Cancer Update

I’m going to start my post with a picture of this beautiful hibiscus. Kalissa, my daughter, and I stopped at an Amish store and it was blooming so nicely.

But, that’s not what you’re here to know about. I’m sure, like everyone who read or heard my report from my tests, you want to know what the doctor said about the rapidly increasing thyroglobulin tumor marker number. Please go back and read the morning post HERE if you have questions.

The tumor marker needs to stay under 2 to be considered inactive cancer. Mine has soared to 1300 when I had my last treatment in 2021. It plummeted to 11 after my treatment. Then six months later it was 19. On Monday’s test, it was over 2800. That was an astronomical change!

The doctor wasn’t too concerned about the CT Scans. They had shown some growth but not terrible. The tumor marker did not correlate with the super high tumor marker.

This has led the doctor to believe that my cancer has likely spread to my bones and that I likely have a “hot” lesion.

So…a PET scan is needed. Of course, whether I get it or not is up to insurance. BLAH! I have it scheduled for August 17th so my fingers are crossed that it all goes through insurance.

If it doesn’t the doctor will try to work it out by getting multiple CT scans. We’ll see…either way some type of diagnostic test with be done.

If a bone lesion does show up, it will be blasted with radiation…I should only need a shot or two. It won’t be the long radiation some cancer patients get. Then hopefully the tumor marker will go down.

If the PET scan shows that the cancer is somewhere else like my liver, then I’ll likely go through the whole treatment I went through in January of 2021.

If nothing shows up on the PET scan, we wait and she sees me again in 3 months.

She said the most likely scenario is that it’s moved to my bones. That’s the nature of thyroid cancer.

The good news was that this treatment isn’t terrible. We also got the good news that this has not morphed into “bad” cancer that only gives you 6 months to live.

So…I’m hopeful. If it goes the way predicted (whatever does but I’m hopeful) the treatment will buy me a little more time. At this point, that’s all I hope for. My cancer will never go into remission or be considered curable. So we wait and be thankful that it keeps being treatable.

We’ll be back and forth to the doctor for a bit again but we can do that!!

Many thanks for the kind words, thoughts, and prayers you’ve sent my way. I promise to tell more as I know more. I won’t know anything until August 17th at the earliest…so until then, we just live life.

101 thoughts on “Cancer Update”

  1. Jo, you are a woman of great character. You have lived with this and have been such a blessing to so many people. Strength comes through daily exercise, and you have been the rock for your family. Proverbs 31:28 “her children arise up and call her blessed”. My prayers are with you, and your family.

  2. Jo you are such a strong person with such a positive attitude. My prayers are with you. Let us know if there is anything you need from us. This is a community that is there to help.

  3. I have followed your blog for years. You lost your husband in 2019 and I lost my older brother a few weeks after that. I was sick last year and I was diagnosed with non hopkins lymphoma last November. The bone marrow did not show it was in my bones yet. Now I am having pain and a PET scan is being done Thursday. I feel that I know exactly how you feel. We just try to keep on going on. I will be thinking of you and hope the best for you on August 17.

  4. Continued prayers for you and your family. You are such a strong person with an amazing attitude so I believe you will continue to make your way through this time. I hope you can feel the energy and positivity coming your way.

  5. Jo, you and I have been in the same boat. I also have a treatable but incurable cancer. I hope radiation at Mayo will take care of it as that seems to be the easier route. You have been looking so healthy that I hope and pray for the best for you.

  6. Jo, I am so sorry to hear this. As a cancer patient myself, I know it can be difficult but your friends and family will bring you the strength you need. Sending many prayers and good wishes.

  7. Thoughts and Prayers Jo. You are a true inspiration to all. Know we are all thinking of you in the blog community.

  8. Cheryl in Dallas

    Oh, no. This whole situation makes me so sad. I’ve been praying for you throughout the day and will continue to do so.

    May the God of all comfort give you peace that passes all understanding.

  9. I was able to read this update when I clicked on the post connection in my email. I can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions you (& you family) are going through right now. Sending love and prayers.

  10. Jo- my thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this yet again. I hope for the best possible outcome for you. Hugs.

  11. Sheila Fernkopf

    Prayers for you and your family. Thanks for keeping us posted on your health. You know even though most of us have not met you, you are a part of our family!

  12. Praying for you. This isn’t the news we wanted to hear. You have such a strong spirit and you give others inspiration.

  13. I’ll be praying like crazy for you – it sounds like you have a great medical team AND a wonderful family backing you up, which makes everything much easier to deal with. Sending many blessings and love your way just as many, many others are doing, too!

  14. Jo, you are so positive thru all this. I admire that in you. I pray for you, your family and all your medical personnel. You will meet this new challenge as you have in the past. Hugs!!!

  15. You are not alone. Everyone is rooting for you. I just got home from picking up my husband at the hospital. He had another chemo treatment today. We know what you are going through when you describe waiting for results… of tests or biopsies. Not easy. I always try to remember that there are others walking this walk. Sometimes we forget but kindness can go a long way. Praying that your treatment works for you.

  16. Jo, I hate hearing this. You are an inspiration in many ways. With your quilting, your stitching and your family, your dog fostering, but also with your positive attitude. God bless you. You will be in my prayers.

  17. Judith Fairchild

    Continued prayers for you and your family. Your attitude is the best kind to have
    While we’re here let’s enjoy living.

  18. Jo, prayers and hugs going out to you and your family. Been reading your blog for years and feel like you’re a good friend. Love the joy and inspiration you always have in every day life.

  19. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Prayers for you, dear Jo and for all who love you best. May God be quick to answer every prayer and grant you many more years.

  20. Kathy in Texas

    Jo, prayers are being said in Texas for your swift treatment and remission by transplanted Iowans who may not know you personally, but love you and your blog. You’ve touched more lives than you realize. God bless you.

  21. Sending you hugs, love, prayers, positive vibes, healing energy & lotsa good mojo. Stay strong, sweetie… we got your back!

  22. Sandra Davidson

    Prayers and God’s Blessingst to you ,. You are such a beautiful Christian woman that I know God will be with you every step of the way. Love to you and your beautiful family. Sandra from Canada

  23. I admire your positivity! I’m sure it helps in everything you do ! I have been to Mayo last summer and I know they are the BEST! So at least you know you are getting the best care ever !!! Prayers for a good result from the next scan ! Thank you for writing your blog ! I read it every day ❤️

  24. Hi joe,
    First I’d like to thank you for being such a great role model to all that read your blog. I will pray for you, and wish you many more good years.

  25. Many, many prayers for you and all your family! Your attitude is wonderful and will surely help you deal with all of this!!!
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us – you are an inspiration to us all!!

  26. Jo, I so admire you for being such a strong person. Your words “until then, we just live life” have stuck in my mind. Thank you for sharing with us. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the insurance gives the go ahead for the PET scan.

  27. Pamela Meyers Arbour

    I was certainly hoping for better news, but it sounds like they have a plan. My prayers certainly go out to you and your family.

    1. I am praying for you and your physicians and your insurance company to approve the bone scan quickly. You have taught me so much.

  28. Carmen Montmarquet

    Prayers to you and your family Jo! You are a positive person and I believe that surely helps! Thanks for continuing to share your journey and know besides your wonderful family you have many friends and virtual friends that love you!

  29. Continuing to keep you and your family in prayer, as well as all of the medical staff that will be working with you. Praying that this next step will bring your numbers way back down. Also praying that the insurance will come through without any hassles.
    Thank you so much for continuing to keep us posted on how you are.
    Love and prayers

  30. Margaret Tobin

    You are such an inspiration without any medical complications. How you manage all that you do is amazing. I am in the chorus of cheerleaders rooting for you and your continued success. We would all be lucky to have ten percent of your energy. I will be thinking of you all day as I saw the limb from the 200 year old swamp maple tree that missed my house by 6 INCHES. It is a huge task and will definitely need a chainsaw at some point but nothing like the challenges that you face. My thoughts and prayers and love are with you. All the best.

  31. I can only echo what’s already been well said; I am praying for God’s healing, comfort, and strength. May He give you all you need for each moment. He’s a mighty God and one who can even conquer insurance companies.

  32. I am praying for you and your family, Jo. You are such an inspiration – you are continually upbeat and pragmatic about your cancer. I admire you so much!

  33. Finally came thru, and while it wasn’t quite as good as I had prayed, i’m hoping it still improves and August 17th is a very good day

  34. I would like to get your address to send some $$$ going to Mayo is not like going a mile and a half to the grocery…… soooo where is your address???? Prayers – you have been put on my loooong list. Hugs

  35. Barbara Firesheets

    I will be praying for you and hoping your test later this month gives your doctors a clear path to keep fighting off this cancer. Sending lots of love, big hugs, and prayers your way. ❤️❤️❤️

  36. Momma Sunshine

    Praying for you, your family’s, and the doctors’ strength, knowledge and peace of mind. I will forward some funds to help with gas and other expenses. Peace be with you and yours.

  37. Rebecca Hoetger

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly and you will continue to be through this journey. You are such a blessing to so many and I hope that all our combined prayers and wishes for you help in any way possible.
    Sending love from California. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  38. You are the most amazing woman I have ever known! I have a feeling you will win this war you are fighting !You deserve a miracle and I hope you get it!

  39. Thinking of you Jo and keeping you and your family in my prayers. I am so impressed with your strength and positive attitude as you deal with all of this. Stay strong!!!

  40. In the still of the night when you’re all alone, or during the light and noise of your day, may you feel the Lord’s hug and His words to give you great hope and strength.

  41. Jo… while this was not the news that anybody was wanting to hear (especially not you and your family) i want you to know that i stand firmly in prayer with YOU and EVERYONE ELSE HERE knowing that our God in Heaven is in the business of MIRACLES and BLESSED SURPRISES! He alone is able to move the mountains to clear the way for the tests and any treatment you might need, but more importantly… HE IS ABLE TO SUSTAIN YOU and HEAL YOU during this time of trial and uncertainty.

    You are a woman of quiet, but strong and abiding faith. Lean on that going forward – and lean on US. We have all been in places where the news we hear DOES NOT TELL THE FULL STORY… and YOU have many more chapters to be written! You got this ❤️

    Praying, praying, praying!

    April in Iowa

  42. Jo, You are my inspiration. Every evening I wait for your blog to show up on my computer. I read it twice, and incorporate it into my daily life, hoping I can be half the woman that you are. I am so thankful I found your blog and I send you hugs from California.
    Love to you

  43. prayers for you and your family, Jo, i’m so glad you are still able to let today be good when it is, [even thought tomorrow isn’t sure], so ofter, there is not to much we can to to make any given situation “better”, but this way, we don’t loose today which can be good. keep strong, we’re all behind you

  44. Thanks for the update. I will pray the insurance approves the PET scan and also that they can find where it has spread to.

  45. Thinking of you and keeping you and your family in my prayers. I am amazed with your strength and positive attitude. Hoping for the best.

  46. Jo, I can’t predict the future but I do know that whatever happens, it will be ok. We are all strangers here and heaven is our home. It is natural to want to live a good long life and I pray that for you. Our heavenly Father will never leave you and will help you get through this. You are a blessing and will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  47. Thinking of you and many prayers —- for you and your family. Often said so many years ago—“tie another knot and hang on”!! Still true! Know the road is rough and full of speed bumps. But also know how strong you are and what a supportive family you have, and all the many, many quilter/stitching friends. All a bonus. Have missed a lot as just spent 13-days or so in the hospital myself. Close call once again, but gaining every day. Been blessed and my Guardian Angels have been watching out for me, not to mention the Lord carrying me too.

  48. Your “Prayer Warriors” are on duty. The Lord is with you, Jo. Praying for a positive outcome. We all love you and your family.

  49. Just adding my prayers to the many praying for you & your family at this time. Stay strong & hang in there!! God bless!!

  50. Hugs to you, Jo. You are an inspiration to others going through difficult times, and a good example for all of us. I’ve never heard anything but a positive attitude from you, and that’s half the battle. Hope and prayers for you, your family and your doctors. We’ve all got your back.

  51. I always admire your positivity in the face of these circumstances. My prayers are with you and your family. Much love always

  52. Jo, I can only add that you have my prayers and best wishes. I have been away and I am just catching up. My prayer is that by now you have been approved for the PET scan and it has localized the problem area. You have been such a blessing in my life and helped me face the challenges in my life. Thank you for being a blessing and may God give you blessings in the same abundance.

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