Hospital Update

Wow..what a time it’s been!!

I’ve been at the hospital all week. The girls have been holding down the fort for childcare. People have suggested to us to me to close childcare for now but that’s not us and more importantly, Kramer doesn’t want the lot of us to sit around and watch him feeling sick.  So home managing the kids is an okay place for the girls to be.

First my news:
I got my shot on Monday and Tuesday. Today I got my radioactive iodine testing dose so we can scan on Friday to see if my thyroid cancer will show up. I do want to tell you a bit about getting the testing dose.

I went in to get the test dose and I started chatting with the nurse and her student. The nurse had been through thyroid cancer herself and we talked about how horrible it was to go without thyroid replacement medicine in order to be treated. Things have changed since then and the ability to get shots. We laughed and thanked medical advancements. this was HORRIBLE before the shots.

They gave me a paper that I have to carry with me in case I would need to have medical attention over the next few days and I put it in my purse. Then I asked a few questions on the dose I was getting for testing and how that would affect people around me. I explained Kramer’s situation and also said my grand baby was here with me and I wanted to know how “radioactive” I was. They left the room, called over to the expert on radioactive iodine, and then came back in the room. She told me that I would set off alarms should I go through the emergency room doors but other than that, I was okay. She asked for my paper back and wrote a phone number on it should I have any questions. I gave the paper to her, she wrote the number on it and gave me back the paper. I took the paper and put it in my purse. Then it was time to take the pills. I did and then I was off to report to Kramer that I took my dose. He’s been really worried that I keep my appointments. I got back to the room and was telling what happened. I went to get the piece of paper from my purse to show them and there was a $100 bill laying in my purse.  I didn’t put it there. The only explanation I have is that the nurse put the money with the paper when she gave it back to me. I have no other idea at all how that money could have gotten in my purse. NO IDEA! But how incredibly wonderful is that. How kind.

Speaking of kind…
I am finally getting to a computer and saw Kelli’s post giving our address and Paypal link for those of you who offered to help us. Oh my word. We are so overwhelmed. So overwhelmed. We can’t believe the generosity of people near and far. Many of the names of people who have given I recognize as blog commenters. Some I don’t. Kramer and I both can’t be more thankful. You guys are awesome.

Now the Kramer report:
He was on babysitting duty…

Tuesday Buck and Kalissa along with Gannon were at the hospital with us.  Buck left early Wednesday morning and Kalissa left in the afternoon.

Kramer has his neck brace and we’ve learned he’ll likely have it the rest of his life.  With it, it is hard to bend his head down and see Gannon so Kalissa took a pillow and placed Gannon at Kramer’s feet.  It was precious and a picture we’ll always remember.  So sweet.

Pain is always the topic here.  As many of you have likely heard, cancer in the bones is painful.  We are witnessing that…Kramer as the patient and me as the bystanderd.  The day time pain is there but it seams to be managed better day by day.  The nights are the worst but that too is getting better as we go on.

I’ll be honest.  It’s hard to watch him in pain.  It’s hard to see him wince. I walk a fine line between having to encourage him to try hard so we can get him home and wanting him to only sit so there is little chance he’ll be

We had a doctor come in the other day who stood as he talked to Kramer.  Kramer could not see him because of where he was standing. Finally I went over and got the “doctor stool” and gave it to the doctor.  Then I said, “Now he can see you”.   That made me want to scream.  Kramer may have  a broken neck but he is the patient.  He needs to be addressed.  I felt like the doctor was disrespectful.  That is the only person who hasn’t been awesome.   Our nurse Lauren has been a champ.  Sadly she’ll be gone tomorrow and we likely won’t see her the rest of the time we’re here.

Doctors are in and out.  Occupational therapy, dietary, nurses, and people taking him to radiation are here.  Of course there are several groups of doctors in…it’s been a task to coordinate it all.   It’s hard…this doctor has to talk to that doctor and no one can talk to anyone until occupational therapy okays something.  It’s hard to keep track of it all.  Medicine is constantly changing too.  We think we have something figured out and then someone changes it.

As for when we can go home, that’s still up in the air.  The hope is maybe Friday…Maybe Saturday.  We really don’t know yet.  Right now the goal is to get the pain to a point that he can go home on oral medication.  We also need him to be able to get up with and move around with only the assistance on one person or by himself.  This afternoon, we got closer to that.

We are putting things into full speed ahead on getting a bathroom shower put in our bathroom on the main floor of the house.  With Kramer in a neck brace, it will be hard for Kramer to navigate the basement stairs to shower in the basement like he has in the past.  We had always planned on putting a shower in there once we retired.  We’re just doing it a little sooner.

Little by little we are adjusting.  We have many more adjustments to make along the way.  We know that.  Thankfully Kramer and I are still completely and totally in love and in it for the LONG haul.  We made a commitment for better or worse 33 years ago.  Yes, this isn’t the better but we’re doing all we can to do to not make it any worse than it is.  We’re facing this with lots of humor and love that never ends.

17 thoughts on “Hospital Update”

  1. Continuing to pray for your family. Yes I can speak from experience bone cancer is “painful”, life challenging and plain ole rotten. That said I’m going into some gritty stuff. With the pain killers comes bathroom issues which makes the pain even worse and so it goes down hill from there. Recommend you get various stool softeners, laxatives and if it gets so bad ask the doctor for the prescription ones. Trust me it helps. One other recommendation is for the fentanyl transdermal patches. With the patches he should’ve able to cut back on the oral meds and that will hopefully solve the bathroom issues.
    Love, hugs and lots of prayers coming your way.

  2. I’m sure you’re putting grab bars in the bathrooms and are getting a shower stool but I wanted to mention it because it’s easy to overlook details when you’re overwhelmed.

  3. Such lovely thoughts about your love and commitment to each other! Be strong for each other.
    Sending love and prayers!

  4. Thanks for taking the time to update us. I love the last paragraph about your love for each other. I’m praying for God’s guidance and direction for all your decisions and your future. And may the peace of God which transcends all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

  5. We’ve seen just a glimpse of that kind of thing at our house in the last few years. First our son had health problems. Then this past year, my hubby had displaced bones in his feet and needed surgery. Like you, back and forth to the hospital, etc. We learned to get very close since he couldn’t do much at first. Also like you, 37 years later we are in it for the long haul. I’m praying for you all.

  6. Bless you Kramers! Thank you for the update! So glad your kids are close to help; so many people don’t have that!

  7. When I was with my parents in the hospital I kept a notebook and wrote everything down, who came in, time, what they were giving them or doing or what they said. You don’t know how many times I caught them giving the wrong medication or dose. A lot of times I ended up giving the Dr. Info on what had been done because he came in without looking at the chart first. Everyone is tired and you won’t remember who’s who after a day or two. It really helped. Plus if someone else relieves you they can see what’s happened without you explaining everything.

  8. Marianne Barta

    Oh my goodness — prayers and love sent for speedy healing. I am so very sorry for what your family has to endure — all the pain, etc. Prayers and hugs

  9. What a wonderful surprise from those nurses! Kindness does matter. I’m so glad you are able to keep your own appointments with all this upheaval with Kramer. The picture of Gannon on the pillow is a keeper for sure, how sweet. Prayers for all

  10. What a wonderful surprise from those nurses! Kindness does matter. I’m so glad you are able to keep your own appointments with all this upheaval with Kramer. The picture of Gannon on the pillow is a keeper for sure, how sweet. Prayers for all

  11. Be thankful you have a job where you can stay home…making money and still there if Kramer needs something…it would so stressful for you to have to leave the house everyday (Or night) if you had a job outside the home…Tell those naysayers to mind their own business!..Just kidding…I know you wouldn’t do that!…How is Ruby by the way? She must be stressing out a little too with you both being gone…she will be glad when you are home…Any luck an getting Karl to move back to Iowa or at least closer to you? His school must be finishing up in a few weeks…I am not a prayer person but have been keeping you in my thoughts…I get so much inspiration from you and your family…You’ll get through this…Do like I do sometimes…have a good cry…its good for the soul and the body…hugs…

  12. Katherine Gourley

    It is amazing to me that I have never met you or your family members, but I feel as though I truly know each of you. I am the one with cancer in my house and my husband takes care of all of my goofy needs. Fortunately my cancer is chronic but not fast spreading. I will be 69 in a couple of months and 12 day later we will celebrate our 49th anniversary. We know all about the for better or worse part of our vows. Tom and I keep humor in all aspects of our life.

    Pain control can be a challenge. Do you have a pain control specialist at your local hospital. If you aren’t sure have Kallisa check for you. Board Certified Pain Specialists are a blessing in managing pain. Their nurses are excellent resources as well.

  13. Thank you for the detailed update. Love your spirit, in spite of all you are going through. Prayers continue for each of you, your wonderful kids included.

  14. Karen McKeown

    Hi Jo, I just wanted to say that you are still giving to the world! This time it’s not fabric scraps etc but the real deal on watching a loved one suffer with cancer. You tell it like it really is, you don’t t gloss over anything. Wishing both you and Kramer comfort and peace. Love to your family too. Karen

  15. Myra M Cromer

    My Prayers are always with your family and I have ask others, that have no ideal who you, are to pray. You to have lots of love for one another and love for each other and GOD will get you through this.

  16. Oh my – yes, ups and downs. Good news and not so much news. But, through it all, blessings abound from friends, family, and complete strangers.
    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    And the quilts from the others post are wonderful!

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