[stanford_status] July 19th PET scan and doctor visit
John R Larsen
john at larsen-family.us
Wed Jul 19 20:07:42 EDT 2006
Stanford went back to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) today for another PET scan. The
CT scan from last week (July 12) revealed spots on his liver. The PET scan today showed that these
spots have grown in size. Two of the spots are in the one to two centimeter size. There are most likely
others, but they are too small to be seen. There are no signs anywhere else in his body.
Stanford's blood tests show that things are returning to normal. He was somewhat anemic earlier and
that is improving. Overall his condition has improved greatly since last week. He has no pain anymore
and his GI tract is working a lot better. He still gets tired. He has a healthy appetite and seems to be
constantly hungry. He has regained a few of the pounds that he lost. Things are looking good.
The repeat of the DNA test that the DHMC lab was trying to do failed. The lab at Dana Farbar in Boston
is repeating the test now. That will be the third lab to do it. Dr. Chaffee said this is a "fussy" test.
Results should be ready by the end of the week. They really want to better identify the type of cells so
that the best treatment can be chosen. Since this was the only test that gave any positive results they
want it confirmed. So, we're still waiting for more results to know what to do.
Next week Stanford will go back to DHMC to have his "port" implanted. This is outpatient surgery. The
port is embedded in the upper left chest muscle below the skin. It attaches to the large artery that
comes out of the heart. It is about the diameter of a half dollar. There is a rubber membrane button
about the size of a dime in the center. This port is a permanent IV. To use it the skin above it is numbed
and then the needle is inserted through the skin and through the rubber membrane. Everything can be
administered through this IV and blood samples can also be taken. They don't use the port for PET
scans because the fluid used causes problems for the port so those IVs are done in the arm.
Dr. Chaffee is in close consultation with the labs in Boston. There are a lot of people working on this
case. We are confident and hopeful that everything will work out fine.
John R Larsen <john at larsen-family.us>
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