- I'm Carole, living in London, happily married and mum to two amazing boys.I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Rectal Cancer in April 2010. Surgery took place in November 2010 and I now have a permanent colostomy...Spinal mets were then diagnosed in October 2011...In January 2012 I was told of further spread to the hip area (multiple lesions)..My life expectancy is now 6-9 months. Walk alongside me on the last part of my experience with this..
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Blood Test Results & Beans and Pulses :-)
Today I went to the GP to get the results of my recent blood tests.
Good news is that my Vitamin D level is 'very good'. In fact the GP said it was the best levels he'd ever seen in ANYONE in this country! Yay, I have good Vitamin D levels :-)
Haemoglobin levels were 'a bit low at 11'...told him they dropped to 4 after surgery (hence the blood transfusions) and then stabilised at 11.5 a few days after.
After hearing that he feels that 11 is probably normal for me - taking into account a transfusion only pushed them up to 11.5
My CEA level was 5 prior to any treatment commencing - he confirmed that it is now 3.7....
Soooo, following major surgery and removal of the tumour it's dropped by only 1.3 which is 'disappointing'* ......his words - mine involved the F word rather than *disappointing*
However, we had a long chat and he said that because they (hospital) didn't do the CEA marker after surgery he has no idea what he's comparing this current test to -his theories are as follows:
could be that my body is still adjusting after surgery;
could be that I have a higher natural CEA level (which made little sense to me because it only went to '5' with a stage 3 tumour present);
could be that I'm one of those few people who do not show accurate results for cancer in CEA marker tests (although it's fairly reliable it's not set in stone which is why they don't use it for screening purposes);
could be that there's still cancer somewhere in my body.....
So, lots of could be's but no definite answers yet.
How do I feel about this? Okay actually - I'm thinking that we test again in June and see what's going on. Now I've got a level to compare to we can see what's happening (or not happening) in a couple of months time
Until then, don't ask me if I've still got cancer because the answer will be the same as last month, truth is I don't know - and neither does my GP (and the hospital definitely can't know because they've not seen me since December and won't be seeing me until June)
Anyway, what other things have I found out for sure recently?....Well, I know that Broad Beans now give me an awful stomach ache....Green Beans make the stoma fart (a lot!)....Baked Beans are fine (amazingly)...Puy Lentils give me a pain in the whole colon, Green and Red Lentils give me no problems at all....Lentils, nuts, seeds pass through your system exactly as they enter your body - in other words swallow a whole peanut by mistake and you will 'find' the same peanut later :-))
Actually that last bit about the peanut made me think....they tell you to eat nuts because they are full of protein and some contain selenium HOWEVER if they pass through your body exactly as you eat them, they don't break down at all, then HOW does the protein/selenium actually get into your system to provide you with any health benefits?
Answers in the comments section please :-o)
I've had a pre-assessment with the Counsellors and am waiting on a date for the sessions to start. He's trying to organise around the 3rd week of March.
Some days I think I don't need to see a Counsellor at all, other days I know that I do....Is the inability to make a decision dealt with in counselling? Lol :-)
Apart from all that, my lovely nurse J is back YAY!...she checked the wound and confirmed that it IS healing well - although still not healed it IS on the right path.
I definitely still have nerve damage in the posterior area - some parts are numb, some parts are sore & sting, some areas ache when I sit...
Sounds weird to talk about having an 'ache' in your bum, it's not a place you would normally get an 'achy' pain - if you know what I mean?.... When did you last say (people with bums this is for) 'I've got such an ache in my bum?'...See what I mean? It's not 'normal' to ache there...:-)
Moving on....chatting with J my nurse yesterday for a while after she checked the wound and she asked if I'd like to see the photo's of the friends wedding that she went to (for her 2 week holiday when she went away and LEFT ME with 'M').:-)))
So sitting looking through Face-book with her and see a lovely bride, gorgeous little bridesmaids, J was Bridesmaid too - and then the best man...
J tells me he's her very best friend and such a lovely man - I said "I know, he was my Anaesthetist, B"...Small world eh :-)
Now I know he'll get my message of thanks for his help and caring during my time in hospital.
S'all good - much luv to all xxx