Sunday, April 25, 2010


Markers are unique chemicals that certain tumors produce. By measuring the presence of these, one may determine whether a tumor is growing, spread or has disappeared. The most studied markers are the PSA antigen for prostate cancer and the CA 125 for ovarian cancer. These markers also can be detected in non-cancerous situations so they aren't a perfect detection system. Some breast cancers have markers also but in general TNBC does not.

There was a sweet, quiet woman in my LiveStrong class. She had just finished chemo as I had so our hair was about the same length (stubble). On the last day, I had asked what her plans were. She said that her markers had gone up though they couldn't figure out where the tumor was so she would go back on chemo. I see from yesterday's obits that she died.

My neighbor also has one of those marker cancers that he has been battling for years. For now he seems healthy and has regained some energy since stopping treatment. His markers are climbing however. They aren't sure why but something may be lurking under the surface. He is tired of having his hopes elevated or dashed by these marker reports. His attitude now when looking at them is "Whatever". He says he feels fine now and that's how he wants to live.

Against the foggy drizzle, my dogwood seems particularly bright. The lilacs in back are starting to bloom. In the Arb, the white ones (less lilac smell) bloom first but the traditional pale purple ones have started too. It is early for them. I like the deep purple ones the best.

Naomi finally came over. She seemed to be in a good mood but is easily distracted by her baby's movements as we studied. At one point, the baby seemed to lift her head in front of the abdomen so we could see and feel it. If one touches too hard, she retreats back into the depths. Naomi worries that it is too boring inside of her uterus . No reality TV inside of there.

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