Brain MRI – January 25th

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No photos for today – just a screen capture of some illustrations I’m working on.

Latest medical update

Kevin got an MRI of his head so they can check for any melanoma lesions in his brain. This is a common place for metastasis with melanoma. Kara and Jordan took him to the University of Iowa, as Hannah and I drove the van and car back to Cedar Rapids from Cedar Falls. (My car was still at a customer’s from the kidney stone, since I wasn’t feeling well enough to drive that day). I’m so glad Kara & Jordan were here to go with Kevin, and I know Kevin was glad to have them there.

The kids saved the day. It is very hard to juggle money making with being at the hospital. I’m so sorry Kevin – and yet I’m also very glad Kara & Jordan were with you too. Kevin said he was incredibly dizzy from the dye (iron) and the magnets of the MRI, even hours later. His head was spinning for awhile, and he later went to bed with a persistent headache. Later he said he was feeling better.

Dispensary research

Kevin did some amazing, productive research today for MMJ dispensaries. Illinois recently made medical marijuana legal this past January 2014. Only 60 dispensaries will be allowed in Illinois – however, this is much closer than Colorado or Washington. Early in January I couldn’t find any Illinois dispensaries, but Kevin located one. This offers some potentially great options.

While there is still no firm clinical evidence medical marijuana works, the anecdotal evidence abounds. Given the severity and generally poor prognosis of melanoma, it seems to make sense to try what we can as long as it keeps other options open. So far that I can see, the only potentially disruptive side effect will be lowering blood pressure.

My research phase is done – at this point everything else is up to Kevin. He must make the choices that are right for him. I have turned my reading to healing and peace.


We’re still researching the trailer option. This will entail putting many things (mostly junk) into storage to sort or sell later. I need to make a decision for all of us tomorrow… a little bit of pressure! I think the ease of care, small yard and no driveway offers many advantages. Thanks to injuring my knee, living on one floor will have major advantages. But these are all rational things. Living somewhere must be decided with the heart.

I keep reading about the safety concerns people have about trailers. These people don’t factor in that our bedroom is right next to an aging, rotting tree that’s over 7′ around. I call it “The Ten Thousand Dollar Tree” since that was the estimate we got to remove it. It’s roots cause problems with our foundation, and the rest of it seems to enjoy scaring us during storms.

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

While I love our home and think it’s gorgeous, like a bad breakup I must psyche myself into thinking about things I hate. It’s like hating a grandma. How can you do that?

I decided to remind myself of how much my basement creeps me and everyone out. (Too bad our ants are dormant during winter, since they usually inspire hate.) I also tried to get real disgusted that our upstairs shower doesn’t work well, as well as missing quarter-rounds in places only real estate agents would notice.

Hannah, who looked at the trailer with me, said it felt much happier than our present home. She said, “this feels like our house on Harbet” – a rented home that nursed me back to health, so I could nurse everyone else back to health. I even found a random crucifix in that yard, which now hangs in our house.

Harbet featured panelling painted pure white, and newish kitchen cabinets. It was cozy from the tiniest corner in the basement where my desk was, to the happy-looking back door where the summer breeze blew in through the screen. I grilled kabobs on my hibachi grill and played Michael Buble on the stereo. I distinctly remember the first rainstorm we had there. Everyone else was asleep but I lay in bed watching lightning and listening to Enya sing “Listen to the Rain”. That remodeled home took me from being scared and transformed me. I remained excruciatingly lonely, however. That was later healed by Kevin.

Ironically, also on Harbet I fought hundreds of sprouting Japenense Knotweed – according to Eastern medicine, it’s a known anti-melanoma herb.

If this new place feels like a healing place it will be good. We need that.


4 thoughts on “Brain MRI – January 25th

  1. As many times as we have moved, the realization we came to is that the house is simply a dwelling. You make new memories and add your own energy. As Hannah said, it should feel good but Beyond that, it becomes yours when you make it that way.

    ….it is very hard to juggle money making with being at the hospital…

    I think you have always been a master juggler and your ability to accomplish great things simultaneously has amazed me for years. While it does seem like you two need to balance all this
    On your own, there are so many offering to help. Prayers make such a difference but so does dinner.

    Love you both 🙂


  2. I love to read what you write. So eloquent, always, w/ a bit of sarcasm and wit thrown in. You are an amazing lady, Kathy! But, I am feeling for you all right now. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Best of luck. Hugs, my friend!!


  3. Maureen just described what little I can contribute, when I wish I could make big miracles happen instead:…food and prayer. I pray for a solution in all of the areas you all need them. ..and I’ll bring applesauce cake. 🙂


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