November Ramblings from Kalissa

I’m looking at my November calendar and I’ve had to make a few adjustments.

First of all, November is LUNG CANCER AWARENESS month! This is so so important. As my readers know, I lost my dad to lung cancer in June of 2019 and since have become an advocate for lung cancer screenings!

My Dad’s caner was discovered through a routine CT scan. If you are 55 years or older and currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 10 years, please ask your doctor if you qualify for an annual low dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer. The test takes less than 30 seconds and can save your life.

Also, I’m on a “work two nights have one night off” schedule here for the next… for the month of November essentially. Iowa is really filling up with COVID patients and we are surging. We’ve converted part of our pediatric unit to a second COVID unit so I picked up a few shifts to help staff that unit. Iowa is the third leading active virus cases per capita – which means 47 states are doing way better than we are in handling the pandemic.

Craig is still in the field. He’s combining every day from about 9 am to 9 pm. They have about 700 acres left. The weather looks great for the next week or so – I hope he can get wrapped up soon.

I talked about re-recording some of my music which was scheduled for November 18th but I’m clearing most of my “extras” for the month of November so I can help out at work. The time will come. See more about my music in this blog post:

Thank God for my mom, what would we do without her? I have no idea. If you read her most recent blog post, find that here: Carver is on quarantine after a COVID exposure so no preschool until November 12th which really throws a cramp in so much.

First of all, we don’t want to risk ANYONE getting COVID but we also have to function. Craig can’t take off work to be at home with the boys, I can’t take off work. We are both in busy season, but really more like a NON negotiable critical busy season. Our regular nanny (rightfully so) is unable to help us while Carver is on quarantine. Craig’s mom is quarantining. I rode in the combine with Craig on Thursday and we just brainstormed and tried to figure out how to manage the week. It’s overwhelming.

Craig has asthma, he really shouldn’t get COVID. He’s got to finish up harvest.

My mom has cancer and diabetes, she really shouldn’t get COVID.

Craig’s parents aren’t available because of a COVID exposure.

Gannon really shouldn’t get COVID with his pre-existing conditions.

Our Nanny isn’t available.

My sister is pregnant with twins, she really shouldn’t get COVID.

We just, we really are struggling this week. We made the decision that the boys would stay with mom while Craig and I work. She insisted. We have no other choice. It’s just, it’s really hard guys.

I’ve seen patients do so well with COVID and hardly have any symptoms but that isn’t a guaranteed outcome. I’ve seen young and healthy patients die from COVID as well. I shouldn’t live in fear, but I also shouldn’t carelessly expose those in my life at risk, but I also have to live my life.

I just can’t imagine a time when Craig and I aren’t working every single day, when we see each other regularly, when we can go where we want to go, when we can see who we want to see, when we sleep in the same bed more nights than not, life is just very far from normal right now. I think if we can get through past Thanksgiving, maybe things will slow down.

In the meantime, I just got home from voting this morning! I thought it would be very 2020 of me to wear my “I voted sticker” on my mask. I work again tonight so I’ll have to watch the results in between patients.

That’s all I have for today folks! Have a good one!



  1. Elle
    November 3, 2020 / 4:03 pm

    My heart goes out to all of you! So much needs to be done and every choice with inherent risk. OTOH…..

    Jo, Carver and Gannon are going to have such a good time in their bubble! I think there will be stories to tell and tell. I’ve followed your Mom for a long time. She makes informed decisions. I am not at all surprised that she insisted their bubble was the right choice for everyone.

    Thank you for caring for your community by picking up a ton of shifts at the hospital.

    Peace and hugs to you all in these very challenging and difficult times.

  2. Amy
    November 3, 2020 / 4:42 pm

    You have to make the best decisions for your family. My family is debating whether to have Thanksgiving or not. My son and his girlfriend live in a surge area. We can’t expose my mom to that as she is on dialysis. I just want this year to be over and better things to look forward to.

  3. Ellie
    November 3, 2020 / 5:29 pm

    Thanks for all you and Craig are doing to help us through this tough time. Your Mom is careful to remain as safe as possible . We will live through this and have stories to tell about surviving the. Pandemic.

  4. Helen A
    November 3, 2020 / 5:30 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. Thank you for writing about lung cancer awareness and getting screened. My husband lost both parents to lung cancer from cigarette smoking (his father when he was 15 and his mother at 26). His mother didn’t know she had cancer until she was stage 4 and it was too late. A screening could’ve saved her life and she’d likely still be here. Not sure about his father, but possibly he would still be here as well. I never got to meet either of them and my daughter only has one set of grandparents. I wish more people would talk about regular screening for lung cancer. It’s so important.

    I really hope the cases of COVID in Iowa slow way down soon. I’m sorry you guys are going through all that. I’m sure having your mom watch the boys was a very tough decision and as you say you really didn’t have a choice. So many families are in the same situation. I hate this COVID so much and what it’s done to everyone in our country. No one should be faced with having to make these tough decisions. I really hope things start improving soon for you guys.

  5. Kim J LeMere
    November 3, 2020 / 5:36 pm

    Thank you for continuing to go into work and for pulling those extra shifts at the hospital. Your mom understands the risks but she has always said, Family first so her wanting to help is understandable. I’m glad you spent a day with Craig on the farm, time together sounds scarce for the month of November.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *