Friday, March 25, 2005

I'm going down, down, down

This is a good thing, mind you. My latest tumor marker count (AFP, or Alpha Feto-Protein) was 19.2 on March 21. If things continue as they have been, the marker should drop again this coming week, maybe even into the "normal" range (below 8). This is down from a high of 11,000 when chemotherapy began 9 weeks ago.

Here's one illustration of the difference between the two numbers: If you were to stack 11,000 pennies, the stack would reach approximately 56 feet high, about the height of a four-story building. By contrast, a stack of 19 pennies is just slightly more than 1 inch in height.

11,000 pennies would weigh about 60 pounds, while 19 pennies would weigh less than 2 ounces.

Well, enough with the pennies. I'm just enjoying the good news. I only wish the news were good enough to keep me from having to start the fourth cycle of chemo on Monday. But I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Still no vomiting so far (knock on wood) but there have been a few close calls with the old gag reflex.

My dad (freshly retired from Delta Air Lines) came up for a short visit, partly to get him out of my Mom's hair (she still works) but also as her emissary to report on my physical condition and wellbeing. (Apparently she needed for someone to see me in the flesh, just in case I was stretching the truth on the telephone). I took a day and a half off from work and took him down to Lake of the Ozarks for a day trip. Despite the fact that it's technically spring here, our weather has been miserable for the most part this week, with temps in the upper 30s/low 40s, mist, fog and a biting wind. It certainly makes for cheerful conversation.

The dad's trip was mostly uneventful until he managed to leave his car keys on the shuttle bus when he got on his plane (the driver even held them up and asked if they belonged to anybody). I had to retrieve them and Fedex them so that he could get his car out of hock at the Atlanta airport.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to see how my NCAA brackets turn out. Sarah is beating me right now, but 3 of her Final Four picks have now been eliminated, so I may wind up eeking out a win in our internal house pool.


Anonymous said...

Hi Frankie and glad to hear you are going down, down, down..thats wonderfull...think of you often and saying a few prayers too...we all are....
hope you have a good easter and thank you for keeping us WELL posted as to your ya , your cuz, Mary Lou and family