Sharp Blue: Hypercalcemia


About This Article

comments feed

Tips Jar

Paypal Pixel


After all the good news, I should have expected something to go wrong. About a week ago, my dad started suffering from increased pain in his leg and back, and he found walking so hard that he needed two of us to help him up or down the stairs. By a few days ago, things were so bad that he couldn’t even get out of bed to walk to the bathroom. The district nurse arranged for him to be admitted to Saint Peter’s Hospice, a palliative care centre, on Thursday. I’d rather he’d been admitted to the oncology ward, which has better facilities, but it seems like a good place. Needless to say, this was all a harrowing experience. It always is when things take a turn for the worse - you always wonder if this time is finally it.

Things have improved since then. Blood tests revealed that he’s suffering from hypercalcemia, an elevated level of calcium in the blood. This can cause increased sensitivity to pain as well as a number of other effects. This evening, they’ve started him on a drip containing pamidronate, which reduces blood calcium and has the helpful side-effect of slowing the growth of bone metastases. The drip delivery should be complete by midnight tonight, and then the drug should start taking effect over the next few days. With luck, he’ll be back to what passes for normal by Thursday or so, and will then be able to come home.

My mother was in melancholy mood yesterday and said that it’s all so unfair on me and my sister and we deserve carefree lives. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’d have considered myself “carefree”. Most definitely not in the last year, or the four years of PhD before that, which were consumed by almost constant anxiety about my lack of progress. For that matter, I can’t even remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep, or the last time I did something purely for fun, excluding our recent family holiday. (Perhaps when I saw Solaris, some four months ago?)

*hugs Rich*

Glad to hear that things have improved. Hope they stay well and you get a chance to relax a bit.

Leave a comment