I'm sorry that I can't offer more except I'm thinking of you going through this awful time. Does your daughter live nearby or do you have to rely on phone calls? As you probably know, the sed rate measures inflammation in the body. Fluid around the heart is probably the cause, but arthritis and a host of other diseases can cause the elevation. Lupus can cause damage to all organ systems, the heart being one. Not sure about leukemia. Please keep us posted.