Quick Update

March 30, 2022. I had my monthly checkup a week ago. All-in-all it was pretty good. Some of my side effects have worsened, especially the hand/foot syndrome, the chronic fatigue and my thinning hair. So Rugo suggested that I take one less Xeloda every other day on my “on” weeks to hopefully take things down a notch. The Ritalin has been helpful for my fatigue, so I’ll continue taking that every day. My labs were good except for one.

The CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) blood test was once again elevated which was disappointing. Its current value is 14.0. I started out at 9.6, then dipped to 8.9, but now it has increased with every blood test since. The standard range is <5.1. When I looked it up on MedlinePlus.gov it stated that, “It is a protein found in the tissues of a developing baby. CEA levels normally become very low or disappear after birth. Healthy adults should have very little or no CEA in their body.” So I’m not sure what is going on, I just know it makes me feel super vulnerable.

But the hardest thing I’m facing right now is the failing health of my little cat Peach. He’ll be 14 in April and has been a delight since I brought him home from the animal shelter with his equally sweet-spirited brother Mango. Peach has advanced kidney disease. He has good days and not so good days right now. He sleeps a lot on the not so good days. I just love him so much and am going to be devastated when we make the hard decision to let him go. His failing health reminds me that we all have an end date, and we should try to feel joy and gratitude for every day that we are in this world. My loving little Peach has such dignity and is living each day totally present in each moment. He’s inspiring and I can completely relate to his journey, even though my time here will be much longer.

Thanks for all your love and support. My gratitude can hardly be expressed as deeply as it is felt.

I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words, how wonderful life is while you’re in the world. —Bernie Taupin