In Honor of Kevin Lorenzen
My husband is "my world", and I have called him that for many years. We met back in 1996, and he changed my life. He was in the Marine Corps for 8 years before we met, and he has always been tough, but we had no idea what tough was until the year 2003 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Medulloblastoma. We got married in 2000, and I am blessed to have become a stepmom to three wonderful kids: Roman, Devon, and Amanda. We also have a wonderful dog, Shorty, who loves his "Daddy" so much!
Kevin was working in a battery warehouse and was doing a lot of heavy lifting in 2003. He mentioned that he kept having a shooting pain go from the back of his neck up to the top of his forehead that would last for several seconds, so he went to our family doctor who sent him for a CT scan. The scan came out normal that day, and we were both relieved and went on with our daily routines. His family doctor called a few days later and said she wanted him to see a Neurologist. The Neurologist believed that he had occipital neuralgia, which is something that weightlifters sometimes have, and she put him on a medication, Neurontin. That did not have any effect, and we went for a follow up a few weeks later.
Because my sister was a family doctor in Virginia, we had mentioned to her Kevin's symptoms, and she said that our doctor would probably send him for an MRI. So, when we went for the follow up, I mentioned "What about an MRI?" The neurologist said, "Well, I can send him for one, but it will come out normal". So, we went on July 2nd, 2003, for the MRI, and then went out to dinner afterwards, not thinking that anything would show up in the scan.
Kevin got the dreadful call at work the next day that they found something they did not like and wanted him to get a spectroscopy, a more intense scan that would measure chemical levels in the brain, on that coming Monday. We were both off from work on that Friday, the 4th of July, and I recall being scared to death the whole weekend.
On Monday after the spectroscopy, we found that the doctors were 99% sure it was a brain tumor. That was later confirmed at Duke when we met Dr. Allan Friedman, the best Neurosurgeon in the world.
After meeting Dr. Friedman, my husband and I finally felt hope that we would get through this. We recall Dr. Friedman saying that he had already taken out three tumors that day, and we were just amazed.
After surgery and several weeks of recovery, Kevin started radiation under a wonderful Radiation Oncology Dr. at Duke, Dr. Edward Halperin. We go for Kevin's MRI's now every 6 months, and everything has been clear for almost 5 years now. He works as a Federal Corrections Officer in Butner, NC.
Kevin is a wonderful father and the best husband and friend for which I could ever have hoped. I feel blessed for every day that I have with him.
We are so thankful for the people at Duke who made such an awful time in our lives manageable. We absolutely love Dr. Nicole Larrier and also Nurse Jayne Waring. They both were so supportive and alway with smiles and hugs, so professional but with such compassion. We couldn't have made it without them. We are also very thankful for Dr. Kasibhatla and Dr. Kirkpatrick, who is Kevin's current doctor.