January Thaw

I haven’t written for…a week or two? Life has been happening.

JJ is back in his college classes. He really enjoys his classes. He is taking a law enforcement class, sociology, math and, I think, a psychology class.

Our icy driveway
Our icy driveway

Almost every year Michigan has what is called a “January thaw,” in which the weather warms up a bit. Many times it’s just for a day or two. This year the January thaw lasted a couple of weeks. The temperatures rose during the day and melted some of the snow and then they dropped during the night and froze the slushy puddles. It made our driveway very icy.

I think Danny must have fallen on the icy because he started to limp. His limp wasn’t that bad at first, but it steadily got worse. I think his insistence on “swimming” through deep snow to get to the places he has chosen as his toilet area just made his injury worse. After a several days, he went from a slight limp to not wanting to put any weight on his leg.

january-23-2017-9So JJ and I took Danny to the vet last Monday. It’s the first time we’ve visited a veterinarian up here. The vet was ok, but there are some people you just immediately “connect” with and she wasn’t one of them. I am not sure I will keep going to her. I might try another veterinary once Danny’s current problem is resolved. I really missed our old vet downstate, whom we had gone to for years and years. He was retiring at the same time we were moving north, so even if we had stayed down there, he wouldn’t have been our vet.

Anyway, the vet thinks Danny got a football player-type injury in which his ligament sort of stretched and allows his knee too much movement. She prescribed pills for him to reduce inflammation and pain and her nurse gave him a laser treatment to help the muscle heal. Danny had to wear goggles during the treatment to protect his eyes. He looked cool.  Danny handled the treatment and goggles as calmly as he does everything. The vet said that if he doesn’t improve, she can have x-rays done to see if there is some other problem. I’m hoping it won’t come to that because I suspect it will be expensive and we are not exactly rolling in money.

january-25-2017-10The January Thaw ended a couple of days ago. We are back to wintry cold and snow. We’ve had some heavy snow, but it’s not accumulating like it did before the thaw. I’m glad. It’s physically tiring to snowblow the driveway every day.

JJ has periodic appointments with his oncologist to make sure he remains cancer-free. His most recent appointment was on Friday. Before JJ had cancer, we never really thought about the possibility of our son getting cancer. It was always “someone else” who battled cancer. However, once it happened, we know that it’s not someone else, it’s us. And if it happened once, it can happen again. In fact, JJ says that he was told–I think by the oncologist downstate–that he has a 60% chance of the cancer returning so he always sort of assumes that he will get cancer again. Trips to the oncologist are always stressful.

Since JJ is 21–and will be 22 in two months–I always ask him if he wants me to come with him into the exam room. I want to give him emotional support, but also respect his independence. He has been saying, “Naw. I got this.” So I waited in the reception area for him. When he rejoined me, he said that he is mostly good. However, one of the cancer markers in his blood has been rising a bit. “Cancer marker” is one of the new terms we learned when JJ was diagnosed with the disease. A cancer marker is a biomarker found in blood, urine, or body tissues that can be elevated by the presence of one or more types of cancer. There are many different tumor markers, each indicative of a particular disease process, and they are used in oncology to help detect the presence of cancer. 

JJ’s marker number has risen to 4. He is still in the “safe” zone. However, if his number rises to 6 he will have to have a CT Scan to see if his cancer has returned. We are all a bit anxious at the possibility of JJ’s cancer returning. We try not to worry, but I think we will always have anxiety about cancer. JJ’s next oncology appointment is scheduled for the end of July.



7 Comments on “January Thaw

  1. So good to hear from you and you are right, Danny is cool with glasses. Hopefully he will heal completely and that JJ’s #’s stay in the normal range. Love and prayers for all, Linda


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