Cancer Update

The weather here in NE Iowa has not been conducive to doctor appointments that are 2 hours away…but somehow we have to make them work.  As they scheduled the last appointments we were told “the surgeon sees new patients on Thursdays”.  I don’t know for positive but it leads me to believe that if were unable to get to the appointment we had, we’d have to wait another week.  UGH.  No fun.  So even though an ice storm was predicted, we had to get there.

That left us trying to beat the storm.  To do that, we needed to leave by 4pm on Wednesday so another night in the hotel….and again, I had to ask my childcare parents to make other arrangements.  The parents have been EXCELLENT through all of this and I SO-SO appreciate how kind they have been.  I’m terrible about asking for favors and feel terrible when I do….but they were troopers and picked up the kiddos early so we could take off.

We were expecting ice from .1 to .2 tenths of an inch.  No fun for sure.  So off we went.  We stopped in Caledonia (About 3/4 of the way there) for gas, grabbed a drink and were back on the road and WHAM!  Freezing rain.  This was the windshield.

We crawled our way to Lacrosse.  We were so thankful we made it.  The hotel was excellent as always.  Because of the storm they had one room left….the family suite.  It was WONDERFUL.

The next day our first stop of appointments was a breathing test.  It’s important to try to figure out what capacity his lungs are breathing at now to determine how much he can get by with losing.  When we came the plan was to meet with the surgeon and hopefully schedule surgery.

Well it didn’t quite happen like that….It turns out he needs another biopsy.  The lymph nodes along his trachea need to be checked out.  So next week we are back to Lacrosse-  This time we’ll be there Tuesday and Wednesday.  (Of course another snow event is planned for Monday night into Tuesday so we’ll see, we might have to leave early again)

If the biopsy comes back clean then surgery is scheduled for the 19th.  If it is not clear, he goes back to discuss chemo and radiation.

The appointment was the “hard reality” appointment.  We learned all sorts of things like your lungs consist of 5 lobes.  He has to have 2 removed….possibly the entire right side.  Of the people who have this done 30% of them end up with a pacemaker.  Of people who have the two lobes removed 10% of them end up with a pacemaker.  2% of people who have surgery have a stroke.  1-2% die on the operating table.   More and more and more statistics and none of them were the “and they lived happily ever after” statistics.  UGH….WAY TO MANY STATISTICS.  Way too much negativity.

Then our drive home was icky….both of us were a little down trodden and the roads were terrible.  It’s always hard getting out of an appointment.   We learn the news and then we have to tell the kids, the childcare parents, Hubby’s boss and anyone else who is directly related to the day’s news.  Each time we tell, we relive it again.  That’s great when it’s good news, but a little stinky when it’s a day when we get the “hard talk”.

It was a harder day but we are looking at the positive.  The tumor was found.  The doctors are still optimistic that it can be cured.  We have Hubby with us.  We are strong fighters.

To make us feel even better, we came home to find some wonderful things….

Linda Z left this message in the comment section:
So sorry to hear about Roger’s diagnosis. I understand every feeling you are going through. My husband was diagnosed with squamous cell lung cancer six years ago. He was fortunate in a way since they were able to remove the entire left lung. The chemo treatment was for six months. Good days and rough ones. I have to say he never got sick but suffered fatigue and loss of appetite. Always started 5 days after the treatment. There have been changes and options since his diagnosis. He had some other up and downs but has been to hold down a part time job during it all. He is 75 and doing well. You always hold your breath until that next scan. Thoughts and prayers are with you.”

Others of you have sent messages…they are so meaningful to us both.  Hubby has read through them a couple times.  THANKS!!

These are EXACTLY what I needed to hear.  EXACTLY.

Then while we were unloading the pickup, the neighbor came and blew out our sidewalks.  AH…PERFECT timing.  Thanks Justin!!

I walked out to get the mail and cards from family and friends.  Oh my…this is all exactly what we needed.

Thank you.  Thank you.

So we’re back to the waiting game.  Biopsy next week…results sometime after and prayers that the surgery on the 19th will be a go!!

42 thoughts on “Cancer Update”

  1. You are both in my prayers. My daughter was diagnosed with squamous cell oral cancer at 26. She is 3 1/2 years cancer free but the after effects of radiation are no fun. One suggestion we made a blog and posted the news about doctor appointments, test results, how she was feeling, etc. It was a God send as I didn’t have to repeat my self so much. If you want to see how we did it our blog is
    Yep named her tumor Clyde. It gave us something to be mad at and focus on. Wishing you a good outcome in this crazy journey.

  2. So sorry you have to deal with the weather as well as scary dr appointments. Hopefully this next biopsy will be clear and then you can move forward with the surgery. I know the waiting is so hard.

  3. jo, you have so many friends out here in blogland praying for Roger and your entire family that I believe without a doubt that you will have a positive outcome. Thanks for including us as most of us feel that you are a good friend. I love reading your blog everyday. Hopefully the weather will co-operate and the drives won’t be so nerve wracking.. Hang in the girl, you have so many prayers coming your way!❤️❤️❤️

  4. I have been thinking about you all day and constantly praying for you. We are in a blizzard in ND bad weather just adds to the worry. Always know that God is with you both every step of the way and you will get through this. You are stronger than you know. Don’t be afraid to ask daycare parents and others for help they all want to do anything they can to ease your burden. Sleep safe and warm tonite.

  5. I got behind on blog reading and caught up today. I was shocked to read of Roger’s cancer news. So sorry to learn of this misfortune. I want to share my MIL’s brush with cancer with you. In 1956, my husband was the eldest of 3 children and was 12 years old, his mother read in the local paper that the mobile X-ray unit would be at the county hospital giving free X-rays. As a result of the X-ray, she had one lung removed. She lived a long life following this surgery even having a fourth child. She lived until 2001. She was a farmer/coal miner’s wife so I know you know how hard she worked. When I married into this family 8 years after the surgery I had no idea she had lost a lung. She ran her household, tended her garden, cared for the chickens, everything a farm wife did in those days. She could work me to the ground any day. I shared her remarkable story to say this could be you. My prayers are going up for you, your entire family, and your medical team. Be strong and believe! God bless.

  6. Sending prayers & blessings your way. Suggestion, create a new private facebook group / page. Only people you invite to the page can see & post. Great way to share information! Worked great for us with a preemie grandson who stayed over 100 days in the hospital. It’s so hard to spend the day at the hospital, and then call everyone.

  7. I’ve rewritten my message to you and Roger several times Jo and somehow words never seem enough. You both truly are in my thoughts and prayers and also may the almighty keep you safe while you travel those highways, especially in such adverse weather conditions, hugs from afar.

  8. My brother-in-law had lung cancer 15 or 20 years ago; they removed half of one lung. He just celebrated his 80th birthday! And I had breast cancer in 1978, 40 years ago. The hardest part is happening right now – waiting for the tests and their results. Once you know, you can deal with it – one step at a time. Sending both of you hugs and hope.

  9. Thinking of you both. My husband had cancer 2 1/2 years ago and went throu 45 radiation treatments. We followed the doctors orders including what to avoid eating during treatment and got through without much trouble. He was healthy to start with and strong so that was in his favor. He is cancer-free now and goes back for re-checks twice a year and we are thankful his lab results are always good. Keep praying! I will!

  10. Jo and Roger,
    Sending prayers and thoughts all day long knowing how bad the weather is in this part of the country. Check you email for a message from me. We want to help and this is one thing that we can do for your family.
    Blessings, Dian

  11. Flip those numbers – 98% do NOT have a stroke, 98-99% survive the surgery, etc. Think positively that all will come out OK. It is never easy to go through this, but you are not alone.

  12. You are both i my thoughts and prayers. Cancer SUCKS. I agree that this is the worst time. Waiting!
    Also love the comment re flipping numbers.
    All my love from Australia

  13. blessing you both that the pain of going through this is all you’ll have to have, [coupled with the winter time difficulties of getting there!], and the end result will be much easier to see the good in. we’re all with you as much as unknown [or known as the case my be] readers can be.

  14. I like that you are given all the facts but I don’t like the way they were presented. They should be presented as someone already commented & then reversed the percentages for you for you to truly know what you are dealing with. I also want to tell you that when my special grandmother who successfully battled cancer for many years was given very discouraging percentages by her oncologist. she would look at him & say “But that’s not me!!” It never was either. She was supported by family & friends she successfully battled cancer, had good life & lived to be 85 yrs old. So continue your positive thoughts ~ the glass is half full not half empty! Continuing my prayers for your family & sending good thoughts for a successful battle!

  15. Jo be strong and courageous that seems to always be how you move forward when life spins you around. Sending you and Roger prayers, hugs and support as you move forward. God bless you.

  16. Dear friends, I call you friends because I have gotten to know your entire family reading your blog constantly. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I know that this cancer is something that you can beat. It’s not just Rodger fighting it, it’s the entire family. May God be with you all at this difficult time and stand by your side as you as you move forward through the tests and treatments.

  17. I know it’s not easy being the “strong” one, but it sounds like you are tackling the job just fine! My husband goes in for back surgery on Monday, so while I’m waiting, I’ll say prayers for both men. Gods peace. Deb

  18. I know this has been a sucky month but the Good news is they found it! it is treatable and survive it he will!!!!
    My father lost part of his lung and is still going strong at 81, he was mid 50 when they removed it and he was a cattle farmer and worked as an electrician in St Paul. BIG HUG to you and Roger, positive vibes coming your way.

  19. Stay strong Jo and hubby (Roger just doesn’t seem right since he’s been hubby forever!) I agree with reversing the percentages on the statistics! Hugs and prayers coming your way!

  20. This verse has gotten me through tough times. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
    God will put people in your path to help with all your needs, physical, emotional and spiritual.

  21. I too like the idea of switching around the percentages to the positive. When my son was told that the odds the chemo would work with his second bout of testicular cancer was around 70% we focused on that number as being good. Odds are just numbers and don’t take into account the individual. Your family is so strong and supportive and that increases the odds. You also have many of us, all around the world praying for Roger, you and your family. I, like others, will continue to pray and I’ll add the weather to my prayers for your family. You may be doing this already, but wanted to add that whenever we have family news we have a group text we set up so we’re not having to repeat the news and answer the same questions over and over. It was very helpful during procedures at the hospital, etc. You could set up one with your childcare parents too.

  22. Group texts are SO useful!! Just check over and over again to be sure you have everyone’s name and correct number gathered together BEFORE you begin. Saves having to start another one and tell everyone to move to a new thread….
    Best Wishes to ALL of Jo! Everyone will be working together to help Hubby get through this.

  23. The cancer journey is hard enough. Then to also have travel concerns too almost seems like too much. Prayers will definitely continue for peace, grace and strength to meet each day and also travel mercies. I don’t have any advise… just love and prayers.

  24. Getting all the info needed to make decisions, etc. can be exhausting but you will make it through just fine. My brother is going through cancer and is doing chemo right now with chemo and radiation in a couple of months. I feel so bad for him as he was just ready to retire and then this. Ugh! They say they should be able to take care of it, and we pray they are right. Prayers all around for those going through this and their families. Take care of yourselves and know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs!

  25. There is something called Caring Bridge that you can write your updates on. And then the people who sign up will get an email telling them there’s an update at CaringBridge. I think you do it through the hospital but I’m not sure. I just know that I have read the results from three or four people who have used this route for posting medical updates. Maybe one of your readers know more or check the medical website. Continuing my prayers for healing for both of you and I agree with the prior people who said turn those statistics around to the positive.

  26. Prayers for you and Roger for your health and also for the weather as you are traveling. I agree with Lisa B. that Caring Bridge would be a big help. You don’t have to figure out how to set up a private blog, etc. Most of the work has already been done.

  27. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Caringbridge ( is a wonderful way to not have to do the repeating of information. Praying for you all as well as the medical team. Kay was absolutely right about the presentation of statistics…and you KNOW what they say about statistics! Lean on those God has put in your life right now…you know how good it makes you feel to help someone, now it is your turn to allow others that same wonderful feeling!!

  28. Continued prayers for you both and your family, You are both strong people and a positive attitude plays such a big part as you continue on this journey.

  29. You are both strong people and a positive attitude plays such a big role as you continue on this journey. Continued prayers for you both and your family.

  30. I have a “happily ever after” story for you Jo and Roger.
    My Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer 14 years ago and had the top two lobes of each side removed. She endured months of radiation and chemo and I am happy to report that it was all worth it in the end … 14 years, and 6 grandchildren later she is 66 and healthy as can be. She’s nearly ready to retire somewhere close to dote on her Grandbabies! And she lived happily ever after.
    Good luck, you are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers <3

  31. Thank you for the update on your sweet hubby. When the cancer scare hits, you never know what will happen but amazingly enough, from somewhere, that strength to get through takes hold. Praying God’s strength continues to hold you, His comfort and love surround you. Like many, we will be keeping all of you in prayer.

  32. Dear Jo, Kramer and family, I am so sorry that you all are having to go through this. But, you said you were trying to stay positive and that is probably the best medicine there is.

    I read your posts every day and feel like I know your whole family. It is obvious that you are a very loving family and that will help you stay strong.

    Love and Prayers, Sandy S.

  33. So sorry to hear of Roger’s diagnosis. Sounds like it is treatable which is a blessing. You are strong folk and will get through this. Sending positive thoughts and many prayers.

  34. Praying the lymph nodes are negative and surgery will be able to be done. Statistics can be scary but life can go on and be precious. That is what we need to concentrate on. Keeping you & your family in my prayers. Safe travels also.
    God Bless.

  35. Karen aka Lace Faerie

    I will continue to keep your whole family in my prayers. May you be blessed with a peaceful countenance and additional strength to get you all to your Happily Ever After! Safe travels, too!

  36. So sorry ya’ll are going through this. My husband had the top right lobe removed in July. Five weeks of radiation and chemo treatments. Felt bad about a week after each chemo. He had both treatments concurrently instead of separate. They detected cells in approximately 6 out of 24 lymph nodes they removed during surgery. He returned to work in January and is doing well. Still gets winded when exerting himself. If its early it can be beat. We went to Moffitt Cancer Center.
    God Bless you and your Husband and Fa.ily and I pray for ya’ll.

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