December has arrived, there's a bite to the air, and on the radio Bing Crosby is crooning "I'm Dreaming Of A Medically Invasive Christmas."
Or at least, that's sort of how it feels around the Jarlsberg household at the moment. We've done an itty-bitty bit of Christmas decorating, but 90% of our stuff (including the tree) is going to have to wait until next year.
In general, things are going fine here. Kathy is feeling the best and strongest that she's felt in some time, which makes it likely that at today's doctor visit she'll be told that it's time for another round of chemo to nip that "feeling good" thing in the bud. Seriously, we'll find out if she'll be having a 3-day round of chemo later this week or if it will happen the week after.
A few weeks after she completes that chemo, she'll likely have her gall bladder removed, and a few weeks after that get her stem cell transplant. Which will be a very big deal and which I'll talk more about in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, daughter Jarlsberg is scheduled for her watermelon-ectomy (removal of a giant ovarian cyst) early next week. We don't know yet how much overlap there will be in medical procedures, hospital stays, and at-home recoveries, but it's likely to be a juggling act. If necessary, there are friends and family members who've offered to help out. Which is much appreciated even though they're probably all teeming with the omicron virus or whatever infectious new variant from Hell we can thank Tony Fauci and the Wuhan Institute of Breaking the Whole Frigging World for.
Still, we've never been more aware of all the things and people we have to be grateful for and that's a pretty good place to be on the Christmas spirit scale.
But please, Santa...no more surprises!
Looks like Johnny is in for an Advent-ure! :D
Sounds like reasonably good Yule tidings. I can dig the minimal decorations; my Christmas tree is a $2.95 Salvation Army special I plug in and stick in the front window every year...
Hang in there and stay strong! :D
Thanks for the update. I’ve been thinking about you and your family. Continued prayers for you all.
"The Holly And The I.V."? First class puns while most of us are flying coach! Wishing you and yours much success on the "juggling act"! (Who said vaudeville was dead?) Don't worry about the lack of decorations. Less to take down next January. (Win- win!)
I'm just glad you didn't go for "I'm dreaming of a white cyst mass"!
The best Christmas presents are what you give each other---love, devotion, and more love. Everything else is simply "window dressing". Good luck to you all!
I got no jokes, just best wishes to all of you. Been checking every other day and was just glad to see you coping. Let folks help. They want to.
Thanks for the update, Stilt. Continuing prayers and good wishes for you and yours. My dad,may he rest in peace, was a great punster, and I'm glad to say that I inherited at least part of that genetic package. But compared to you, I'm a rank amateur ("pssst! Y'd be a bit less rank if y'd take a bath once in a while!"). Maybe you and my dad are related somewhere down the line?
All the best to all the Jarlsbergs!
Kudos to you, Stilt for taking care of the women in your life while you still keep all of us up to speed. If I faced the challenges you are facing now, it would be permanent Wine O’Clock in the Hobo household with me stumbling around, singing It’s the most wonderful time for a beer. 🎶
Continued prayers for your ladies and I hope yule have your elf a merry little Christmas. (Sorry, I’ll see my elf out).
I hear what you say, but I can't imagine what you all are really going through. Keep the faith Stilton! And God Bless you all!
praying for you all there....
Glad to hear you're still chugging along! Don't be ashamed to ask for help, it makes people feel good to be able to help.
I understand completely what you're going through. We are fortunate in that we have so many kids and grand kids to rotate through while I had my little bout with a perforated bowel. Our prayers are a constant stream for your whole family. And you shall get through this. Amen.
I hope Christmas an the New Year has far better news and events occurring for your family. Our year has likewise had some twists and turns.
Remember when we thought 2020 was the bad year and 2021 would be a huge improvement. Not so much.
SO glad that Kathy is feeling better. Many are praying for her, your daughter, and you. Deep breathing helps when things are all cockeyed--like now. Blessings for you and yours.
My hat, if I wore one, is off to you, Stilton. Not many people I know of (including me?) would stay as upbeat as you've been through your trials and tribulations. The Johnny Optimism piece was a hoot.
Soeaking of Christmas, one thing I've noticed, besides the outrageous prices fir cut trees this year ($60 and up here), is radio stations are playing 'Baby its Cold Outside', which as we might recall was deemed problematic a year or so ago by the ascending, neo-Puritan orthodoxy.
Glad to hear the good news about Kathy. Fingers crossed for her!!
More Good News! Oncologist's job seems to be to make sure that the patient isn't allowed to feel too good too long, at least until it's over. Fortunately a gall bladder-ectomy isn't much more involved than an appendectomy these days. Watermelon-ectomy might be a bigger challenge, but at least no underlying hidden conditions to worry about. Decorations are overrated, enjoy them elsewhere and save your energy for the important stuff - like lifting a glass of spirits to keep your spirits high!
Glad to hear the positive news for all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Bob & Pam
I'm so glad to hear that your wife is feeling well now. I think it's great that you have the job of taking care of your wife and your daughter, which is no small task, and yet still have a sense of humor and the ability to encourage them. It's the best Christmas gift you could possibly give.
Thanks for the report Stilton. Praying the stem cells will do the job. Worked great for my daughter-in-law. You daughter is also in our prayers. May Christmas bring you good reports.
Keep the faith Stilton. Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Love you people! Prayers are lifted up! Love, Glen and Sioux.
Blessings for all your efforts and ministrations pointed and directed to the needs of you and your ladies. Do hope your Christmas season is peaceful and without crisis. Stay strong and eat 'lotsa' oatmeal. :}
The Holly And The I.V...
That evoked a laugh this morning. Glad you're keeping some humor. Everyone needs it now.
New prayers for a new week.
I was just thinking about you last night and wondering what was going on with Kathy and Daughter J. So thanks for the update. And I'm grateful it was good news. Still praying for you all. Can't stop now. (;
praying for you and Kathy, and your daughter.
You silence since T-Day was becoming worrisome, but this report, on the whole, is well worth the wait.
Yeah, you're juggling more balls than a talented octopus could (if that's not a vision more unsettling than encouraging).
So, please keep 'a goin', as the poet said, despite the headlines, let this be the most meaningful Christmas for you and yours in many years.
Our collective prayers and best wishes should make for a pile of gifts that would hide the tallest tree you ever had!
Still here when you need all of us.
Still praying for the whole Jarlsburg family and your individual and collective battle for food health.
I had a heart cath today and discovered that I have three major blockages in the infamous "Widow Maker" aftery. One is 60-80% blocked and the other two are each 90% blocked. Cardioligist and heart surgeon said not at "emergency" level, but at the same time the ole heart could go bloooey (a prhase my wife's aunt always used) at any second. The say I will have bypass surgert before the end of the wook. What the Jarlsburg's are going through is an inspiriation to me. If you can handle what you are going through, between God and I we got this. No big deal.
Prayers on behalf of you & your family Stilton!
Been there, done that, Squirrel. Angioplasty and stents, in my case, but it's routine and as close to a piece of cake as any cardiac procedure can be nowadays. Hang in there! :D
@Readers- As usual I'm overwhelmed, entertained, and lifted up by all of your comments! We had a good visit to the doctor today and Kathy got the go-ahead for her next 3-day round of chemo starting Thursday. That should put her home a day or so before Daughter J's surgery, after which we'll collectively see in the holidays with blood transfusions, painkillers, and Youtube videos of Christmas decorations on TV. Which, no kidding, sounds pretty darn good to me.
Below, I'll respond to a few of the comments here but please know that I read and appreciate ALL of them!
@Mike aka Proof- Some how, some way, I've got to steal that "white cyst mass" punchline.
@Jim Irre- Actually, what we are "really going through" is pretty much the way I've described it. It's a serious time, but not always a somber one.
@Fred Ciampi- My niece just needed emergency surgery for a perforated bowel when her diverticulitis was aggravated by a Covid infection. I invite anyone who is so inclined to include her in prayers and positive thoughts!
@Anonymous- I'm guilty of assuming that 2021 would HAVE to be better than 2020, and I've got my assed kicked for such a display of hubris. I'm not making any bets about 2022!
@TVAG- You should never read too much into an extended period of non-communication. It doesn't necessarily mean things are awful - more likely it means that I'm pooped and there haven't been any meaningful new developments. Although I'll try to post at least once a week just to keep everyone in the loop!
@White Squirrel- Wow! Considering those blockages, you're going to feel like Superman when the surgeons open things up again! It's good to live in a time when the doctors and technologies exist to fix hearts, and I'll look forward (as others here will) to getting a "thumbs up" from you here on the other side of your procedure. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Thanks for being the voice of experience!
Biden taken into care, Harris resigns, Pelosi has heart attack. Trump asked to take over. Not true but it might cheer you to dream!
Every blessing to the family jarlsberg
So very happy to see your post and even better to see the second post. Just like everyone else I was watching every day for an update. Praise be to God for any good news. We are all letting God and his Angels to keep watch over you and your family.
Okay, totally off-topic, but what the heck. Don't know Greek (it's all Greek to me!), but I read that in naming the assorted variants of you-know-what, they skipped over a letter called Xi to go straight to Omicron -- presumably so as not to offend You-know-who. I think the naming authorities need to make amends by naming the next one the Pooh variant.
And that's my 2-cents'(*) worth.
-- * or agorot, or rupees, or yen, or shillings, or rials or....
Glad to hear the latest update!
I must point out that I just now realized those "IV" tubes are not attached to Santa's arms but appear to be headed somewhere under the backside of his robe. I suppose he can be excused for that scowl on his face under the circumstances. "Oh, Oh, Oh! Merry Christmas!" indeed.
We are praying for you entire family and hope you all can find some peace at this Christmas time.
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