From Bad to Worse

To say we had a TERRIBLE weekend would be an understatement. As I write, Kelli, Georgia and I are in the hotel in Lacrosse. Kramer is in the hospital next door. It was the longest weekend of my life.

We had fun plans for the weekend. We were going to host a baby shower for my side of the family on Saturday at our house and baptism for Gannon on Sunday. BUT..then we had predicted snow. At one point they thought maybe 6-10 inches. Well that cancelled all of those plans. We all ended up a little relived after we did. We’ve had a full plate lately and having a weekend that was now plan free seemed like the bonus we needed to get recharged for the final leg of my testing and Kramer’s final leg of radiation and chemo. That wasn’t to be. We are all more tired than ever.

Saturday morning came and looked promising. Kramer and I hung out, and even went to a garage sale in the morning. About 2:30pm that afternoon, he went to the basement to take a shower. When he came back up he said, “Something is weird. I feel like if I twisted my head just right, my head would fall off.” I thought that was the weirdest comment ever. About 3pm he had a terrible headache. I didn’t like it and called Kalissa asking she come over and check him out. We gave him extra pain meds and didn’t think anything of it.

Kalissa went home and by 6pm, she was at my house again and we were packing up and loading Kramer into the truck with him and I headed to the ER in no time. We ended up at the local ER in Decorah. It’s the one Kalissa works at. We knew he needed some bigger gun pain killers. Something was off and the headaches were terrible. After a CT scan of his neck, lots of pain meds and a soft collar for his neck, we were sent home. We had our first blow of bad news. Kramer has cancer in his C2 vertebrae and it’s eating away the bone. His scans were sent to Lacrosse. Doctors consulted. It was okay for us to go home and consult with our doctors on Monday to get a plan. He could up his pain meds. We were devastated. All the uncertainty of not having a plan were back. All the ifs and worries were back. We were so close to a finish line and now, here we are at square one.

Kramer made it through the night. He made it through a couple hours that morning. Kayla hearing the news that things had gone bad came home and started helping. She was amazing. By 10am Kramer couldn’t do it anymore and we were back on the road this time to the Lacrosse ER. It didn’t really happen as easy as that sounds. Phone calls to on call doctors…over night bags being packed and remember my diet so I can take my testing. We needed to pack for me as I can’t eat anything in a restaurant.

Two hours to Lacrosse to the ER. Two hours in the ER. Pain meds on board and now Kramer had a new hard collar to support his neck more. The ER doctor consulted everyone. All of his CT scan from the day before were looked at again. No one was thinking this was something that couldn’t be handled on Monday. Kramer didn’t think so either…so back home we went..another 2 hours.

When we got home the house was amazingly clean. Kayla had stayed and made it shine. Laundry was done. Just what we needed to be able to enjoy a night together. Kramer was up for some ice cream so we invited Kalissa and Craig over and had ice cream and brownies that Kayla had made (I didn’t..everyone else did) It was as close to a family meal as we’ve had in a long time.

Kramer was pooped so to the living room he went. His neck collar was getting hot and sweaty so while Kalissa and Craig were there, he took it off. He leaned back in the chair and screamed. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don’t know how we’re going to get me in the truck.” No one knew what that meant. No one knew what to do until someone said, “To the ER?” and Kramer said YES.

Thankfully the overnight bags were still packed. We grabbed a few more things. Craig turned the pickup around and backed it into the garage so the passenger door was closest. Then we started the task of trying to get Kramer to the truck. Something was terribly wrong. We all knew it. A talk of the ambulance..then finally we decided to try it. Craig held traction support on Kramer’s head/neck. Kalissa and I held and supported his arms…Carver held the door. We made it to the truck but Kalissa was now in the backseat holding traction on Kramer’s head. Off we went. This was serious. We all knew it was really serious and URGENT. We went to the local ER.

After lots of pain meds and another CT scan we found out that Kramer broke his neck. The C2 vertebrae didn’t make it.

He took a ride in the ambulance to get to Lacrosse. Kelli, Georgia and I took our truck. We got to the hotel at 1am…Thankfully Kelli and Georgia are sleeping. Me. Not.

I’m off to put some clothes on and drag myself through another day. Kramer needs me and we all need a new plan. Surgery was vaguely discussed as was a long hospital stay. I’ll let you know more when I know more. Right now, our family is hurting.

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136 thoughts on “From Bad to Worse

  1. Tonya Reichard

    Jo, I am so sorry to hear this. I will continue to lift you all up in prayer and Kramer will get a very special one. God Bless you all and I pray that the tide will soon in a positive direction. Take care of yourself too!

  2. Deborah Rhodes

    As a regular reader I rarely comment but your horrible health saga has been in my thoughts and prayers this evening as I read this my heart broke. Hugs and prayers

  3. Nancy L Fratz

    Jo, I am so sorry to hear the latest news about Kramer and what you and your amazing family are going through. All the prayers and tears for you and your family is a testiment to how much we all who read your blog love you all. I’m sure that all of us wish there was something we could do to make life easier for you. Please set up a Go Fund Me page and put it on your blog so that all of us can donate. That is one thing that we could do for you, and it is a way for us to help you. Unexpected expenses during these trying times is hard on families. Please let us help you in this way-it would be a constructive way for us to ease some of your stress. Love to you and your family

  4. Nell

    Heartsick right with you, know that you are surrounded with love and grace-God’s hands are wrapped around all of you. Find strength and courage, healing and hope in faith. Much prayer and love being sent for you and to you.

  5. Jill Klop

    I have no words…please know that I’m praying. It just doesn’t feel like anything. Thanks for the updates!

  6. Sandra Davidson

    I am so sorry Jo, my heart ached for the trauma Kramer is going through and the pain you and your whole family are suffering. I sending more prayers for all of you . You are such a special family and I know you will all stay strong. Hugs ad Blessings Sandra

  7. Nancy A

    Jo — I am so terribly sorry that you all are going through all this. Your family is amazing — so supportive of each other. I am praying for you.

  8. Lisa G Boyer

    There are no words except to say that I’m so sorry that you and your family have to go through this terrible ordeal. I keep you in my thoughts constantly, wishing and hoping the best for all of you.

  9. Diane

    Jo, there is power in prayer and you have many prayers being directed to your family from all around. You all have amazing strength and a family unity in your favor as well. Continuing to keep you and yours in my prayers. Blessings for the Kramer’s.

  10. susan

    Praying for your family as you go through these trying times. Wishing I could give you a big hug too.

  11. Maureen

    Jo, I could hardly believe what I was reading tonight. Saying that I am sorry seems so trivial and inadequate. I cannot begin to imagine how painful this is for all of you. I pray for sleep, for strength, for faith for all of you.

  12. Nancy L Fratz

    Please set up a go fun me account for Kramer and your family. Those of us who have been reading the blog over the years would be able to donate to it and help I in some way. Put it on the blog and let folks know. We all feel so helpless, at least we could help with the expenses for your family. I am so very sorry that this has happened to Kramer, Jo and your amazing family. I love how you all pull together to help each other. There are so many unexpected expenses and it would make us blog readers able to do something to help.
    Nancy Fratz

  13. ShirlR

    I am holding Kramer up in prayer for his healing as well as your whole family for strength. I am so very sorry to hear of this latest turn of events. May the Lord’s angels surround all of you.

  14. Lisa B

    Prayers for you and your family. I’m so sorry for this turn of events. Even in our darkest days God and His angels are still with us.

  15. Lynn

    I am so sorry to read that Kramer is in so much pain.
    Wishing you all continued strength to get you all through this.

  16. Donna

    Father God, you hold Kramer and the rest of the family in the palm of your hand and we trust you. We pray for healing for him, Jo, and the rest of the family. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.

  17. Darlene B

    I don’t comment often, but I have been following your journey. I am praying for your family. My husband is a former smoker and using your experiences, I am making him get some testing done. Blessings to all of you.

  18. Marianne Barta

    Prayers always for Kramer and you. I am so sorry for what you are going through. Hugs

  19. Cindy F

    Read Kelli’s post before this one and my heart is just going out to you and Kramer. Praying that the doctors can come up with a surgery to help him and praying also for your testing.

  20. Barbara Firesheets

    So sorry to hear of the latest setbacks. Will continue to send prayers for Kramer, and all the family. You are loved more than you know! Big hugs!

  21. Kim J LeMere

    Prayers for some comfort for Kramer and some sleep for you Jo. I wish there was something I could do to relieve some of this heart ache this road is taking you down. What a crazy week end, you must all be exhausted. Know that we keep you all in our prayers for healing, comfort and normalcies once again.
    Drive safe Kramer family, Hugs

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