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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Kathy, leukemia, home, platelets, tickles the clown, wizard of oz
You DO read Johnny Optimism, right...?

I'm delighted to say that Kathy has returned home! It turned out that all she needed to do was click her ruby IV bags together and, oh yeah, be put through weeks of Technicolor hell.

But after a month in the hospital being treated for Acute Myeloid Leukemia, she was allowed to come back home where, rather than being treated by a team of medical experts 24/7, she is being treated by a sleep-deprived idiot who may not be altogether sober after 5 o'clock.

The very idea of taking on this responsibility terrified me, because it's not like Kathy had suddenly achieved robust good health and a penchant for doing Olympic-level calisthenics. A point best illustrated by the following interactive experiment...

Right now, wherever you are, clench your butt cheeks together. Do it good and hard, like you're trying to crack a walnut in there. Hold for a count of five.

Did you do it? Surprise - you just killed yourself!

At least, that was Kathy's situation three days before her release. Her platelets (which clot blood) were so low that she wasn't even allowed to do the few exercises in bed which she'd previously been assigned. Including clenching her butt for five seconds - because it could cause her to bleed to death.

Since that time, she's received multiple bags of blood and platelets (thanks, nameless blood donors!) and so should be fine until her next doctor appointment in a week. And at that visit we'll hopefully learn where we are and what comes next. The greatest likelihood is a repeating cycle of in-patient chemo for a few days, followed by several weeks off.

Or not. Of the many things leukemia is, "predictable" is not one of them.

But Kathy is home and coping well with the indignities of using a walker and (at night) a bedside commode. It's my job to clean the thundermug, but it turns out to be less offensive than watching the news, so I'm doing fine.

We literally don't know what tomorrow will bring so we're appreciative of days like today which were relatively normal. Well, our new normal.

And as always, I'm at a loss for words for how much your ongoing support, comments, good wishes and prayers mean to us. Whatever you've been doing, you have my very sincere thanks - and please, keep it up!

77 comments:

Dan said...

Thanks to God.

HankJ said...

Welcome home, Kathy. Keep the faith, both of you.

mjshee1049 said...

God bless Kathy and the family.

Your updates are VERY much appreciated.

Mike aka Proof said...

"less offensive than watching the news..."
Well, at least THAT'S predictable! Glad Kathy is home. Whatever is needed of you this week, you will rise to the challenge. You've got this! God bless.

mamafrog said...

So very glad to hear she is home, and I'm sure she is too, it beats being in a hospital whatever the reason. I always figured I could worry much easier in the comfort of my own home. Now just her strong and you a little more sober, please, we don't want your liver to keel over in all the hoorah going on.

Hof said...

Sending prayers of healing and comfort. God Bless All

Unknown said...

Love you and love Kathy, and the bravado that somehow rises above what is happening and keeps us informed. You have been a steady source of inspiration, and it is clear that without her, it couldn't have happened.

You will keep us informed as you both recover. Blessings!

She’s A Beauty said...

You are blessed to have each other. Prayers for a swift return to normalcy 🙏🏼

Hyzenthlay said...

Continuing to pray. You both have a journey ahead! Cancer isn't predictable. You learn to live between the tests and scans. I hope you two can find plenty of time to curl up together. Those are my most cherished moments! You all are in our prayers!

And thank you for keeping us in the loop!

Patricia

Jee said...

It’s so good to hear that Kathy is home. I think about you both and pray for you every day. I’m sure many, many others are doing the same, even if they don’t comment—a network of prayer warriors.

mary a rohde said...

SO Glad your wife has made it back home. Hopefully she can remain home & that the Cancer is ALL GONE God Bless you & yours. rohdem5797@aol.com

Maoz said...

Thank You, Gd, Who answers prayers! I continue to pray for a refuah shleimah umeherah (complete and speedy healing) for Kathy daughter of Jane.

Aaaaaand -- TVAG's conga line now wends its way through Chez Jahrlsberg! (or is that Cheese Jahrlsberg?)

Maoz said...

Jarlsberg ... Jarlsberg. Guess the extra "h" snuck in there while I was shouting "Hey! Hey! Way to go!"

Fred Ciampi said...

Prayers, prayers, and more prayers coming from all directions and walks of life.

Nancy Dickerson said...

May God continue to bless you and Kathy and help her to overcome this disease. Prayers are going up.

Rod said...

Midnight.. Full Harvest Moon.. Tickles the Clown.. Butt exercises are banned.. Wait. WHAT? You certainly have a flair for this.

Ya'll are at home for a while that's GOOD news. Hospital tonight would just be too much.

Many thanks for the post and hang in there. And not to lecture too much; I thought about not saying anything but we care. mamafrog is right; Do take as good care of yourself as you can muster. From first hand, real world experience: It really will help everything in the long run and it will help Kathy right now. She wants YOU to be OK too. Thoughts & prayer continues.

Jerryskids said...

Glad to hear things are returning to normal (for various values of "normal") and that you're still able to keep us in the loop. God bless and keep you.

Kent Whitehead said...

Welcome home and God bless. Still praying for you both

Bobo the Hobo said...

The missus is home and a Tickles the Clown reference - it don’t get no better than that right now!

dogbrain said...

Home is a wonderful place to be for you folks right now. Thoughts and prayers for you both.

NaCly Dog said...

May the good news continue!

Prayers continue to ascend.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been in your shoes.
Thoughts and prayers go out to both!

Anonymous said...

We are glad to hear your wife is recovering from the disease. Cancer is a terrible thing to fight.

When I bought an insurance policy form AFLACK, I initially thought to purchase it for heart disease (I was born with a bad aortic valve that eventually needed replacing). My wife convinced me that a family cancer policy would be the better choice. Heart issues like mine are taken care of suddenly, then routine maintenance thereafter. Cancer is a drawn out war. She learned that from watching her father die of prostate cancer. 10 years it took to eventually take his life.

I hope your wife continues to recover and eventually regain full health.

jimbro said...


May God bless you both!

I'll add a reminder to all qualified donors to please give blood at your local Red Cross or other facility. I hemmed and hawed for years but once I began it was easy to overcome the inertia. Your donation can have a meaningful impact to those who need it as evidenced by Mrs. Jarlsberg's story.

Patrick said...

Praying for her continued improvement!

M said...

We're praying for Kathy and your whole family. May God grant you his peace and strength.

Wild Bill said...

It's good to be home.

Gonna bury a high school buddy of 45 years today thanks to the big C.

Mikey said...

I continue to watch for your emails for news of progress. Hope all continues to go well and, again, take care of yourself as well. Prayers and best wishes for you both. (Deplorable Mike in FL).

Snark said...

I'll join the chorus in sending congratulations that she is home and prayers for continuing recovery. Having been in your shoes (the regular kind, not the clown ones) I can say that being home is preferable to the hospital, sanitary duties and all. At least you can take a shot of courage before you flush the news.

PA Ray said...

Thanks for the update. Continued prayers and best wishes. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

BobHe said...

World's GREATEST caregiver: "...a sleep-deprived idiot who may not be altogether sober after 5 o'clock". Best wishes to you both,

Keevin Geller said...

My heart goes out to her and your whole family. Perhaps if the government spent more time on silly things like medical research, rather than "critical race theory" or who is supposed to use what bathroom, the plight of people like Kathy could be alleviated!

Velveeta Processed Cheese Food said...

If nothing else, being home means getting to eat something other than the flavorless mush miscalled hospital "food." When my father was in for a heart valve replacement he was fading fast until we started sneaking in outside food. He perked up and never looked back.

Anonymous said...

I am in tears of joy for both of you. Thank you for the update. You both will feel better having Kathy home. Prayers will continue. Keep smiling and laughing.

VideomanSS said...

Glad she has made it home! Been through the at home care giver so know how it goes. You just need to hang in there (near sober) and help her give it all she and you have. Prayers and best wishes!

Sortahwitte said...

We are thrilled. Will be continueing the prayers. Much love, Glen and Sioux.

greg46158 said...

So grateful Kathy is home. Continuing prayers for healing for her and strength for you.

Anonymous said...

Having had cancer and making it for 10 yrs clean so far. I was so happy to read Kathy has come home, there is just no better place to be. I wish you and your lovely bride the best and will send prayers and keep you in my heart. Stay strong and know we are all backing you.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Thank you for all of the great comments above. Fighting this fight can get pretty lonely pretty quickly, but you're not letting that happen and we're grateful.

For those of you who are gently cautioning me not to pickle my liver with Clan MacGregor, let me reassure you that I overstate my consumption of alcohol for humorous effect. Most nights, I'll allow myself a single scotch and water and that's pretty much it. While the opportunities to really rest and "take care of myself" aren't all they could be, I'm at least not abusing my system to make things worse.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover that Kathy was already up and tooling around the house with her walker without my assistance. Looks like the start of a good day.

Chief Rocket Scientist said...

Only the best wishes and sincere hopes for good news for your family. My prayers certainly include the Jarlsburgs. Thank you for the many times over the years you gave my weary mind comfort just by knowing someone else out there cared. Take care dear sir. Tom

KELLY FROM WI said...

Good news to start the day! Continued prayers and well wishes for good days ahead.

White Squirrel said...

You and Kathy have fought a monumental battle and are an inspiriation to all of us. I have a favorite quote from a book called "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales, "Never give up (let nothing break your spirit). There is always one more thing you can do." Gonzales was writing about people who are in survival situations in outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, climbing, etc., but I think his words apply to all aspects of life. You and Kathy are true examples of that. That continues to be my prayer for you both. NEVER GIVE UP!!

Ole Scrapper said...

Thanks for the update.... your opportunity to bless is now at hand, (heh), home care is plenty demanding. Here's hoping and praying that your recoveries are continuing. Bless you both. Dave

Anonymous said...

"...less offensive than watching the news." At let your sense of humor is intact. Prayers for Kathy and you continue.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you both, Stilton. Stay the course.

DrRiff said...

"who may not be altogether sober after 5 o'clock"

I did notice you didn't specify AM or PM. . .

"scotch and water"
I've had Clan MacGregor - you must be going through a LOT of water. :)

Best wishes to you both!!!

John the Econ said...

So glad to hear Kathy is home. At least she'll be getting some better rest. And I have no doubt that you are up to the care part.

As for emptying bedpans, get used to it. After all it's possible that we'll all be having to empty our own bedpans as lowered expectation for our standard of living is now officially a theme for the Democrats going into 2022.

I guess the youngins who never bothered to learn history will get to experience the '70s again. For myself, once was enough.

In the meantime, we're still here pulling for you.

CenTexTim said...

It's so uplifting when (relatively) good things happen to good people. Find the sunshine in each day, and go forward one step at a time. We'll keep the thoughts and prayers coming.

Rod said...

From your note above: Well Hell, Stilt. I'm going to quit worrying about you. Actually, thanks for that. But since we've been in VERY similar situation 20 years ago when I had serous trouble show up right after my wife had problems for 2 years but we got her through it OK... then it was my turn to be the "Careeee" for a few months. So I'll still caution it's easy to drop your own guard when caretaking very close others like spouse or elderly parents because it's a big job and we feel most obligated.

Both sneaky long-term things and routine little things such as job stress, diet, drinking, exercise, taking routine pills of your own, check-ups, paying bills, getting new checks printed, needed maintenance on all things, vehicle licenses tags; misplacing or losing stuff, and many other such things can easily go unnoticed and some can catch up with you.

So it good to "regroup". There are times when you've done what you can just then; others will be on duty. It's OK to go take care of business & yourself. It's also part of Job 1.
And Big Hello to Kathy AT HOME.

ringgo1 said...

Prayers continue for you all from the Red River Valley, about one hour north of you. Thanks for the update.

Chuck said...

Good on ya, Kathy!!!!! Keep fighting, and make Stilt wait on you hand and foot!

Shelly said...

None of us realize the reserves we have to call upon when needed. You and Kathy have discovered those in spades. I hope it's all uphill for you now. Love and blessings.

Murphy(AZ) said...

For anyone who has dealt with a loved one going through cancer treatment, compared to long days in the hospital, the days spent at home are comparatively Golden. I am sure there are many, many of us out here who are filled with joy at your news reports. Our prayers, as always, are with you daily. May God keep her safe, and give you the strength to help her through this.

Joe Drypowda said...

Keep the faith and thanks from the bottom of our hearts (yeah, my wife reads your crap, too), for your up-dates. Prayers for you both and doctors& nurses, too !

Jim said...

I have been sending my prayers ever since you first mentioned this, and I'm glad to hear of her progress! I truly understand what you are experiencing, as I had to deal with this issue in the past with my next-of-kin.

You are her steadfast rock at this moment, more power to you.!

JustaJeepGuy said...

I'm kind of glad I don't have any walnuts in the house right now. I am pretty sure I would be trying to crack one with my gluteals, and I fear I wouldn't be able to give up until I succeeded.

We're always glad to hear (read) good news, @Stilt. Keep it coming!

Bill the Cat said...

Glad to hear your wife is home and under the care of someone who cares. Good luck covering the bases, and may you both retain your sense of humor!

Hugs and best wishes!

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Good joss indeed!

And with the Clan MacGregor, your commode sanitizing needs are met!

Anonymous said...

....all that needs doing for as long as it needs to be done. You are a Care Giver. It can be terrifying, frustrating, endlessly demanding, mind boggling, and you are so fortunate that you are capable of giving/learning the care that your wife needs. This gives you the chance to treat her as you wish she were treated, to be a part of her care rather than just a bystander, and to inject love and tenderness in a science based world. A gift you will never be sorry for giving...and the harder you work at it, the better the outcome. (which i suspect is why so many Care Givers burn out...know your limits, seek help, don't throw away the scotch).
But, don't get me wrong...it would be great if we didn't have to deal with cancer at all....it seems to attack the sweetest, kindest, most caring and loving of us...those that the world needs MORE of...not less. (Probably why I am still here.)
Anyway, best to you and Kathy, try to keep up with her and don't forget to oil the wheels on her walker.
f

Anonymous said...

God is with us in the storm and His strength will get us through...
Continuing to send up prayers for all of you....
Each day only comes once...
Embrace it and squeeze all the love you can out of it...
Much love and many prayers!

Cisco Kid said...

Kathy and you will be in our prayers. Hang in there!

TrickyRicky said...

Great news that Kathy is home. I fervently hope that progress continues. I donate blood like clockwork every 2 months. I have never made the commitment to donate platelets, which takes a good couple of hours. I may have to reassess this. Cheers!

Radar1972 said...

There is indeed no place like home. Praying for Kathy’s continued improvement.

Anonymous said...

Prayers continue for a full recovery.
.
NSF

MAX Redline said...

>Having had cancer and making it for 10 yrs clean so far. I was so happy to read Kathy has come home, there is just no better place to be.

True enough - I did that cancer thing and it wasn't any fun at all. Best to you both.

Anonymous said...

keep up the good work.

Colby Muenster said...

It is truly an answer to prayer, and I am so glad your beautiful bride is at home, even if it's short term. As "they" say, hospitals are no place for sick people, and I'm betting you too are benefitting, despite your commode duties, etc. (or is that commode dookies?). A wee dram every now and then is not going to cause harm.

The Muenster's will continue lifting both of you up in prayer for full and quick remission.

Murphy(AZ) said...

Since Kathy's up and moving on her own, here's a helpful household hint:

Wrap some plastic wrap at ground level around the front legs of her walker, then she can use it like a plow to push all your Clan McGregor empties into a pile for easy pick up. And it will help her feel back at home again.

Skip said...

So happy for both of you and certainly do wish for Kathy the best she deserves. I don't often pray anymore but there have been some today. Prayers continue for a full recovery.

pkerot said...

Hooray!

jackjr said...

Thank you Lord.
May she recover and become herself once again.
jack

LenSatic said...

Excellent news! Now everyone, get out there and donate blood for others. If they'll let you nowadays.

Igor said...

Doggone, it's GOOD to read your Lifemate and Favorite Squeeze is doing much, MUCH better. Prayers for you and the Missus, buddy!

I USED to be able to donate, but now that I'm on blood thinners it's a no-go. Still, over 5 gallons for a lifetime ain't so bad!!

Unknown said...

Praying for both of you. Friends like you are hard to come by. joecrew

Rebecca D said...

Thanks be to God! People like you and your lovely wife are rare, and that's why you attract such wonderful, loyal, devoted followers! It's truly inspiring to hear your tales of dedication to Kathy, and to read the comments from great people who support you both. I'm in awe of you and your online family. Grateful for all you do! God bless you and Kathy! Oh AND... I'm pretty sure there were some great healthcare professionals who truly saved her life, but in her aftercare... I'm pretty confident she's in much better care in YOUR hands as opposed to those on the B team at the hospital! I've got a big bottle of Clan McGregor here and will certainly give you both a toast tomorrow evening! Cheers!

pilotlance said...

Sending good wishes and thoughts to Kathy and Stilton. Having had Joanie my wife go thru ovarian cancer 30 or 40 years ago and chemotherapy I have some idea about what you guys are going thru. The cancer kathy has is different. But it is still cancer. Best wishes Lance & Joanie.

JustaJeepGuy said...


I know the scene is from "The Wizard of Oz", but it seems more like the end of "A Fistful Of Yen" from "Kentucky Fried Movie"...