Months and months ago SW proposed. “Kim, when I get my next sabbatical what do you say we drive across the country and back?”

Like most girls, when a person pops the question, I got all flustered! Clusters of butterflies dancing in my tummy. Uh, of course!  Yes! Yes! Yes! How long? Where should we go? Can we go to Santa Fe?  I want to see Niagara Falls! The Black Hills… YOU gotta go to San Francisco! Let’s do it!  Oh…I love you.

Then the Kim Crumble.

An era of one health issue after another, much like the Roman empire I was in ruins.  The evil seed of doubt, planted in my brain. Will I be alive to make this trek? This invasive specimen, grew. Psycho-killer-slow-and-steady undetectable, but you know, you know, it is lurking, hovering in the shadows.  Ready to pounce. My dinged-up armor, a composite of thousands-of-dollars-worth of MRI’s & CT’s and brilliant specialists watching me like a hawk, provided me with mediocre protection at best.

I needed recovery time.  (Refer previous  post)

Simultaneously…I wish I was making this sh!t up.

The Campbell Driveway was missing a major component.  Our brand new Dodge Ram Promaster, AKA: Vanish (No joke, it is her name!) was gone!  Vanish, our to-be home on wheels scheduled for some major reconstructive and cosmetic surgery was already putting a kink in the schedule.  She had a roof leak.  Not just any leak, but a leak that took 4 different trips to the dealership to repair, totaling over 8 weeks.  Ugh, times two.

Morale at home was at an all time low.  Me feeling like a pile of rubble, too exhausted to drop the “are you seriously effing with me Dick Hanna Dodge?!  I have cancer!  Fix my blankity-blank-BLANK van!” Equally frustrated SW maintaining his optimistic & stoic stance in public yet routinely popping antacids behind closed doors. Both of us avoiding the topic knowing a full system failure might ensue.

Dreaming. Wanting. Fantasizing. Wishing. None of this was happening. Glimmers of hope in my eyes were gone.     …But not for long!

“I still don’t want to perform surgery, Kim.” All time favorite phrase from my neurosurgeon.  Whew!  I prefer to suffer the effects of Dexamethasone over a craniotomy too.

“Vanish will be ready for pick up tomorrow,” SW relayed to me, “I hope the damn-van is actually repaired!” Home testing the leak was easy. Inspired by my team of brainiac doctors we applied their highly refined evaluation method… watch and wait, followed up with more watching and waiting.  Turns out, this is not so scientific and exact.  Standing in the van, eyes shifting from roof to floor, evaluating if water was present during a typical PDX rain event.  Eventually, I got cold.  Called it good-n-sealed.  “She’s stable!  I’m out.” An abbreviated chuckle escaped.  Please tell me the docs are much more sophisticated. Pretty please?

A few more course corrections later and moods evolved for the better. The ‘Fog of Meh’ lifted. Holy moly, we need to get this show on the road!

IMG_2862Now the fun!  Cramming in months worth of construction into half the time.  Mapping out our 6-week adventure Across the Great Forty-Eight.  Scheduling doctor appointments galore. Trying to find driveways to park in (showers to use?).  How done do we need to be before our May departure date?


Please add your 45-cents. Where would you go on a drive across the US?

About kimmywink

I'm Kim. I've got advanced lung cancer. It sucks.
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43 Responses to Committing!

  1. You should come to Harrisonburg, Virginia!! You can use our shower! And guest room! And I’ll feed you! We have caverns and mountains and all kinds of stuff worth seeing! Please put a pushpin on the map for the Shenandoah Vallley!! 😍😍😍

  2. Cherry says:

    If you find San Diego or environs on your itinerary please know that you are welcome in our humble abode or driveway and that good things await you! Best wishes always Minty love Cherry 🍒

  3. annelewis46 says:

    Since you are in Oregon you probably won’t be coming through Arizona, but if you do you can stop in Casa Grande. Fun! A girls road trip like Thelma and Louise.

    • kimmywink says:

      Anne, You are likely right about Arizona but you never know. I’d like to say our plan will be loose how loose I am unsure.
      Thanks for commenting! 🙂 Kimmywink

  4. bettyfm says:

    I am Michael Davidson’s mom. You must see the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota. It makes Mt. Rushmore look tiny. If you get to Northeast Arkansas, you can park in my driveway, use my showers and even sleep in my guest room. I’ll be living in Jonesboro which I about70 miles Northwest of Memphis… Graceland? Beale Street? Fun places!

  5. Diane Legg says:

    Hi Kim – If Boston and/or Maine is on your trek we would LOVE to have you as our guests….parking and showers included! 🙂

  6. Molly Beard says:

    Awesome news! Wheeeeeeee! If you go thru New Orleans, go eat at Lola’s. Best meal of my life!

  7. Stacy says:

    Our driveway and showers are always available!

  8. linnea11 says:

    Mendocino and the Redwoods on the way to San Fran. Grand Canyon and Arches. Texas. New Orleans and Nashville. Of course Niagra Falls–see it at night as well. Boston, because I live not too far away and can put you up in a cool artist’s community. And then lobster in the other Portland, Maine.

    xo Linnea

  9. dwilliams066 says:

    The Smithsonian. Not too far to Gettysburg. But definitely the Smithsonian.

  10. Valerie says:

    Wyoming was one of the most beautiful places we drove across (two summers ago on our way to visit family in Wisconsin). The side trip to Devils Tower (1/2 paved path circumnavigates this awesome rock) and having some of Thomas Jefferson’s original vanilla ice cream on a cone strolling around Mt. Rushmore, (plus the gorgeous ancient scenery) was well worth it!

  11. So glad you’re feeling better and can plan a big trip! I’m a nature geek, so my cross-country trips include a lot of national parks and natural wonders: Columbia River Gorge, Craters of the Moon, John Day Fossil Beds, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Devils Tower, the grand circle of NPs in Utah/Colorado/Arizona, Rocky Mountain NP, Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon, Okeefenokee Swamp, Everglades, and lots of museums. And a stack of Roadside Geology books.

  12. matisse says:

    Downtown San Fran Fisherman’s Wharf ….. and Girl you know how I hate downtown, it’s the coolest! Iove you! don’t miss it!

  13. Joe says:

    My ideal trip would involve two segments: music and nature: 1) NOLA to Chicago. This would be the music trail following blues, folk, and rock and roll with stops at graceland, Muscle Shoals, etc, ending in the blues clubs of Chicago. Leg 2 would be SD, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Oregon, Washington, ending at at Mt. Rainier. The other idea is to follow old Route 66 out west.

  14. katycv says:

    Have a wonderful trip! If you feel like parking at our house in the woods of weird New Jersey while you take a day trip to NYC – please do. I love the forest, but I get lots of energy from the city. Doctor trips are even okay because I get to be part of the crazy fabric of New York. Beautiful buildings, beautiful humans – love it.

  15. Nina says:

    If you want to visit New Bedford Massachusetts my family would love to host you! You can go to the Whaling Museum – think Moby Dick. Just say the word…

  16. Mark Hawkins says:

    So glad you two are getting away! Check out the Old Port area of Portland, Maine … you won’t regret it! Oh, and be sure to have an Amato’s Italian Sandwich from any Amato’s sandwich shop. Have a great time!

  17. tammycarmona says:

    You have to go to Ouray, Colorado! The hot springs made me feel like a new woman! If you make it to North Carolina we will feed you and give you a place to crash! (P.s. My hubby is a chef!😍).

  18. Kris Adams says:

    Kim, If you are driving down the CA coast, don’t miss Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just south of Carmel ( a couple of hours south of San Francisco). Also, I have a driveway and a shower in the SF Bay Area if you need it. Regards, -Kris

  19. Kimmimoe says:

    Whatever is on your list of “want to see”, go see it. For me it’s seeing Billy Joel playing in Wrigley Field in Chicago this summer.

  20. Lizzy says:

    You’re welcome in this historic southeastern corner of Pennsylvania anytime! As for places to see, I highly recommend the Natchez Trace Parkway – it runs through northern Mississippi, part of Alabama, and ends near Franklin, TN, which isn’t too far from Nashville. I spent a summer there and was surprised by how much I loved the south. Big South Fork national forest is nearby in TN, too. Gorgeous. Up north, Portland, ME has spectacular food, beautiful coastlines, and even the mountains. And the north shore of Lake Superior – spectacular cliffs (some fun climbing!) looking out over the lake, lots of cool (cold!) streams and waterfalls to explore within an hour or so of Duluth.

    Wherever you end up, enjoy! Sounds like a good time.

  21. Shawna Lum says:

    I stumbled across your blog on my lazy Sunday. Ever since my two aunts got diagnosed with cancer I have tried to help with some research. I really like how you have this blog going and I also think it is wonderful that you are planning a trip across country. Go check out Grand Canyon and Havasu Falls. Also, Utah has some amazing national parks.

    Aside from that, both of my aunt’s got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer the same day, October 13, 2015. One has breast, the other lung. This news was struck by my family hard, but both aunties are super positive and are demanding control back of their body from the cancer.

    Both auntie’s are experiencing very different situations. One auntie has a lot of pain and is having much depression. She won’t eat etc. Another is working in order to pay for her chemo treatments and you wouldn’t even be able to tell that she has cancer because she is full of life. She is also very mentally tough and actively takes supplements which help boost her immune system.

    I wanted to possibly pick your brain and get some feedback from you regarding your experiences. Maybe you could help me with some lessons learned and I could pass some of these onto my aunties? I really want to help my aunts out and I would appreciate if you had any time to speak with me. I want to help make a positive difference in their lives.

    Thanks again for reading this.

    If you send me an email hopefully I can pick your brain a little bit.

    Take Care and I am keeping you in my prayers,

    Shawna Lum

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