I am writing this from the infusion room, hooked to chemo, so pardon any fuzziness....
I got some great news -- My CEA level is 3.2! Or, maybe it is 3.1. I don't remember exactly, but I do remember that it is below 3.5, which was my previous low number. I saw that about two years ago, and haven't seen it since. So, this is truly cause for joy!
Of course, I can't just revel in the good news; I have to find the angst somewhere. And right now, it lies in two places:
First of all, 2.5 and below are considered to be normal. While the rest of my bloods are great compared to the average person walking down the street, I know that I need to get this tumor marker as low as possible.
Second, and even bigger: As I begin to enter any scary phase of my life, I am more reliant on my faith and acknowledge my dependence on God and elements greater than myself In fact, I usually just hand the whole thing over, saying, "I know I've made a total mess of this. Can you fix it? I promise I'll do ANYTHING!"
When my life starts to feel more "under control," I tend to think it is under MY control, and then become more lax in my faith and practices. That shift bothers me. This falls into the same bucket as, when something heartbreaking happens to me, I have huge compassion for everyone, but when things are going well for me, I am a bit more judgmental of others.
Lately, I work to stay aware of this, and try various approaches to live more consistently with faith and compassion. Given that I know how hard it is to maintain these, I am especially thankful for yours on my behalf, and very impressed that you keep it going. I know that my quality of life and relatively good health stems from that.
Also, so many of you, of us, of those we love, have been through and are going through all kinds of heartbreak, pain, diagnoses, treatments. Please know that I pray for you, and if there is something specific I should focus on, let me know. Truly.
Last week, the homily at church really touched me, and I'll share one aspect with you. "Jesus came to form a community of faith, not individuals of faith."
Regardless of your religious beliefs, I sincerely appreciate your being part of my community. It is powerful. Thank you.