Hay to Nebraska

It’s been a bit since I’ve done any posts about anything that’s happening at the farm.  Part of that is because Kramer hasn’t been out working much and we don’t always know everything that’s going on.  One thing we do know and are VERY impressed with was out local FFA (Future Farmers of America). They coordinated an event where local farmers from our area donated hay and other farm related products and had them shipped to Nebraska.

Achen Farm where Roger works is very close to the local school and the farm served as the drop off site.

4 semi loads of hay and 2 enclosed trailers headed out to Nebraska!  Besides that, $10,000 of monetary donations went with them as well.  Kramer and I are so impressed to be part of such a great community.

Here is the FFA group…. Continue reading

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My Visit with Dr. Thida

Okay…If you’re following along with my personal cancer saga you know I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in 2016.  You know I had surgery and radioactive iodine treatment.  You know that I’ve continued to go back for testing every six months and my tumor marker has risen every time.  You also know that I was sent to Mayo Clinic in Rochester and ended up missing my doctor at Gundersen in Lacrosse.

Well today I went back to see my old doctor.  Ah…I remember why I love her.  She is kind.  She is compassionate.  She is respectful.  Oh…she’s the perfect doctor.  I saw her and was thrilled to talk with a doctor who took time with me and was organized…and through.

Here’s the plan we came up with and explanations she gave me.

Remember I had the PET scan last week and now they want a full body scan.  She explained that the PET scan would only find cancer that is not treatment compatible with radioactive iodine.  That was clear.  Now we need to check if I have a cancer that IS treatment compatible with radioactive iodine.  To do that, I need the full body scan.

I have to be on the low iodine diet (which I have been since last Friday) for 10 days before the testing dose is given to me and I have the scan.  There is a protocol for the testing week.  It goes like this:

Monday-shot
Tuesday-shot
Wednesday-test dose of radioactive iodine
Thursday-nothing but I can’t do childcare
Friday-test and meeting with doctor to review test

We scheduled all of this to start next week…and best news of all…I can do it LACROSSE at GUNDERSEN.  They also let me schedule my times to coordinate with Kramer’s radiation!!  I don’t have to go to Mayo Clinic to do it.  Our family needed this.

So here are the possible scenarios as to the results of the full body scan: Continue reading

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Georgia Grace–An Update!

A post from Kelli–

The past few weeks have been tough!  If you’ve read the blog for any amount of time, you are probably aware of Dad’s ongoing fight with lung cancer and his side effects, Gannon’s troubles, Mom, and all of the other life “stuff” that we’ve been having in our family.

Someone once told me that unless you experience lows, you won’t know how wonderful the highs are.  The past few weeks have had some of the highest highs for our family, but unfortunately some of the lowest lows.

Needless to say, this little lady has been one of the highest highs!

Honestly, she has been literally the best baby ever!  She was born on March 4th and although she’s still in newborn clothes and size 1 diapers, she’s literally taken over my heart!

Here it’s bath time…see?? Continue reading

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Tuesday Medical Report

Well..I have medical news on TWO fronts.  Kramer first:

This weekend was tough…Monday was tough too.  We talked to the doctors about it all.  They asked about symptoms.  We answered.

We are to the point that Kramer can no longer eat solid food.  What has happened is that the radiation hits his esophagus and has given it a “sunburn”.   It makes swallowing food very difficult.  Normal food is more of less out and he’s living on cottage cheese, yogurt, puddings, Boost drinks and other similar items including McDonald’s chocolate shakes.

Image result for mcdonalds chocolate milkshake
Food was a big way of life for him…for all of us so this has been hard but he’s been a trooper.  We asked how long this could last.  We were told that in would likely last a few weeks AFTER radiation is done.  The last radiation day is May 8th…so asked if he’d have some relief by June 1st…and the answer was yes.  That is a light at the end of the tunnel but seriously, that’s a long tunnel.

They gave him fluids with his chemo today…no surprise, with the swallowing issue, dehydration is now an issue too.

Our biggest concern of the day is headaches.  Kramer has had a lot of headaches through this whole ordeal.  They are “rams horn” headaches.  They start in the back of his skull and radiate around to his temples.  He has them regularly.  Last week when he got steroids on Wednesday and Thursday, the headaches were gone.  Friday and over the weekend, the headaches were back.  This has prompted the doctors to order a head MRI.  They was to do it to make sure that there is no brain cancer.   Yes.  We had one before but that was back in February.  We were told things can change.  We were also told that chemo even if given for lung cancer will blanket the body but not the brain.  So…that is Wednesday’s added event, the head MRI.

Besides all of that about three medicines are either going to be used more of or less of.  I finally told the doctor, this ALL has to be written down.    This is why you should NEVER let a cancer patient go to appointments by themselves.  NEVER!

Also…Kramer isn’t always as truthful as he should be with doctors.  They asked if he was dizzy.  He said only when he gets up.  That is not true.  He’s dizzy much of the time.  He’s compensated for it and now doesn’t realize he is.  It has become his new normal.  Then I tell the doctor no and give examples and then Kramer says…Ya.  I guess I am.  It’s so hard.  I almost feel like I am betraying him in the doctor’s office.  AH!!

Chemo and radiation are done.  As of me writing this, we have 12 radiation and 2 chemos left.  When he got this last radiation the tech said, “Ah, you look pretty tough.”  He does.  They joked about it and then she said, “Ya these next two weeks or so are going to be really hard on you.”  UGH.  We know that and she didn’t say it meanly but UGH.  We were kind of hoping this weekend was only a setback.  We’re beginning to wonder if it’s the new norm.

Now, my report…I’m warning you.  Grab a cup of coffee.  It’s a saga too…. Continue reading

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