A Little About Me…

So today was doctor day for me.  It was quite the day all around.  Kalissa, Gannon and Kayla went with me.  Kelli took Kramer to his radiation appointment.

For us, this is a trip from NE Iowa into Southern Minnesota, to Rochester, MN.  One of the towns we go through it Spring Valley.  If you’re a Kramer, Spring Valley means the bakery.

Everytime we go to Rochester we purposely leave a little early just so we can stop at the bakery.

Spring Valley also has some awesome old houses.  This one is Kalissa’s favorite.  She loves the black and white.  She has vowed should she ever reside her house, she’ll definitely do it in this color scheme.

Gannon was EXCELLENT….not a peep out of him.  (Promise…I’ll do an update on him soon)

The waiting room was PACKED…this was for the lab.

I got a student for the blood draw.  He missed and then the “teacher” had to DIG…It wasn’t terrible…but we didn’t get in at the right time so we were a few minutes late to the next appointment which was a neck ultrasound.

I checked in at the kiosk and then started waiting again.  We waited a bit and then we started wondering why I hadn’t been called back.  Kayla went into the check in and asked.  It turns out it didn’t check me for the ultrasound, it checked me into the chest CT scan which was supposed to be after the ultrasound.

We waited a bit more and then I got called back.

It was uneventful.  When I got back to the waiting room, Kalissa was all smiles and had her phone out to show me a picture she took of Gannon while I was gone.  This is the picture.

The story she told me was this:Gannon had farted SUPER loud….and then he was all smiles.

The lady in the waiting room in the sitting area across from them said, “Oh my, was that the baby?”

Yes…yes it was the baby!!!

From there…I was taken to a different area because I was way late for the CT scan appointment.  It turned out all okay.

We tried really hard to make fun in a bit of a stressful day….the girls and Gannon were great.

From there it was lunch and a quick bit of shopping then back to Mayo for the results.

I’ll admit to being a bit impatient.  So a couple times while we were waiting I checked my phone to the patient portal to see if any test results were in.  I did it again as we were waiting to see the doctor and that’s when I saw the results of the Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker was in.  I looked and there it was….  UGH.  My number had doubled.  And that’s when they called me back.

Well, of course, my blood pressure went WHAM.  So then the person who checked me in was all worried about that.  UGH.

From there Gannon provided the comic relief we needed.  He was hungry.  We had a area in our room that could be curtained off.  We had a young guy as the person who was checking me out before the doctor came in.  Kalissa could see he would be uncomfortable with her publicly nursing so she said she was going to go behind the curtain and nurse Gannon.

Well Gannon was LOUDLY sucking and smacking.  It was hilarious as we could see the guy visibly being uncomfortable.  Gannon would smack louder and louder.  Kayla and I were stressed…it was funny and it was all we could not to laugh.

The buy left the room shielding his eyes from the curtain and Kayla and I started laughing out loud once the door closed.  Oh my.  Seriously…it was the relief we needed.

After that cleared my doctor came in.  She said there was good news and bad news.  I’m still a little confused over what she thought was good.

So…this is the long and short…
-My tumor marker doubled
-The things they thought were in my lungs aren’t there anymore
-There is something in my upper right lung that they think is likely from a cold that they will check again next time
-My ultrasound checked out okay

They don’t know where a cancer is.  They think there is something somewhere but don’t know where.  So..next up PET scan.  They don’t really have any openings until Tuesday morning at 6am…so they do have a checker program.  People can go, sit in the waiting room and can hopefully be worked into the schedule.  That’s our plan.  We are doing that tomorrow.  We’re arriving early and hopefully can get in.  If not…Tuesday it is.

My doctor is not super on the bedside manor.  She tries.  She’s okay…but I really don’t love her at all.  She seemed dismissive that were alarmed that the tumor marker doubled.  She said that I wasn’t symptomatic so if they do find a cancer, there is a chance that they would let it grow as the treatments may be hard.  WHAT??  That’s weird to me.

The sense of urgency was ZERO.  I’ll admit to feeling a little frustrated.  I was honestly ready to ask her, do you want a cancer growing in you and randomly “hanging out”?  I am an adult and didn’t.  I do admit to feeling some justified frustration.  I admit to feeling angry.  I’m going to re-evaluate everything again when I’m a little more rested and and further away from the disappointment of it all.   I so wanted to be okay enough at the check up that our family didn’t need to worry about me to.

That wasn’t to be.

I know many of you will say, get a second opinion.  We have already talked about that.  If they say, “Just let it grow” we’ll check into something else.

37 thoughts on “A Little About Me…”

  1. I’ll bet you and Roger feel like that Rocky Mountain you’ve been climbing together just became Mt. Everest! All your “sisters” are standing behind you and your family. By all means, err on the side of being pushy, demanding a second opinion, totally proactive for both of you. You are so strong to be able to share what’s happening with your online friends. We are with you.

  2. Sydney is right, you are very strong and it shows. And after reading many of the replies that you have received through all of this with Roger, you have people all over the world that are thinking of you and praying for you! After Gannon’s ordeal, I agree 100% about a second opinion.

  3. You have so much on your plate right now. I’m sorry to hear that your markers are up. I am a member of this facebook group and if you post your situation, they will offer all kinds of ways to compliment or replace traditional treatments. “Cancer Cures & Natural Healing Research Group ” Somethings may be way out there but others are simple, like Essiac Tea and apricot seeds for instance. Lots of good success stories there. Bless you!

  4. I would be angry too….and Who wouldn’t want whatever is causing all this out of them….praying hard for you….hugs…

  5. Jeanne……. you gotta do what your heart says…..You are to young to not get a second opinion that is way to unconcerning for a Dr………..I don’t get that at all…….you have way to much going for you to not too..Just get the second opinion ….makes it so hard when everything is so darn $$…..Just “Do it” Love…..Hugs….Prayers …….

  6. beverly a schwartz

    jo i got my cancer markers down by taking dandalion root my doctors were really surprise at how its working i go to the bellin cancer clinics you can get 2 opions right away they always demand you do if you don’t like the results hope this helps you iam now 7 years cancer free and i go for my test every year my blood pressure always goes high i blame it on them

  7. Maxine Corimski

    Jo, I was going through my notes page on my iPad and found this note. Naturally, I had to send it to you. I hope this helps with your decision to get a second opinion. You’re like I am. If I don’t trust a doctor — I move on.

    Cancer Treatment – The 2nd Opinion that is Saving Lives | Envita Medical Center

    Search for Envira Medical Center. Im not sure where it’s located but, hey, might just help you.

  8. Jo please get a second opinion. It will give you some peace of mind! Glad the girls went with you and Gannon was the comic relief!!!

  9. Test results are either filled with good news or concerning news. If you are not sure what your doctor said, ask for another doctor in the department to discuss your results with you. Sometimes hearing the results and plan for treatment from another doctor will give you clarity and piece of mind. Praying.

  10. I would encourage you to contact the patient representative at Mayo. All clinics have one. No pt should be left feeling as you did especially at Mayo where there are numerous providers for each specialty. this type of provider should not be working there.

  11. That Dr. doesn’t sound like she’s in touch at all. I would get a second opinion for sure. Sorry your numbers were now what you expected. Love that Gannon provided comic relief for the day. Hugs!

  12. Sorry you had a bummer dr. visit. We have never felt that way when we left our appointments at Mayo! I’d check into it. On a happy note, I love the picture of Gannon smiling.

  13. Oh Jo! I’m so sorry your results were not what you’d hoped! Glad Gannon was with all of you to just be a baby and provide the comic relief you needed. A second opinion would certainly be a very reasonable thing to ask for. I’ll continue to keep you and Kramer in my prayers. As Sydney said you are strong and will come out on top!

  14. Dear Jo, I will continue my prayers for you! I feel your frustration and am angry on your behalf on the response you got from your doctor. I’m so sorry for this for you. Thank you for sharing the comic relief of Gannon, what a little treasure. Many hugs!!

  15. I’m sorry, that certainly sounds frustrating. It would be okay to express that in a nice way to your doctor and simply ask her, “Can you help me understand why I don’t sense any urgency in your approach to my care?” Sometimes, the answer is simply perspective that is easier to have when you aren’t the patient, and sometimes it is that there isn’t much they can do until the problem becomes more clear. I’ve had a situation like this and the ensuing conversation with my doc was very helpful in giving ME perspective on how serious the situation actually is. And sometimes the doctor doesn’t have great bedside manner or is worrying about another situation, but it’s ok to ask for clarification regarding your own care.

  16. Jo, I love your family support. It’s so great they live close enough to be there. Gannon’s stories are awesome – farting and breastfeeding – who couldn’t laugh at that

    The thing about medical people is they see it all day, every day. I grew up with nurse siblings and now have an NP daughter. They see so much worse that our diagnosis seems like no big deal. When our daughter is concerned, we are terrified.

    I agree with the 2nd opinion if they want to just let it grow. You do what’s best for you. Praying for you and your family.

  17. As crazy as it sounds, some cancers grow so slowly (prostate cancer being a prime example) that more damage is done treating them than would be done by the cancer itself. So while we (non-doctors) freak out about just the word, doctors have a wider view about the overall risks. Unfortunately doctors don’t always communicate this well, and none of it gets us over our innate fear of the whole concept of cancer.

  18. Your Dr may be extremely knowledgeable, but, if you’re not feeling comfortable you should consider changing Dr’s, or at the very least getting a second opinion. Personal stress is not good for cancer, and goodness knows you have enough in your life right now. You need to have confidence in your Dr. and her opinions. A second opinion at Duke saved my life…I highly recommend them.

  19. Jo, I am sorry you and your family are having to go through so many health issues right now. I agree with the other commenters that you need to tell your doctor your concerns and find out why she has this opinion. In my experienced, with one or two exceptions, most specialists are not people oriented so they need a wake up call on how they present information. Keeping you in my thoughts.

  20. Oh dear. Sounds like a very uncomfortable conversation with your doctor. Hoping and praying that you get in for the test as needed and answers are found.

  21. Jo,
    I’m so sorry you were treated as if you didn’t matter. Not knowing the doctor I’m not sure if that is typical or not. Some doctors are that way, others are very caring and nurturing. I personally like the nurturing ones but have to deal with others at times.
    I can personally say it is frustrating knowing there is cancer “somewhere”. I speak from first hand knowledge stage IV breast cancer metastasized to the bones yet never have found any in either breast. I just take each day as a gift. Just had another PET today hoping for the best.
    Know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Get another opinion for your peace of mind. As for double the tumor markers been there done that then the next month they were dropped down. So just remember it’s just one tool they look at. More important is how you feel and how well you are functioning. You have been under a lot of stress which effects numbers. Take each day as the gift you are given and enjoy it to the max.
    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  22. I understand your frustration. On note about Gannon–sounds like Carver is going to have lot of competition being onery

  23. Dear Jo and family,
    Quite the appointment set ups – you’re wise to investigate! Do talk to another doc! Sounds to me that the little guy’s intestines are lined up great if long and loud gas is escaping! Great! Prayers and hugs to each of you!
    Prayers and hugs to Candi and all the blogging friends!
    Happy Easter!!! Gloria

  24. Dear Jo;

    I think any normal person would be angry/mad/dissappointed. Don’t hesitate to follow up with another Dr. if your heart and gut tell you to do that. So happy that you have such a supportive family for these obstacles. Sending prayers and hugs. Grand children are a wonderful source of laughter aren’t they?

  25. You had such a wonderful day with your girls and grand baby. Loved the farting story. :-D Now you know who to blame when someone else “does it” !
    I’m sorry the results were not more positive. Continuing to keep all of you in prayer.

  26. Sharon Hughson

    I did not read all the posts responding to your post about the poor fit with your Dr. Perhaps someone else has suggested this. Did you know you can ask for another Dr.? They are making money treating you and being in the medical field before I retired, I know they want to keep treating you. I have done this personally both at MD’s and dentists offices. You have a right to a good ‘fit’ with your Dr.

  27. Jo,
    That is totally unacceptable! Like one person said, speak to the patient representative there. Definitely get a different doctor, there must be more than one at the Mayo. If you can’t be working with your doctor, how can you expect to get better.

  28. Jo,

    I join the others in being sorry that the doctor wasn’t making an effort to make sure you were informed and understanding why the doctor was saying what she was.
    I also agree to get a 2nd opinion. I would, however, go to a different institution. Doctors in the same hospital system, town, whatever, will rarely contradict each other, even in the face of outright errors.

    I wanted to write to say I did a little research knowing that every blood test has something that can throw it off. For the tests you just had, taking Biotin or B7 can mess with the results as it can for many blood tests. So, if you are taking it in any form, multivitamin, supplement etc. you need to stop it before the blood is drawn.

    I’m praying along with my sisters here for your and Kramer’s healing, and that all of your family will sense His comfort and sustaining hand. Sue

  29. Sometimes a different doctor can make all the difference in the world. I’m looking for one myself after my GP took me off the blood thinners because “he’d never been clear on why I was taking them”

  30. Susan the Farm Quilter

    We were raised to be polite no matter what…too bad you couldn’t tell that doctor to “do a Gannon”!! (Loved the “blowing it out his *” story) Unfortunately, not all doctors have a warm bedside manners we all want in a doctor. If your gut tells you to get a second opinion, I know you’ll go with it. Praying for you and Kramer.

  31. Contact patient represenative and complain…give them a chance to make it right. I would mention Dr. , and how that Dr. Could improve on their bedside manner.
    I don’t buy not doing anything.
    You have a right to knoq qhat the heck is going on, not just let it grow!?!
    Second opinion if you are not satisfied.
    MD Anderson in Houston is excellent, and your son lives there!

  32. Mary Etherington

    Oh, Jo, you don’t need more stress in your life right now! Sounds like everyone thinks you need a second opinion – maybe that’s your answer. Praying for both Kramers!

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