Category Archives: Jo’s Journal

Cancer News

I didn’t quite know what to title this post…it could be “Busy Day”…”Day with Family”….”Eating Real Food”….many different titles would fit the post but I think most of what you all want to know is “what did I find out at the doctor’s office”.

Here’s the scoop.  Today I went to the doctor for the full body thyroid cancer scan.  It’s a 90 mile trip one way and I had some company for the ride.  Kayla and Kelli and Georgie came as my support team.

This was the fourth time I was to Lacrosse in the week.  As early I had to come for shots and tests doses of Radioactive Active Iodine to prepare me for the test.  Here’s the bridge crossing the Mississippi.


First it was a blood draw.  The gal had to stick me twice as she didn’t get it the first time.  Then off to the scan.  This time it was a little different.  First I did the regular scan but because I didn’t have enough iodine left in my bloodstream they had to do a second test.  For the first one I had to lay in the machine for a half hour….the second one, for 40 minutes.  For this these tests, I lay in a tube and have a machine about 1 1/2″ away from my nose.  If you are claustrophobic, you would likely hate this test.  They regularly give people lorazepam to help with anxiety before the test.  I never take anything.  I’ve learned if I just keep my eyes closed and sing church hymns to myself, I’m just fine.

I got out of the test and the girls had chips for me!!  Ah…good ole’ salty chips.  Oh salt, restaurant food, butter, cheese, sour cream, how I have missed you!!

After the tests, off we went to find more FOOD.  I could finally eat, and eat we did.  The Old Crow in Lacrosse is AWESOME.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, they have a VERY friendly menu for you.  That’s why Kayla was all smiles.
Here’s my food.  Ah, yummy restaurant food.  How I have missed you.  Remember I’ve been on that low iodine diet this week??  I’ve missed food with flavor.  There are LOTS of flavors here and I loved them all.


I did learn that my tummy has shrunk though.  After two weeks of eating mostly fruit and veggies, my tummy did not have room for all of this.  So I ate half and took half home for later.

From there it was off to the scrubs store so Kelli could buy new scrubs for work.  From there back to the clinic for my appointment with Dr. Thida.

We waited for a bit as we were back early but then we were called back and I got the news…. The news is…. Continue reading

Off to the Movies: Downton Abbey

The second I found out that Downton Abbey was making a movie, I knew I would go.  Some movies are like that..you KNOW you will go to them.  In my case, I figured our local theater wouldn’t get the movie.  I thought it would be more a “select” audience.  I can’t really imagine someone going to the movie that didn’t watch the series.

Kayla and I made plans to go but I felt like she was going as a “sympathy date”.  She was okay to go but really didn’t WANT to.  Well we thought we’d meet in Waterloo which is a big enough town to get the movie and between our two homes.

Well things changed when I learned the movie indeed WAS at my local theater.  I called her and said, “Did you WANT to go to the movie?”  She told me she just wanted to spend time with me….well you really don’t “spend time with someone watching a movie”.  So we made plans to hook up another day without the movie…and I decided to go to the movie myself.

So last Sunday I went…am I went by myself.  I told you yesterday that I’ve made a goal of trying to more things by myself and not getting “stuck at home”.


I’ll have to admit when I first came in and sat down, a couple people looked at me a little odd.  I’m sure it was because I was alone.  I took a deep breath and reminded myself, I wasn’t here to worry about social norms.  I was here to go to the movie and I wanted to see this movie.  So I ignored them.

Normally I would have dug into my popcorn about then by I couldn’t get popcorn because of my diet.

So about the movie…it was…
Continue reading

Busy Saturday

Saturday was a bit of a whirlwind…

I was headed south to our daughter Kayla’s baby shower but I needed to make MANY stops along the way.  Kalissa and the boys were with me in an effort to make the trip a little more fun.

We left early at 8am…we had a two hour drive and needed to be there by 1pm.  We had a packed day that looked like this…

Pick up quilts from my friend Carla at Longarm Quilting Inspirations.  She had quilted four quilts for my blog reader friend Jean.  I told you about Jean, she stopped and visited one day during childcare.

Well Jean broke her hip in a fall and wasn’t going to be able to get the quilts.  I offered that I could drop them off on my way to the baby shower as Jean’s house is along the way.  So first stop…get the quilts.

The next stop was to Sandra’s in Hazelton.  She is a charity quilter and I often give her fabric.  She lives right next to the Fontana County Park wear they have a animal exhibit.  I dropped Kalissa and Carver off there.  Even though is was terribly cold, Carver enjoyed it and it gave him a break from his carseat.



I had planned to visit with Sandra for a few minutes but I missed her.  I ended up leaving the goodies on the step hoping she would find them.

Then I went back to the park.  It was so cold but I braved the outdoor primitive bathroom while Carver and Kalissa checked out the bison.


It’s really a lovely park and I highly recommend it.  I want to meet up with all of the kids next year and have a family day here.

From there is was onto the Farmer’s Market in Independence.  I was hoping they might have tomatoes still.  Supermarket tomatoes are okay but they are not fresh tomatoes.  With one more week on the diet, I really wanted fresh tomatoes.  I eat cherry tomatoes like most people eat grapes.  A bowl on the kitchen is a great thing as I pop one in my mouth whenever I want.  Happily I found tomatoes.

I got a jar of honey…Carver loves honey on bread and I was about out.  We found another lady giving out samples of this… Continue reading

A Night Out

Sorry this is a bit of a ramble.

I had a night out last week.  It was nothing special…nothing fancy.

Life as a widow…it’s different.  I don’t know quite how to describe it.  I’m coming to terms with it but that doesn’t for a moment mean that I don’t get teary eyed or that I don’t catch myself from time to time thinking, “I’ll ask Kramer about that when he gets home” only to remember, he’s not coming home.  It’s a long process. It feels like he’s been gone for forever, but it’s really now been 4 months.

This sign came up in my Facebook feed and more than anything I’ve seen, this speaks to me.


I think this it true for so many of us…not only widows…parents who have a child with a disability….a missed promotion…an unplanned pregnancy…a cancer diagnosis….failure of a huge test that means moving on, and the list goes on and on.

I was talking to one of my kids the other day… Continue reading