bcasey59, I read your post this morning and hesitated to reply, because I didn't want to scare you or act like a "know-it-all." All I have is my own experience, so I decided to tell you what a rising CEA meant for me. I am stage IV colorectal, with mets to lung. Last March I had a lung wedge resection following 6 weeks of chemo and was doing well until December when my CEA went from 1 to 8.9 in a 2 month period of time. I had an immediate PET scan which showed a local recurrence. I've just finished more chemo & radiation, plus surgery and healing nicely. Before the surgery, my CEA got up to 19.2, but 2 weeks after surgery, it was below 1. It may not mean anything for your husband, but speaking for me ... when my CEA rises, it has always turned out to be a recurrence. As you probably know, smoking can cause a variance in a CEA test, and your husbands was already 3.5. I want to add, that although this past year hasn't been a very good one, I am showing cancer free now and getting better every day. My prayers are with you & your husband. Whatever it is, is sounds like they've caught it very early.
"LIFE IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU'RE BUSY MAKING OTHER PLANS"