Another Day, Another Trip

Hey all…it’s another day and another trip to Rochester for me.  Today I wasn’t up quite as early…thank heavens.

For those of you new, today’s post is about my thyroid cancer journey.  If you came upon this post unexpectedly, scroll back a few posts to get the whole story.

I had a much more relaxing trip today.  So much of the pressure is off.  I was trying to explain to Kalissa that there is a difficulty in being a patient that is really hard to explain.

Let me try…
As a person with a health-related problem, for the most part, there is really nothing the person can do to control what their body does.  Sure, we can take our meds.  We can listen to our doctor.  But, for the most part, our body is going to do what our body is going to do.  I can’t stop my cancer from growing.  I can’t make this treatment work.  I can’t make the tumor light up on the scan.  I know this.

In turn, all of my family, close and extended, are wanting good results.  Local friends and far-flung friends like all of you are wanting good results.  I want good results.  Many people have prayed for me, sent messages and well wishes.  There is almost a pressure (all in my head) that makes me want to control my uncontrollable cancer so I don’t let anyone down…but I can’t control it…but the pressure to perform and not let anyone down is still there.

When the tech told me yesterday that the tumor had lit up, yes, I was thankful and happy for me and my family but I was also happy to have the pressure of wanting to perform off.

I got all teary-eyed on the way home from Rochester yesterday because I was so relieved not to be holding that pressure.  I wasn’t holding it for me, for you, or for my family.  What a huge relief.

Kalissa was great about it and talked with me about it.  She’s a super daughter.  I love that she can be my daughter and be my friend.

This whole concept might be hard to understand if you or a loved one haven’t been through a serious medical event.  I know I felt this pressure when Kramer was sick as well.

Whatever it is…I feel 100 pounds lighter today.

Today I made the drive to get a shot.

Tomorrow I make the drive again.  I will check into the hospital for treatment at noon tomorrow.  I will be getting 250 units of Radioactive Iodine.

I will be staying in a special hospital room that is used for treating Radioactive Iodine patients.  Everything is covered with plastic or paper.  Everything I touch gets radioactive iodine on it.

I am told…When I check in, they put me in a gown.  I go into the room.  Anything I take into the room cannot come home with me…including my glasses.  If you wear contacts, you had to leave your contacts there as well.

It’s not a regular hospital stay…more like a hotel stay in that the nurses really don’t check me often.  I will get checked a couple of times a day and that is more or less just to do a Geiger Counter Reading on me to see if my level of radiation is below the number that allows me to go home.

They suggest that I bring a paperback book or puzzle book.  There will be a television there.  NO PHONES, NO COMPUTER, NO TABLETS as all of those things will have to be left there.

So tonight I’m packing.  I guess I really shouldn’t call it packing.  Tonight I’m grabbing.  I have a paperback book.  I have a suduko book.  I have dug around and found an old pair of my prescription glasses…two pairs older than what I currently wear.  I can leave them there.  I also am bringing an old cracked screen Kindle that is about 7 years old.  I can at least look at the internet that way.  I don’t care if I never bring that home either.  I don’t use it anymore….and that’s all I have to pack.  Ooops.  My meds.  I have them too.

Any toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, deodorant, makeup, lotion…any of that has to stay at the hospital.  I’m going to rummage around and see if I have some old stuff of that too.

I also have some Jolly Ranchers packed along.  I have to suck on them as the radioactive iodine messes with salivary glands.  They’ve said I should try to suck on it as much as possible.

I’ll be drinking as much liquid as possible too…and going to the bathroom every hour during the day and at least every four hours overnight to try to keep the radioactive iodine moving out.

What an interesting treatment…right??

I don’t know how long I’m staying.  I was initially told 24-36 hours.  Then as I was leaving today, the gal said, “Bring enough medicine for a 4-day stay”.  Hmm.  I hope it isn’t that long.  I think that would be a rare case…but who knows??  My case hasn’t been typical so far.

Am I nervous about it all…NOPE.  Not a bit.  I’m thrilled that I got this far.  Any nervousness is completely negated but the sheer thankfulness of being able to take the treatment.

I’m doing this!!  I’m really doing this!!  I couldn’t be happier for the chance at more time with my family and all of you.  I’m totally not afraid to die, but I’m not afraid to live either.  I am so thankful things have worked so far.  Fingers crossed it all keeps working.

I’m signing off.  We’re having a big family supper tonight.  It’s my last night to see the grandkids until February.  I can’t hold them or have them around me for 21days.  I’ll be too radioactive.  I can be around the adult kids in about a week.  So the first thing I have scheduled is a chicken and ribs meal from the bar uptown on Wednesday.  I’ve been looking forward to that for the last month!!  It’s my favorite meal.  Karl will come and we’ll sit on opposite sides of the kitchen to eat.  It will be funny…but yummy.

As I left you in my last post…I have no idea what is happening with the blog schedule.  I can’t know as life is up in the air right now.  I worked ahead and I do have some blog posts pre-scheduled so you won’t be without a Jo’s Country Junction fix.  It just might not be my usual schedule.  Thanks for understanding.

Many thanks to you all for cheering me along.  I couldn’t have a better bunch of people on my side!!  Let’s do this!!

53 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Trip

    1. Bonnie Lippincott

      You will do fine. You’ve got this!

      A reminder . . . don’t forget the charging cord for you iPad!

      Reply
      1. Patty Cramer

        Hey Bonnie – How cool to see you following this post. I love her stuff. Aways thinking – a charging cord for your IPad. I don’t even own one. I wish my best for a fellow quilter’s journey. I love her posts and quilts and cross stitch! Keep those good vibes going!! :)

        Reply
  1. Dianne

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you begin this new journey in your life. I have been interested in reading about your medical journey and have learned so much about this cancer treatment. I’m cheering for positive results for you.
    Peace be with you and your family

    Reply
  2. Nancy White

    Yes, let’s do this! Let us take the pressure…not you. We’ll be looking forward to many more blog posts when you are feeling up to it…we can wait. So glad that everything is moving along in the right direction!

    Reply
  3. Kim J LeMere

    I totally understand having a moment of crying and feeling “relief” of not letting anyone down but also that it is working. It became a huge weight that you dont know you are carrying around.
    I hope you don’t have to stay 72 hours but if you do, know that we will all be praying and pulling for you to make it through. Good thing that you had some older glasses to take along and a cracked kindle, paperbacks, some cards etc.
    My prayers go with you and don’t worry about the blog, we will be here when your back.

    Reply
  4. Cindy P

    Thank God you received the ‘news ‘ you did!! You do have this, and you’ve many, many friends behind you ready to beat cancer’s butt with you!! Prayers and hugs,Jo!

    Reply
  5. Elle

    Totally understand what you’re saying and feeling. Even when we were told Dad and 13y later Mom would not survive their cancers, it was a letting go and ‘a relieving’ of expectations and we could all get on with life, including them for the time that remained.

    Hugs to you.

    Reply
  6. June

    God Be with you Jo and just keep us posted thru your kids as they are able to let us know. As soon as you can text them. I’m glad you’re getting this “Monkey off your back”.
    Always -always -always- praying for you to be strong- be loved , be well for your children and grands and especially for yourself. Looking forward to hearing how you are- and God give the drs and nurses wisdom as they watch or you.

    Reply
  7. Jackie Trembley

    Jo – we’ll be happy knowing you’re getting your treatment- any blog posts will be icing on the cake. I feel bad that you felt under pressure for a positive outcome. I think all of your readers want that for you but surely don’t expect you personally to produce the positive outcome. Yes, we’d all be disappointed in any other outcome but disappointed for you, not in you. I know – easy for me to say – I’m not the patient. I just want to make sure you know I would never want you to feel pressure on my behalf. I want you to be well for you and your family. For the experiences yet to come. Sending this to you with much love and happy wishes.

    Reply
  8. Jill Klop

    Prayers for you Jo! Don’t worry about the blog! We’ll all be waiting for you when you get sprung from the hospital!!

    Reply
  9. Martha W

    Thank you for this post. Through your choice of words I could feel and understand your excitement over this treatment. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    Reply
  10. Karen Hamilton

    I hope all goes well with your treatment and hospital stay. There are so many of us cheering you on. Take care and don’t worry about our “Jo” fix. We’ll catch up with you later!

    Reply
  11. Ellie

    You go, Jo! You rock! You are the best and we are all sending our prayers, strength and energy to you to fight this thing. I know what you mean about expectations and not wanting to disappoint people. You are the best and I believe you are now in triumph!

    Reply
  12. Joy

    I will be thinking about you!! You might want more than one book! . Looking forward to you being thru with this!

    Reply
  13. Kris in WI

    Ditto to what Jill said! Take your time and share only what you feel you can about your journey. Know that we are here, praying for you, your family, and your health care team.

    Reply
  14. Norma

    Better news,Jo! I have been thinking about how I could quickly get my old Kindle to you from Wisconsin. So glad to know you have an old one and old glasses that you can leave behind! You’ll be able to watch you tube and communicate with your kids I hope.
    Thankful you’ve lost that burden. We will all continue to pray for you. Focus on that carryout meal with your kids!

    Reply
  15. Kristy Wilkinson

    So glad you have a plan and so thankful you have an amazing family. Prayers already answered that you can move to this next step! Will pray that you don’t have to stay for 4 days! Your subs on the blog do a great job so just let it all go and don’t worry about anything. We will be here when you are ready! Get a good rest and safe travels to Rochester tomorrow. K-

    Reply
  16. Sheila in WI

    Thank you for this post, Jo. Praying for grace to meet each day… one at a time, because the next days, weeks and months will be beyond anything I can imagine. Take care. ❤
    ( And please don’t worry about the blog. You’ve spoiled us with two posts almost every day. Our gift to you is being patient until you are able and/ or Ready to blog again.)

    Reply
  17. Carolyn

    Your planning is perfect. I wouldn’t have thought about old glasses..a good reason to keep a pair on hand. My daughter had radioactive iodine to kill some of her thyroid. Was hard for her young kids but the results were worth the annoyance and frustration of having to away from them. Hang in there and good luck.

    Reply
  18. Kate

    Keep taking care of yourself. We will miss you, but know you are in good hands, especially God’s hands, and this is temporary. So good to know that you will have more time with your family. Blessings to you all!

    Reply
  19. Sandra B

    Positive thoughts and prayers coming your way! And, fingers crossed too!
    We will all be here when you are back ….
    Take care, Jo!

    Reply
  20. Judith Fairchild

    Wow Jo, I would never have thought of all the things you are taking preparing to leave them. I know that losing the 100 pound weight off your shoulders. I’m glad you got the c relief of tears. Tears are a blessing at time like this praying for the best results. Relax and let God handle the big things you’ve taken the best care of th little things. Your girls are good bloggers.

    Reply
  21. Rachel Summy

    Prayers for you and your family. Your positive can do attitude will get you through this next week successfully!! Looking forward to hearing your blog after your back home!! Take care Jo!!

    Reply
  22. Gloria b.

    You are putting the “happy” into “happy new year”. Enjoy your evening with family. You’ll be back to them (and to us) in just days.

    Reply
  23. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I so glad you are so relieved of the weight of making your body do what you, and everyone else, wants!! I wonder if maybe your own personal “wailing wall” would help…write down what is weighing you down, fold it up really small and stick it in the wall, leaving all the weight you carry around along with the paper?? Enjoy your stay and I’m glad you have a dinner to look forward when they spring you!!

    Reply
  24. Suzanne Yerks

    Positive thoughts and prayers your way my friend. what about Rosie? Can you touch her , her food and water during your isolation period?

    Reply
  25. Pat

    My thoughts & prayers are with you Jo!
    I so enjoy reading your blog first thing every morning withmy cup of coffee.. Love your quilts!!

    Reply
  26. Janice

    Jo, best wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts for your continued journey. Thank you for sharing — I love your attitude. You are my role model.

    Reply
  27. Kris in Naperville

    Blessings to you Jo… you are so incredibly inspiring… I feel it is a privilege to have “met” you through this blog…

    I want a shirt that says… “Be like Jo… strong, courageous, funny, kind, giving, talented, organized and beloved by those near and far… Please have your daughter make a shirt for her Etsy shop, it could have Be Like Jo in big letters and then all of your traits in smaller font behind it… just a thought, I’d buy a couple for sure!

    Reply
  28. Carol Stearns

    My mine is boggled and amazed at reading your posts. Medical science has indeed come along way! My mother had her thryoid removed at an early age. Back in the day. I’m so hoping and praying for you that all this will be worth the effort. It aleady is!

    Reply
  29. Karen P

    Prayers for a short and successful stay! Hoping that your body doesn’t do anything weird. (I get that lol) Enjoy your chicken and ribs meal once you get home and within the legal limit!

    Reply
  30. Nancy Angerer

    Jo, I have been a silent follower for a long time, but I just want to let you know that you have been and continue to be in my prayers.

    Reply
  31. Donna

    Just read this – what a few days you’re going to have! Keeping you in prayer as always. That week will go by fast so you’ll be with your kids and those 21 days will fly by soon enough and you’ll be with your grands again.
    Love and prayers

    Reply

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