The numbers.

I had my fortnightly meeting with my Oncologist yesterday. I quite enjoy visiting him. He’s a nice guy.

We sit down in his office and he asks me how I’m feeling. I tell him I’m feeling good. He asks about the side effects of the treatment and if I’m having trouble with them. I tell him aside from some hiccups, some reflux on the days I’m still hooked up to the 5FU (my take home drug) and general (heavy) tiredness, I’m not experiencing any noticeable side effects. No vomiting, no nausea and no secondary illnesses.

He smiles. Good.

He then tells me that it’s quite remarkable that my body is doing this well. These drugs are potent and I am getting a heavy dose. He tells me the treatment is an important part of what we’re doing here but equally as important is my mental state, how I view the cancer, and ‘what you have on the inside of you…. what you’re made of.’

I then ask him how my bloods are. I want to know.

As I understand it, the tumors expel proteins into the blood stream that are different to any others. These are my ‘cancer markers’. These numbers let us know how things are progressing and whether or not my body is responding to the treatment.

Before I began chemotherapy my CEA readings (blood stream) were 4058.0 ug/L. A normal, cancer free person has less than 3.0

After my first infusion they rose to 4323.0. This sounds bad but it is not uncommon as the tumors often surge after first being hit. They’re kinda pissed off so they react by swelling. It’s very likely that they surged upwards of 5000 before coming back down by the time of the second blood test.

As of today my CEA markers are 3470.0…. a 20% decline.

My bowel also has it’s own markers… CA-19.9. Pre-chemo they were 88.4 (U/mL). A normal, cancer free person has less than 37.

After my first infusion they dropped to 79.0 and as of today they are 68.9…. a 23% drop.

In short…. I’m a responder.

This is good news. The tumors are taking a hit and are doing so after only two infusions. The blood results also show that my liver is functioning 100%…. perfectly. More good news considering it was covered in tumors last time we looked.

So, after we’re done chatting I get up to leave, shake the Doc’s hand and go home.

It takes 3 hours to wipe the smile off my face.

For those of you that have taken up the call to pray for me, this is for you. You are making a difference. Your prayers are powerful and effective.

Please don’t stop….. my life depends on it.


~ by Kristian Anderson on November 21, 2009.

10 Responses to “The numbers.”

  1. Fantastic news Kristian – it’s just put a big smile on my face! It’s so wonderful that you’re keeping everyone informed about all this stuff, it really makes it feel like we’re going through it with you, walking alongside you. You know we are anyway..

    Hope the Sydney heat isn’t affecting you any worse than everyone else.. I kind of miss it to be honest! It’s a balmy 15 degrees over here in Wellington..

    Keep up the blogging – I read every post 🙂

    x Alison

  2. Wow, this is very exciting news. Its actually quite miraculous.

    -Jasmine Reid

  3. Thrilled to hear the good news Kristian – standing with ya

  4. I am a friend of lauren Brewers & saw your post on her FB wall where you told her about your diagnosis…I went to your blog & have been regularly checking it for new posts..I have never met you kristian but you & your family are in my prayers & thoughts often..I am happy to read your latest numbers are looking good! Stay strong…remember the words from ‘Footprints’…’it was during the most difficult times I carried you….’, Love Bronnie Wolter

  5. This is such awesome news and we are so excited for you guys in these results. God is an awesome God!!!! You too are a fighter and how you are dealing with this is making such an impact.
    As you know we are with you in this till the very end. You know what we have committed to do for you and we will continue to do that till the very end of this fight, and beyond.

  6. Hey Kristian,

    I’m another one you don’t know – however, I have known Rachel since we were 5 or thereabouts! We (my husband and I) been praying for you constantly since we heard the news; and I have a Prayer Group that I send out any and all updates to, who are also keeping you lifted in prayer… A commitment everyone has made and will follow through until we hear you’re cancer-free :-)!

    I have just sent your latest update to my group – they will be beyond thrilled at what God is doing for you, and for your family.

    Kia Kaha – stay strong!

    Elizabeth & Luke Collins

  7. Hey Kris, fantastic news mate, standing with and praying for you all!

  8. Thats awesome . . . . thinking of ya heaps,praying. Got your blog in my bookmarks, i love it, its beautifully written. Matt 11.12 – The Violent take it by force!

  9. To God be the glory results! I’m praying that you’ll get supernatural deals with work and favour and that the cancer drops off at an even faster rate this time round. Another friend of ours who had stomach cancer said they prayed like it was the blood of Jesus going into her with every chemo. Praying for you every tuesday night… Jac xx

  10. Hi Kristian & Rachel, I’m a friend of Lisa & Simon’s from MBC and have been praying for you guys too. I’ve been wanting to leave a comment each time I read an entry but never know quite what to say as each time I read your blog I end up feeling at a total loss for words and usually end up in tears (I’m the mummy of a nearly 18 month old boy and what your family is going through is just inconceivable to me). This time is the first time I’ve read your blog and gone “Yeah!!!!!!!” I still cried but because I’m relieved with this bit of victory for you! I’ll keep praying for sure and may God bless you all in every single way you have a need, big and small. Jo Pointon

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