Posted by: Jim E | September 7, 2011

Part 1…Sons of the Pioneers, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota State Fair, Surgery and Stuff…

Okay, I did look at the calendar…and I did see that I haven’t posted anything since August 20th…quite a span for me to be “quiet”…but there is a reason…we were on a vacation…well, Judie and I are retired, so we are on a permanent vacation…this was Jeremy’s week of vacation…but it extended out for almost two weeks…well, let’s go back a few days and tell some of this story…heavens, this could be a two or three part story…but I won’t do that to you…(ed. well, I guess I did, sorry)…

Our plan was to go to Branson, Missouri to see a show on Wednesday, August 24th…and then from there go to Rochester, Minnesota for Jeremy to see his doctor for a checkup…really he was seeing the doctor to go over a CT he had in Little Rock in April…we expected it to be just an in and out deal…after we finished there we were going to Minneapolis and go to the Minnesota State Fair…the see our family in the area and come home by August 31…well, you know how the the poet Robert Burns “best-laid plans of mice and men” deal goes…and ours did go “awry”…

But Branson came first…Jeremy wanted to see one of his favorite groups…the Sons of the Pioneers…the group has been performing together for over 70 years…started by Roy Rogers, they have been around singing Western music for all of those years…and here they are that night in Branson…we were in a pavilion…open side but a roof overhead…”hot as Dutch love”, my mom used to say…it was hot and humid…how they played and sang for two hours is beyond me…and we also got a “Chuckwagon meal”…great stuff…beef brisket, chicken, potatoes, beans, apple crisp and the rest is history…and a wonderful show…good music…and Jeremy loved it all…he has followed “The Pioneers” for many years…it goes all the way back to hearing them at the “Triple C Ranch” outside of Tucson many years ago…and if you want to know if we were really there here’s a picture to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt…you may say, I see you and I see Jeremy…just who was the young, beautiful and certainly above your station in life, woman with you???…yup, that’s Judie…married up, huh???…anyway we enjoyed the time there, lots…

We left Branson the next day for the trip to Rochester and Mayo Clinic…we traveled north out of Branson, then through Missouri and Iowa, before getting on Interstate 35…and saw beautiful country…it was so green…they have had so much rain is year the crops were beautiful…the corn and soy beans were picture perfect…waiting for the first frost and then harvest…as a family we have always loved farm country…and you see lots of it going the way we did…

When I think about what we were about to get ourselves into when we got to Mayo…it made me think about so many others in our same situation…we know so many people both young and old, who have children…both young and grown who are handicapped in some way…Jeremy having brain cancer at two and a half…and all that he went through to get where he is now, at 41…he certainly was not to survive…but Judie and I don’t even know what we would do if we didn’t have him “with” us at this time of our lives…but I can name many whom we know, who are in the same or similar situation…and you know, all of them seem to live sort of like us…they don’t “wish” it away…this is the norm, this is everyday stuff…this is someone they love…this is someone they would do anything for…and would not wish for anything else…and with Judie and I, we love our life, love our son…and though we have an obligation as parents…nothing could diminish our love for Jeremy…this trip was for him…we just went along…and there are many who will read this…you will know what I am saying, feeling, and  what we experienced on this trip…

So we made it to Rochester, Minnesota…stayed the night and wondered what Friday would bring…we didn’t know what Dr. Keller wanted to talk about…(Dr. Keller is the doctor who did Jeremy’s jaw surgeries in the 90’s, a real miracle worker)…he saw something on the CT scan but needed more information…the next day we had an appointment with him at 10:20…I give these times because they are so organized…and keep on target most of the time…and with thousands of patients per day that is something…and still make you feel like you are in a small town doctor’s office…we arrived early…wanted to know exactly where to go…as we sat down, Jeremy’s name was called…it was 9:30, now that was a surprise to get in early…Jeremy had a panoramic X-ray of  his jaw and then we talked to the Dr. Keller…he said he wanted another CT scan to compare with the one from Little Rock…so Jeremy was sent to CT…on a different floor…this is a partial picture of one of the waiting rooms…there are about 20 floors and two buildings filled with waiting rooms, some even bigger than this…they even have internet booths to get online while you wait…amazing…

We were told that after the CT scan (taken at 10:30) it would take about 3-4 hours to get the results…a radiologist had to read it and so on…so we were told to come to see Dr. Keller at 2:30…we left and went out to get something to eat…as we left Subway, we got a call…can you come now…we said sure can…bolted down the Subway in the parking ramp…and raced to the elevator…(Sidebar…all the while this all was going on, I was worried that we would not make it to the State Fair that Jeremy wanted to go to that afternoon and evening…one of the reasons for the trip…we were to meet some family there in the afternoon…already we missed the goal that we would leave Dr. Keller after a 20 minute consultation that morning and leave for Minneapolis and the State Fair…End Sidebar)

As we got to the 12th floor and checked in…they called us back…it was about 1:00…good news, the State Fair was still a possibility…thinking that this would be a routine meeting…we greeted the doctor…he showed us Jeremy’s CT scan and the X-ray…and told us there was something there in his jaw…the spot that was on the Little Rock scan had grown some…it was a cyst or tumor or possibly scar tissue from years ago…but he had to operate and take it out and biopsy the tissue…this was more than any of us expected…I knew anything was possible but Judie was totally surprised by the news…Jeremy took it in stride…(Sidebar…I think he was more worried about getting to the State Fair than this news…End Sidebar)

After the shock of the news…this was Friday and Dr. Keller said that we can do surgery on Monday or Wednesday of the next week, three days away…now racing through my mind was Jeremy’s vacation going down the tube…getting all the things in that day and the rest the days until Jeremy had to be back to work…if he could go back right away…our minds were all over the place…we just said, “Let’s do it Monday. Is that alright with you Jeremy?”…it was…and he said something then that he has repeated a number of times since, with a few tears in his eyes he said, “I trust Dr. Keller with my life.”…we then still had to go to another floor to go to for pre-op stuff…so Jeremy would be ready for surgery on Monday…

Well, if your mind isn’t reeling, ours was…so we were off…from Rochester to Minneapolis and the Minnesota State Fair…more surprises coming up..we knew now, this was not “an in and out deal”…part 2 tomorrow…

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Responses

  1. I don’t like to have this wait for an entire 24 hours to read the next chapter of Jeremy’s life as well as you and Judi’s. Thank you for sharing this portion and I am only sorry you had to go through even this much trauma. Thanks Jim!

  2. Reblogged this on Your Roving Reporter and commented:

    I was reminded about this trip in 2011 to see Dr. Keller at Mayo Clinic…it is quite the story…one that shows Jeremy at his best, while being faced with uncertainty…what a “kid”…enjoy these 4 posts…about the trip…his surprise surgery and recovery…


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