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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cancer Sucks (But Slightly Smaller Now)

Cancer Post ™

Last week there was a certain amount of worry (over and above the usual worry in my family because cancer). This was because a blood test three or four chemo treatments in showed little to no change in the markers that shout HEY, TUMOR OVER HERE!!!

So they scheduled a CAT scan for Monday, and Laston went and did it, and today we got the preliminary results.

They are very good.

The markers may not show it, but the tumors in Laston's liver are shrinking (the side effects of the chemo are better left unsaid. Suffice it to say that they are very uncomfortable, jokes about pregnant women notwithstanding). And a manager at my work says that in his experience, the markers in most Things Medical are an iffy measure at best, because they go by percentages, the way that side effects do.

Have you ever had a doctor (I have trouble not capitalizing that word, thanks BBC America) write off something you are definitely feeling as a side effect because it's not on the list of side effects? Just because you are the only one appearing in the written records, doesn't mean it's not a side effect. We are not identical machines, after all; human beings vary, as do their reactions.

In any case, that's a long way of saying that just because the markers don't show it, doesn't mean other tests won't. That's why we ask for second opinions, is it not? Too many variables for a one-size-fits-all solution.

But mostly?