Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Best News in a Long Time

Kay has been in the hopeful waiting mode for a few months with her ovarian cancer.  She finished the three-stage surgery --> chemotherapy --> radiation therapy regimen we had hoped could possibly cure her cancer about a year ago, but discouragingly her CA-125 tumor marker started to rise steadily within a few months. After several consultation and a lot of thought we decided in agreement with both her local oncologist and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance consulting oncologist to delay further treatment until Kay either started to feel ill-effects of the cancer or until there was demonstrable cancer progression on CT scans or other imaging modalities.  Her CA-125 steadily climbed from about 10 to 27 and 3 months ago to about 70.  (upper normal is 30)  Her doubling time was about 45 days for this marker.  On this projectile we were hoping for slowed growth in the number, maybe something less than 150-200 would have been on the good side of expectations.  Kay kept a positive outlook, feeling greatful for the year off therapy, but the expectation of starting treatment and its potential side effects was hanging over her head.

Some of you may have seen a crowd-sourcing post on my medical blog Crowd Source Help Requested:  Curcumin - Turmeric for Ovarian Cancer.  Kay started the supplement Curcumin C3 about 3 weeks ago in hopes that it might slow the progression of her cancer.  Today when she saw Dr. McCrosky to hear the results of the CA-125 drawn yeasterday she was flabbergasted to hear that it has DECREASED from 70 to 50.  They rechecked this to see if it was a lab error, but the repeat was 55.  So for some reason, ? curcumin response? Kay's ovarian cancer tumor marker that has been so discouragingly accurate and predictable in the past has dropped instead of increasing as expected. 

Kay continues to feel really good  She is working hard in her garden, and it looks great.  We are all grateful that she feels strong and is enjoying this hard work.  Her energy is near normal, and we both are really excited about not needing to recheck the CA-125 for another 3 months.  Having the summer off treatment and feeling strong and well is a blessing we had hoped for but not really dared to expect.  

We do have lots of fun planned. We are vacationing in France for the first half of June.  We have a vacation to visit the Pullens in Maine in July and hope to soak up the predictably wonderful sunshine here in WA for the rest of the summer.  Three months of fun, sun and no chemo is really exciting. 

Join us in prayers of thanks for the gift of this respite from therapy, for continued regression or at least lack of progression of Kay's cancer, and for joy and fun in this coming summer. 

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