|Yes, that's the Southpark version of the Jarlsberg family|
I'm overdue in sharing an update, mostly because of my new habit of falling into a coma about an hour after coming home from the hospital every day. So I've given myself seven minutes (really) to write what I can.
Progress continues in the right direction, which isn't necessarily the same as an easy direction. Kathy completed her first week of chemo, then a week of recovery (trust me, it's no spa vacation - it's still pretty bad), then on Monday had an all-important bone marrow biopsy to measure progress.
Taking a bone marrow sample is insanely painful, which is why they sedate the patient whenever possible. When you're in the hospital recovering from chemo and leukemia, that sedation isn't possible. Instead, you're told to take two deep breaths immediately before experiencing pain that makes you see colors with no names. Kathy came through this quite well (albeit understandably shaken for a while) but is in no hurry to repeat the process.
The results will likely be ready on Thursday, Oct 7. In a perfect world, we'll be told that she's in remission and can start a new drug regimen to start rebuilding her bone marrow and immune system. In a slightly less perfect world, her system won't be ready for the drug "jump start" of things, and she'll need to add another week or so to her expected stay so that her systems can do some recovering on their own. And the third possibility is that we've made progress...but not enough yet, and will have to start a new round of differently-targeted chemo.
Waiting for those results isn't easy; Kathy has been fighting fevers for the past few days. Which really isn't what you want when your immune system is in the dumper. But she's getting IV antibiotics and medicines galore, and she's being well looked after. Although she was inflicted with a too-nervous husband today who added an unneeded note of panic to the medical goings-on. Just doing my job, folks.
To help make sure that I'm not personally a disease vector, Wednesday afternoon I'm visiting a drive-thru Covid testing place to see if they can touch the back of my skull (from the inside) with a Q-tip. I can't say I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure not going to complain about it to a brave woman who just had bone marrow sucked out of her with a massive syringe.
The ongoing support we've gotten from all of you means more than I can say - especially now that I've more than filled that 7 minutes I was going to devote to this update. But please know it all counts.
Since Thursday is likely going to be important, I ask that if you're so inclined you double-down on your good wishes, positive thoughts, and prayers for Kathy's test results. And I thank you from the bottom of my exhausted heart. -Stilton
"Progress continues in the right direction." Yes!!! Prayers getting answered and plenty more on the way.
Hang in there, Stilt! Prayers are still coming in your direction. Tell your better half we're rooting for her!
Continued daily prayers for Kathy, you, your family, and the medical team, for strength, grace, and healing. I’m also asking St. Peregrine for his intercession for Kathy. God bless you all.
Best wishes and steady improvement, please!
This worked for me with my parents. My mom survived for many years until the third strike. I promised I would make a donation to the church if it worked. It did.
There actually is a saint for cancer patients. St Peregrine is the patron saint for cancer. If the stressful situation is getting to you, look up St. Dymphna. Links are below. Our prayers are with you both.
Gerry & Gayle
Stay strong Kathy. You're in our prayers.
Pretty good news, Stilt. We’ll keep the prayers coming.
They seem to use a cocktail stirrer with a bit of cotton on the end for the nasal swab. Even so, I wouldn’t make it into a competition with Mrs J! Have you thought about asking for the rectal one instead?
Definitely, double prayers and good thoughts coming up for all of you!
A friend of mine parents came to visit him in New York. They came from Guatemala. First his father got extremely sick, so I printed up cards and sent them to him every 2 to 3 days. I did this for 3 months until his death. Then his mother got very sick, and again I sent the home made cards to her several times a week. Each card wished for their health to get better, for God & Jesus to help heal them, to bring them comfort from the pain, and to bring a bit of laughter into their lives during such hard times.
I sent the cards to his mom for a little over a year. My friend said his mother looked forward to my cards and was grateful that a 'stranger' would be so kind to her. When she passed, my heart filled was so much pain. The cards I made and sent to her and her husband were not only for them, but also for me, as my heart was breaking for the treatments they had to go thru to try to get better. I am going to ask you a favor. You may not say yes, but I am hoping you will.
Would you allow us to send cards to Kathy? Or would you do this... let us print up a card on our computers and then send the link to it to you, and then you could print them up yourself and bring them to her? Cards from strangers, showing how much we care for her, might help her get stronger and healthier. Oh please let us do this!
Mary In Minnesota
HANG IN THERE!!! BREATHE!!!
Prayers being sent your way for both of you...
May God bless you and Kathy.
Your wife is incredibly brave! I have fibro. The mere thought of that kind of pain makes my toes curl! I know the wait, too. Of course you have anxiety! I'll be praying for you, your wife, your daughter, and for the medical team to have wisdom and skill. Thank you for the update! We appreciate it!
Our prayers and sincerely hoping everything will turn out OK.
My prayers always include Kathy with a side word for you. My wife went through a horrible time and looking back I saw that it really wasn't a carnival ride for me either. I just didn't know it was hard just that it was tiring. Things will improve for the both of you soon and you will look back at it as another building block of a good relationship.
God bless your Wife & you, from a fan & long time reader in Idaho.
lots of prayers your way.
Praying for you and your bride.
Prayers for you both.
Thanks for the update and the good(ish) news. As Red would say, "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."
Stilton, my prayers are with both of you. If you get a chance, Read John Donne's "Meditation 17", which talks about how we are connected to each other...
Pray Hope and Don't Worry....
God Bless you both from Japan!
Improvements are Good News! Prayers that the news gets even better. It's a tough job, but somebody - namely you - has to do it. You CAN do it. We're the cheering & praying section.
"I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."
Simple prayers from one simple heart.
Prayers for both of you.
Thanks for the update. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
A tough road, but many are thinking positive for you and your bride..hang in there.
We Prayer Warriors are now deployed. We are with you all.
@Readers (and you know by now that's a term infused with a lot of love)- Thank you for the positive thoughts and prayers. And let me try a few individual responses while sipping my first blessed cup of coffee on Wednesday morning...
@Mike aka Proof- Interestingly, this experience has shown my that Kathy isn't my "better half" but is actually more like my "better 99%."
@The Claw (Gerry & Gayle)- Thank you for the links, I'll look into them.
@Timbotoo- I can honestly say that if I was facing a giant rectal swab today, it would make almost no difference to me. No wait - I'm using a drive-thru. So it would DEFINITELY make a difference to me!
@Mary in Minnesota- I love the idea behind the cards but still have to reluctantly say no. Why? Because Kathy won't even let me bring cards that have been sent to our home or dropped off by neighbors. Apparently, Get Well cards remind Kathy that she's sick - which isn't part of her recovery strategy. But the good news is that simply by posting a comment here I can "share the love" with Kathy - and do, every day.
@jackjr- I am SO looking forward to the time you describe.
@Bins- I'm adding John Donne to my readling list.
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Surely you're joking (wink)
Okay, time to wash last night's dishes! Thank you for giving me a good start to the day everyone!
Thinking aboout you both and praying for positive test results!
I personally have been through the bone marrow extraction, no walk in the park. Prayers and well wishes to the Jarlsbergs.
Hoping for all the best for her. Hang in there and don't make yourself sick, she's gonna need you.
The toughness of the Jarlsberg family has me in awe!
Prayers for positive results on Thursday.
Prayers and best wishes for you and your family.
Get some rest when you can. Glad to hear things are going better than they could be.
Prayers for your family. That's really all I know to say. God bless.
We have your back amigo..Prayers for Kathy 🙏🙏 and for her knight in shining armor.. I know what it takes to be in your shoes.
You kids get patched up, be safe and God Bless Y’all..
And Thank You fir the updates..
Danger Will Robinson
Continued prayers for you and Kathy from Wisconsin
Best wishes for a successful recovery!
Continued good wishes and prayers for Kathy's full recovery.
Your wife Kathy is in my prayers, as are you and your family, one day at a time its the only way .
Hang in there, and as everyone keeps saying, take good care of yourself, or as much as you can under horribly difficult circumstances. I know Kathy isn't watching TV but last time I was in and recovering from surgery and "out of it" on pain killers I couldn't watch TV (and daytime TV sucks worse than the rest of it). Surfing the channels I found "Treehouse Masters" and started watching it. I found it fascinating that people actually spent tons of money building such things and the guy in charge is crazy, but in a good way. Is this still a great country of what? I like to think so. So, the point is maybe, just maybe, Kathy can stumble on to something that grabs her interest. Best wishes and we'll keep up the prayers. (Deplorable Mike in Florida)
Thanks for all the updates. I have you all in my prayers.
Keep the good updates coming! And I pray they will be available every day!
Whispering prayers 🙏 🙏 for your wife and family!
You can certainly know that Kathy and you are in my daily prayer to!
I had to get one of those swab tests a few months ago for an impromptu procedure. The process included parking at the curb of a non-descript medical building, getting out of the drivers seat and sitting in the passenger seat, wait for a medical professional to come out of a door and then expediently shove a swab up my left nostril ending up somewhere behind my left eye. When I got home, Mrs. Econ noticed that my face to the left of my nose was actually bruised, and remained so for weeks! Kinda felt like I'd been punched in the face and I still feel it today, especially if my sinuses are annoyed by the change of seasons.
There's gotta be a better way to do that test.
As has been the case since this chapter began, your whole family is in our prayers. And I'll make a reminder to double-down on those tomorrow.
A friend is having back surgery as I type this and I am sending frantic prayers for her safe recovery. Am including prayers for your brave and beloved wife. Will double-down tomorrow.
With hope and love and prayers for you both,
Please be aware, there is Light at the end of the tunnel. I had my Bone Marrow Transplant in 2012, and though challenging at the time, it was worth it. My wife and I spent the summer of 2012 in Rochester, MN at the Mayo Clinic, and after the BMT, I had to wear a mask everywhere. So I wore a mask before masks 'were cool'.
The medical professionals have a vast knowledge base to draw from to make the procedure a success. So have Faith, hang in there, and be a positive, strong caregiver (like my wife was).
Thoughts and Prayers from our family to yours.
@Stilt: I am serious. AND DON'T CALL ME SHIRLEY! ;D
A mark of true genius is how that film is still hilarious a full forty years plus later...
My thoughts are with you and family. Hoping for the best.
Praying for Kathy's full recovery, and for peace and relief from pain as she continues through the process. Also praying for peace for all caregivers. Do you have a Caring Bridge site yet? It is a great way to keep everybody up to date with progress, and it is free.
Our heartfelt wishes and prayers will continue for you and Kathy. God bless you both.
As a humbled survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, you have my continued prayers. One thing to keep in mind: Not all hospitals are adequate when it comes to infection control. My wife and I had to use antibacterial wipes on basically every surface in my room, and that was at Walter Reed. The room needed it. I got both staph and strep infections in my catheter regardless, and was on antibiotics for days and days. Unfortunately, the pain will continue to get worse as the chemotherapy progresses. Sigh...no way around it. Food will taste like it has window cleaner sprayed on it - ugh. No way around that either. The docs gave me prochlorperazine for nausea, and with that and a strong will, I was able to keep from vomiting even one time, even through four months of treatment. Keep your chins up, and know that there is a better time ahead. If you aren't already surrounded by love...well, you are both now in my heart, and I hope and pray for the best outcome.
Mr. Cheese, my prayers are with you and your wife. I just dropped my wife at the hospital for her chemo day (patients must go alone into the hospital, spouses are not permitted). It’s horrible but the chemo of today is vastly improved. If she has no appetite, try a little THC, it reduces nausea.
My prayers for you, your wife and your family. I went through chemo and radiation for male breast cancer and my cancer came back. I can imagine what you wife is going through. I hope and pray that everything goes well and your wife gets better soon.
Still in the conga line of your supporters and prayer warriors, and with you to the end of the dance.
Things are looking up. Hang in there, Stilt. I and hundreds more are praying for Kathy.
I can't add anything that hasn't already been said by this wonderful group of people, but I think about you and Kathy all the time and pray for both of you.
I've kept your entire family in my daily prayers starting with God, and five different saints, which include St. Peregrine. I'm doing what I can to help all of you through these very difficult times and it's time for you to help carry the ball over the goal line. That means you need to take care of yourself and try to keep a positive attitude as well. Stilt, you have tons of people pulling for you, so never forget that. Thanks for keeping your fans in the loop.
Praying for a good outcome on Thursday's test, comfort for Kathy, and peace of mind for you.
Setting all 4 prayers wheels to All Ahead Flank III. 1A, !B, 2A, and 2B clutched in. Note the Oxford comma.
You have my full support. May Thursday be a blessing for you and Kathy.
Kathy and you shall overcome
Continuing to send up many prayers for Mrs. J, you and all your family....
God Bless and Keep the three of you, Stilt!
Praying for Kathy's full recovery, and strength for you both through the process.
On my knees still for Kathy and for you. I have Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia with no symptoms yet, so I have that to look forward to. I sense Kathy’s bravery and yours as well so hang in there and May the Good Lord Bless you both!
Prayers have not ceased an will not cease- praying for you both.
AND NOT- IF *ANYONE* HAS A MAILING ADDRESS FOR GET WELL CARDS, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT
julianthree AT g mail. I bought some cards but don't know where to send, THANKS in advance
I am so happy to hear about Mrs. J's progress and thank God she is doing so well.
We should start a society of loving husbands who are willing to support our wives that have supported us through thick and thin. Mine supported me through lung cancer and an aneurism, then it was my turn as she was diagnosed with breast cancer which required surgery but caught early enough and no lymph node complication but chemo and radiation which is soon completed. Have enjoyed your blog for a long time and you helped brighten my days and I hope this helps to brighten yours. Life is short but we make the most of it and we are so lucky when we have the support of those we may never meet but care unconditionally but keep us entertained no matter what is the crisis of the day. Fondly Puyalluppete
@Readers- There are a lot of messages here that deserve individual replies and I just don't have the time and strength right now...but I'll try to do it later. It's Weds night as I write this, so whatever we're going to learn on Thursday is still a mystery at this moment.
@Julian- I appreciate the thought, but Mrs. J is just not a get well card person so I can't really encourage it. That being said, people who are on my email list and have a good eye for fine print can figure out the address. I tend to hide in plain sight (grin).
Oh my, please Good Lord help this woman in her time of need. I have been through the cancer thing three times and it is never easy and mine was not too painful. Please bring all Blessings on this fine woman and her family.
The "snap" from a bone marrow sample machine is the worst. Every time I needed to give a sample put me into such fear of what I would feel. No matter how many times they said that "You're getting used to this. This one will be different." They fucking lied. I would feel the machine, and lose everything in my stomach.
Please give your Honey all of the comfort you can. These are hell.
Hey, count me in TVAG's conga line!
Stilt, any chance the drive-thru can be convinced to dip the Q-tip in some Clan Macgregor before insertion?
And Kathy, hang in there, we're all pulling for you! Refuah shleimah umeherah -- may you have a complete and speedy healing!
Sending love from Kernersville, NC! I'm praying for health and healing for Kathy, as well as peace and comfort for you, Stilton. May the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, envelop you and strengthen you during this difficult time.
Prayers for both of you!
@Good Morning, Friends- It's Thursday morning and I'm having my first coffee; will head to the hospital in an hour or so. Let's see if we can talk a bit...
@Baker52- I'm doing my best not to get sick, but advice to "rest" or "take time for yourself" strikes me as being about as doable as levitating. But I'm trying to eat in a relatively healthy way, taking all of my vitamins, and drinking so little that the Clan MacGregor folks are going to suspect a bookkeeping error.
@Danger Will Robinson- I wouldn't wish these shoes on anyone, so I'm certainly sympathetic to (and inspired by) those who've worn them before me.
@Mikey- I'm hoping that if we get promising news, Kathy may be more open to entertainment options. "Treehouse Masters" actually sounds like the kind of thing she'd like!
@John the Econ- I got the swab test but the implement was shorter than I expected. I went ahead and shoved the thing in (each nostril) until I hit my fingertips, which disconcerted the woman administering the quick test at CVS. "You don't need to go that far! You'll hurt yourself!" But I knew I wouldn't; I'm a sideshow geek and know the secret to pounding 10 penny nails and screwdrivers in your nose: just do it. By the way, my test showed I don't have Covid.
@KenoshaMarge- I've never made it a secret here that I'm not traditionally religious (though am religion-friendly and a fierce advocate of constitutional protection of religion). That being said, I've developed an entirely new relationship with prayer, which will be interesting to talk about some day. I don't think I could sleep at night without praying at this point, and I try to include others (like your friend). Thank you so much (and everyone here) for YOUR prayers.
@Joe Jetson- Your story is exactly what I need to hear. A very good friend of mine was a stem cell donor for his brother, and over a decade later his brother is still cancer free. There is absolutely hope, and I'm so glad that things have worked out well for you.
@Cisco Kid- I don't actually know what Caring Bridge is, though I think I get the idea. I'll look into it later if I don't forget (I'm forgetting a LOT lately!)
@Anonymous- Congratulations on surviving AML, and thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm adding a container of antiseptic wipes to the box of things I take in every day, even though the hygiene at the hospital seems good. Right now "obsessively good" strikes me as a good idea.
@Puyalluppete- Thanks for the good thoughts, and I'm simultaneously sorry for all your family has been through and thankful for the good results. And yes, I'm feeling connections that I wasn't aware of before. This is not the sort of thing you can go through unchanged, and there are both negatives and positives to it.
Keep your eyes on the beautiful sun rises. Know that Kathy is in our thoughts and prayers. Negative on the Covid test today prayers too. Wish there was more I could do. Too old to even give bone marrow, but I could still give blood. I am 0+.
Extra prayers for good news today.
Don't over tax yourself. We'll all still be here when you can come back full time.
I will keep both of you in my prayers.
Having also been through a major medical misadventure or two, I know how much the prayers others can mean— and do. I may be "Anonymous," but I'm right in there with all those others praying for you, too. God bless you.
@Readers- Okay, I'm home from the hospital on Thursday. I'll do more of an update somehow soon, but for now know that today's news was good regarding test results. So things are still moving in the right direction. Yay, team!
God bless and prayers. Ongoing.
@Stilton: Good show! I'm keeping the positive waves coming!
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