We saw Dr. Gilbert on Wednesday as scheduled, and the visit went pretty much as Daniel explained in his last post. She said she doesn't know for sure if there is still tumor on Daniel's tongue - Daniel believes there is due to his increased pain - but she said it won't change his prognosis or treatment either way. We are supposed to see Dr. Netterville next week for a more definitive answer about this.
Dr. Gilbert said Daniel could begin a new chemotherapy regimen today. We came home Wednesday evening with our minds all set to get started. We'd only been home a short time when Dr. Gilbert called and said Daniel had hypercalcemia, a high blood calcium level. It was serious enough that she said we either had to bring him back to Vanderbilt for fluids or he must drink or take into his feeding tube at least one liter of water that evening. She said the condition was caused by the cancer itself and/or dehydration. We had a couple of liters of fluids left from when Daniel was taking IV fluids at home a few weeks ago, so a dear friend came by to start the IV for him. Dr. Gilbert wanted Daniel to return to Vanderbilt yesterday to receive more fluids and a special medication to treat his hypercalcemia. We kept that appointment, and everything seemed to go well. Our nurse cautioned us that some patients develop a fever after taking this medication.
As I said before, Daniel's tongue pain had worsened, so Dr. Gilbert increased one of his pain medications on Wednesday. By yesterday evening, Daniel was quite confused, and we were worried enough to call his doctor. She recommended that he be seen in the local ER since there was a possibility that his calcium level was still too high, clearly a serious problem. She also said it might just be the increased pain medications. Daniel was seen at a local hospital, and the doctor said his calcium level was definitely too high. He was admitted overnight for IV fluids and a diuretic to help rid his body of the excess calcium. His pain medication was also adjusted. He continued to receive fluids throughout the day and was discharged this afternoon. Upon discharge, he had a temperature of almost 101, and that was attributed to yesterday's medication.
By the time we got Daniel home and settled this afternoon, I noticed he seemed hot. We checked his temperature and were alarmed to find it at 103.5. We gave him ibuprofen and then phoned his local doctor. He said if the medicine didn't bring down the temperature within an hour we should call Dr. Gilbert to see if she wanted to evaluate Daniel. Thankfully, the fever subsided. I should say, though, that Mom asked if anyone had prayed about the fever. To be honest, none of us had, so she led us in a prayer asking God to reduce the fever. It's 10:35 p.m. right now, and his temperature is 98.6!
These few days have been eventful and difficult for Daniel. He was so anxious to begin the new treatment plan. I told him it was only a temporary setback. He said, "It's okay; it's still God's show!" Indeed, it is.
Please pray that Daniel will be well enough to begin treatment soon, that his side-effects will lessen, and, as Daniel, says, that God be glorified above all!
God's best to you all,
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. -Psalm 27:14