A Fatherless Daughter: April 30th, 2019

My father, Roger Kramer passed away from lung cancer on June 2nd, 2019 after his 129 day battle. His cancer progressed quickly after his diagnosis on January 24th 2019. The cancer spread to his C2, eating away at the bone and fracturing his neck. After finishing chemotherapy and radiation, a PET scan t revealed the cancer had spread throughout his body. I was honored to care for him in his final days and he passed away 4 days later. We not only lost a father but Craig and I lost a dear friend and community member. A Fatherless Daughter is a blog series that highlights his last few weeks and the struggles we have had to overcome as a family as my dad’s cancer battle came to an end.

April 30th, 2019

I thought I would update everyone while dad is getting his feeding tube placed.

I’m up here in Lacrosse here today with Mom, Dad, Gannon and Buck. Kelli is watching the childcare kids today back home.

The shirt orders have been placed. 30+ kids shirts and 160+ adult shirts. We are organizing a pick up time at the Waucoma Fire Station for everyone to come and pick up their shirts this weekend. If you don’t feel comfortable paying online, that’s totally fine. You can pay when you pick up the shirt! I’ll work on shipping them this weekend as well.

Dad’s cancer has been moved from curable to treatable. That was our “big news” we found out yesterday. Which sucks. When we found out the cancer spread to C2 we kind of thought that would be the case.

Dad is getting radiation on his neck now – that is moving his radiation end date from May 8th to May 10th. We are all planning to go to Lacrosse with dad for his last day. If you’d like to come let us know!

Dad has STOPPED chemotherapy for the time being because it isn’t treating the cancer in his neck. It will need to be adjusted and restarted at a later time.

Dad had a rough night with pain. Lots of pain.

I’ve included pictures of dad’s neck CT to help explain what is going on. You can see the bone has a black center in it – the cancer has essentially eaten the inside of the bone making it very fragile – it should be dense but it is black in the imaging – hollow. Dad’s neck is fractured in more than one place which you can also see on the scan. The hope is this will heal after the cancer has been “zapped” out of it.

Dad will be up here at least a few more days. Surgery is not a good option at this time so he will remain in the neck brace for awhile. We need to get his pain under control before he can come home and he needs to be able to get up and moving around easier. Right now dad is on a continuous infusion and a PCA pump with a button he pushes to get more meds.

My mom has literally thousands of people around the country who read her blog every day and have for years. They have all asked how they can help and if they can donate. People have offered to set up GoFund me accounts. Mom and Dad are very uncomfortable with that but Kelli stuck a PayPal donation button on today’s blog post. We’ve tossed around the idea of hosting a benefit as well but again Mom and Dad are very hesitant. So many people want to help and if we can think of what we need, we will let you know. There’s just not much to do right now.

My brother in law is working on coordinating a shower to be installed in my parents main floor bathroom – this was always the intention but Dad will have trouble with stairs for awhile when he is in his neck brace so it is getting installed this week instead which will be awesome.

That’s all I know for now. Despite this all, Dad is in good spirits. We are all doing okay – as well as can be expected. He looks forward to visitors who have been in and out yesterday and today. Dad will have trouble getting out and about with his neck brace on when he gets home so we would love visitors when we get discharged!

One thought on “A Fatherless Daughter: April 30th, 2019

  1. Elle says:

    Love the photo of Grandpa/grandson together…hangin’ out….a wonderful moment at a very difficult time.

    Thank you, with much admiration, for teaching people about what it is like to watch our Dads die when we are so young. You are doing important work here as you continue your healing. Hugs to you.

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