From Bad to Worse

To say we had a TERRIBLE weekend would be an understatement. As I write, Kelli, Georgia and I are in the hotel in Lacrosse. Kramer is in the hospital next door. It was the longest weekend of my life.

We had fun plans for the weekend. We were going to host a baby shower for my side of the family on Saturday at our house and baptism for Gannon on Sunday. BUT..then we had predicted snow. At one point they thought maybe 6-10 inches. Well that cancelled all of those plans. We all ended up a little relived after we did. We’ve had a full plate lately and having a weekend that was now plan free seemed like the bonus we needed to get recharged for the final leg of my testing and Kramer’s final leg of radiation and chemo. That wasn’t to be. We are all more tired than ever.

Saturday morning came and looked promising. Kramer and I hung out, and even went to a garage sale in the morning. About 2:30pm that afternoon, he went to the basement to take a shower. When he came back up he said, “Something is weird. I feel like if I twisted my head just right, my head would fall off.” I thought that was the weirdest comment ever. About 3pm he had a terrible headache. I didn’t like it and called Kalissa asking she come over and check him out. We gave him extra pain meds and didn’t think anything of it.

Kalissa went home and by 6pm, she was at my house again and we were packing up and loading Kramer into the truck with him and I headed to the ER in no time. We ended up at the local ER in Decorah. It’s the one Kalissa works at. We knew he needed some bigger gun pain killers. Something was off and the headaches were terrible. After a CT scan of his neck, lots of pain meds and a soft collar for his neck, we were sent home. We had our first blow of bad news. Kramer has cancer in his C2 vertebrae and it’s eating away the bone. His scans were sent to Lacrosse. Doctors consulted. It was okay for us to go home and consult with our doctors on Monday to get a plan. He could up his pain meds. We were devastated. All the uncertainty of not having a plan were back. All the ifs and worries were back. We were so close to a finish line and now, here we are at square one.

Kramer made it through the night. He made it through a couple hours that morning. Kayla hearing the news that things had gone bad came home and started helping. She was amazing. By 10am Kramer couldn’t do it anymore and we were back on the road this time to the Lacrosse ER. It didn’t really happen as easy as that sounds. Phone calls to on call doctors…over night bags being packed and remember my diet so I can take my testing. We needed to pack for me as I can’t eat anything in a restaurant.

Two hours to Lacrosse to the ER. Two hours in the ER. Pain meds on board and now Kramer had a new hard collar to support his neck more. The ER doctor consulted everyone. All of his CT scan from the day before were looked at again. No one was thinking this was something that couldn’t be handled on Monday. Kramer didn’t think so either…so back home we went..another 2 hours.

When we got home the house was amazingly clean. Kayla had stayed and made it shine. Laundry was done. Just what we needed to be able to enjoy a night together. Kramer was up for some ice cream so we invited Kalissa and Craig over and had ice cream and brownies that Kayla had made (I didn’t..everyone else did) It was as close to a family meal as we’ve had in a long time.

Kramer was pooped so to the living room he went. His neck collar was getting hot and sweaty so while Kalissa and Craig were there, he took it off. He leaned back in the chair and screamed. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don’t know how we’re going to get me in the truck.” No one knew what that meant. No one knew what to do until someone said, “To the ER?” and Kramer said YES.

Thankfully the overnight bags were still packed. We grabbed a few more things. Craig turned the pickup around and backed it into the garage so the passenger door was closest. Then we started the task of trying to get Kramer to the truck. Something was terribly wrong. We all knew it. A talk of the ambulance..then finally we decided to try it. Craig held traction support on Kramer’s head/neck. Kalissa and I held and supported his arms…Carver held the door. We made it to the truck but Kalissa was now in the backseat holding traction on Kramer’s head. Off we went. This was serious. We all knew it was really serious and URGENT. We went to the local ER.

After lots of pain meds and another CT scan we found out that Kramer broke his neck. The C2 vertebrae didn’t make it.

He took a ride in the ambulance to get to Lacrosse. Kelli, Georgia and I took our truck. We got to the hotel at 1am…Thankfully Kelli and Georgia are sleeping. Me. Not.

I’m off to put some clothes on and drag myself through another day. Kramer needs me and we all need a new plan. Surgery was vaguely discussed as was a long hospital stay. I’ll let you know more when I know more. Right now, our family is hurting.

138 thoughts on “From Bad to Worse”

  1. I am so sorry to hear this news. I will continue praying for your family. Your family is remarkably strong and I am so grateful you have each other to lean on.

  2. This is certainly unexpected health news. Good thing that you are close to the doctors and bale to get some immediate attention and treatment. Praying that all will go well for your entire family. You have the prayer support of many.

  3. Oh, I am at a loss for words. I am so very sorry to hear about Kramer’s latest. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful family you have, a tribute to you and your husband and what wonderful parents you are. May you all have the continued strength and support you need.

  4. I am so sorry for Kramer and your family. Words are inadequate but please know you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Sally Safranski (DenimQuilts)

    Prayers. I’m on the way to work (at a church) so will start the day at the altar. Afternoon trip to Gundersen myself (for my mom). I can bring anything you need. Text my cell if there’s something I can bring to help; my afternoon/evening are flexible and I live just north of LaCrosse. 608-399-5383.

  6. What terrible and frustrating news. I can’t even imagine what you all must be feeling and thinking. Please know you’re in my prayers… all of you.

  7. LaNan Eldridge

    Prayers and hugs to give you the strength you need at this time. As a relative who faced cancer in her young child, her motto became “15 minutes at a time”.

  8. This is absolutely bad to worse, no sugar coating that, but even in this darkness, you got him to LaCrosse. That needed to happen,l and you did it, so hoping his pain is being better managed and that today will bring him more help. You preserved your being able to have the scan you need to have. I would have been stress eating, having double helpings of brownies AND ice cream. Your entire blogiverse is aching and hoping with you. You and your family are so brave, so loving, so strong. Day by day, hour by hour, that can be enough. Hugs.

  9. Wishing you all the love and strength you need to carry on. So sorry to hear of Kramer’s new setback. Prayers and Hugs for all!

  10. I am so very sorry to hear Kramer’s cancer has gone to his bone. My prayers go up for the entire family, that Kramer get pain relief and a plan of care he can tolerate, and for the entire family to have the strength to support him and see you all through this together as the strong family you are. God Bless you all.

  11. Oh, Jo! Stepping up those prayers!…for Kramer, you, all of your family, and for Kramer’s medical team. May God hold you all close as you navigate this newest news. He’s with you minute by minute and may His presence give you all strength and comfort.

  12. It was difficult reading this post . I can’t believe what Kramer and your family is going through! I am so sorry. I pray a surgery can be done to fix his neck. Much prayers for all of you. mary

  13. The list of us with tears in our eyes and hope in our hearts is growing. A long time ago a friend insisted to me that where there is LIFE there is HOPE. Kramer still has his life, so there is still hope, especially when added to the FAITH in the Kramer family.

  14. So sorry to hear of Kramer’s latest issues. Prayers are still coming for both you and Kramer and your whole family.

  15. Oh no. I’m so so sorry for Roger and your family. Praying for the entire Kramer family. Lifting you up in prayer.

    Love, big hugs and lots of prayers coming your way.

  16. Kramer family, I just cannot believe the tests that you are all being put through, my heart aches for all of the pain such an amazing family is experiencing . My prayers are on full strength to get you through this ordeal,

  17. SusanfromKentucky

    Praying God has mercy on you both. So sorry you are both going through this. Hugs and lots of prayers!

  18. Jut when we think it can’t get any worse for your family, it does. Thank you for letting us share your journey. We are hoping with all the prayers and encouragement going your way that things will begin to get better. Our prayers continue. Please know we are here for you and your family. Much love and hugs!

  19. I’m so sorry to hear this latest bad news for your family. I’m pulling for all of you, but especially for Kramer.

  20. Oh Jo I am so sorry for all that you guys have been through. Please know you and the family especially Roger are in my prayers.

  21. Prayers are being given as this is written for Roger, you and your family. I pray that Roger will be given relief from his pain and know that he is being held in the hands of God our Father.

  22. Ooooh girl!!! Sending hugs & prayers!!! Asking for Abundant Blessings, Strength & Healings!! God has it!! Looove to you all!!

  23. I am going to ask a very special friend to add you to her daily prayers too. May your wonderful family find the support and love needed.

  24. Poor Kramer1 My thoughts and prayers are with Kramer, you and the rest of your family. Your post brought tears to my eyes. This s one difficult journey for you.

  25. Jo – We love you and your family. Sending you all hugs and prayers as you and your family go through this tough, tough time. And hoping you will have some time to rest today, even with all the worries going on.

  26. Dear Jo, we are all so sorry that the cancer has shown up in Roger’s neck and he has a broken vertebrae now. Best Wishes to all of you, especially the patient. Jo, take time to Look Ahead to your future. Take the time to consider your life with Roger, and how good it has been. Lots of Love to all of you.

  27. Prayers and positive thoughts being sent your way. Sorry to hear the latest news. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  28. Adding you all to some prayer groups with members of my family in CA and OK. My heart is heavy as I feel your anguish over these new developments. A lot is being asked of your family right now, but as a unit you have to strength to dig in and get through. Hugs and love, Linda

  29. Oh Jo, my heart is aching reading this post and tears are flowing. Thank God for your family who can be there to help in such times of need. The love and faith shines through. There are no words, so I will continue to pray for you and your family, as well as the medical staff. I am so sorry for this horrible news.

  30. Praying for all of you! Having had two neck surgeries, I know that they can take that disk out…if the cancer is contained in the disk that would be wonderful. To say that you had a bad weekend is an understatement. Praying for wisdom for the doctors and comfort for all of you. Thank you for keeping us posted–lots of prayer warriors that can storm the walls of Heaven for all of you!

  31. I just can’t believe so many things can happen for your family. Suddenly my strained back pain from doing so much yard work , is nothing compared to what you and your family is going through. God in Heaven please help this family. Thank you God. Love to you and your family

  32. Our hearts are with you all, we are sending prayers for you both to have strength to cope with all this. Your great family is there for support and I know you will figure out the challenges of each day with God’s help.

  33. Sending prayers your way. My dad had Multiple Myeloma and it attacked the small bones in his body. They did kyphoplasty on his vertebrae a couple of times.

  34. Sending prayers from South Carolina. Not being familiar with Iowa, but in SC you can apply for disability. Maybe you have thought of this. You and your husband definitely deserve it. Both of you work hard and I’m sure you pay your Social Security taxes so that may be an option to get some income coming in. Your husband’s doctor may be able to help get him qualified for some type of disability income and depending on your scan, you may be able to apply as well. Although, I am praying for a clear scan and complete healing for both of you. I hope this didn’t offend you. I enjoy reading your blog.

  35. Oh no! Sending prayers your way. Your children are such a blessing. So glad they are there for you and hubby.

  36. You are all incredibly strong. Somehow you will get through this but for now please know that you have so many people praying for Kramer, you and your entire family.

  37. My heart is breaking for all of you and I don’t even really know you. Sending caring and positive thoughts. There’s an army of us out here sharing your pain. Hope you can feel the love we’re sending your way.

  38. I’ve been trying to write to you all day but there aren’t any words to express my sorrow at reading about this setback. Praying for all your family.

  39. I’m so sad to read this. I’m praying for you, your husband and the whole family. Though I’ve never met you, I feel as though I know you.

  40. I have no words, like many others, except to say you and your family are in my prayers.
    I am sure this has shown you that many many people are following your story and praying for you and your family. I hope that gives you some comfort

  41. I have no words, like many others, except to say you and your family are in my prayers.
    I am sure this has shown you that many many people are following your story and praying for you and your family. I hope that gives you some comfort. Lots of love sent your way

  42. Praying for pain relief, strength for each of you and that you will feel all the support coming your way from all of us.

  43. Praying for you Jo and Kramer and hope that you feel all the love that is being sent to you from so many all over the country!

  44. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on things life gets in the way. My heart goes out to all of you as you deal with these constant bumps in the road. I know so well what you are all going through as I went through it with my husband. Continuous prayers to you and your entire family.

  45. I’m so sorry to hear your news. Just going to keep on praying for all of you. Jo, I know that you are worried sick about Roger, but you need to take care of yourself first. Try and get some sleep. You won’t do him any good if you are sick. Roger, hang in there. Things aren’t going the way you all had planned, but we serve a mighty God. He does answer prayer.

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