A list of concernsSo this time I brought a list with me because invariably I leave the Onco's office, slap my head when I remember something that I wanted to ask. Really it is always a good thing to write down concerns and present them one by one in the scant time that these awesome professionals have with each patient.
Weight - I wanted to mention my weight loss was intentional because nothing freaks out an Oncologist more than a sudden drop in weight. Usually means the snake-beast is munching away at something important. As you recall, my primary MD put me on the ketogenic diet which has that wonderful side effect, 11 lbs. so far.
Fasting glucose - Since there was no need to and nobody asked me to, I had not been fasting for my monthly blood-letting so my glucose "appeared" to have dropped a whopping 20 points. I never really had a problem with blood sugar and it is now below the threshold for some deceased people...well, recently deceased.
Lipid profile - Since one of my superhero pills (Afinitor, everolimus) seems to be fussing with my lipids, I requested again a lipid profile be included in my blood work.
Okay! check, check and check!
Imaging vs tumor markersNow for the doc's concerns. Apparently as I delve into the literature regarding blood tumor markers (mine are CA 27-29 and CEA, which both stand for something really medically boring), the experts concur that these are to be taken with a grain of salt as a sole diagnostic tool. Incidentally since KETO releases a lot of sodium I am happy to take in an extra grain of salt.
|Aaaahhh, there you are...|
But anyway, imaging shows where the truth (and the snake) lies so, as I predicted I am scheduling a PET/CT scan. My first one was the most fun, now they are just boring although I like that I get to watch "Too Cute!" on the Animal Planet channel...for an hour...after drinking a goopy thing and being injected with secret radioactive stuff (FDH or fluorodeoxyglucose). The glucose is rapidly absorbed by the tumor sites or nodes and shows up because of the "fluoro" which makes those bright images. The brighter the image, the higher the uptake of glucose by the cancer which means bad news.
By the way the CT stands for computerized tomography and it is done simultaneously because it shows the body "geography" and helps localize the bright spots. Otherwise a PET (positron emission tomography) would show some fuzzy bright spots only, so they superimpose them.
|PET/CT image from May 2018|
Looking forward to not shining so bright this time.
Here is a link to my first PET/CT if you want to know how the procedure goes as viewed by a first timer: http://www.jumpovertherattlesnake.com/2018/01/pets-and-cats-and-mrisoh-my.html
Perspectives...Another one of my concerns was that my blood pressure has been erratic lately and I get paranoid about taxing my poor little heart, and it has been up to 138/85 in some days...and the bright young PA laughs at me! Laughs! First, do you have any idea how hard it is to make Oncologists laugh? Really takes some doing. He tells me to let him know when I get a 180 reading.
So I think I am a bit paranoid but it's a good kind of paranoia, I think. I will work on not being so obsessive (she writes the note on her Qardio blood pressure and weight/body fat app, which feeds to the Apple Healthkit app, which also reads the workouts from the Garmin Connect app, which shares info with the Cronometer app for analysis of dietary intake). Paranoid? Me???
|Some info from Cronometer.com on my dietary intake|