How many of you struggle with waiting?
I sure do.
Right now I am currently waiting on getting my blood work results back sometime today. I haven’t had any blood work done since early November to see where my tumor markers are. At that time the tumor markers read: 16. Here’s hoping that we see some positive results. Waiting can be difficult, because we are usually impatient people. We live in a ‘fast food’ society, where no one wants to wait for anything. We want results, and we want them now. As I have been waiting for the results, I have been doing everything I can to keep my mind focused. I have actually felt ‘ at peace’ this entire time as we wait. In the past, I would not do well waiting. My mind has the propensity to wander at times to places it shouldn’t. I have done all that I can to take my thoughts captive, and I feel really good not matter what the results are. Although waiting can be difficult, wait we must. Stay tuned. We will keep you posted!
While we wait, here is a a portion of Scripture I am holding onto:
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
Here is a little more info on tumor markers:
What are tumor markers?
Tumor markers are substances that are produced by cancer or by other cells of the body in response to cancer or certain benign (noncancerous) conditions. Most tumor markers are made by normal cells as well as by cancer cells; however, they are produced at much higher levels in cancerous conditions. These substances can be found in the blood, urine, stool, tumor tissue, or other tissues or bodily fluids of some patients with cancer. Most tumor markers are proteins. However, more recently, patterns of gene expression and changes to DNA have also begun to be used as tumor markers.
Many different tumor markers have been characterized and are in clinical use. Some are associated with only one type of cancer, whereas others are associated with two or more cancer types. No “universal” tumor marker that can detect any type of cancer has been found.
There are some limitations to the use of tumor markers. Sometimes, noncancerous conditions can cause the levels of certain tumor markers to increase. In addition, not everyone with a particular type of cancer will have a higher level of a tumor marker associated with that cancer. Moreover, tumor markers have not been identified for every type of cancer.
How are tumor markers used in cancer care?
Tumor markers are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer. Although an elevated level of a tumor marker may suggest the presence of cancer, this alone is not enough to diagnose cancer. Therefore, measurements of tumor markers are usually combined with other tests, such as biopsies, to diagnose cancer.
Tumor marker levels may be measured before treatment to help doctors plan the appropriate therapy. In some types of cancer, the level of a tumor marker reflects the stage (extent) of the disease and/or the patient’s prognosis (likely outcome or course of disease). More information about staging is available in the NCI fact sheet Cancer Staging.
Tumor markers may also be measured periodically during cancer therapy. A decrease in the level of a tumor marker or a return to the marker’s normal level may indicate that the cancer is responding to treatment, whereas no change or an increase may indicate that the cancer is not responding.
Tumor markers may also be measured after treatment has ended to check for recurrence (the return of cancer).
How are tumor markers measured?
A doctor takes a sample of tumor tissue or bodily fluid and sends it to a laboratory, where various methods are used to measure the level of the tumor marker.
If the tumor marker is being used to determine whether treatment is working or whether there is a recurrence, the marker’s level will be measured in multiple samples taken over time. Usually these “serial measurements,” which show whether the level of a marker is increasing, staying the same, or decreasing, are more meaningful than a single measurement.