Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

I used to live my life focusing on the number on the scale, but since my diagnosis I live my life perseverating on another number, the CA-125. At my checkup in May it was 7.9, which was up from 7.0 the checkup in February. The increase was slight, and the marker was still well within the normal range (below 35), but the increase had me worried. I had my 3 month check up yesterday. My CA-125 is down to 7.6. To say I felt relieved would be a big understatement!

I would be exaggerating if I said that I spent 3 months constantly worried about a recurrence, but it has definitely been on my mind, mostly for the last month or so. According to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, the risk of recurrence for a stage 3 ovarian cancer patient is between 70 and 90 percent. I try not to focus on the likelihood of recurrence, but with odds like that it's hard not to think about. 

I have met so many strong women during my journey. Some have been lucky enough to avoid a recurrence, but so many of them have not. Each time someone I know tells me they are back in treatment for a recurrence, my heart skips a beat. It's hard not to focus on the likelihood of recurrence and the feeling of "survivor's guilt" when I make it through another checkup without any cause for concern.