Measure for measure
In October when I got my original prognosis the worst case was so grim I postponed planning my 60th birthday, it was by no means certain I’d be well enough to enjoy it or even to attend. I’d booked a hall to host a number of bands back in the summer and was thinking about whether to cancel, postpone or even bring forward the date. In the event things have gone so well I eventually got on with organising music, beer and food and had a great party on Saturday where I was able to bounce around, drink one of my favourite beers (Smokeless – a Chipotle Smoked Porter from local brewer Redwillow) and introduce four great and varied acts. It’s fair to say I had fun. Thanks to all those who helped, and especially to Mark the Beat:Cancer webmaster for running the musical side with a proper PA, lights, etc.
We raised an amazing £480 during my birthday bash, a big thank you to all attendees for your generosity. Beat:Cancer are going to make that up to £1,000 and donate it to The Christie at Macclesfield appeal.
So what’s all that got to do with a reference to a Shakespeare play? Nothing at all. But the title does in that I had the first results from the cancer marker CA19-9 blood tests today. The idea of chemo is to stop the cancer growing, or ideally to shrink it. Blood tests provide a measure of how well that is working, which in my case meant stabilising at a reading of 1120 or getting it to start dropping, so this is one of the most important tests I’ve ever had. The excellent news is that the reading dropped a little from test one to two and dropped more sharply by reading three. Overall it’s down around 20%.
This does not mean they are curing me, the most likely scenario is that it will continue to drop and then stabilise somewhere above the normal range, at which point I get together with my consultant to consider the next steps. If I am still handling the chemo well that may well be carrying on with my existing treatments or trying something else.
The next significant test is a CT scan on 10th February which will hopefully back up the blood test by showing what effect, if any, it is having on the size of the tumour. I should get the results of that on the 24th February and will put up another post with the results then.