Updated: Jul 28
David saw Dr. Brooks on July 7th to discuss his latest abdominal CT scan and CEA result. The good news is that Dr. Brooks said the CT scan is “stable,” which means there’s no new obvious cancer, and the CEA value was 27.7—a slight decrease from last time when it was 28. Dr. Brooks said it usually takes several weeks after chemo starts for the CEA value to go down significantly but that it was good it hadn’t risen.
To be clear, the most recent abdominal CT and brain MRI scans have shown no clearly discernible signs of cancer at all. But the rising CEA value implies that there are cancer cells in his body, but they may be too few to identify as such. This is a reminder that it can be difficult to know exactly what's going on.
David is having some of the usual chemo side effects (insomnia, fatigue, occasional diarrhea and constipation, and “not feeling well” overall), but he says it hasn’t been too bad so far.
The plan is to get another dose of chemo on July 28th.