[stanford_status] Dec 11, Mon - Chemo starting right now

John R Larsen john at larsen-family.us
Mon Dec 11 14:01:46 EST 2006

Hello Everyone,

We're in Dr.O'Shea's clinic right now and Stanford just started 
receiving an infusion of Gemzar (gemcitabine).  The premed infusion 
was 30 minutes of Zofran to help control nausea.  The gemcitabine 
infusion is also 30 minutes.  Stanford is really tired right now and 
is sleeping.  This same treatment will be done once a week for three 
weeks and then a week off to let the body rest.  The gemcitabine has 
all the same side effects of the other drugs Stanford has already 
received so he might lose his hair that recently started growing 
back.  His blood counts will be carefully monitored. 

The last couple of nights have been somewhat rough.  Stanford woke 
up with break through pain Saturday night about 2:45 AM.  One 
milliliter (1 ml) of the liquid oxycodone (ETH) equivalent to 20 mg 
in pill form worked in about 20 minutes to ease the pain.  Sunday 
night Stanford woke up with pain about 12:45 AM.  He received 1.0 ml 
of the ETH, but the pain kept increasing so another 1.0 ml of ETH 
was given at 1:15 AM.  This controlled the pain.  He gets really 
stiff in his back from being in one position all the time and needs 
back rubs to loosen up.  Needless to say, Joyce and I aren't get 
much sleep either, but we're dealing with it.

Stanford was able to go to the Nativity Pageant on Saturday and went 
to church on Sunday.  Some school friends visited Sunday afternoon 
and brought a really cool Sponge Bob cake.  Pictures of that and the 
awesome edible bouquet sent by Stanford's employer TCC are on the 
website at http://StanfordLarsen.org.  

Stanford seems to perk up around 10:00 PM, which annoys him because 
it's so late and everyone else needs to be getting to bed.  We're 
hoping the schedule will settle down into a more convenient routine.  
John's sister Lori returned home to Utah this morning.

Dr. O'Shea examined Stanford this morning and then asked him if he 
felt up to starting chemo.  Stanford emphatically said, "Yes.  
That's the pilot of the miracle plane.  We can't fly without a 
pilot."  Stanford wanted to start last Friday and was anxious about 
waiting three more days to start.

Thanks to all of your for your support, thoughts, and prayers.  It 
does make a difference.


John R Larsen <john at larsen-family.us>

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