Monday, March 30, 2009


Krista was particularly weak today, so she called her local oncologist to see if she could get a blood test. The symptoms seemed consistent with low red blood: weakness paleness, thumping in the ears. The oncologist thought that was a good idea, but since the home-care nurse was supposed to do labs at home tomorrow we had to make some calls to see if they could do the draw. They couldn't do it yet, because Krista isn't in their system yet -- she was supposed to be "admitted" tomorrow. I drove her to the oncology center to get a CBC ASAP.

The preliminary results came back showing that her red blood was 10.2, platelets 38,000, and white blood 14.1. Those numbers are incredible! When she left UCLA on Thursday the counts were red 9.7, platelets 37,000, and white 4.1. We went home thinking that everything must be fine. All her counts have gone up!

At home her stomach pain got worse, and she had a really difficult battle with nausea. The stomach pain was helped a little by taking a couple of sips of the "magic mix", but she got some big relief when she had a large bowel movement that had eluded her the last two days.

Just after the relief came, though, the balloon burst. Her oncologist called saying that the remainder of the labs showed a low sodium level of 123 and a life-threateningly high potassium level of 7.1. He suspected that it may have been pseudohyperkalemia, caused by a mistake in collecting the sample, but because it could be very dangerous needed us to go to the emergency room "at our convenience" to re-do the CBC. Fortunately, Becky was there to watch the kids, so we packed up (grabbing some delicious mushroom-barley soup to-go that Becky had just finished making) and checked into the ER.

The labs came back lower, at 6.1, which is still high. So they treated her with IV saline to up the sodium levels and oral Kayexalate to pull potassium out through the bowels. The good thing is that it is not life threatening and headed in the right direction, but they need to observe her overnight up in 6 central where she had her original chemotherapy. She's glad to be able to see her old nurses.

Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
(Psalm 119:49-50)

No comments: