Author Archives: Jo

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter!!

Few things beat Easter morning for me.  I don’t think we’ll make it this year.  Kramer still isn’t feeling really well…If you’re there and if you’re a singer, belt out “Jesus Christ has risen today”.  It’s my favorite!!

Image result for happy easter images

I don’t say much about religion here on the blog.  I’m not super public about my religion, political views or anything else along those lines.  I am not here to preach or push anything on anyone.  But…I am sharing this today.  It comes from a christian perspective and if it’s not something you want to read, that’s okay.  Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.  If you don’t mind a little bit of a christian view on things, read on.

Kramer and I have spent the last almost 3 months dealing with his cancer diagnosis.  Through it everyone has been so amazingly great.  We’ve had all sorts of kindnesses both expressed and given to us.

A couple people have given us McDonald’s gift cards.  It’s Kramer who is using the cards.  He can swallow chocolate shakes and he gets one on every trip to Lacrosse now.  Seriously, there’s not a lot of foods he can eat so this a blessing.

Image result for mcdonalds gift card images
He SO appreciated the gift cards.  Thank you!!

Some family and friends have sent us gas cards, a VISA card, a Home Depot card, a Subway card.  SO MANY people have sent good wishes cards.  We expected nothing from anyone.  We’ve loved the well wishes and prayers  sent whether that be across the airs, in the comment section here or through the mail.  We love and appreciate it all.

As Easter approached I couldn’t help but think of all the notes, prayers, gifts and kindness, that have been sent our way as Kramer has been fighting cancer.  Many people who have done kindnesses don’t know us.  Many people have never met us.  All of this amazes us….we are undeserving of any of this.  We aren’t always kind.  We aren’t always thoughtful. We aren’t always doing great things…yet, you have given to us.

We are undeserving of anything.

Some of you have done wonderful things….Some of you we’ve never met.  Yet, you do kindnesses for us.

All of this is unbelievable to us.  As I said, we are undeserving.

With this all happening at Easter time, we can’t help, as christians, to think of this with an Easter spirit.  We are undeserving of of the gift of forgiveness.  We try…but never can do or be enough to enter heaven any other way but through the death of Jesus…yet forgiveness is given to us.  All we need to do is accept it.

Accepting gifts has been so hard for us.  All of you have helped us practice receiving gifts.  Thanks to the support you’ve given us, this year more than ever, it is easier for us to accept the gift of forgiveness we believe is offered to us by the death of Jesus that happened on Good Friday and is celebrated on Easter Sunday.  Many of you have helped us learn to truly accept a gift with no strings attached…much like the gift Jesus offers at Easter.

Thank you for teaching us to accept gifts.  It’s made Easter more special to us than ever.

Saturday Surprise (a not so good one)

Friday night it was the consensus that I was to get some sleep.  I had a rough go of things with my own doctor appointments and sometimes, when a person can’t do much of anything they can control, sleep is the only medicine that does any good.

Kelli and Kayla were here.  We went to Good Friday church then came home and tried to figure out something I could eat….something Kramer could eat and something Kayla could eat.

Kramer’s problems with swallowing have progressed over the last couple days.  Eating is getting harder and harder.  The doctor told him on Tuesday that he’s a little early for this to be happening.  He said for some swallowing gets so bad that they need to go on a liquid diet.  Unfortunately he has gotten to where everything needs to be soft food….not puree yet but definitely soft.

Kayla is vegetarian.

Me…I put myself on the low iodine diet starting yesterday.  I was told at my appointment that we’d do a PET scan and then if nothing shows up on the PET scan, I’d need to have the full body scan.  To have the full body scan I have to be on the low iodine diet for 10 days….so I want to be ahead on the two weeks schedule-so I started the diet.  Maternity leave for Kelli and Kalissa is coming to an end before long and I want to have their help to manage the childcare kids so the quicker I get this done, the better…that is if I need to have it done.

So…what can we eat???  We ended up with Fajitas.  Kayla couldn’t have the meat…I couldn’t have the tortilla.  It was a little much for Kramer to eat but he managed by eating very slowly.

After supper all I heard from the three of them was “go to bed mom”….”what can I do so that you’ll just go to bed”….”are you going up soon?”.  I really think they all conspired against me.

As tired as I was, I still wanted to do something for me.  So I got out the bag that I take on appointments and sorted.  I cleaned it out and got another project together to add to the bag.  It was just the small simple task that I needed to do to feel like I did something for me and a task I really wanted done before we go to the doctor on Monday for chemo.

By this time it was after 10pm.  Then upstairs I went to go to bed.  I had every intention of going to sleep but…that didn’t happen.  I put some clothes away and putzed.  So by 10:45pm I was finally lights out.

At 4:30 I woke up and went to the bathroom…I laid there a few minutes and dozed off.  I vaguely remember Kramer going downstairs and the next thing I knew Kelli came barreling up the stairs.  Kramer was sick and needed to go to the ER immediately.

I came downstairs.  Kramer’s breathing was terrible.  He was coughing.  We were sure he likely had pneumonia.  He requested to go to the ER.  That doesn’t happen often….He doesn’t ask to go to the doctor.

Well Kelli and Kayla flew into fast mode.  Kramer was bad enough that we thought there was a good chance he’d be admitted.  The girls were packing my bags…filling my medicine sorter as they were empty and running to do Kramer’s errands.  It was about then that Kayla said – “Oh no.  Mom-you need food.”  Remember I’m on low iodine now…ugh.  So then the girls packed me food and off we went.

We debated awhile on where we would go….Lacrosse or the local hospital ER.  We ended up opting for the local hospital.  It’s the ER that Kalissa works at and they all treat Kramer like a king when he goes.

Here we are…
…and here’s what we found out. Continue reading

Drive Safe

Through all of Kramer’s cancer we have both been trying to deal with the wide range of emotions that comes with this.  Everything is so much more and so much bigger.

Let me start this story back a little further….back to my childhood…back to Kramer’s childhood.

I grew up in a family that wasn’t big on emotions.  Once I went to school I don’t ever remember getting a hug.  I don’t ever remember being told that I was loved.  Really, that never bothered me.  I knew I was loved.  I knew my mom and dad cared for me.  I didn’t ever think anything different.  I thought that was how life was.

I can vividly remember my older sister having a baby.  Mom, Dad and I went to the hospital to see the baby.  My main memory of the whole event was that my dad kissed my sister on the cheek.  I don’t remember the baby.  I don’t remember anything else about the event other than my Dad kissing my sister on the cheek.

Affection like that was so rare in my family.  That simple kiss on the cheek was memorable.

When I went to college my roommate thought this was odd (didn’t you Lori??)  She was very encouraging of me to tell my mom that I loved her.  Honestly, I thought Lori was weird because she did told her parents and grandparents  she loved them.  She always was hugging them when they came for a visit.  It was just weird to me.

Honestly…I didn’t feel any less loved that our family wasn’t affectionate, but it really bothered Lori.

Later I met Kramer… Continue reading

The Pet Scan

I told you that my plan was to try to get a PET scan on Friday.  There were no appointments open but Kayla and I decided that we would go and I would be what they refer to as a “checker”.  Checkers go to the desk where the procedure happens and then they wait with the hope that somehow an appointment would open up.

One of the reasons I really wanted to try for Friday to get in was this…the childcare kiddos are all sick.  Well as far as I know, I have two families that have escaped the stomach flu.  This flu has been so contagious that it has wiped out the kindergarten classroom at our local school.  One day the week before so many kids had it that there were only three kids left at school that didn’t have it.  They ended up cancelling kindergarten for the next day of school.

I have school aged kids that come before and after school and I was trying to avoid having it sneak into childcare.  So I was already closed Thursday so I could go to the doctor…closing Friday, might keep the flu away from our house and I was going to have to close either Friday or Tuesday anyway.  So we decided that it was a smart move to try for Friday.

We were up early and left here at about 5:30am.  We were at the desk and checking in at 7:50am.  We were told the day before that they start seeing patients at 8am on Fridays so we thought that would be a good time to come.  DARN.  There were TWO other people there in front of me as checkers.  Oh no!!  It was then that we decided the plan might not work.  UGH.

Kayla and I had plenty to do with…Me cross stitching…Kayla designing quilts and looking for houses for sale.  We tried to inconspicuously listen to the other people in the waiting room to try to figure out who else was checkers.

Eventually we figured out the people in the corner were checkers and at about 9am they got called to the desk and were told that an opening came and they would be called back soon.  YAHOO!!

What we didn’t know is if they were checkers #1 or checkers #2.  So we listened some more…at about 10am some people that were sitting next to us were called up to the desk.  It turns out they were checkers too.  I didn’t know if they were PET scan checkers or checkers for something else.  I decided to get brave.  I went over and asked.  They were PET scan checkers.  YAHOO.  They were told they would be called by 11am.

Okay.  This was more promising.  At 10:45am I heard someone was checking in at the desk for their appointment.  The lady at the desk had been asking everyone if they had fasted.  This person said that they hadn’t.  They had tea that morning.  Hmmm.  She ended up taking the person back and someone was talking to them.  I didn’t think anything of it.

Five minutes later I got called to the desk and was told that I would be going back for the scan soon.  YAHOO!!  I was getting in.  (Seriously, who gets excited to get a PET scan…I guess I do.)

So I got taken back.  I’m guessing most of you haven’t had one done…so I’ll tell you a bit about it.

Patients go back.. Continue reading