A Change of Plans

On Thursday Kalissa posted this on Facebook so our family and friends could have an update on how Kramer was doing.
Update on my Dad:

Dad has been getting better every day. He can sleep better, swallow better, his pain is better controlled, he seems to be getting his humor back too. As the effects of radiation wears off he should continue to get better 🙂

We are enjoying not having to get him to Lacrosse every day! The car rides were getting SO long for him towards the end! Long curves and turns are hard on his neck.

He did go up for a neuro surgery visit yesterday. He will still be in the brace for the foreseeable future. If the cancer had gone to any other bone in the spine it could have been fixed by filling the bone with cement but not the C2. So right now the bone was described as a “shell.” Yeah, let’s leave the brace on 😬

We have a BIG day May 24th. Dad will go through the “truth machine” (aka PET scan) to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else. He will get a new chemo schedule, a new plan of attack, and meet with just about every service the hospital has to offer 😂

If you would wear your Kramer strong shirts next Friday – May 24th that would be great! Post a picture and use the hashtag #kramerstrong 🙂

He got to get a REAL shower today and we replaced the pads on the neck brace. I imagine it’s going to be a long summer for him wearing the brace – it’s going to be HOT. Plus, he’s so warm in general. We asked the doctor and he said as cancer cells are dying and “released” it can make you really hot and sweaty. Fun fact.

Anyway, I go back to work full time starting tomorrow. I’m so glad I was on this maternity leave the past three months. I know that was what I call a “God thing.” He knew I’d need to be there for my family and he knew we would need Gannon and Georgia for some relief from the seriousness of it all.

We are all still so overwhelmed by the support from everyone. My coworkers pooled together got us a huge gas card, our neighbors have been mowing our lawn and their neighbors have been mowing their lawn, the cards continue to come in daily, I love people wearing their Kramer Strong shirts, it’s just AMAZING how people have come around us to support us ❤️❤️❤️”

Well….things all changed about 12 hours later.  Here’s Friday’s news….

I woke up Friday morning and Kramer wasn’t awake.  This was weird but I was thankful thinking he finally slept good.  An hour or so later he was up but not doing the best.  He sometimes has a tough morning so I didn’t think too much about it.

By now the childcare kids were at our house.  That’s when Kramer came out to the kitchen and I knew things were not good.  He was sweating.  He was very short of breath, shaky and a little “slow”.

I got him sitting down and knew I needed some help.  Five kids with Kramer needing extra help was too much.  I couldn’t properly assess Kramer.  I suggested calling our neighbor but Kramer said NO.  She was working uptown at the fertilizer place and they were busy so we couldn’t bother her.  So I suggested calling our next neighbor Sally.  She’s at home a nurse.  I called and she came right away.

We started assessing Kramer and took his temp.  With all the things going on and him having a temperature of over 102, we knew we had to go.  So Sally kept an eye on Kramer and took care of Georgia while I started scrambling.  Parents needed to be called.  I needed to change my clothes and grab my overnight bag…just in case.

Parents came..Craig ended up taking Georgia.  Craig is great like that!!  Kramer and I headed to the local hospital.  I messaged the kids and we were on our way.  We were going to the local ER and Kalissa was working.

Kramer was profusely sweating.  His heart rate was high.  His blood pressure was tanking.  At one point it was 66/48.  The had trouble trying to get it up.  They did a chest x-ray and we were again plagued with problems for the radiologist to read the x-ray.  The tumor is still in his lung and no one can ever tell what is tumor and what is problematic for pneumonia.  UGH.  The plan was to get him to the bigger hospital and for us, that means back to Lacrosse.

We got here by 4:30pm…we have no real diagnosis yet.  The worst symptoms have lessened with the antibiotics they are giving him via IV meds.  His blood pressure is better…  95/60 ish.

Cultures need to grow.  Tests need to come back.  They need to collect all that and pow-wow before we know for sure what is going on.

I have to say we were so happy to see our old doctors back.  We LOVED Dr. Leuer.  We have him back.  He knows how our family works.  He talked to Kramer before I got there.  He came back again as he knew that I would want to hear everything that he was planning and he talked to me.  How cool is that.  He knows I’m very active in Kramer’s care and respected that.

A few minutes later I decided to go see about a room.  I saw one of his other doctors in the hall and he said wait…come back to the room so I can talk to you both.  Oh my.  I love when doctors respect how our family works.  It is so comforting.

So as I write, it’s Friday night.  I’m in the hospitality room at the hospital.  Kramer is up on third floor of the hospital.  We are going to be spending Saturday in the hospital AGAIN.  We have joked that we spent every Saturday in the hospital or ER.  In truth it’s been 4 of the last 5 Saturdays that we’ve needed medical attention.  UGH.

I’ll keep you posted when I know more….

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26 thoughts on “A Change of Plans

  1. Candi

    Oh no. I’m so sorry Kramer is having such a hard time.

    Saying extra prayers they can find the source and resolve the problems so you all can get back to normal.

    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  2. Sharon Runyan

    Lots of prayers heading out for you & your family. ❤️✝️❤️✝️

  3. Debbie Burgess

    Jo and Kramer, right now my prayer is for you both to have one good, solid week of no surprises, just a boring, restful week at home. I’m so sorry you all are having to go through all of this. At least you are in it together as a whole loving family. You remain in my prayers.

  4. Becky

    When my husband was sick with his cancer, it alwaysseemed to be on the weekend when we would have. To visit the hospital for problems, ending up staying a few days. I know it’s hard in both of you, stay strong, I’m thinking of you both!

  5. Marilyn

    KRAMER STRONG..It takes a village and so glad to be a part of it.. prayers for all of you helping KRAMER STRONG

  6. Debbie B

    Oh my so sorry to hear this. Thank goodness for your family and good friends and neighbors. Wish I could help out. Sending prayers for a quick diagnosis and recovery. Hugs!!!

  7. Ruth

    It’s a chain of love and caring that has spread from your needs to others assistance, the way we should all “Love One Another As I Have Loved You.” Reading how your neighbors are mowing your yard for you, and their neighbors are mowing their yard for them – especially now in the spring, when grass grows so fast, it is a small thing greatly appreciated. Prayers and best wishes to all Kramers and Friends.

  8. Robby H.

    Well, what a lousy development. Here’s to figuring out what the next move is and getting you all headed back to “normal” or whatever the next best thing is for you and your family. I have no wisdom for you, just good wishes and prayers.

  9. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    Know that prayers are going up for you all over the country. I ran into a woman at a local shop who reads your blog and knows that I do as well. WE are there for you!

  10. Linda

    Hugs for you….I pray for you all many times a day….it is so difficult to watch someone you love suffer…May today be a better day.

  11. Cindy F

    Last night I was at a painting party and a friend was making a “if life hands you lemons, make lemonade” sign for a friend of hers who was going through a hard time. I’m thinking you could have opened a lemonade stand with all the lemonade you’ve had to make recently. I continue to pray for your family and healing for Kramer. Hope things are looking better this morning.

  12. Lori Sparks Douglas

    Praying for answers and peace for your family! You are in God’s hands. Looking back, you have conquered so much. Keep the faith that this is just a step you must go through to get to recovery. You have great support and love to help you through! Take care.

  13. Marianne Barta

    So sorry for this again — will continue prayers for Kramer and you. Not knowing what is up is the hardest. Prayers and hugs

  14. Pat Anderson

    Oh my, one thing after another! Still praying for all of you! I wonder if one of those towels you wet and put around your neck would help Kramer be more comfortable? Having had two neck surgeries myself, I can attest to the fact that those braces are HOT! Kramer Strong!

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