And the Results are In...: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So, in case you haven't heard the news on another social networking channel, I got the results of my latest CT scan back (finally)...and it's all clear! And so was my inaugural mammogram! (Ladies: If you haven't had one already, it's really no biggie for us average-chested gals. I mean, it's not a great time or anything but I'd describe it as "uncomfortable" versus "painful.") After hearing all of this good news, I felt as though as I could push the "play" button again on my life after having hit the "pause" button two weeks ago when Dr. E ordered the scan.

Despite the good news of the clean scan, Dr. E and I are still a bit baffled (and nervous) about my continually rising CA 125 level. If you'll recall, once you've had ovarian cancer, most doctors want your level below 20. My all-time low was around 8 or 9, I think, and now it's climbed to 14. So, we'll continue to monitor it (and me) closely, which means that if it's higher at my one-year check-up (woohoo!), I'll have to have another CT scan again. And I'll have to hit that "pause" button again.

So, that's it. Life is back in full motion and I'm looking forward to a quick trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law next weekend (leave it to me to pick the first weekend of August to visit people living in Florida!) and a visit to Denver to see my grandparents later in the month, which I will now book the airline ticket for since I know for certain that I won't have just had surgery (again) or be starting another round of chemo. Oh, and I will FINALLY put my tri training and fund raising at the top of my priority list as well!

Until next time, be well.

Test Time: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I just started the day with one of my least favorite pre-test rituals: Drinking a nice tall glass of barium. I have my inaugural mammogram (woohoo!) and my CT scan later this afternoon, which means no solid food until after the test (just green tea and water for me!)...and two more large containers of vanilla-flavored barium to go before it's showtime at Washington Radiology Associates.

In case you missed the announcement on Facebook and Twitter, there is some good news to share today: Fortunately, due to my diligence, my missing lab results were found at the end of last week. It took a trip to LabCorp and a couple more phone calls to determine that the idiots at LabCorp misspelled my name and the idiots in my doctor's office didn't put two and two together when they received four faxed pages of results with the name Jennifer MiGihon on them. Seriously?!? I think everyone needs a BIG lesson in THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX to figure out how lab work that was supposedly done well over a week ago could be missing.

Anyway, enough with my rant. The good news (I think) is that my labs all looked relatively good. My CA125 rose again to 14 (12.4 at last visit; 9 at the end of treatment) but it is still well below the acceptable level of 20. Also, my CMP (metabolic rate for liver and kidney function) and HE4 (I really don't know...another cancer antigen I think?) looked good too. So, in case you're wondering, I'm relatively optimistic as I head into today's tests. I really have no time to ponder what life would be like if the tests don't look good because, honestly, that scenario is just far too depressing for someone training for a triathlon and trying to lead a normal 33-year old life.

I should have the results from today's test by the end of the week so check back then for an update. Prayers, please!

9 Month Stats: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Well, I wish I could report the news I'd hoped to report following today's appointment with Dr. E but, alas, I can't. Here are the stats from my 9 month check-up with Dr. E:

Weight = 132 lbs. (okay, this is just about as upsetting as the other news I'm about to share...MUST GET BACK TO MY STRICT ANTI-CANCER DIET since this only 7 lbs. lighter than my highest weight ever!!!)

CA125 = ??? (also very upsetting is the fact that the blood work I had done at Labcorp last MONDAY is M.I.A. and not in the system)

Exam = Suspicious fullness?!?!?

Yep, that's right. Dr. E found suspicious fullness in my pelvic region during today's exam so he has ordered me to get a CT scan...and soon. He's pretty sure that what he felt is just scar tissue as scar tissue increases with time but just to be on the safe side he's ordered the scan. And because I need pre-authorization from my damn insurance company for the test, I have to wait to have it done until next Tuesday afternoon. Oh, and he hounded me about the mammogram he's wanted me to have for a long time too so that's on the schedule for next Tuesday as well. Good times! Would anyone like to volunteer to go in my place? Come on, you know you want to! The banana barium slushy is so darn good it's totally worth the inconvenience just for the taste of that stuff. Oh, and as an added bonus, if they can't find my blood work in the Labcorp system by Thursday, I have to get the blood work redone. Yipee!

I'll be back soon to let you know what we find out...