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Good News After Bad

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have never posted anything about my family. I have 4 kids that my world revolves around and the most understanding, supportive wife in the world.

5 years ago, Mrs. bjohansson skied Snowbird with me on an "epic" 2-day trip between my tours in Afghanistan. We were there when it snowed 60 inches in 48 hours (2nd week of March 2002) and the mountain slid and did some damage to one of the lodges at Alta. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to ski since.

Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis that had cased her knees to deform causing a really bad alignment problem of her lower legs...basically, the arthritis was making itself worse with every step.

We found a great orthopedic surgeon that suggested the following: cut a wedge out of the femur, bend the upper leg so that the lower leg was aligned properly, a little titanium, a few screws, and the degeneration should stop. She had both legs done over the succeeding 2 years (2003 & 2005), but the doc said no skiing.

Fast forward to summer 2006. Ortho doc says OK to skiing for this winter as long as she takes it easy. We started making plans for our skiing vacations for the upcoming winter. Woo-hoo!

In early November, she visits her GP doc because of heartburn. Your average doc would have said, take 2 Prevacids and call me in the morning. Fortunately, this was no average doc. She said, take 2 Prevacids (figuratively)(which erased the symptoms completely), and get ye to the CT people. They discovered a mass on the pancreas that everybody was sure was not the C-word...until the biopsy. Bad news . Not pancreatic cancer (thank goodness) but an extremely rare disease known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome: .

She was referred to a transplant surgeon at SUNY Upstate Medical University Hospital who was the absolute picture of confidence. He scheduled her for surgery within a week and then spent 11 hours taking care of Mr. C. That was on December 5. She went back to work on December 18. She was supposed to still be in the hospital: !

Unfortunately, we're back to no skiing for her this winter, but that seems ridiculously minor compared to everything else that's happened. We were extremely lucky and we'll muddle through...snow sucks anyway in the NE . Next year will be better!
post #2 of 18
Wow, just wow. Glad to hear all is looking well. My father had the Big C and after being told by a couple of Docs it would need a heavy course of chemo and radiation , he found one of the guys that literally wrote the book on his type of operation. A couple hours under the knife and 3 years latter, al ist klar.

If you can find the time, we should make some turns.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
Unfortunately, we're back to no skiing for her this winter, but that seems ridiculously minor compared to everything else that's happened. We were extremely lucky and we'll muddle through...snow sucks anyway in the NE . Next year will be better!
Thank you for reminding us about what's really important.

Best of luck to Mrs. Johansson, you, and the rest of your family.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
post #4 of 18
Just so you know, sometimes, all of a sudden, there will be a stroke of good luck after a seemingly endless bad spell! Keep the faith! Our thoughts are with you!
post #5 of 18
Good wishes to all. And glad to hear the trendline is in the right direction!
post #6 of 18
In the bigger picture, that qualifies as great news.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
I continue to be amazed at the good will in this world. Hard to believe after all the bad I've seen. This forum has built a great community and I can only hope to live up to the greatness of so many of its members.
Thanks Tief, Bob, LM, Spin, & AD.

Tief, I drove through a blinding snowstorm between Binghamton and Lafayette today. Looked to be snowing on Greek, but the weather guessers aren't building much confidence. There was a comical WROD at Song. I'd love to get together for some turns, but it may be a while. Vielen dank und Froehliche Weinachten!
post #8 of 18
BJO

So incredibly happy to hear that some sunshine has entered your Lives after the ordeal . Think positive thoughts , know that others are with you in spirit and above all take care of yourselves.

Merry Christmas !!!
WD
post #9 of 18
Sorry to hear about your wife, but then again, things could have gone the other way as did for two close friends I lost a year ago to unexpected illness. Skiing buddies I sorely miss. What could have been is now passed and you have next years snows !

You and the Mrs. WILL be skiing again a year from now!

Thoughts and energy to you!

Have a VERY Merry Christmas and healthy 2007!
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the positive thoughts Str8 & WD!
post #11 of 18
Thanks for letting us know, BJ. There's nothing more life-affirming that learning that someone we know, however tentatively, has sneaked past a close call like this. I imagine you'll be skiing together again next year!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Nolo. We're going to start with golf this Summer and hopefully ski next winter. We'll have to take it easy, but easy is better than not at all!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

Unfortunately, we're back to no skiing for her this winter, but that seems ridiculously minor compared to everything else that's happened. We were extremely lucky and we'll muddle through...snow sucks anyway in the NE . Next year will be better!

Best wishes for your family. I'm sure your positive attitude will help your wife's recovery along greatly.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks num. It's easy to be upbeat after considering the possibilities.
post #15 of 18
Good luck, BTW, I just saw a news show last night that links use of Previcid and other heartburn medicines to Osteoprois and bone problems due to calcium depletion. With your Wife's bone problems, you may want to look into complications. As Isaid, good luck.
post #16 of 18
What an amazing story... you have that memory to relive as you wait for the next memory of skiing together, with this reminder of the vitality of your relationship as foundation. I wish you the best of your relationship and your vision and hope for a future... God bless...
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
........I'd love to get together for some turns, but it may be a while. Vielen dank und Froehliche Weinachten!
We will be in CNY for at least the next 4 years, we will ski when we can.

Gesundes Neuses Jahr!
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind thoughts Steve & also Lars (and thanks for the update on Prevacid).

TS, I was referring to our local ski conditions. I'll be able to get out this year if it ever snows.
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