NEW ULM, MINN. - Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old cancer patient from Sleepy Eye, Minn., is making "better-than-satisfactory progress" in his medical treatment but still needs to remain under court supervision, a Brown County judge said Tuesday.

At a court hearing in New Ulm, Judge John Rodenberg rejected a request by the Hauser family to rescind a child-protection order governing the boy's medical care. Even though the family has complied with court-ordered chemotherapy, he said, he wants to maintain supervision of the case.

Daniel and his mother, Colleen Hauser, became the center of a national search a month ago when they fled Minnesota hours before the issue of Daniel's treatment was to come before Rodenberg. They returned from California six days later and agreed to resume chemotherapy.

The Hausers were in court Tuesday for a monthly hearing to ensure they are complying with his orders and to check on Daniel's medical progress. Rodenberg set another hearing for July 21.

Several reports to the judge indicated that the family is following the judge's orders, and that Daniel's treatment is succeeding, although he has lost weight and frequently struggles with nausea.

Daniel's attorney, Phil Elbert, told the judge that Daniel's chest tumor has continued to shrink since chemotherapy was resumed late last month. Daniel, he said, has looked at X-rays of his tumor and has seen it change from a dark mass to a light mass that he can see through.

"Daniel does not like the chemotherapy and would not want to continue it but will do what his parents tell him," Elbert said.

Later Tuesday, in an interview at his home, Daniel told an Associated Press reporter that he was upset that the judge ordered chemotherapy continued. "I get really sick when I do it," he said. "You get so dizzy, and I get a headache right away."

Daniel said he believes the improvement in his condition is being caused by his alternative treatments.

Colleen Hauser told the AP that doctors said it would take six months to treat her son's Hodgkin's lymphoma when it was diagnosed, but they've seen improvement in the past few weeks. When asked if she credits the chemotherapy, she said, "I'm not going to say it's not, but I just want to make it clear that I would like a better plan, a better treatment plan, for Danny."

In court, through their attorney, the Hausers assured the judge that if he dropped the child-protection order, they would take Daniel to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis at 8:30 a.m. today, as scheduled, for his third chemotherapy treatment since he returned from California. Daniel had one round of chemotherapy in February, shortly after his cancer was diagnosed, but refused to continue because of the side effects.

"You have to realize, every time Daniel has chemotherapy, his parents are afraid he is going to die from the treatment," the parents' new attorney, Barbara Gislason, said. "This is a poison, and it can kill you."

The Hausers believe that Colleen Hauser's sister died from chemotherapy, she said, although County Attorney James Olson said the woman's doctors say she died of cancer.

'Free to consult'

Rodenberg assured the Hausers that they are "free to consult any medical specialists, or anybody else," in their search for treatment. But he made clear that he expects the chemotherapy to continue as long as Daniel's condition improves.

The Hausers are members of the Nemenhah, a group that claims to follow Native American healing techniques, and earlier had testified that chemotherapy violated their religious beliefs. On Tuesday, their attorney said they are no longer making that argument.

Daniel also recently had one acupuncture treatment and one massage treatment, which "helped a little" in reducing nausea, Gislason said.

In addition, Colleen Hauser gave the judge a list of 35 vitamins, herbs and other supplements and organic foods the family hopes will ease treatment symptoms and boost Daniel's immune system, Gislason said.

"This has been very, very hard for them" said family friend Daniel Zwakman, who at times has acted as a family spokesman. "The medical issues, court hearings, media attention, this is really hard. They're doing as well as they can. But it's a struggle."

The family also is struggling financially with co-payments, legal fees and the costs of nontraditional medical care, he said. The Danny Hauser Benefit Fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank, 226 N. Minnesota St., New Ulm, MN 56073.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Warren Wolfe • 612-673-7253