[stanford_status] Dec 8, Wed - Better night - Chemo Monday

John R Larsen john at larsen-family.us
Fri Dec 8 13:48:48 EST 2006

Hello Everyone,

Stanford had a much better night and was able to pretty much sleep 
through the night.  Yesterday the doctor increased his oxycontin 
dosage to 80 mg twice a day from 60 mg twice a day.  This is the 
fourth time the dosage has been increased.  Each time has been 
followed by two or three good days and then increased pain, a bad 
night, increased tiredness, and a dosage increase.

We talked with Dr. O'Shea late yesterday afternoon (Dec 7th).  
Yesterday's labwork shows that Stanford's blood counts are mostly 
the same or improved compared with labwork done Dec 4th.  His 
hemoglobin number is a little bit higher, which is a good indicator 
that internal bleeding from the tumors is very slow.  Stanford knows 
he must and wants to start chemo to reverse the tumor growth.  The 
first round of gemcitabine will be on Monday, Dec 11th, at 11:45 AM.

Stanford's feet and ankles have started to swell some.  Dr. O'Shea 
said this is indicative of the liver not doing its job well enough.  
It is painful for Stanford to stretch out flat so he is always 
inclined a little while in bed.  We're going to try to figure out a 
way to comfortably get him positioned so that his feet are elevated 
above his head for a while to help the swelling go down.  So far the 
swelling is just annoying.  Stanford is still up and about, but 
tires easily.

Stanford's attitude is upbeat and forward looking.  Wednesday 
evening, Dec 6th, he insisted on going to the mall to Game Stop to 
pick up a newly released Nintendo DS game "Castlevania" that he had 
preordered several weeks ago.  The game was in and he wanted it 
along with the bonus pack that came with preorders.  We made the 
trip and he enjoyed getting out of the house for an hour or so, and 
then he had that really bad night.  Since then he has been playing 
the game off and on.  He says, "It's amazing!"

Last night Stanford wanted dad's "World's Best Apple Crisp" for 
dinner, a fire in the fireplace, and family time watching "A 
Christmas Story".  This morning he asked for dad's french toast for 
breakfast because "it is so good!"

It has been very helpful during these stressful days to have had 
extended family members here.  John's sister Lori will be leaving 
Monday morning and then we'll be on our own.  We are trying to keep 
things as normal as possible for the immediate family, which is 
somewhat challenging given the holiday season and its preparations 
and activities.

We continue to hope and pray for the continuing miracle and ask that 
all of you will too.


John R Larsen <john at larsen-family.us>
visit http://StanfordLarsen.org

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