News from the Doctor

For those of you new here, I have an ongoing relationship with cancer.  I was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer in January of 2016.  I had surgery and went through Radioactive Iodine Treatment at the time and for a year or so I was good.  Then my thyroglobulin tumor markers started to increase so I was put on a watch list.

Being on a watchlist consists of appointments and tests every three months.  Things continued to go bad with the numbers indicating that my cancer was back, but try as they might, the cancer has never been able to be found.

So they have drug me back in every three months to tell me that they can’t find it…they are sure it’s going to pop up…but they can’t find it now.

The numbers got higher in 2016 and my doctor sent me on to Mayo Clinic.  Still, nothing was found.  My numbers have continued to go up.  Still, nothing has been found.

In June, I went to the doctor and my tumor marker went up a lot higher than anticipated.  She wanted me back in three months for a PET scan.  My insurance wouldn’t cover one…we did CT scans instead.  Nothing much different was found on the CT scans but again, my tumor marker jumped much higher than expected.  After a huge runaround, my doctor requested a PET scan, and this time my insurance approved it.

My doctor told me she is pretty confident that something is going to show up this time.  Typically in cases like mine, once the number gets over 1000, mine is 1250 or so, she said something should show up in the scan.  Sadly, thyroid cancer typically spreads to the bone or lungs.

For a long time, they have focused on my lungs but there is little to no change there…some nodes shrink, some grow.  When I say grow that means they go from 5mm to 7mm.

This time, she’s suspicious that we might find something in my bones.  I’ve been having some hip pain on my right side so I wouldn’t be surprised it that is where the cancer moved to.

Thursday was PET scan day.  Friday was the day for me to meet with my doctor.

Here is what I learned…First off…I’m going to warn you, this is a LONG story.  Grab some coffee or come back later when you have time to read it all.  I’m telling you all exactly what I told my kids as I’m upfront about it all.  One of my biggest pet peeves when dealing with my cancer is when people think they know what’s happening because they heard something from someone else.  I promise, if there is something to know, I will be the one to tell it…and you’ll find that info here.

Our youngest daughter, Kalissa, went with me to the appointment.

Kalissa has a way of making even miserable days fun!!

Our appointment was at 7:45 am.  To get there, we left my house at 5:45 pm.  By 8:30 am the doctor still hadn’t been in to see us.  My doctor is notorious for having me sit in the waiting room a long time but this was about the longest. She finally came at about 8:40 am.  She brought a pharmacist with her.  Hmm.  I took that to be bad news.

We sat down, she pulled up the scan and told us no cancer was found in my bones.  That was good.  I had looked up the prognosis for that and only about 60% of people in that situation live past 4 years.

Kalissa and I were happy we dodged that…but cancer did show up in my lungs.  Many of you are then going to think, oh, she has lung cancer now.  That IS NOT TRUE.  I have THYROID CANCER IN MY LUNGS.  The same cells that made up my thyroid cancer jumped residence and set up shop in my lungs.  It is very important in my case to remember this.

This is important to note because this will be treated with the same protocol as THYROID cancer NOT lung cancer.   I will not get chemo.  I will not get radiation.  They do not help what I have.

Back when we knew this all was a possibility my doctor did genetic testing on me to learn what is the best way to treat this should it come to the point that I need treatment.  Well, we’re here now.

The way thyroid cancer is treated is through radioactive iodine.  It’s a pill I ingest.  But…we have a problem.  My cancer cells are no longer interested in taking up radioactive iodine leaving it pointless to treat me.  BUT, they have a new drug that they are willing to try with me.  There are four points of criteria to make patients eligible for this drug.  I have three points and she’s willing to try it with me.  The hard news is that it is about 50% effective in people in my situation…so if you want to shoot up some prayers that I’m one in the 50%, that would be great.

The treatment is fairly new.  The team at Mayo has given it out about 30 times before…yes, I’m feeling a little like a guinea pig, but it’s okay.  I’m willing.

My cancer is still slow growing so I was given the option to not treat at all and watch…but I opted to give it a try.

Here is how it all goes…

Being the drug is so new, it’s sometimes a fight with insurance companies.  My doctor assured me that if my insurance won’t cover it, Mayo has a financial assistance fund.  I was thankful for that as it sounds super expensive.  With the work back and forth between getting it paid for, and it being a rare drug, it might take up to a month before I even get the meds.  This is not a medicine that comes from any regular pharmacy.  Mayo has a special pharmacy for this.

Once I have the meds, I have to contact Mayo Clinic and tell them I have them.  Then scheduling needs to happen and they will tell me when I can start taking the meds.

I take the medicine for 30 days.  I was told to expect nausea, diarrhea, and a rash.  There are other side effects but these are standard.  Most everyone gets them.  They said to expect the rash on my chest, face, and in my hairline.  I am to expect to need steroids and antibiotics for the rash.  It may take five weeks for it to heal after I’m done taking the 30-day dose.

About halfway through taking that med, I am put on a low iodine diet.  I have done this before.  It’s a very miserable diet.  I complain about it every time I have to do it and I’m warning you…I’ll likely complain about this next time too.  But, what’s a little complaining between friends, right??

I’m on the diet for two weeks and then the treatment week starts:
Sunday I drive to Rochester for a shot and back home.
Monday I drive to Rochester for a shot and back home.
Tuesday I drive to Rochester for a shot and back home.
Wednesday I drive to Rochester and get the full-body scan.  This is the critical test that will determine what happens as here is where the fork in the road is.

IF THE TUMOR SHOWS UP on the scan, the drug that I suffered through for the 30 days worked.  I will:
get a shot and be allowed to go home.
Thursday I drive to Rochester for a shot and back home.
Friday one of the kids, Buck already volunteered, will drive me to Rochester and drop me off at the hospital.  I will be given a large dose of radioactive iodine.  This dose will likely be about double what I received previously.  This dose is large enough that I can’t be in the public.  I will have to be in the hospital for a day or two.  Do you remember learning about half-life in Chemistry in high school?  Do you remember not knowing when you’d ever use that info again?  Today is the day!!

The radioactive iodine breaks down as time passes.  I will be periodically tested and once I am within the levels, I will be able to go home.  I will not be able to be around children for 21 days.  I need to keep to myself a few more days, then I can be around adults but I should maintain a distance-no touching.  There are lots of other regulations but I won’t bother getting into them at this point…because, I might not even get there.

They did tell me that in the hospital I am not allowed to take a phone, tablet, or laptop.  OH MY.  I am not allowed to take cross-stitching.  Anything that I touch or is in the room with me will have to be left there and destroyed. will They suggested a paperback book or a word find book.  Thank goodness it usually isn’t more than 48 hours.

Remember I said that there is a fork in the road?  I told you about one of the forks but I didn’t tell you about the other yet.  There is a 50% chance that nothing will show up on this full-body scan.  IF NOTHING SHOWS UP ON THE FULL-BODY SCAN, I will get the consolation prize and be sent home.  I will not be able to get treated.  The cancer will be allowed to grow.  We’ll watch it with continued testing.  At some point, I will have enough cancer in my lungs that breathing will become an issue.  That might be in two years… it might be in 10 years.  At that point, I will have the option to go on some meds with some pretty crappy side effects.

I’ve already told my kids, and I’ll tell you too.  If the side effects are terrible, I might opt not to take it.  It prolongs life but doesn’t cure anything.  It matters where I’d be at this point and if I get the side effects as much as suggested on whether I decide to take it.  I don’t want to live miserably.  I am totally willing to extend my life…but I have no interest in prolonging my life in a miserable fashion.

So…when does this all start??  Who knows.  The plan is for:
-my doctor has put in the request for the 30-day meds that will give me the rash.
-Once I get them I call my doctor and tell her I have them.
-They set up the appointments for all of the shots
-They make sure the radioactive iodine does is available
-They reserve a bed at the hospital.
-They let me know the plan and when I can start taking the 30-day meds.

Here is a glitch.  Hospitals are still FULL in our area.  There aren’t many beds available due to Covid.  I can’t do this unless they can guarantee a bed and nurses to take care of me.

My doctor said that all of this planning, organizing, getting the meds, and reserving the hospital bed might take a couple of months.  My doctor flipped the calendar and said, “Oh you might want to wait until after the holidays.”  I caboshed that immediately.  I can be on a diet over Thanksgiving.  I can miss Christmas.  I’m totally okay with that.  I am just ready to take a step forward in treating this.

I do want to tell you…I am only considered treatable.  I will live the rest of my life with thyroid cancer in some capacity.  Even if everything goes as I hope and the 30-day drug helps my body be open to receiving radioactive iodine and I go through the treatment, this will buy me a big chunk of time, but it will not cure my cancer.  My last treatment bought me almost six years of good living.  I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to treat and I’ll get six or more years more.

Kalissa and I both left the hospital very hopeful and excited for the next chapter in dealing with my cancer.  It was a long day on Thursday talking to our other kids, family, and friends…and now, it’s evening Thursday night as I write this and tell all of you.

This is not bad news…
I was getting tired of all of this hanging over my head.  At least now we are doing something.  I’m a gal who loves a plan and I always feel better with one, so this is good.

This does put a lot of stress on my childcare families.  Finding childcare is always hard…plus I don’t know what days I’m going to need off making it doubly hard…and the tumor might not show up in the full-body scan and I won’t need the 21 days off.  They have assured me that they will do whatever is needed.  They are really a wonderful group.

My kids are all hopeful and already super supportive…I love them like crazy.

If you’re a prayer or a “good vibes” person, feel free to send some on my behalf.  It would be so good if the 30-day meds would do their trick and we could treat this again.

I promise to keep you up to date.  I know many of you worry and wonder about me.  Please know, right now, I am good.

159 thoughts on “News from the Doctor”

  1. Jo, I so admire your matter of fact, tell it like it is approach to life, and to this turn of events. I’m not much of a praying person, but you’ll be in my thoughts and in my heart, and I’ll send a gazillion good thoughts in your direction.

    1. I’m a prayer warrior of the first order! I have you covered.
      I had my thyroid removed 10 days ago. Biopsy results next week and info on subsequent treatment. These “Bends in the Road” (book by David Jeremiah is great), sure has some hairpin turns, We’ll get through this by the Grace of God. You’re a real trooper, just keep the faith and fight on.

      1. Hello Carol. I hope your biopsy results come back negative. I’m glad you stepped up and are addressing the possibility. Too many people ignore their health. Prayers to you!!

    2. Dear Jo, you are in my constant prayers! This is a difficult time and having to deal with all of this during the holidays makes it worse. As I have said before you are in God’s hands andI know God will take good care of you and your family as well. Keep your faith and my whole family has you and your family in our “good” thoughts and prayers. Love to you all!

  2. Jo- I’ll be praying for your healing, and that the meds will work well! Please, take time for you. You’ve given, given, and given to every one else, now it’s your turn! I’ll be thinking of, and praying for you daily. Stay strong. I admire your attitude. Blessings!!

  3. Jo, thank you for this update. It has been excruciatingly difficult to respectfully avoid asking you for an update.
    My prayers, unceasing prayers, are with you, with your caregivers, and your family.

  4. I’m with you Jo, it’s better to have a plan so you can feel more in control of the situation. Thanks for letting us know, I was thinking about you yesterday. I hope everything falls in to place and you’re able to start your treatment journey soon.
    You have wonderful family and friends around you (and virtually!) Sending much love to you xx

  5. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Your attitude really is in the right place. I totally agree with quality vs. quantity…give me quality every time! Know that I will continue my prayers for you and your family. If family support makes a difference, I know it is heavily weighted in your favor. So glad you finally have some answers and a plan – definitely makes a huge difference cuz no one likes living in limbo. Onward!!

  6. Jo, I will say extra prayers for you. I know Prayer is Helpful. God is so good. He healed many folks in the Bible & he continues to preform miracles now-a-days. I watch the 700 club & they have so many accounts of God doing marvelous works in many, many people. I’m thankful you have a plan & I’m thankful you have your family. You are wonderful, strong & awesome!

  7. So much for you and your family to think about. I will keep all of you in my prayers as you venture down these new roads.

  8. Jo, I too will be praying. God is the same today as in years ago. He does still heal us. You are loved by so many! You touch our lives each day with hope and humor.

  9. Jo, I have been a long time reader, I have prayed for your family for many years. I am glad that you have a plan, limbo is the worst. My prayers will continue.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. I have felt your joy in children and grandkids and wept with you when Kramer was taken from you. I look forward to hearing about family, quilting and stitching!

    May the good Lord bless you with all you and your family stand in need of!

  10. God bless and keep you and give you and your family strong shoulders to carry your burdens. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way. And a big hug, too!

  11. Wishing you strength in all that comes, I admire your straight talking and your family, so much love to draw on. Keeping you in my prayers, chin up girl . xxx

  12. Hi Jo
    Sending prayers for you and your treatment. Praying you are one of the 50% for whom this works.

  13. I’ll be adding my prayers with the many who are holding you in our hearts. I so appreciate and admire your honesty and fortitude.

  14. Cynthia Jacobson

    Praying for what is to come. I so enjoy your posts! I love hearing about your life! You are so blessed! ❤️

  15. Oh my friend. I can tell you I will definitely be praying up a storm for you.
    You have an incredible support team of family (your numero uno!) as well as friends, blog readers, and most definitely the doctors, nurses, and staff who will be helping you through this. You have an army. Not to mention the Army of God.
    Thank you for taking all this time to let us know what is happening. We’ll be with you every step of the way.
    Love and prayers

  16. This is good news, a chance to move forward and treat this. Reading this was really good medicine for me this morning. I’ve hit a new bump in my own road and was feeling especially low last night. You’ve given me good perspective and a reminder that life is what we make it. Prayers for all of your bits and pieces to align in a positive way for your successful treatment. It will be a couple weeks probably, but I’ll also send a little something your way via PayPal for whatever it can help with along your journey.

  17. Sending big prayers your way . I’m a big believer of Power in Prayer. Take. CAre of yourself . Rejoice in each day to the fullest
    Do something special for yourself .
    Be strong and youwill beat this

  18. You will have my prayers as you go through this difficult time. You have done so much good for the community, its time for some of that good karma to come back to you. I have faith you will come through this.

  19. Jo, My prayers will be added to those of others for a complete healing. You said this procedure would not heal the cancer but I know a God who heals. His power has not diminished. God bless you and your family.

  20. Jo, I know you are strong and your faith and family will support you. Keeping you in my prayers for your treatment and comfort.

  21. I am so glad you were able to get approved for the Mayo Clinic where they have genetic testing and clinical trials. I have a different type of cancer but it seems like I live at MD Anderson. Those trips can really drain you physically and mentally and the wait is discouraging as well. The bottom line for you and me is that we have God by our side walking with us. I know he will give you the strength to endure. Thanks for sharing.

  22. No one in my family has had to go through what you are going to do in regards to this cancer. My family just dies very quickly after finding out they have cancer. It’s actually very overwhelming to read all that you will be having done. I’m praying that your body will be healed. I’m glad you are hopeful, I think that attitude makes a huge difference in our quality of life. Your readers will be here for you, please keep us informed.

  23. I hope you can feel the love and support coming your way from all over the world. Your impact on others is so positive! Prayers for healing and strength in this new chapter of your life. Always good to have a plan!

  24. Oh Jo, I am glad you finally have a plan of attack! I love reading your blog & seeing all your beautiful quilts. You are such a blessing to so many people.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!!

  25. Oh,Jo!! You knew we’d all be thinking of you, and praying,and you thought of us!! We do care about you, and will continue with prayers and good-vibes! I’m glad you’ll be starting after the holidays! God’s speed dear friend!

  26. I have not read the whole post. Prayers with you. I am concern with all the traveling. You should check with Mayo Clinic about overnight housing., especially with being in a “study”. Safe travel. Take care of you. Don’t worry about anything else.

  27. Jo, thank you for sharing the facts with us and keeping it real. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers as you move forward with a plan.

  28. It seems like now you have some plan and that is probably good. I will certainly keep you in my prayers for healing, for strength, for feeling closer to the greatest healer, and for your child care families.

  29. Thanks for the detailed update. I love your positive attitude! That is so important to successful outcomes. We don’t know how our minds effect our bodies and what is going on. Your wonderful family is important to your treatment as is your wide circle of friends. I’ll continue to keep you in my prayers and I believe all this positive energy will be helpful to you as you begin this new treatment . God bless you and thank you for being you!

  30. Thank you for being so honest and up front with your readers. Your matter of fact, tell it like it is, approach bring such comfort. I will continue keeping you and your entire “network” in my prayers. Wish I lived closer to help out with the daycare kiddos.

  31. I am grateful for you and your family that you have some answers and you have a plan. I am grateful for you that “quality of life” is your priority. Having lost both my parents to cancer and seeing them choose quality over quantity is a Blessing and life example I will always have with me.

    I pray you get the treatment you want in an expedient manner and the outcomes are the best. I know you believe in God and He is with you every step of the way.

    I have no doubt you are going to soak up as much kiddo and grandkid time as you can in the coming days until your treatment calendar is set. May you have much joy, laughter along with the love they all shower on you.

    Hugs to you all!!!!

  32. I’m holding you in my heart with positive and healing thoughts as you start your treatment plan journey. May it all go well without any glitches in scheduling, etc., and may you have a good outcome at the other end of it. I wonder, once you get to the hospital stay portion, if you might like to journal or do quilt design sketches or coloring pages (maybe there’s even a cross stitch or quilt coloring book)? Even if you can’t take them home with you, the act of doing them might help you pass the time and remember things for when you get home.

  33. A bible verse for you and your family. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

  34. Jo, you are indeed in our thoughts and prayers! I will continue to pray and wish you only good vibes! Glad you waited to start after the holidays…stay hopeful and strong!

  35. ((Hugs)) Healing thoughts/prayers for being in the 50% it helps are headed your way each & every day. I’m so glad you’re able to have an action plan & that you know you are enveloped in love by your family & friends.

  36. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Jo, you are so strong! Your prayer Warriors are a mighty legion. I’m honored to be one of them. Praying boldly and fervently for you and all who love you best!

  37. Thank you for sharing your medical journey with us and keeping us so well informed. I like your attitude and willingness to get this next chapter started, however complicated it all seems. You are blessed to have such a loving and supportive family and also so many friends and readers pulling for you. I will be praying for the best possible outcome for you as well . God bless you.

  38. You do you Jo! Go boldly into this treatment knowing you have God, your family and friends, your care team and all of us right there with you. Stay strong.

  39. Allison C Bayer

    A gal with a plan! Thank you for sharing so matter-of-factly. I admire your outlook. Thrilled you have such a supportive family and us, your readers. Prayers sent up for you sweet internet friend. Hugs of support and love.

  40. Sheila Fernkopf

    Oh my! Thank you for sharing the details of this visit. I’m so glad there is finally a plan. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers!

  41. Hold on tight to the prayers your friends family and readers are sending to you. Its what I’ve been doing for the past 28 yrs after the doctors told me no more chemo radiation or surgeries after my 2nd reoccurence of brain cancer. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out how I’ve survived after all these and finally realized it was the love of those who prayed and pray for me still that I’m being blessed many times over. Just remember we’re all praying for you and sending boatloads of love to that cancer for that’s all I can fathom what has kept mine from returning…that and God’s love…and what a mighty power that is.

  42. Continuing prayers for you and your family. May all go smoothly and as planned and the cancer be extremely slow growing. I’m so thankful you have such a supportive family. Thanks for the update.

  43. Jo, I’m one of your faithful readers even though I don’t comment very often. I think of you often and talk about you with my sisters. I will be praying for you and this struggle with your cancer. May God bless you and yours daily.

  44. Jo, you are always in my prayers! I am glad you have answers and a plan. That is a relief. Full steam ahead my friend! You can kick it. I wish I lived in Rochester and you could stay the week of your shots. I guess it gives you time with your adult kids driving you to the treatments.

    I am here for you if you need an ear to listen. May God’s love surrounds and uplifts you threw this journey!

    1. Thanks so much Lori. I’ll likely stay over one of the nights…One of the things that stinks is that the shots need to be about 24 hours apart. I can’t go late one day and early the next. It’s okay though. I’ve said a million times, this is much better than chemo or radiation.

  45. Thanks for keeping your internet family informed!!!! Having a plan gives me comfort too, I can’t stand winging it. You will be in my thoughts a prays.

  46. I am praying for you Jo! I am so glad your are jumping in and going for it. MY grandmother was much like you. Fun, loving, family was number one. She was fearless or didn’t show she had fears and had great faith in the Lord and science. She was one of the first to get a pacemaker. She then had two others implanted over the years and they too were experimental. She had uterine cancer and took experimental drugs. All were successful and she lived to be close to 90 years old. Positive vibes and prayers from me here in Wingdale NY

  47. God bless and heal you, my dear Jo, in the precious Name of Jesus! I will keep you in my daily prayers everyday, as I have since I found your delightful Blog. Stay strong and know that you have an entire Army of supporters behind you and also leading the way. We got this, Jo! The Lord will keep you here as long as He can because you are a shining lite for so many. You are very loved by all.

  48. I thought what I might say, what could I add to the lovely thoughts already expressed. This came to me, Jude 1:24-25 ” Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”

  49. Praying for the best possible outcome for you, Jo! I will be at Mayo starting my cancer journey on Friday. We’ll get better together.

  50. Hi Jo, What a great recorder you are! Your attention to the details and ability to share those details so thoughtfully is a treasure! I wish you nothing but good health and God speed. Sending only positive prayers, thoughts, vibes and juju your way! I can tell you are embracing the journey.

  51. Jo,

    Please know that myself and many others are keeping you in our prayers. You have a very positive attitude and that is so important.

  52. Jo-

    Your burden is great. You are handling this with grace and dignity. You are admired for many things, how you are handling this especially.

    I also admire your focus on everything. You are far better at sewing, quilting than me. I am jealous that you seem so focused. That style will carry you through this current health issue.

  53. Praying for you and your family. Also sending love, hugs, strength and hope to all of you. Your attitude is amazing and I know it will make a difference in the outcome. You are an outstanding role model to your children as well as to all of your followers. God’s blessings to you and your family.

  54. Jo, my friend. I do consider you my friend even though we’ve never met. After reading so many comments, I know that you feel the love. What a blessing God has already given you with such a wonderful family. So many people don’t have that. You raised a good bunch. My prayers are for you and them as I pray in Jesus name. You are a good soldier.

  55. I admire your completely being open with your family. My mom and I promised that to each other many years ago. Fortunately we haven’t had to share any scary news like that. You are very brave Jo and have a wonderful family behind you. Please know many prayers are with you all from our home.

  56. Many prayers coming your way….and thank you for explaining all of it. I believe…that it helps to be the type that faces such uncertainty like you are. A lot of people -will be with you in spirit. Have to just say “DITTO” to all the above comments. Can’t think that there is anything left to be covered. It’s a lot to process and I think get all the what ifs, ands, and buts straight in our minds. Being a 14 year almost 15 year CA survivor, I guess I can only say – be strong, and believe in your strength and that God and your special Guardian Angels are watching over you.

  57. HI Jo – I so enjoy your blog posts and have made some of your quilts. I admire your strength and perseverance. I am sending lots of good thoughts to you and your family. I hope that the scheduling stars align that this process can be coordinated soon.

  58. Definitely praying, Jo! Our bodies are effected by this fallen world. God can and does heal us but He also uses all this suffering to change our hearts. Only He knows what it takes to draw us closer to Him but He is also faithful to hold us through all of it. I’m so happy you have a plan…I’m am definitely of the same ilk. I find hope in knowing steps to do. You have such good people around you. I’m praying for all of them too!
    I’m also happy to hear it’s not in your bones. Praying this med (etc) plan works well!
    Having gone through some things the past couple of years, I have enjoyed reading devotionals and books by Joni Eareckson Tada. Especially, The Place of Healing. It’s a paperback you can take to the hospital with you :-) God bless you!

  59. Jo, I totally understand where you are coming from. Nothing drives me crazier than not knowing the plan. Sending all the good vibes your way. You have so much support from your family, friends, and blog readers.

  60. Wow, that’s a lot to take in. But as you say, at least now you know what’s going on. That’s a lot of appointments and such to schedule, I hope it all goes without hiccups.

  61. Dearest Jo, What would we do without our faith and the grace God shows us? I will continue to hold you and your precious family in my prayers. Marlene Klemp

  62. Attitude is so crucial in any obstacle. I admire you for having your can do attitude. I will certainly include you in my prayers. Take care of you!

  63. Jo, I’ve only been following you a short time. I’ve gained so much good feelings from hearing about your life. You will be in my thoughts. I hope for all the best for you. If doing cross stitch would occupy your mind and help pass the time in the hospital then get some projects that you can do and throw away. It’s the process and creative expression we get from our craft more than the product.

  64. My dear Jo—I have followed your emails for a l-o-n-g time—I admire your grit and optomism. I am praying for you and the testing, etc, etc, that you will endure. The good Lord knows Good People when he sees them and you are one of the very best—at the top of his list. Trust in the Lord and he will provide.

  65. Please from today on , cross stitch, sew, garden , child care when able. Give up auctions and all that rake your time away from doing what is fun. The stuff you have will remain there or someone will take it all sell it for you. What I am saying is it is time for Jo’s auction for time and this is our body. Please

  66. Wishing the best for you and your family! Hopefully you don’t have a long wait to get your treatments started. “Kramer strong”!

  67. You’ve got this, Jo. I always feel like we can handle any obstacle as long as we know what we’re dealing with – it’s the not-knowing that is the worse. You know what you’re dealing with, you’ve got a plan, and you seem to have great family and community support. There’s no question that there will be bumps along the way, but you can stop and regroup then. For now I think your practical approach and optimism will take you far. Just know that your internet friends are rooting for you!

  68. So glad you are able to have a plan- I’m in the “numbers going up but can’t find the root” phase, not a good place. I do believe in God and prayer. I will keep placing you before God in my prayers. A strong family is a beautiful bonus. Love to all.

    1. Many thoughts and prayers for you and your support team. It’s a tough place to be. It took my tumor marker to go over 1000 for it to be detectable. I hope you don’t have to wait that long.

  69. Praying for healing and answers, Jo! Aren’t you glad you got the ‘good’ cancer?! I say that, tongue in cheek, because I too have thyroid cancer (medullary and papillary). Mine wasn’t diagnosed until after my thyroid with enlarged nodules had been removed and analyzed. It had already spread to my lymph nodes, so I also am in the watch and wait phase, until it shows up in the L’s and B’s (lung, liver, bones, breast, brain).

    Keep fighting the insurance companies and drive your own bus. See if you can find support groups for those with FTC. Thyca is a great resource, and can recommend Facebook groups and in-person meetings. I pray that you’re able to receive treatment to keep the cancer manageable and that you can live a long, pain free life.

    1. Yes..the “good” cancer. My surgeon told me people call it that but also told me it’s the one the nickels and dimes you to death. UGH. My doctor told me when I was in the watch and wait stage to make sure to live life. I think that was good advice!!

  70. I’m so glad you are finally getting some answers to your unknowns and have a plan of action. It’s so much better than floating in limbo. With your positive attitude, family, friends, and those of us in Jo’s Prayer Army, your chances of being in the good 50% are hopefully insurmountable. Thinking of you daily and sending all my love, prayers, and thoughts your way!

  71. Kristy Wilkinson

    Jo- Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. We know you are one brave lady and this post certainly proves that. It gives me hope that you will face whatever comes next with the same courage and determination that you show in everything you do from quilting to caring for your family. I will definitely add you to my prayers. I am so thankful that you are blessed with such a supportive family and community who will pick you up and be there for you not matter what. I am also glad you you were clear about what comes next and what your plans and thoughts are. We love you to Jo and I know if I met you in person I would give you a big hug and tell you have faith and believe. K-

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