The Brown Envelope

Everything was ticking along nicely, enjoying the freedom from chemo and feeling better every day. Then I decided on a day out last Monday, followed by a late night Tuesday watching the US election results as they came in. The end for Romney came quicker than expected as the strange US electoral system piled on the votes for Obama from a few key states in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Then came my body’s revenge as the tiredness kicked in. The cold I thought I had got rid of a week ago returned, and towards the end of Wednesday the most dreadful nerve pain I had experienced since finishing oxaliplatin many weeks ago. The recent drop in temperature could be to blame for the nerve pain, even though ’m doing everything I can to keep warm, especially at night when the pain is at it’s worst. This is, by some way, the worst the condition has been with prolonged episodes, and pretty much all over my body. A timely post from a fellow blogger reminded me that these sort of setbacks should be expected considering the bombardment of toxins my body has been subjected to in recent months. Denying my body the rest it so desperately needs is perhaps not the best way of aiding recovery. Maybe it’s my desperation to push the boundaries again, seeing how far I can go, and letting it know who’s in charge. Of course I know there’s no reason to be concerned. Is there? I think it’s worth mentioning to my oncologist, if I’ve got time to fit an appointment. I’ll ring first thing Monday morning. Well maybe not first thing, see how things are Monday. It might have improved by then !

The tendency for one’s mind to over react to the slightest twinge or change in body function is immense when you’ve got cancer. Add to that a change in circumstance somewhere in the huge loop of departments involved in your treatment and there’s a risk your brain could go into overdrive. So when an unexpected letter from The Christie arrived I was cool and calm about it yeah !  Of course I was. I ignored the parcel I had been eagerly awaiting, dropped it on the floor and tore open the brown envelope.

“following your recent blood tests, Mr. S has requested a further analysis of your CEA levels and have asked your GP to arrange this”

Thanks for that. Not exactly the normal way I’m advised of a blood test. CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) levels indicate the presence or spread of cancer. They are used as markers to monitor treatment or spread of the disease. To date my levels have been within normal limits. This is not uncommon even with advanced cancer. So why are they asking for another test now? Have they detected a sudden rise?  And what ’recent test’? The one when I last saw Mr S, or the one when I had my pre-med? Of course it was Friday, and too late to be able to speak to anyone at the hospital to get these questions answered. I’m thinking it’s a pointless exercise anyway trying to get information over the telephone. They’ll only ever give you vague answers. I suppose I’ll have to wait until I’ve had the blood test and make an appointment to see Mr S to get some explanation. I can’t see how I’m going to get time to fit all these appointments in.

So there I was, thinking everything was ticking along nicely. Within the space of a few days everything is thrown into confusion again. Well, it’s confusion for me. I should be used to this. I’m not. I’ve got my CT scan on  Thursday. This should represent the final few steps before liver surgery. I’m worried now that this might not be the case and there is something that might jeopardise it. I know I’m fearing the worst possible scenario, but while that possibility is there, it’s going to eat into my brain.

Fat Bird

Fat Bird

I’ve had a Robin nesting in my garden for a few weeks. I wasn’t sure at first. Yes I knew it was a robin, the cape and mask gave it away, but I wasn’t sure where is was nesting. I’d see it a couple of days running, then no sign of it for 2-3 days. I’ve been putting food and fresh water out for it, and he’s been happy to come and feed whilst I stand there and watch it. Today however, I was greeted by a second one, much smaller. No sooner had I stepped p the garden to put a few breadcrumbs out, and it was there in front of me, bold as brass. Somehow I guess the fat one had told it there was no reason to be cautious. It came and started picking up the bread and carrying it back to the nest, many times over. A little bit of happiness in an otherwise bleak world.

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This entry was posted in Be Clear On Cancer, Beating Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer, CEA Levels, chemotherapy, CT scan, Health, Liver, Manchester, Metastatic Bowel Cancer, Oldham, oxaliplatin, Peripheral Neuropathy, Saddleworth, Springhead, The Christie, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Brown Envelope

  1. Jo says:

    Am keeping everything crossed for you and praying its nothing sinister. Xx

  2. SANDRA LLOYD says:

    Hi,  The dreaded letter!   I get annoyed when I’m expecting one and it doesn’t arrive.  Then when it does I’m scared to open it, but what can we do?    I pray that this doesn’t delay your op.   Best wishes, Sandy L.    

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