Medical Update from the Kramer Compound

First up…news from the Hanken home.

Do you remember that Eli and Emmett were supposed to get tubes in their ears on the 25th?  Well, that didn’t happen.

Both of the boys started throwing up on the evening of the 24th and that canceled tubes for both of them.  UGH.

Well from there, things went worse.  Eli kept throwing up.  Kelli tried getting food and liquids into him but then he wouldn’t take them…or would take them and then throw it all up.

He went to the doctor on Tuesday and was back in the ER on Wednesday.


Poor guy.

He ended up admitted to the hospital on Wednesday for an overnight and will be there again tonight.

They don’t have any obvious reason why he can’t kick this flu bug.  That kind of bothers us all.  We’d love to be able to put a label on it all.

I feel so terrible that I can’t be a help.  Poor Kelli is so far behind on house things and sleep and just life in general.   She’s spent all of her time off of work holding the boys and dealing with them being sick. In our family, we all readily agree that Kelli is the only one in the family that could handle all of this.  She’s a good mom.

I’m so thankful that Kelli’s mother-in-law has been a help…I just wish I could be a help too.

Now to me…I went back to the doctor on Monday.  Kalissa made me go.  I’ve been easily winded when I go up and down the stairs…TOTALLY NOT MY USUAL…and then heartburn started in.  UGH.

I told Kalissa and that bought me a trip to the doctor.  Having a nurse in the family is both a blessing and a curse.  Kalissa explained that both of those things are not good signs of heart issues and she didn’t want us to be so focused on whatever is going on with me that we miss if something was heart-related happening.

Blood work, a once-over, and a chest x-ray all revealed little except that my diabetes is back in the uncontrolled territory…so frustrating.

I went to bed that night and couldn’t sleep.  I ended up on my phone and was relooking up the side effects of Mekinist, the oral chemo drug I was on. WOW…I found out a lot.

Here is a list of side effects that I’ve been having that are attributed to the meds…

There are actually more side effects. These are the ones that I have experienced.

blemishes on the skin
blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
blurred vision
cracked, dry, or scaly skin
difficulty with breathing or swallowing
extreme tiredness or weakness
headache
lightheadedness, dizziness
nervousness
confusion, brain fog
nosebleeds
pimples
pounding in the ears
rash
red or black, tarry stools
redness, swelling, or pain of the skin
tingling of the hands and feet
unusual tiredness or weakness
Burning, itching, and pain in hairy areas, pus at the root of the hair
canker sores
change in taste
dark urine
dry eyes
dry mouth
dry skin
loss of taste
loss of appetite
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth swelling or inflammation of the mouth
thirst
shortness of breath
night sweats
high blood sugars

The weird thing…Most of these didn’t kick into high gear until after I was off the meds.  I did have the terrible rash while on the meds, but much of the other things started a few days after I was off the meds.

So…after reading all of that, I contacted my local doctor and my doctor from Mayo Clinic.  I listed all of the side effects that are an issue to me and talked to them.

Thoughts are that all of the side effects I’m experiencing will lessen as I get to the five weeks out stage.  I took my last meds on Jan 7th so five weeks out would put the date at February 11th that things should be closer to normal.  Oh my, my fingers crossed that this might be true.

I do feel much better mentally.  I feel like my local doctor listened to me…cared about me and reassured me that it’s totally okay that I don’t feel 100% and truly, I will get there.  I kind of felt like I was being wimpy.  I felt like I wasn’t “making” myself better.  All of the doctors said to just keep doing what I’m doing and actually rest.  They assured me that it’s totally normal that I don’t feel well.

So…I’m trying to listen.

So that’s the latest on the medical front from around here.

30 thoughts on “Medical Update from the Kramer Compound

  1. Sherry Bobak

    So sorry, Jo, that your family has been through so much lately. Will send out many prayers for you, the twins, Kelli and the rest of your family.

    Reply
  2. Betty Woodlee

    Jo you are surely carrying a heavy load. Poor Eli—prayers he will get better soon. Prayers that all these side effects go away and you have better health.

    Reply
  3. Hedy

    You put a controlled substance into your body, sort of like a poison for cancer. There are going to be side effects, and they aren’t side effects that are easy on the body. Your body is fighting a very powerful enemy but you are winning ! Just take it easy and rest, you will get better.
    So sorry about baby grandson.

    Reply
  4. Mary Ann Mettler

    Those twins are very precious! Hope they can get the tubes soon. I am glad you did not have all the side effects listed – but on the other side glad the drugs served their purpose. Praying you feel more yourself soon. Do take the advice to rest – Your body does need that.

    Reply
  5. Kate

    My heart aches for Kelli. Hopefully Eli will get better soon. Sorry to hear that the boys didn’t get the tubes in. That was a very long list of side effects of your chemo. You are doing great to be able to get up and do anything. You and Kelli will continue to be in my prayers.

    Reply
  6. Rita in Iowa

    Jo sorry that your family has to deal with being sick. It always so hard when they are little and cannot really tell you what’s wrong.
    I’m glad your daughter told you to go to the doctor, it will at least give you a little peace of mind.
    Get the needed rest.

    Reply
  7. Jackie Trembley

    Hi Jo, I sure hope you’ll be feeling like your old self soon. I’ve been praying for you every day – hope those side effects settle down soon.

    Reply
  8. Ellie

    That’s quite a list of side effects! No wonder you don’t feel well! Listen to your body and it will tell you what to do. If your body say rest then rest. Pushing through won’t get you better faster and may just slow things down. Prayers for Kelli and the twins and especially Eli . I hope they can get their tubes soon.

    Reply
  9. Candice Smith

    Your family has certainly been through a lot. Keeping you all in my prayers and hope every one will soon be feeling better.

    Reply
  10. June

    Prayers for all of you. Babies don’t understand why they feel so badly. Moms and Grandma’s worry about the babies. I’m sure that’s added a little stress to you as well. Sure hope that February 11th you’ll be feeling a whole lot better. And I can see how the chemo working through you is causing so many side effects.
    Prayers continued for you and your beautiful family.
    Hugs and God Bless you all with no more than you can all handle.

    Reply
  11. Catherine Odle

    Poor Kelli, poor Eli, poor Jo! You all have had your share of junk. Keep resting, and healing, all of you. Prayers ☝.

    Reply
  12. Tama

    Oh my. Jo, you and your family hold a special place in my heart. Even though we’ve never met. No matter. Please know I am holding you and yours up in love and light.

    Reply
  13. Robin

    Oh my goodness, those are a lot of side effects for you to have to deal with. Hopefully all of that poison is working to rid your body of the cancer. If it’s true “No Pain, No Gain” then all of the pain you’re experiencing leads me to believe you will be cancer free. I will continue to pray for total healing for you, and for the little boys. Kelli just can’t seem to catch a break.

    Reply
  14. Karin

    Ditto what Ellie said. Prayers for respite and speedy resolutions for you all. You’re both handling the challenges really well.

    Reply
  15. Linda

    Oh my goodness, the twin pictures almost made me cry. Nothing sadder than a sick baby.
    I know you are looking forward to week five. Best wishes for all of you

    Reply
  16. Anne Fisher

    Prayers for Kelli and the twins– that poor little guy– can sure tell how bad he felt.
    Prayers for you Jo—that list is a wicked one to cope with –and hope that the end is in sight for you –really bad that so many of the things on that list you could ‘tick off”. Praying for all to turn for the better very soon for babies–you and all the family.

    Reply
  17. Beryl in Owatonna

    Will continue praying.
    Those little fellas sure don’t look like they feel well. So glad Kelli can be with them.
    You will be feeling better soon also. I know when we go through something we want to be well when a procedure has been done, but we have to take time to heal…hard to do when you are as active as you are used to being. And it has to be so hard not to be able to cuddle those little guys. SOON! Take care of yourself too, REST!
    PRAYING!

    Reply
  18. Susan Schlegel

    You mentioned that you had been on steroids to deal with some of the chemo side effects; steroids cause higher blood sugars. Once you are off the steroids your sugar levels should come down again.

    Reply
  19. Christi

    I know it’s really hard. No one warns you that the drug affects are cumulative. Just take it slow and easy. We are all praying for you.

    Reply
  20. Stearns Carol

    OH, dear, poor Eli. Its hard having a sickly child and then there are 2. Eli will probably grow up to be the biggest and strongest out of the bunch! Who knows.
    I am sorry for all your troubles. I hope you have been using the products I sent. They are designed to help with those skin issues. I hate dry skin and I lotion up daily after my shower. Keeps me supple! Ha.

    Reply
  21. Carla

    Well that’s just miserable all around for Kelli and family. We as adults would gladly take the place of our little ones when they get sick. He’s covered in prayer, as are you. May God give the doctors answers.

    Reply
  22. Shirley

    Prayers for baby Eli and his mom; and also prayers for you that you will be back to your normal self very, very soon

    Reply
  23. Toni W.

    You guys sure are going through a lot! Hoping that you all improve quickly and can keep up your positive attitudes. It can be difficult to do. Hugs to all!

    Reply
  24. Samantha M

    Oh my word Jo, you’ve really got it hard with all those side effects! I hope as the days go on, you get more comfortable each day. And poor Eli! He looks so poorly and sorry for himself. Sending much love to you all x

    Reply
  25. Anne

    Dearest Jo, my thoughts are with you and the little ones. Those side effects would put down an elephant, or an elephant-sized ❤ like yours. Please rest rest rest and wait to feel better. Put up old posts or none. We are here for you, you have to deal with your family first. Love and blessings to you, Anne

    Reply

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