Dave has blood work done the day before he is due to go in for chemo. This allows the doctor to check his blood counts to make sure that his body is ready to handle the next round. In addition to the standard blood tests, they will check his CEA level periodically. Your CEA level can rise if there is tumor growth or metastasis. It can also rise if you have an infection. As tumors die, they can cause the CEA level to rise. So, is a rising CEA level something to worry about? We don’t really know. The last time Dave’s started to “trend upward” was after he had his colon and liver surgeries and had completed his 12 rounds of Folfox. At that point, as far as we knew, Dave was tumor free. But when his blood work came back showing his CEA level had risen, he went in for a scan and we found out that he had multiple new tumors and some of them were in his lungs which was a new location. The slow rise in his CEA over the last few months from 8 to 12 to 22 to 39 may be an indicator that his current chemo regimen is not as effective as we need it to be. So, the best we can do is see what the scan results show on Tuesday. It might be time to explore different chemo options. In the meantime, I am going to think optimistically and keep Dave doing the same. All prayers, good vibes and positive thoughts appreciated.