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.
May 21st 2019
Our patients are doing very well this evening!
Dad is HOME! ?? He was sent up to Lacrosse last Friday and came home today after becoming septic from pneumonia. Dad has a few more days of antibiotics at home. His PET scan is still scheduled for Friday! We will have a better plan of attack put into place then! Likely stronger chemo is in his future.
Remember to wear your Kramer strong shirts Friday and use the #kramerstrong! If you don’t have yours yet I’m sorry – my intention was to sort through those today but Carver needed my attention more. I will finish this up on THURSDAY this week.
It turns out that while they were putting tubes in Carver’s ears they decided to remove his adenoids as well. It appears based on what they saw that Carver had also been suffering from sinus infections that we didn’t know about ? he has complained several times in the past that his head hurts and has some behaviors that we’ve been concerned with. I so hope to see some improvement as he will now be able to sleep better and hopefully won’t be having sinus headaches/pain.
All that and regular ear infections, mild hearing loss, fluid behind his ear drum, and a runny nose and cough that doesn’t seem to go away. Well that all makes sense now. With the adenoids out and his third set of tubes in Carver should feel much better.
He has already been on 10 days of augmentin for the last double ear infection but now they will put him on two MORE weeks of antibiotics to help clear this all up.
Carver had a tough time waking up from surgery and was super upset which I’m pretty sure is normal after anesthesia but I’m really glad Kelli Jo Hanken was there to help out. He’s been doing better since we’ve been home.
So that’s the update from the Kramer/Friedman house! We will know more Friday – let’s hope we can avoid all doctors appointments until then!
In the meantime I think we are all a little too used to being ready to drop everything at a moments notice. Mom has always said God has a way of helping us grow – by giving us a chance to learn. We’ve always been very scheduled and had everything planned out. God has now provided us with the opportunity (haha) to grow and learn to go with the flow and remember who really is in control. Whether that means changing an entire weekend of plans because Dad is in the hospital or arranging who will cover childcare for mom. If there is one thing this experience has taught us – if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans ?
Also – I needed a picture to go with the post and Carver just couldn’t put down his pop tart so this is the result ?? I’d hate to discourage him from eating considering that’s been an issue since surgery. This is what “CHEESE!” With a mouth full of pop tart looks like ???
Dad is on his way back up to Lacrosse after spending his morning with me at work in the emergency room.
He is possibly septic again with a fever, shaking, coughing, needing more oxygen, low blood pressure, high heart rate.
Still don’t know why he is so sick or why the antibiotics aren’t taking care of this pneumonia. We are all very frustrated and sad and tired. He spent a whole 12 hours at home. We just can’t catch a break.
These are getting harder and harder. Obviously Dad is getting closer to dying. I remember the look on his face when I opened the ER doors. You could tell he was not well. There was just something different. You could tell he was sick of it. You could tell he knew it was bad. He wasn’t cracking jokes or trying to make me laugh. He knew this was serious and I knew he was tired. We all were. It was all hands on deck at this point now that Kelli and I were back to work. No one really could explain dads symptoms or what was going on. We now know he was just dying. The doctors didn’t know that, he wasn’t on hospice, we were waiting to see how the PET scan would read to determine what is next. Not once during this hospital stay did someone suspect he was dying. The radiation was supposed to work. Chemo, the real big bad chemo, was supposed to start the week he died. No one had any idea how invasive this cancer really was. I think dad knew things weren’t well. We were given a prognosis of 11 months after he broke his neck but not a few weeks. On the day I took dad to radiation he asked the doctor “what are the chances I’m going to light up on this next PET scan. The doctor said that they aren’t expecting that and it would be unusual for that to happen. Well, how wrong that prediction would be.
In other news, we stopped out at the cemetery today, pretty bummed to find dad’s flowers are missing. I don’t think someone would steal them but I also don’t think they would have blown away. We checked the garbage too thinking maybe they fell off with no luck ?