Doctor Visit

I got home from the doctor, read the comments here on the blog, and realized we forgot the link to Kalissa’s Etsy shop.  HERE is the link.

I’m popping in quickly to tell you about my doctor’s appointment today.  It was interesting, to say the least.  I don’t even know if I can explain it.

Kalissa ended up going with me.  The day started early with a trip to take Gannon to Craig’s Grandma’s house.  Grandma Dee Dee has been great taking care of Gannon when Kalissa goes to appointments with me.   An added plus she takes early drop-offs.  It was 5:45 am when we left Gannon off.

From there it was the drive to Rochester.  The roads have been great.  Kalissa had an errand so she dropped me off at Mayo Clinic and I went to my first appointment alone.  This was to get the tracer dose of Radioactive Iodine.  I got into the appointment room.  There was a person helping me…more than a nurse, but not a doctor.  There’s a security clearance for people who administer Radioacitve Iodine.

Anyway, she says, “Do you have trouble swallowing pills?”  I said no…she said good.  Then she opens this security box and takes out a bottle of pills.  She explains:  “Typically we have this in liquid form but we were unable to get that.  We were lucky to find it in pill form.  These are your pills.”

The bottle had a lot of pills in it.  I really have no trouble swallowing pills so it wasn’t a big deal but curiously I said, “All of them.”  She said Yes.

So I had to swallow EIGHTEEN pills to get my tracer dose.

Like I said, swallowing pills isn’t a big deal to me as I swallowed four at a time…(Think a little larger than Tylenol gel tabs).  That was all a little weird.  I felt like I was overdosing…

From there, I went to the waiting room for my next appointment.  Kalissa got done with her errands and waited with me.  Seeing my doctor was next.

Here we are in the waiting room.

Kalissa was busy designing a new shirt…I was cross-stitching.

We waited quite a while and were eventually called back.  Then we waited a long time.  My doctor is always really late.

My other kids messaged to see if we had info yet.  Kalissa sent them this picture of me…

Our weird day continued.

First my doctor’s Fellow came in.  Then she came in.  We learned a lot of things.

The reason I haven’t been feeling well these last three days is I am WAY hypothyroid.  It explains most everything that is wrong with me.

Mayo Clinic has done my procedure 26 times.  Something like 14 of those times, the tumor has lit up on the scans.  They treated them.  Of them, 6 have had my type of cancer.

With the odds she explained, we are all very hopeful that my tumor will light up tomorrow morning and I will be able to get treated.

BUT…my doctor cautioned.  After following up, there is a risk that my cancer could mutate to Anaplastic thyroid cancer.  This happened to one of the patients.  This would not be good.  Anaplastic thyroid cancer is not good at all.   It’s more or less a cancer with no treatment options.

The person this happened to had lots of other problems…previous other cancers, gene mutation for breast cancer, elderly and had radiation previously.  There is no way to know if these things attributed to the Anaplastic mutation or it was the treatment.

This was all new news for us.  We’ve come this far and to get new information now was hard.

She asked if I still wanted to do the treatment.

We asked some questions like what does she see for me long-term if I do the treatment.  She explained that they have only been doing this treatment for 2 years or so.  That means there is no real data on how effective it is.

We asked her if I was her mom, what would she recommend.  She said she thought she would still go through with treatment.

Then we talked about my tumor marker.  This supposedly slow-growing cancer doubled in the three months since I’ve last been tested.  It keeps doubling every three months.  Is that really slow growing??

So, with that, even with this new information and the risk of the Anaplastic cancer mutation, we decided to give this a try if the tumor shows on the scan tomorrow.  It wasn’t the information we wanted to hear but I think going forward is the right decision.

She explained that there is about a 30% chance this will all work.  I guess we’re rolling the dice!

On top of all of that….
They moved around some appointments and what was supposed to be today was moved to tomorrow.  Kalissa wants to be with me so she’s making a return visit with me.  Then on top of that, we’re supposed to have bad weather overnight…so

Kalissa and I drove home, scrambled around getting our lives set and are now, likely as you read this, driving back to Rochester to avoid the bad overnight weather.   We’re supposed to have crazy winds with a little snow.  They are predicting white-out conditions.   I have my first appointment tomorrow at 7:45 am so it’s a good idea to stay overnight.

Fingers crossed friends….Let’s roll that dice!

78 thoughts on “Doctor Visit”

  1. Your a brave women and lucky to have a great family support. Keep your cross stitch handy and stay safe.
    Will keep you in my prayers that everything goes well.

  2. Susan from Michigan

    Praying for you that you get good news. Plus I am happy that Kalissa can go with you. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. We are all rooting for you.

  3. Lots of prayers coming your way. A LOT to take in, and I confess, it is confusing–hard to understand all the different things involved. But praying everything will be going YOUR way. Glad you were able to head back to Rochester ahead of this latest blast of weather. 15 years ago in February, we had to do the same thing -to be ahead of the blizzardy weather -so I’d be there on time for surgery. Thinking of you and your family –know how stressful it is.

  4. Glad you are going back to Rochester tonight and will be close by for the morning appt. Winds and bad weather in Iowa can make driving difficult. Prayers being said and fingers crossed that there is good news after the scan. I don’t envy you having to swallow so many pills, yikes! glad that were able to get them down.

  5. Everybody…let’s all light a candle, say a prayer and send positive vibes that Jo “lights up” tomorrow!

  6. Good luck with all of your treatments – so complex! I was just watching the news/weather and my first thought was of you driving to appointments tomorrow in a blizzard. I was preparing to write to you and let you know but saw your post – and you are on top of that news already! I am glad you are staying in Rochester and won’t be trying to drive at that time. I’ve driven the Cresco to Rochester in bad weather and there is a lot of open space for the wind to blow!

  7. Thoughts and prayers for you! Hope you were able to find someplace close to the clinic so you can walk through the tunnel! Be thinking of you and watching for your update!

    1. Additional prayers for travel, weather, and for everyone who will be treating you. Prayers for you and the family for a happy outcome.

  8. Praying that the tumor makes itself known and you will be able to get treated and there will be no mutation. Also asking God to give you peace of mind and a restful night.

  9. Allison C Bayer

    Wow! Lots of new info. So glad Kalissa is with you. You roll the dice while I pray. Hugs of support and love.

  10. Super glad Kalissa is with you, this is something you shouldn’t have to deal with alone. Prays that the treatment will work. God Bless.

  11. I would not know you if it weren’t for your blog. Now, I feel like I know you and your family. My prayers are for good results from your treatments and strength for you and your family as you go through this health crisis.

  12. Continued prayers for you, certainly hoping for a miracle for you Jo. You are so very fortunate to have the strength of of loving and caring family

  13. Mega prayers going up for you. That soon you can put this behind you. Be safe on those roads. Lived and traveled many years in the Midwest between Moran Ks – Ozawkie Ks, KC Ks and Omaha Ne.
    Hugs and blessings

  14. Thank you for taking time to share what is happening, Jo. So glad Melissa can be therewith You. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope you are able to get a good night’s sleep. Also hope you light up like a Christmas tree tomorrow. Take care. ❤

  15. So glad you are driving back today. The storm that is coming is a bad one and you need to be safe. Prayers for all that you have ahead of you. You are truly blessed to have a knowledgeable and caring group at Mayo. Your family, and extended family, are amazing and love you so much. Your blog community is 100 percent with you as you share with us. Your strength and spirit are strong and will carry you on your journey.

  16. I don’t know what to say, I’ve been reading you and all of your and your families adventures, and just hate that you have to go through all of this! Know Kalissa will be there with you and you are a strong lady, makes me feel you will make it through all of this horrible thing, be strong, we all love you out here in Jos Country Junction land! Bless y’all!

  17. Mama needs to get rid of cancer! Blow on the dice for good luck and roll them!! hope this gave you a laugh! As cancer patients, you get use to life with percentages. Walk and roll in faith!

  18. Mama needs to get rid of cancer! Blow on the dice for good luck and roll them!! hope this gave you a laugh! As cancer patients, you get use to life with percentages. Walk and roll in faith!

  19. Fingers crossed! Prayers said! Glad you decided to spend the night close, you don’t need the stress of fighting the weather.

  20. Many prayers from PA. I’m glad Kalissa is with you. You made a good decision to be there already for your appointment tomorrow morning.

  21. Prayers and more Prayers, Kramer Family. You made the right decision to make the drive tonight. It will make less stress in the morning. Stay strong and know you have many Prayer Warriors !

  22. Bobbie Woodruff

    Blessings Jo for tomorrow. You have a whole lot of Prayer warriors praying for you. God does hear our prayers. Have a good nights rest knowing you are in God’s Grace. Your blog readers are all praying for you.

  23. Jo, I will light a candle for you here in Nebraska. Sleep well tonight and know you are in the hearts and prayers of many!

  24. I am sure you are in bed by now at the hotel. Happy to hear that you went back up with your daughter today. Made for a long day but snow and wind is nothing to play around with. Prayers for tomorrow.

  25. Judith Fairchild

    Praying for you! Roll the dice is a choice I wouldn’t want to make. You have to do what seems best for you. Just remember that Jesus is with you every breath you take.. so blessings on you and your family.

  26. Continuing to keep you in prayer. I didn’t see this ’til the morning of your appointment.
    I’m glad Kalissa is with you during this, especially staying overnight with bad weather coming in.
    Love and prayers.

  27. Heavenly Father,
    You are all-knowing and all-powerful. You know every decision she needs to make and every challenge she faces.
    Please forgive her for the times that she tries to figure this life out on her own. She needs You. She needs Your Holy
    Spirit to give her strength, wisdom, and direction, specifically concerning her treatments. Thank You, Lord.
    In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

  28. Jo, I am not only sending prayers for you, I want to say how much I appreciate your posts as an educational vehicle. What you are sharing surely will help one of us one day when we least expect it.

  29. I know there is another post I need to read but I want to let you know I’ve put your name on the Temple Prayer Roll, Jo. You will be prayed for several times daily the next 14 days. Holding you up in prayer and hoping for the very best for you.

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