[stanford_status] Home from hospital

John R Larsen john at larsen-family.us
Sun Oct 1 14:26:34 EDT 2006

Hello Everyone,

We arrived back home about 5:30 PM yesterday (Saturday).  This was earlier than expected.  It was 
good to get home.  These latest chemo drugs make Stanford feel nauseous and being in a moving vehicle 
makes it worse.  Dr. Chaffee has prescribed oxycodone for the pain and zofran for the nausea.  A new 
side effect is diarrhea and he is taking immodium for that.  We're learning about insurance limitations on 
quantities and also state law limiations.  Prescription amounts are small so you have to go back more 
often than expected and plunk down the co-pays.  However, it isn't an issue.  We'll do what is needed.

We asked Dr. Chaffee what Dr. Kim meant last Wednesday when she said that this treatment is the last 
they have.  There are still some things that they can try.  Apparently what Dr. Kim meant was that this 
was the last established protocol approach to treating the cancer.  Dr. Chaffee explained the difficult 
situation having no firm diagnosis causes.  They have to approach it with their best educated guess.  
That's why they tried sarcoma first and have been moving into more adult medications.  Several of the 
pediatric/adolescent nurses said they didn't know much about the drugs stan was getting.  All Stanford's 
treatments are being carefully thought out by many many people.

The son of a friend of ours has Ewing sarcoma, which is in the "small round blue cell" tumor family.  His 
cancer has recently responded very well to a drug called gemcitobine.  Dr. Chaffee said that is something 
that they will consider using if the current treatment doesn't produce the desired results.  There is a 
critical time element here.  The tumors have grown from very small at the end of July to the current 
condition of more tumor than liver in just two months.  We need something to stop their growth and then 
make them shrink.  We hope and pray that these latest drugs will do that.

As many of you know we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Every six months 
the church holds its world wide conference which is broadcast via telephone, radio, TV, satellite and in 
recent years over the internet.  We were able to listen to that in the hospital using a borrowed laptop, 
which cheered our hearts.  When we got home Stanford wanted to go to the general priesthood session 
of conference that started at 8:00 PM.  This session is closed circuit and can only be seen in chapels 
with satellite downlink so we went to our church building.  I've always taken my sons to Friendly's after 
this session to get ice cream.  Stanford wanted to do that too so we went.  Doing normal things is 

So, now we wait and watch and hope and pray.  The plan is to go back up on Thursday, October 12th,  
for a repeat of this latest treatment.  The week after that there will be CT scans.  If Stanford can keep his 
weight up and keep adequately hydrated then he can probably come home the same day and have the 
long 46 hour dose of 5FU done at home.  He really really doesn't like being in the hospital.

Thanks so much to all of you for the outpouring of prayers, faith, support, and concern.  We really 
appreciate it.

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

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