Update on Kramer

On Monday morning around 10am I got a call from the nurse in Lacrosse saying that we needed to do this and that at our appointment this afternoon.  I stopped her and said that we didn’t have appointments this afternoon.  AH..oops.  There was scheduling error.  Yes we did need appointments…registration, blood draw and pre-op instructions.  Oh my.  The scramble began.

I called Kramer who was at work.  Kalissa was at my house and had just gotten there from working the overnight.  We started to try to figure out what to do with the childcare kids.  Kalissa said she would go home and sleep and then come back at 1:30 and watch the kids so we could leave.

Check…one thing figured out from there contact parents, Then contact the bus driver so he knew when to expect kids and when not to.  Then I have a sub coming to care for the kids Wednesday so that was more calls and planning.  I hadn’t written out instructions or prepped food…go Jo go.

Kramer showed up and 12:30pm and I was still running around when I wasn’t directly caring for the kids.  I had a great group of kids so I could explain to them what was going on and they were actually helpful.

We had great weather on the way… Every time we have come lately we’ve been raving a storm.  This time beautiful weather.  A storm supposed to hit tonight into Wednesday…hopefully done by the time I’m driving home.

We got to all of the of the appointments.  We had the excellent nurse again.  Kim in cardiology, you rock!!  Anyone know the best way to get her recognized as a great employee???

Here are some of the things she told us….It will be a painful recovery….similar to breaking ribs.  They actually cut between the ribs to get to the lungs and the tumor.  He’ll likely want to sleep in the recliner for a week or two…or a couch.  He’ll have a chest tube for awhile.  He’ll initially be in intensive care.  Surgery should take four hours.

From there we decided to go out for supper before we went to the hotel.  Great food at the Hungry Peddler in Lacrosse!!

Then to the hotel….we went to check in and WOW!! Kramer’s co-worker and his wife paid for our hotel for two nights!!  How nice!!  We were shocked and so thankful.  We brought a Kwik Trip gas card that another friend had given us to pay for our gas.  I can’t begin to tell you all how thankful we are!!

We hung out in the hotel and ended up going to bed early as we had to check in at the hospital at 5:30am.

We were up early today and checked into surgery.  They took him back and prepped him.  By 7am they kicked me back to the waiting room.  At 7:30 I got a message that they had taken him back to the operating room.

Kelli and our son Buck came to the hospital and waited with me.  I was told it would likely be a four hour surgery so we were all VERY surprised when we called at 10:15am and told the doctor wanted to consult with us.  I’ll admit, I was terrified.  All I could do is remember all of the precautions the doctor had told me about….remember the day the doctor told me all the statistics..the 1% death rate…the 1-2% of stroke.  That’s all I could think about.  The kids were the same way.

The doctor came in and gave us this report…..

The doctor could not remove the tumor.  It was attached in such a way that it was pulling on the surrounding area, including his heart and it was unable to be removed.  He got a colleague to scrub in and he agreed that it was in his best interest to leave the tumor and close up.  The doctor felt terrible about and assured us that he did all he could.  He also said that they had to make the incision a bit larger than planned, so he may be in more pain than they previously thought following surgery.  So…Kramer has to heal up and we move on to a new plan that involves chemo and radiation.

So my reaction….relieved.  Remember I was back imagining the worse.  This is not the worst.  Kramer is here and although not the best plan…we still have a plan.  That’s all I care about.

The kids and I went for lunch while the nurses got Kramer awake and situated.  When he got back, we were able to see him. He looked good all things considered.  He hadn’t heard the news yet so it was up to me to tell him.  Of course, he was disappointed.  It’s going to be hard to go through all of this recovery and not have the benefit of knowing the tumor is gone.

He spent the afternoon in quite a lot of pain..it’s taken a bit to get that under control but it’s happening now and we have him napping as I am writing this.

Although this wasn’t the perfect out come, it’s not a terrible situation.  In a month or so, chemo and radiation will be back on the table and we’ll be working towards a new plan.  The surgeon did say that they might do surgery again after chemo and radiation.  If they do, they will likely be able to take less of the lung.  So that would be good.  I’ll continue to keep you posted.

As always, thanks so much for the kind thoughts and prayers.  They mean so much to us.


57 thoughts on “Update on Kramer”

  1. Arrowhead Gramma

    Praying for all of you through Hubby’s journey. So important to remember that God has a plan for each of us. Take care and get as much rest and sleep as you can while Hubby is in the hospital. You will need it as Hubby’s caregiver during the days ahead.

  2. Good advice from Arrowhead Gramma! Keep a positive attitude! Keeping you all in my prayers as you confront the challenges ahead!

  3. Oh, you are brave, I was crying when reading your update. Roger and all your family will be in my prayers and thoughts. May the angels of good health watch over Roger.

  4. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as
    You prepare for chemo and radiation treatment. Be sure you are prepared for side effects and length of treatments. God Bless you all.

  5. I agree with Arrowhead Gramma. Prayers for you and your family. I’ve been the patient and I’ve been the caregiver. Take care of yourself through all this. It may feel selfish but remember you need to remain healthy to care for Kramer.

  6. Praying for all of you Roger, Jo, and your family. Sometimes we don’t know why things happen. Only one person is in control, take one day at a time. You will make it through this, stay strong. You hav an army of people praying for you guys.❤️❤️❤️

  7. I’m praying
    Along with you. Have you asked about Proton radiation. I’m not a dr. But, my brother had lung cancer near his heart that was inoperable and he had chemo followed by proton radiation. I think they have proton radiayion at the Mayo Clinic. Also my 16 year old grandson had Hodgkin lymphoma near his heart beteeen his lungs, chemo and proton radiation. Both survived. Both times proton was not suggested by dr but when we asked they got on board. My husband and I are praying for God to be with you all.

  8. Kathleen R Robin

    You and your family are in our prayers Sorry the surgery did not do the trick but hopefully that Chemo and radiation will work for him. My husband had cancer surgery nearly 12 years ago and although he is in his 80’s now still cancer free and doing pretty well. Will continue to pray for all of you

  9. Arrowhead Gramma said it for me again. So thankful for all the prayers, support, kindnesses and love holding all you Kramers up for healing, comfort, and strength. There is HOPE in the name of the Lord.

    In Jesus name we pray.
    Your friend,

  10. You and your family were in my prayers today. Im also amazed at your strength which comes from all that love in you. Loving thoughts and prayers will continue from me. ♥️

  11. Thanks for the update Jo! I’ve had you guys in my thoughts and prayers today. Now you have information and you know where you are headed. It has to help!

  12. Best laid plans, huh? Like you said at least you have a new plan. Hopefully, recovery goes according to plan. You have a great support team there. Take care of you. Prayers for you and the family. Hugs!

  13. Jo, I am impressed with your acknowledging the disappointment of not being able to remove the tumor, but then focusing on the positive–there is treatment available, Roger is still here, you have wonderful support. You are so wise.
    I would definitely look into the possibility of proton treatment. I know several people who have had it and it was so easier on them than standard radiation.

  14. Prayers for all of you, especially Roger as I’m sure being idle for a few days will be hard to do. Keep a positive attitude and try not to worry (though I know that’s not easy) as it’s not good for either of you.

  15. Prayers lifted up. Yes, take care of yourself and rest. When my husband had open heart surgery he was in a great amount of pain for weeks. Our recliner was his saviour.

  16. Prayers for you and all of your family in this time. Ask if your husband’s White blood cells can be “souped-up” and targeted against this tumor.

  17. Thinking of you all during these times. You have such a positive attitude and that makes such a difference.
    A tip from someone who had a lung transplant.
    Have a pillow for him to use over the wound while in the car, to hold his chest if he needs to cough etc.
    Make one using your favourite quilt block and colours as Kramer may use it often.

  18. Like Rhonda said, you have an army of readers spread across the country and maybe the world praying for you and cheering you on. Maybe we should call ourselves the Kramer Prayer Army!

  19. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Praying for Roger, you, your kids, and the medical teams. Lots of great advice from your readers…you know we are all here for you if you need anything.

  20. You are always so upbeat and positive Jo! I know that must be hard. You will get through this and Kramer will be fine. Sending prayers for you and the family.

  21. Lace Faerie aka Karen L

    Thank you for the update, I have been thinking of your family all day. I am continuing my prayers for your whole family. I hope Kramer gets adequate pain control and an easy recovery. My Mama had to have the lower lobe of her left lung removed (turns out it was a fungal infection, aspergillosis). It was a painful recovery, she hated the huffing excercise (blowing out hard to promote deep breathing-cells need good oxygenation for healing).

    In order to care for him, you have to take care of yourself! It’s all too easy for us moms to put ourselves last but getting run down and ill yourself won’t help anyone. Let people help. Best advice we got from her surgeon? When someone says, “… if you need anything.. say “Oh, I’m so glad you said that… would you pick up a rotisserie chicken, fold a load of clothes, put gas in the car, ______ (fill in the blank)!

    May the Lord bless you with a peaceful countenance and everything you stand in need of.

  22. On No thank you for posting this. I have been thinking of him and worrying all day.I don’t have any words of wisdom just know my thoughts are with you and I am thinking of you. I fee l so much like I know you thanks to your willingness to share your life. Please know that you are all very loved and cared about.

  23. Continuing to keep each of you in prayer. Your strength is amazing. Thank you for keeping us updated. Hope you have a sleepful night as well as Roger and his pain lessens.

  24. Lori Sparks Douglas

    Hard to keep a farmer down. But the drugs work well until you can be up. Hang in there, Rog! Rest and heal. Jo take care of yourself. One day at a time. If you get down…read these posts. You have many behind you and willing to help.

  25. Shoot! Well, at least there is a Plan B. Here’s to quick healing so you can move on to Plan B.

    As for recognizing the wonderful nurse? In my experience, the best way to repay someone is to send a well thought out note to their boss, especially if you can be specific about how she made your experience with their facility better than usual or anticipated. A good boss will always tell an employee they got a letter of commendation from a client/patient/customer. BUT, this way, the boss knows about it too, which is extra nice at review time. When I do this type of letter, I try to do it as soon as I can while details are fresh and I’m feeling especially appreciative. So glad you got a nurse that you feel that way about.

    I’m thinking that there are a lot of us out here who appreciate your blog and consider you a friend of sorts. Could you put a Paypal button in your shop where we could simply maybe a gift payment to you? We may not know what store or gas station is helpful in your area, but we’d like to offer some support in return for all the things you do for us and others while you’re dealing with this situation.

  26. Praying for you and your family and will continue as you go through this. Please do recognize the nurse if you can and have time to. My son is an emergency room doctor and see patients when they are many times verbally at their worst. He tells me that it all rolls downhill to the nurses getting it the worst. Knowing that there are people that will take the time to say thank you can really uplift them and make their day better. I am sure you may know this though having two daughters that are nurses.

  27. Like you this is not what I expected but there seems to be a good plan in place. Keeping your family in my prayers & sending hugs!

  28. Thanks for the update. Thought of you and hubby all day. The outcome wasn’t what was expected but chemo and radiation can work miracles.

  29. Jo, I know the result is not what you wanted hear but like you said, you have a plan and your hubby is still with you. God has a better plan and He loves both of you dearly.
    Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

  30. Things may not have turned out just like you wanted, but, like you said, there is a plan. It hasn’t been many years ago that there wouldn’t have been any plan available. You all are so lucky that medicine has come so far in treatment of cancer. Hang in there, all of you! We are all praying for the Kramer family!

  31. Jo –wow what news. all of your friends are saying prayers for Roger and you. Thank you for sharing and updating us. We all care

  32. Well not the best news but far from the worst. This just means detour and we all know detours can lead us to wonderful adventures. Prayers coming your way along with lots of hugs.

  33. You have such a great attitude and wonderful support system. I admire you and know that all will work out for the best. My prayers for you and your family.

  34. Thank you for the update. Now I know what to pray for and will continue to do so. Please continue to take care of your self as well as your husband. Love and prayers!

  35. Hi Jo and family,

    I am sorry that tumor removal was not possible and Roger must have the pain that goes along with a thoracotomy. When you go for the chemotherapy, be sure to ask if Roger’s tumor has been genetically profiled as there are a number of NSCLC treatments that are appropriate for certain NSCLC gene mutations. Also, if your insurance declines to cover a suitable newer oral treatment, reach out to the pharmaceutical company that markets the drug for financial assistance.

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