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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-02-16 05:15
Subject: [cancer] The CEA levels are in, ambiguous results
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
My CEAs came back at 0.7. This low-normal. For comparison, I was up around 8.0 when my previous metastatic tumor was first detected, spiking at about 10.8 prior to chemotherapy and resection — see the chart below.


Had my CEA levels been high on this test, combined with the CT scan result, that would have been fairly conclusive evidence this is a tumor. However, the converse is not necessarily true. This doesn't mean the current mass in question is not a tumor, as my primary cancer presentation as well as my first metastasis both occurred without any spike in CEA levels. The next step is to check metabolic activity with a PET scan. If the mass is a steatosis, it won't light up the PET. If it's scar tissue from the last surgery, it will light up the PET but not as much as a tumor would.

So, an ambiguous but encouraging result. Now waiting to find out when I get a PET scan, or if my oncologist has some other advice.

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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2012-02-16 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am thinking of you. Take care.
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2012-02-16 15:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Encouraging news, indeed, for the Now. Here's hoping it stays dark on the PET.

Love the square pupil photo, btw.
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User: fledgist
Date: 2012-02-16 15:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope it turns out all right.

The square pupil is, well, strange.

Let me be the first to welcome our new cyborg overlord.
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W. Lotus: Peaceful
User: wlotus
Date: 2012-02-16 15:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank goodness for encouragement, no matter how small. I'm thinking of you.
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Dave O'Neill
User: daveon
Date: 2012-02-16 16:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fingers and associated limbs crossed. May your PET Scan stay dark.
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Elf M. Sternberg
User: elfs
Date: 2012-02-16 16:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Ambiguous relief is still relief. If I had any superstitions about influencing reality at a distance, I'd deploy 'em.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2012-02-16 21:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know that isn't a "whew! Everything's okay!" result, but I'm happy to see it nonetheless.
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smoking catnip and chasing my tail
User: jettcat
Date: 2012-02-17 02:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Is chanting scar tissue considered to be an acceptable mantra?
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User: a_cubed
Date: 2012-02-17 05:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For once, here's hoping things stay dark..... on the PET scan, that is. May all else be light.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-02-17 11:45 (UTC)
Nope, worst case is that it may be a tumor (rather likely) which is itself a metastasis of my primary colon cancer. (Actually, it would be worse if this were primary liver cancer, but that seems very unlikely.)
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2012 appearances