Friday, May 19, 2006

Well...this has been a harder week. The chemo side effects are in full swing, it seems.

The main difficulty was caused by Prednisone, one of the drugs used in the chemo combination. It can elevate sugar levels in the blood. Since Darrell is a diabetic, the Prednisone did just that; raised his blood sugar levels dramatically. When we finally suspected what was going on, Darrell's blood sugar had already reached 333. The normal range is 90-120. Over the next two days, he averaged in the 300s and even went over 400. High blood sugar levels cause Darrell to be very weak as well as effect his vision by causing great blurriness. On Monday morning, we began calling our doctors. His primary doctor said this was a complex situation between the chemo and the diabetes, so he referred Darrell to an endocrinologist. We were finally able to get in to see this new specialist on Tuesday afternoon. Darrell was just miserable by that time. You know, usually when a patient knows they have to get a shot, they don't really look forward to it. But when Darrell saw the doctor bring in an injection of insulin, he was sooo glad! Anyway, Darrell has now begun giving himself insulin injections up to four times daily. It has begun to lower his blood sugar, not rapidly, but a little each day. Today, (Friday), his average is around 200 and we're looking and praying for around 150 tomorrow. If his sugar count is below 150, he can rely just on his oral diabetes medication and suspend the shots.

Also, it seems that the nasuea from the chemo is trying to creep up on him. The last couple of days have really given him trouble with stomach cramps, constipation and headaches. Also a fever between 99 and 100 every night. Yikes!

We also went back to the oncologist on Thursday to check on his blood levels. The main indicator they are concerned with is the white blood cell count. The normal range is 4.5-10.5. Darrell's white blood cell count is .9. So, they gave him a strong bacterial (not viral) antibiotic to counteract anything he might pick up during this time.

Today was also the final follow-up with the surgeon. He gave Darrell a clean bill of health as far as the surgery goes.

Well, the good news is the worst of the side effects is supposed to be between 7-10 days after the chemo. Today is Day 8, so hopefully Darrell's body will begin to start some recovery in the next couple of days.

Thank you for praying and standing with us in this fight. Thank goodness we are on the winning side because of the victory of our Healer and Savior, Jesus Christ!

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