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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Giving Thanks. No, Really.

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, thanksgiving, cancer, leukemia, Kathy
We pardoned the turkey this year, in return for which he's providing gleeful holiday spirit

If, three months ago, I had been given a quick peek into the future to see my family's circumstances for Thanksgiving 2021, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. But having lived those months one day at a time (often one hour at a time), I'm something of a changed man - and so am genuinely filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving.

First and foremost, I'm thankful that all of the members of my little family are still here for Thanksgiving since that wasn't a sure thing. And I'm particularly thankful for the amazing strength, courage, and humor with which the women in my life are facing down their challenges. I'm thankful for all of the medical professionals who are routinely working miracles on our behalf, and for the anonymous (to me, at least) blood donors who are gifting us with life on a regular basis.

I can't say I'm thankful for my daughter's whopping ovarian cyst, but I do appreciate that it became symptomatic at just the right time to allow for surgery during a window in Kathy's treatment (best guess is that the surgery will be next week.)

I'm very thankful for family and friends (including you!) who have helped keep us going in these recent months, and thankful that the support is ongoing - because there's a long road still ahead.

On Monday, we had our first detailed talks about a stem cell transplant for Kathy. The procedure usually takes place 4-6 weeks after a round of chemo (which she'll be starting in early December), although it may be delayed somewhat because Kathy will first need to have her gall bladder removed and recover from that surgery. Because we didn't already have enough on our plates.

I'm wildly thankful that a good stem cell donor match has been found for Kathy. Donating stem cells is no picnic; it involves medications that put your stem cell production into overdrive, after which they're collected (via blood that is filtered then returned) through a needle in the donor's neck in multiple 4-hour sessions. Who does that for a stranger? Apparently a lot of people.

To prepare for the actual transplant procedure, the patient receives a Grand Whammy of chemo in order to destroy the bone marrow and the immune system. The donor stem cells are then introduced via transfusion, and the plan is that they'll take root and start producing healthy, non-cancerous blood. Interestingly, not Kathy's blood, but the donor's. Her system isn't going to be "fixed," it's going to be replaced.

The procedure will require a lot of medicine, a lot of donated blood, and a lot of recovery time (with strictly enforced isolation). And while there are no guarantees, it's at least possible that Thanksgiving 2022 will see Kathy cured.  And that possibility is what I'm most thankful for.

So please accept warm and very sincere wishes for a wonderful and meaningful Thanksgiving this year from the surprisingly lucky Jarlsberg family!  -Stilton

68 comments:

She’s A Beauty said...

God Bless us…every one! Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🍽🍁

brennan said...

Happy Thanksgiving to Stilton, Kathy and Daughter J and the rest of your family and all my friends in the USA.

May God Bless you all from a long time fan from Australia.

JRMD said...

Continued BEST WISHES and PRAYERS.
JRMD

HankJ said...

Happy Thanksgiving and God bless. Better days are ahead.

Mike aka Proof said...

Where there is life, there is hope! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. The road we're on may not have been the one we would have chosen for ourselves, but there is reason to be thankful for where we are and what we have. May God bless you and your family, now and in the weeks and months to come!

Radar1972 said...

Praying all goes as planned. Happy Thanksgiving and may God grant you serenity in dealing with everything ahead.

mamafrog said...

Still praying for you guys, we want you all to be healthy for a while to go yet. Happy Thanksgiving to your family and all the others here on the group.

Dan said...

May God continue to bless and help the three of you. Your positive waves are apparent and good to read.

For all the things for which I give Thanks this year, Stilton's Place is one. You've supplied an amazing amount of entertainment, philosophy, and wisdom, reaching back into your Hope and Change days.

Thank you.

gregbudell said...

I've been sharing your brilliance with my radio audience in Montgomery, Alabama going back to the early days of Hope'n Change. I've got our local prayer warriors on your side including myself, in the hope we can be part of the strength that pulls your through this incredible challenge. God bless you through this battle .. you've got this Kathy! Thousands of people here are thinking of, and praying for you all. I too, am thankful for the wit, humor and insights you've provided over these years.

Gee M said...

Since most epic sagas have a sound track, I found a good one for the Jarlsberg Story...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbrbKuWA03E

Please don't hate me...but Happy Thanksgiving.

Bobo the Hobo said...

Blessings on you and the ladies in your life, Stilt. I’m thankful to have found your blog, which has become a humorous oasis in the political sphere.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Art said...

You are on my prayer list. Stay positive!

M said...

Stilt, Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers daily.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes for you and your family, Stilton.

Anonymous said...

I hope the good news for Clan Jarlsberg continues to improve. Positive attitude helps and you appear to have it in spades. God Bless You and your Family.

Unknown said...

Hoping for the best through these tough times, stay strong, you have a lot of people pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

Stilton.....continued prayers for your family and you. Prayers for strength and healing.

Garrett said...

Your humor helps you through these difficult times, not easy, many are praying for the right outcome. It's incredible how doctors and researchers have been able to improve medical procedures and techniques to address so many problems. Many of us would have not survived just 50 or fewer years ago. Hang in there.

Murphy(AZ) said...

Thankful to a Merciful God that He is watching out for you and yours. May you all be safe in the coming year, and may we all be around to celebrate Thanksgiving 2022 together!

Prarie Lion said...

Best wishes and prayers for a successful and speedy recovery for daughter Jarlsberg and Kathy.

TrickyRicky said...

Best Thanksgiving wishes for the Jarlsberg family. A tough road lies ahead, but at least that road is present and waiting for you.

I have no problem with donating blood regularly, even with the massive Keystone pipeline size needles employed. I don't think I could be a stem cell donor....needles in the neck?!!??

Mikey said...

Loved today's cartoon, don't hire that guy to carve the turkey. We simplified Thanksgiving dinner by buying the turkey breast, easier to cook and especially to carve. (Don't know where the rest of the turkey goes, and really don't want to know!). Again, best wishes and prayers for you and your family. Keep up the faith for a good outcome. (Deplorable Mikey in Florida)

VideomanSS said...

Give thanks that they found a good donor. My daughter-in-law had this procedure 12 years ago and is doing fine today. Long and drawn out but with a good outcome. Thanks for your blessings and look forward to many more.

Snark said...

Happy Thanksgiving! And prayers for both of the Jarlsberg women. I didn't realize that the bone marrow harvesting procedure had been replaced. Modern research has revealed that stem cells are actually quite plentiful in the human body; it required different methods of harvesting them. Enjoy the holiday. Stay hydrated!

Ole Scrapper said...

The comments are good and encouraging... they are blessings. Your gracious attitude is worthy of a special 'star in your crown'. :) Our friend Paul of ancient times was inspired when he penned the words " be thankful in all things". Continued thoughts my friend, the attitude mellows the heart.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Incidentally, I have cheerfully swiped the latest JO for last saturday's "Couch Kitties":

http://couchkitties.comicgenesis.com/d/20211120.html

Happy Turkey Day to all! And especial felicitations to Clan MacJarlsberg! :D

CenTexTim said...

May God's Blessings fall on so many - the blood and stem cell donors, the medical professionals, the patients and their families, and so many others who unite to make up our communities.

Happy Thanksgiving and beyond. Stay strong!

John the Econ said...

Stem cell treatment? That's for horses!

Sorry, had to say that. One of my clients is involved in equine rehabilitation, which includes stem cell therapy. It's only relatively recently that stem cell therapies have been accepted on humans.

As always, our thoughts and prayers remain with you. Remain thankful for the blessings you have, and for those to come.

Shelly said...

I love your positive attitude in the face of such traumatizing events. I truly believe it helps Kathy and hopefully Daughter J. You and your family will be in my prayers for as long as it takes. Have a good Thanksgiving.

Bagsd said...

Thank you for your uplifting comments on this occasion of giving thanks. May the good Lord send many Blessings to you and your family today and always.

Patrick said...

Godspeed, Stilt.

TVAG said...

The Conga Line can use a rest for the holidays, but when it's time, we'll fire it up again and drum Mrs. J to full recovery!

Peace unto you and yours,

TVAG

Velveeta Processed Cheese Food said...

Hang in there. I check every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for an update. Don't worry about content. We'll be here when you're ready.

John25mm said...

All I can say is thank God for this good news. Not to blow my own horn but again thank God, I'm glad I am able to donate blood on a regular basis. I try to get there every two months and it's good to hear that it goes to a good cause.
Hope everyone here has a good and happy Thanksgiving.

jayjay said...

My nephew had the stem cells replacement for lymphoma and has come through with flying colors. Prayers for your daughter and wife, and for your continued strength and positivity. Wishing you and your loved ones all the blessings of a Happy Thanksgiving.

Buck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buck said...

Stilt, it's been a very weird year to be sure, but with your common sense and sage words of wisdom, you've helped me through it all.

God bless you and your family, and may you all have a safe and joyous holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Semper Fidelis, Buck

Julian said...

all I can say is, love you guys, one and all, and praying for you

4sleiborg said...

You all have really been through the mill, haven't you...I wish you a good Thanksgiving and pray for recovery.

The gall bladder I'm sure seems like 'lord, what's next', but gall bladder-ectomy isn't a big deal nowadays. I had a second attack of pancreatitis while I was at a convention in Las Vegas. During the recovery they were after me to have the surgery and I resisted because I'd heard stories about people not being able to eat lots of good things like pizza, bacon, etc. Finally the hospitalist said, "The gall bladder, pooh, it's like the appendix, you don't need it."

So I had it out via laparascopy on the Monday morning, they released me in the afternoon, and I was in the car headed home Tuesday morning. Never a side effect, and no changes in my diet.

Again, my best wishes!

- Pete

2ABuddha said...

Godspeed my brother. Sending you and yours much love and encouragement. You are truly inspiring.

Igor said...

Wonderful! hang in there, stilt - we are all cheering for ya.
If I could donate stem cells for ya, I would because Kathy deserves it.

Anonymous said...

God Bless You and all your family...sending you continual prayers...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- I'm enjoying a warm glow (while sober!) just reading all of the comments above. The encouragement, the community, and of course the stories of others who have taken this journey and ended up in the winner's circle. You do my heart good.

The gallbladder thing for Kathy was supposed to happen just when Covid hit (thanks, Dr. Fauci) and hospitals stopped doing elective surgeries. And then Kathy broke her back. And then her wrist. And that gallbladder surgery just never happened. Now it pretty much needs to so there's no risk of it going nuclear when she's in the midst of the transplant process. We're not very worried about that surgery, other than scheduling.

Daughter J's surgery was scheduled today for December 14, though we don't yet know how that's going to fit into Kathy's chemotherapy schedule. Or how I'm going to take care of both women at once. But I trust we'll figure something out. My "Plan B" buddy who could normally help us out will be driving himself to radiation treatments daily, so we may need to draft someone else (we've had multiple volunteers from family and friends).

We have no big plans for Thanksgiving tomorrow (for one thing, I'm on about my 7th day of intestinal distress) but will enjoy each other's company and even get started on a little Christmas decorating. So it should be a great day overall! And one of these years, you're all invited here for turkey with all the fixin's!

Anonymous said...

Prayers continue for all.
.
NSF

Jee said...

Your family’s sense of humor in the face of many challenges is inspiring. I’m thankful there are such people in this world.

Paul Donohue said...

You certainly have a ton of hardship on your plate and yet you still see through all of that to be thankful for your family, As I consider my personal health situation I am inspired by seeing how you deal with yours. I hope that you and your family have a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving. You are all in my prayers.

mamafrog said...

We had our scheduled visit to oldest daughter's house for Thanksgiving cancelled thanks to the usual problem this year. Her two boys were exposed and she felt it safer not to have anyone come within exposure distance, myself and the newest granddaughter who was a preemie this year (2 pounds 7 ounces and doing very well at ten months now, thank you very much)mostly. I will be joining mom and youngest sister at a local restaurant for lunch since none of us really feel like cooking, lol. Sis and I amuse each other and mom sort of listens in and makes random comments since she refuses to wear her hearing aids, fun times. Pajamas are optional wear, also.

When I get home it's back to herding dogs into opposite corners of the room as two of them take great offense at each other over everything and my son has already covered some whopping vet bills for one of them, the final visit and cremation of another, and a replacement set of front tires from the ruining of them during the emergency vet visit. Is it any wonder I am worn out lately?

I'm still trying to sort everything out for my eventual move to mom's in December if I can get my act together. Most of my things are going into storage, again, as there isn't room for it at mom's. I wonder if there is ever going to come a day when I can settle into one home and unpack completely?

Kiss the two ladies and hug them for Thanksgiving and let your stomach calm down!

Maoz said...

Hey, Stilt, does the turkey realize you've already pardoned it? I kinda suspect he's been filling Family Jarlsberg's plate the last few months in hopes that HE wouldn't be filling your plate on Thanksgiving!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- We had a very nice little Thanksgiving today, albeit sort of non-traditional in that we had spaghetti with homemade meat sauce rather than turkey and side dishes. The meal was delicious and we've got lots of leftovers.

And we got a lovely surprise in the early afternoon when an individual filled with holiday spirit (or spirits?) left a big jug of Clan MacGregor on my doorstep along with a very nice (and funny) letter for the Jarlsberg family. Both have warmed my spirit today! (And a special thank you to you-know-who-you-are!)

JustaJeepGuy said...


Here's hoping everyone here had a great Thanksgiving. I was originally planning on having the traditional Thanksgiving peanut butter and jelly sandwich with all the trimmings, but last week I suddenly found a halfway-decent deal on a turkey. Since I had a turkey-size cooking bag and didn't want it to go to waste, I put the two together and now I will be eating turkey for the next couple weeks. Good thing I like to eat turkey!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING one and all!

NaCly Dog said...

Glad your day went so well. May your clan continue to overcome adversity. You have had a saga, but one that looks brighter.

Your humor buoyed me in dark times. I am thankful for your skills.

In return, here is a question I posed to a group of high schoolers:

Why did Mozart sell all his chickens?


Because they kept going Bach, Bach, Bach.

Their groans were impressive.

Unknown said...

Gonna keep praying for you. God bless.

Kent Whitehead said...

We are thankful for your humor even during the tough times you go through. We will continue to include the Jarlsberg ladies (and you) in our prayers.

Gee M said...

NaCly Dog ...Oh, yeah? Here's another groaner ...
You are familiar with Murphy's Law, I assume? But are you also familiar with Cole's Law?

What's that, is the usual response.
Thinly sliced cabbage...

Anonymous said...

Best thoughts for your sweetie & your girl!
The medical community is amazing.
I’m a stage 4 lung cancer type o’ guy, myself.
Into my 6th year since I was diagnosed with a 2 beer can sized tumor in my left lung. For me, the chemo wasn’t getting the job done. By the time my tumor had shrunk 10%, I had shrunk 30%! Applied for & was accepted into an immunotherapy study. Now the thing is just
some wreckage on the floor in there, & I’m back
to my normal #240 from #160.
Hopin for the same results for your girls!

Sortahwitte said...

Glad for the good gnus on T-day! AKA "the massacre of the large, flightless birds" day. Both daughters, husbands, and 5 grandkids were here for two days in our teepee built for two. Both holidays last winter fell to that "damned chinee flu" We pray for healing, peace, and even more peace as the year winds down. Love, Glen and Sioux.

Chap said...

Well done and keep pushing through as best you can!

Porgy Tirebiter said...

Hang in there, Doc. You and your family are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

Maoz said...

Well, NaClyDog and Gee M are at it, I gotta throw in something.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Cantaloupe.

Cantaloupe who?

We can't elope, we're already married!

Parker said...

May the good Lord bless you and keep you,
may He make His face to shine upon you,
and bring you peace.

John the Econ said...

New week, new prayers for the Jarlsberg clan.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

This is for the twit who spammed "Days Of Our Daze":

Inflammation of the foreskin
Reminds me of your smile
I've had ballanital chancroids
For quite a little while
I gave my heart to NSU
That lovely night in June
I ache for you, my darling
And I hope you get well soon

My penile warts, your herpes
My syphilitic sores
Your moenelial infection
How I miss you more and more
Your dhobi's itch, my scrumpox
Our lovely gonorrhea
At least we both were lying
When we said that we were clear

Our syphilitic kisses
Sealed the secret of our tryst
You gave me scrotal pustules
With a quick flick of your wrist
Your trichovaginitis
Sent shivers down my spine;
I got snail tracks in my anus
When your spirochetes met mine

[Chorus]
Gonococcal urethritis
Streptococcal ballinitis
Meningomyelitis
Diplococcal cephalitis
Epidydimitis
Interstitial keratitis
Syphilitic choroiditis
And antertior uveitis

My clapped out genitalia
Is not so bad for me
As the complete and utter failure
Every time I try to pee
My doctor says my buboes
Are the worst he's ever seen
My scrotum's painted orange
And my balls are turning green

My heart is very tender
Though my parts are awful raw
You might have been infected
But you never were a bore
I'm dying of your love, my love
I'm your spirochaetal clown
I've left my body to science
But I'm afraid they've turned it down

[Chorus]
Gonococcal urethritis
Streptococcal ballinitis
Meningomyelitis
Diplococcal cephalitis
Epidydimitis
Interstitial keratitis
Syphilitic choroiditis
And antertior uveitis


Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@M. Mitchell Marmel- That song is very, um, "catchy." (I love it!)

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: Well, some penicillin might help...

(link to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClVW09Y33S0)

(good old Graham Chapman, M.D. I caught him live in concert a couple of years before his untimely passing. Brilliant comedian.)

Sortahwitte said...

I love it. It has catchy words and you can dance to it.
However, in my minds eye, I can see a syringe of penicillin sayin " I ain't going in there!"

Rod said...

At MMM: My minister's wife is an RN; I was at first trying to decide if should forward for translation. But it's Christmas season & I'm thinking NOT. [grin] Hang in there Jarlsbergs.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Rod: Translations here. https://genius.com/17050511

You're welcome. ;D

Anonymous said...

C.S. Lewis said something to the effect. That if you love deeply you will get hurt badly, but it is still worth it. Your love for your family is admirable. Praying for you.