Friday, October 8, 2010
Monday, Oct. 11
10 AM-Viewing 11 AM-Funeral
LDS Stake Center
10000 Stoneybrook Drive
Kensington, MD 20895
Saturday, Oct. 16
9 AM-Viewing 10 AM-Funeral
34 East Center Street
Logan, UT 84321
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
He has not been able to attend church for the past 3 weeks, so the young men brought him the Sacrament today. He has only been able to eat a few bites of solids in the past week so he is quite weak, but his spirits are high.
Tom was able to spend a few hours with us this morning, on his drive home from Georgia. He put 8 1/2" by 11" pictures of Stan with each one of his grandchildren, on the wall across from Stan's chair. Stan has enjoyed just sitting there looking at the pictures. His family is so important to him. Thank you so much Tom and Erin for getting the pictures and framing them.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thank you for being there to share this journey with us. We love you and thank you for your support.
Friday, September 17, 2010
The hospital bed has helped Stan get a little more comfortable.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Tom and his family were here for the weekend. I told Tom that I was concerned about Stan being at home all day by himself. I felt the days would get very long for him. As soon as we got to church yesterday, Brother Peterson came up to Stan and asked him when he could come visit. We are all right because we have so many wonderful friends and family.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Stan's has been able to slow down his weight loss by drinking Carnation Instant Breakfast.
I struggled to come up with some way to celebrate Stan's birthday, since most celebrations are around food. On Sunday Stan mentioned that he would like to try Velveeta cheese. I bought some on Monday but didn't give it to him until today.
I cut a small square of cheese into a heart and stuck a birthday candle in it. He was very suprised and happy when he saw it. And the best part, HE ATE ALL OF IT !
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We arrived home Monday, Aug. 16. Stan went back to work on Wednesday.
He feels weak and has a difficult time eating. This has caused a drastic weight loss. He emailed his doctor and after some blood work, he was scheduled for a blood transfusion.
He had his blood transfusion today, as an outpatient at the hospital. It took all day. We were hoping that it would give him some energy but so far he said he just feels strange. Hopefully he will feel better tomorrow.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Stan and I started our trip across the US last Thursday (July 22nd), but before we left Stan had a wonderful surprise. Amanda came over Wed. night and presented the 'magic quilt' to Stan. In her quiet caring way she told him about the quilt and the love that went into its creation. Stan was very touched.
We brought the quilt on the trip and have told people of its message as we have traveled.
Our first destination was Nauvoo. We rented a house, overlooking the Mississippi, just outside of Nauvoo. All of Lila's living siblings except one, and some spouses spent 4 days touring, watching the pageant, in the rain and attending the Nauvoo Temple. The spirit of the sacrifice and their devotion to God, stayed with us wherever we were. Unbeknown to us when the trip was planned, it was a miracle that we were there at that time. In mid-December I decided to rent the house and set the dates, even though very few could commit at that time (I have seven sisters and one living brother). Stan's cancer had not been confirmed when the trip was planned but by the time we left on the trip he was at a point where he could leave the doctors behind but still be well enough to travel. A few days before she was to leave for Nauvoo, my youngest sister was diagnosed with bladder cancer. She went right to surgery but was well enough to travel to Nauvoo and be back for her next appointment. We didn't know this would be our only window of time, but the Lord knew and he knew how important that it was that we spent this time together.
After Nauvoo Stan and Lila and 4 of our relatives went to Mt. Rushmore. Stan got very sick at the site and Zelda, (Lila's sister) picked a man out of the crowd and asked him if he was a Mormon and could he help give a blessing. We found a spot that was away from the crowd and circled Stan. This young man, that was a stranger to us, gave Stan the most powerful blessing. As his voice cracked he spoke to our Heavenly Father and to Stan as if they were both his best friends. It was such a moving moment.
Stan and I left so that we could find him some medicine and help if he needed it. The next day we drove past Martin's Cove and decided to stop. It was too early for the buildings to be open so we started the two-mile walk to the cove. We took it slow and stopped at the benches to admire the view and rest. Stan was getting very tired but we could see a little cabin ahead and pushed on. The cabin was manned by 3 senior missionaries. Stan sat on the bench and asked them if this was the cove. When they said that it was a mile farther up the trail you could see the pain on his face because he wanted so much to see the cove, but he knew he could go no father. I explained to the missionaries his condition and his desire. One of the sisters went into the cabin. She used a walk-e-talkie to ask them to send a rover up to pick up Stan. A wonderful missionary drove us up to the cove. At the cove he explained what happened there and told us we could take all the time we wanted. The spirit was so strong, as we held onto each other and looked at the spot were so many had given so much, I couldn’t stop crying. Their faith was so strong and even though their trials were great, they were never alone. As we drove down I looked out across the mountains and saw a handcart company coming in. It was about a mile long of youth and leaders experiencing their own faith promoting experiences.
Friday night we were in the arms of our sweet little grandchildren. Stan wanted them all to see the 'magic quilt'. As I told them the story of the quilt I could see Stan lovingly rub his hand over the quilt. This is when I knew how much the quilt meant to him. I would like everyone who was involved in this magic to know how much it has touched our lives and the lives of all of those who love Stan.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
While helping Mike fix up his new house last fall, Dad fell off a ladder and cracked a couple of ribs. He continued to work through the pain until the job was done a couple of weeks later.
After returning to Maryland, Dad went in for an x-ray for the ribs. The doctors wanted a better look, so they ordered a CAT scan which revealed a tumor in the liver. About the same time they also discovered a blood clot in the leg and put him on anticoagulation medication. All this eventually led to a biopsy of the liver on December 30th and a PET scan on January 19th which confirmed cancer. The diagnosis is gallbladder cancer which has metastasized to the liver.
Typical treatment, and the only way to cure such cancer, is through surgery to remove the gallbladder and the infected portion of the liver. Unfortunately the right lobe of the liver is nearly entirely consumed with the tumor and the left lobe is not large enough to safely proceed with immediate surgery.
To combat the blood clot threat, on February 5th the doctors installed a vena cava filter. This is a last line of defense to catch blood clots and prevent them from entering the heart which can be fatal. Patients who have previously had a blood clot are at a higher risk of future blood clots and cancer tumors can also cause blood clots.
In an effort to prepare dad for surgery, on Feb 11th, the doctors attempted a procedure called portal vein embolization. This happened to coincide with the epic snowstorm in DC. Although few patients made it to the hospital, the doctors were there. They inserted a needle through Dad’s neck and, using x-ray, guided it to the liver where they hoped to block the portal vein which provides blood to the right lobe of the liver. By decreasing blood flow to the right lobe of the liver and increasing blood to the left, the hope was to grow the left lobe of the liver in preparation for surgery. Unfortunately, due to the size of the tumor, the doctors were unable to complete the procedure despite entering the liver from three different angles. This decreases and likely eliminates the possibility dad will become a candidate for liver surgery.
Despite the grim prognosis, all day in the hospital, and our urging him to rest, after returning from the hospital Dad spent most of the evening digging our neighbors out of the snow. Although he tires easily, has lost some weight and has a few aches and pains, Dad’s overall health is such that he is able to largely maintain his pre-cancer lifestyle.
Today we moved into the chemotherapy phase. Over about five hours dad received Gemzar and Cisplatin intravenously. These chemotherapy drugs will be followed by a bevy of anti-nausea medication over the following hours and days. Although the potential side effects are numerous, most, if not all, can be mitigated, controlled, or eliminated through medication. Dad will receive a day’s worth of chemo medication via IV once a week for three weeks and then take a week off. This routine will continue for 3-6 months when the situation will be re-evaluated.
Dad had some pain on the top of the foot which he reported to the doctor today. The doctor believes it is a blood clot and Dad will also start taking anticoagulation medication again.
My brother-in-law is working on a post doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. On Friday I took my dad's medical records up to JHU and had them reviewed by his boss. Although she doesn't know my dad, she has taken a keen interest in his case. She took time to discuss his case with her colleagues and has placed it on the docket for a multi-disciplinary conference today that has surgeons, radiologists, interventionalists, and medical oncologists. We are hopeful something will come of this.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The PET scan only showed cancerous activity in the vicinity of the liver. While this is good news, it was taken after the colonoscopy and removal of the polyp.
Unfortunately, the left lobe of the liver is not large enough to proceed safely with immediate surgery. There is a procedure called embolization where blood flow is cut off to the right lobe which causes the left lobe to grow. This essentially tricks the body into recovery before the surgery. The doctor would like to allow the liver to grow for six weeks after the portal vein embolization before surgery.
In November Stan had (a blot clot in the leg) and has been on medication to recover from that. To mitigate the risk factors associated with blood clots, a will insert a vena cava filter to prevent clots from entering the heart if they were to form and break loose.
The and portal vein embolization are both outpatient procedures done in a couple of hours.
In summary, while we don’t have an exact diagnosis yet there is a treatment plan in place and we are making the first few steps of a what will likely be a medical journey which takes several months. Stan is otherwise healthy, active and pain free. He has lots of love, prayers and support but can use any extra prayers.