Nature's Cancer Fighting Foods by Verne Varona which I think is very good. The dietician didn't recommend it, I just found it when I was doing some book orders, but it does reflect some things that she told me.

My liver enzymes were either normal or close to normal last week. Red blood cells were 12.1 (normal is 13) and platelets were normal. My tumor marker is back up to 2030. I have chemo again this Wednesday, then on November 1st, I'm having a CT scan and a bone scan. Dr. Bergen wants to make sure the pain in my hip isn't cancer. He said cholangio doesn't usually go to the bone, but we're going to check to be on the safe side. Otherwise, Dr. Bergen is encouraged about how I'm responding to the Xeloda.

When I go for treatment this Wednesday, I'm also going to a "Look Good, Feel Better" session put on by the American Cancer Society which is to give hair and make-up assistance. My hair has thinned a bunch, and I get really bad dark circles under my eyes.

I've been feeling a little tired the last two days from the chemo. I did have to go off Xeloda this weekend as usual due to the swelling in my feet and hands, but I hope to start back tomorrow.

We had snow two days last week, and it is really cold in the mornings. But the last few days it has been warm and sunny by the afternoon - we've been waking up to beautiful blue skies.

We had some friends from Colorado Springs (Terry & Alana Miller) come visit on Friday night and had a nice time catching up with them. Alana works for Barnes & Noble so we always have a lot to talk about. Last Wednesday, we had friends over to watch Woodstock and Alice's Restaurant. Nancy and John were both at Woodstock, and John was an extra in Alice's Restaurant. I didn't bowl last week as my team had a bye. I bowl tomorrow night and I hope the swelling in my hands won't hinder my form. I did my radio show yesterday and had a special guest, my neighbor, Dr. Sharon Krupa Sirotek, a psychologist. We did the "Dysfunctional Love Show". Lots of love songs are really about bad relationships, so we'd play a song and talk about whether we thought the relationship would work out or where the singer was in the break-up process. Sharon, I discovered yesterday, is the second cousin of Gene Krupa, a drummer who was very popular in the 1940's.

Well, guess I better close. As always, thanks for all the prayers, warm wishes , and positive thoughts.

Just up here in Colorado enjoying the quieter time of year.

Sincerely, Caroline


Kathy Pickett said...

Thanks for the update, Caroline. I, as well as many of Pat's other friends, read your blog to follow your progress. We talk about you like we know you! Your positive attitude is a real inspiration to anyone fighting this disease or any other. I'm happy the Xeloda is working for you - it seems to be working for Pat too. Keep us updated - our prayers are with you and your family.

~ Kathy

Anonymous said...

Hello Caroline,
My Mom is 63 and has cholangiocarcinoma also. She was first diagnosed last April. She has been treated with Gemzar for three weeks on and one week off since that time. For the first time, her tumor markers went up from 82 to 91. The Dr. says that the 'normal range' is somewhere in the 30s. I have been keeping track of your tumor marker numbers, and wonder if you could shed some light on what they mean. Our Dr. wants to change up the chemo routine because he feels that her cancer cells may be multiplying. Any advice or enlightenment would be welcome.

Thank you,
Carol Fox