I'm getting slowly but surely back to a semblance of normal, as far as digestion is concerned, anyway. I now know for certain, after a lot of trial and error (mostly error, ouch!) that at the moment I cannot eat any vegetables at all, no garlic, no ginger and no chili, pepper or paprika. As long as I avoid those, life is reasonably good, and if I don't forget to take one imodium in the morning and another before lunch, and also take Metamucil with every meal, things are even better. I can go out for hours and not worry too much, and on Sunday we went for the buffet lunch at the Yacht Club here in Puerto Princesa and stayed for four hours after a large meal talking to other cruisers- I was fine! I can eat some fruit, like papaya, which is really good here, and bananas, so I can get enough vitamins not to get rickets!
On Monday I went to do my three monthly CEA test. I don't know how to react to the result, really. It was 2.14, which is an increase from the last test. Since finishing chemo I have had three tests, the first was 0.88, the second 1.36 and now 2.14. It looks as though the CEA is slowly creeping up, and if that is true it is bad news. But there are a few things which mean that I can't be sure of that; firstly, this is a different laboratory, maybe using a different test kit- there are several, and each give slightly different results, enough to produce results like mine. Secondly, anything which causes inflammation can cause CEA to rise, and it is certainly true that I have had an inflamed bum for a while.
This level of CEA is still not enough to be sure about, basically, so all I can do is either to wait three months and test again or wait a month and test again. I'm in two minds about what to do, and I guess I'll make my mind up on the spur of the moment. In three months I have to do a liver ultrasound too, although I could move it up. I don't know, I'm just confused what to think. I know if I talk to my oncologist he won't be concerned about this result. I just have to try to forget about it and get on with life, I guess. This is so typical of this disease, there is so much uncertainty all the time. Maybe that is the hardest thing.