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Potassium too high

Larry's Wife

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Hi. My husband has stage 4 SCLC, diagnosed 07/07. He is on his third type of chemo (Gemzar). He's had two treatments so far. We went in for his third treatment on 05/14, but he couldn't have it because his platelets were too low. Today, we got a call from the office telling us his potassium is too high. No medicine yet, but extra fluids and dietary restrictions for today. Tomorrow we go in for another blood test. If it's still too high, I imagine they will prescribe something. They almost did today. His level is 6.7 (He's had blood drawn every single week since 07/07 and this has never been an issue before.

Anyway, I did a little research on the web (I know...can be dangerous sometimes!) The only connection I could find is kidney damage. We know he has mets in his adrenal glands, liver and brain. Oh, he did have CyberKnife on 05/12 for brain mets, but somehow, I don't think that is the connection.

Has anybody experienced this? If so, what was the diagnosis/outcome for you?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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Gosh. Got a little scared tonight.

Larry had a relaxation massage today. Took a nap around 5:30. "Only want to sleep for a little while."

Checked on him about 7:30. Sleeping soundly. OK, good.

9:00 Started worrying. Should I check on him? He never sleeps this long. Checked on him. All is OK.

10:30 Still sleeping? Never sleeps this long. Really nervous now. Check on him. He wakes while I am checking on him.

Dang, didn't mean to wake him up. Now he probably won't go back to bed and sleep through the night.

Stupid potassium. Wouldn't have worried at all if it weren't for a bad blood test.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've had at least three potassium "scares" in past year and each time it turned out to be due to blood cells having "broken up" during draw.

That is great news that the massage therapy was so relaxing for him. Sounds like it needs to be added to his weekly schedule.

I don't actually see a massage therapist any more, but my CNA, who comes in 3x weekly (4 hours each), usually concludes her visit with a back rub, and I must admit that it makes me feel good for hours and hours thereafter.

Massage therapy is also on a list over at the cancer.gov website as being efficacious in terms of comfort care so I'd definitely recommend you keep it up! :D (Actually, it should probably be prescribed for both patient and caregiver--both are stressful positions)

Take care. Glad all's going well overall.


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