Saturday, October 12, 2013

Update

Saw my med onc yesterday.  Standard three-month checkup.  Mostly so that he could do a blood draw to measure my carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels. 
What's CEA?  According to Wikipedia:
CEA is a glycosyl phosphatidyl inositol (GPI) cell surface anchored glycoprotein whose specialized sialofucosylated glycoforms serve as functional colon carcinoma L-selectin and E-selectin ligands, which may be critical to the metastatic dissemination of colon carcinoma cells.
I don't understand it either.  But, CEA levels can indicate a recurrence of cancer in colorectal cancer survivors, so that's why we've been keeping a close eye on it.
My CEA levels have been stellar since treatment ended, and I'm not expecting anything different this time.  We also set up a time for my year four scans.  Hear that?  Year FOUR!  That means only ONE MORE YEAR until I reach the infamous five-year mark when you're considered to be "in the clear".  Ok, it doesn't mean that you're totally in the clear.  You can, and many people do, have recurrences after the five year mark, but the odds of getting a recurrence is low -- something like less than 2%.  But still, it's a big deal. 
Been toying around with various ideas with what to do and how to celebrate my five year cancer free anniversary.  Train for an Ironman?  Climb Aconcagua?  Hike the PCT?  Quit my job and take an extended hiatus from the working world?  Who knows.  It doesn't need to be something epic, dinner with friends is celebration enough.
So while my cancer health markers are good, a few of the non-cancer health markers aren't so hot.  I've packed on a good chunk of weight and a few of the heart-healthy markers (cholesterol, triglycerides) are in the red.  So, more motivation to get out an exercise. 

1 comment:

  1. Up and at 'em! We don't want to hear that you're now in hospital because of cardiovascular complications. I'd fly frmo South Africa to knock some sense into you if THAT happened after all you've been through ;-)

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