Today Lois received Chemo Infusion number eleven. The first thing that happens when we arrive at the UIHC (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) is lab work. An RN accesses the port in Lois’ upper right chest and draws blood. She is weighed, her blood pressure is taken and they update her general condition during the past two weeks. All this data is used to prepare and adjust the amounts of Chemo drugs and the length of time required to infuse them into Lois’ system.
The Lab work on the blood is especially important as it produces a report which covers thirty different items. One of the blood reports the oncology team is specifically interested in is the CEA number. CEA stands for Carcinoembryonic Antigen and is a type of protein molecule that can be found in many different cells of the body, but is typically associated with certain cancers. Lois’ CEA level was as high as 20 just a few months ago but in the past two weeks it fell to 4.8. That is within “normal” range!
Both the oncologists we saw were very pleased with that number – and so are we. This is a definitive answer to prayer. Not only have the tumors stopped growing, they are no longer throwing off carcinogens which show up in this CEA marker!
Lois continues to respond to Chemo without any major side effects – something that amazes the medical staff who attend to her every two weeks. We are scheduled for another Chemo infusion on Dec 10 and then on Dec 24 (that’s right, Christmas Eve!) we are scheduled for a major round of testing including a CT Scan and Oncology Team evaluation.
We are reminded that surgery to remove the tumors is still not an option and that we face Chemo infusions every two weeks for the foreseeable future. However, we are confident that God is using the wisdom of the medical community to accomplish His will in and through Lois and our whole family.
We ask you to rejoice with us regarding this good report even as you continue to pray.