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Cancer Update: It's not as good as I'd hoped

I was debating whether to even post about this, but then I thought, what’s the point of writing a blog about your life if you’re not going to share the nitty gritty details? So here goes…

I got a call from my oncologist, Dr. Mauro, a few days ago and my latest cancer test came back with a VERY WEAK positive. I capitalized very weak because I don’t want you (or my family, who reads this blog) to think this is anything to panic about. It’s not. It is so low that it’s barely quantifiable. If the test hadn’t been run in the super-sensitive lab at OHSU, it never would have shown up. And it may just go away on it’s own by next month. Am I worried? No. I’m really not. I only have two months left in the pregnancy and even if -- if -- the cancer seems to be creeping back, it will be so slow moving that we wouldn’t treat it until after the baby comes. And I’m already planning to go back on Gleevec right away anyway.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not a little disappointed. Mostly I’m bummed because it’s the first time in over four years that my CML has made a peep (I had a very slight positive on one test back in 2005). It didn’t come back at all when I was pregnant with Alex and I was hoping the same would be the case this time around. Seeing a positive result -- no matter how minuscule -- reminds me that I have cancer. That I am not cured. That I never will be.

The plan is to be tested again right before Thanksgiving and then again right before Christmas (we upped it from every 6 weeks to every 4 weeks) to see how things are looking. Again, there is really nothing that we’d do, it’s just a matter of staying on top of things. Dr. Mauro and I will decide if it makes sense to breastfeed for a bit or just go immediately back on the drug (I’m not a huge fan of breastfeeding -- more on that topic later -- so skipping it this time around would be fine by me).

Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know. Kind of a bummer but, really, what did I expect? I’ve been off treatment for seven months. And I promise it’s not a big deal. As soon as I start treatment again, my tests will be back to normal. If you have time, check out this amazing article about Gleevec and the man who developed it. I am so lucky to have this drug and I can’t wait to start popping my pills again!

 

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