Craniotomy, No. 2

Photo compliments of photographer and friend John Armitage, Feb 2012

We had lots of emotional discussion today. Tough decisions. After some self-medication, I was able to whittle down all the events of the day to provide you with this concise summation:

I am opting for brain surgery as soon as possible, which is likely to be early June.

I know that leaves out a lot of details. But don’t worry — things aren’t dire. Well, they might be. Who knows? That’s the problem — no one knows. It’s all a big gamble; each choice having compelling pros and cons.

My resolve is as strong as it has always been. It’s just my spirit that’s taken a trouncing. Expect I’ll be fine tomorrow.

I keep thinking that I’m being overly dramatic. But, this is kind of dramatic.

As always, I appreciate the flood of support.

Some of you have accused me of writing a post that inspired you. If I had to share my latest advice, it would be… to love. It’s simple and cliché. But everything we are can really be boiled down to Love — the basic unit of our being. Is this unconscious knowledge? If so, it must be easy to overlook; neglect; take for granted; or underestimate or else societies and our world would be a much more wonderful place in which to live. Don’t wait for a brush with mortality to embrace this. Live this and impress it on the youth.

I don’t wish a “brush with mortality” on anyone, but it seems to be effective.


My final design for the 10th anniversary t-shirt. A group of fine people I’ve had the honor to ride with for over a decade.

Specific updates, in case I’m not able to reach everyone.

  • Rat Bastards — I was so looking forward to riding to RHR X. Against odds, I still hold out hope. Shirts will get to you one way or the other, sooner or later.
  • Cotton clan — let’s call Florida postponed, not cancelled. Maybe even still on?
  • Maiden crew — not sure StapleHead will be ready to rock in time. Come by for a round of Grazers, though.
  • Neighbors — forgive my behavior in these coming weeks 🙂
  • Georgia friends — I have a week or two to connect before going under the knife. Afterwards, I may be fragile for a while. Don’t take offense if I get a little (more) anti-social.
  • Alabama friends — not sure if UAB treatments will continue. We’re not done visiting though.
  • R. Phillips — I’ll do my best to keep in touch and get together in the coming weeks. Thanks for the first-hand advice and support. Good luck with your battles.
  • Maudsley’s — see you soon.

Tina, I love you.

It would take eternity to explain exactly what all I mean when I say that to you.

Again, a three-sentence update, evolves into a long ramble into the wee hours.


16 responses to “Craniotomy, No. 2”

  1. Nikki says :

    Dear Ken, I just read your update. You are so inspiring and admirable. I wanted to comment because I receive inspirational quotes through an email daily. I thought this was quote was so appropriate after reading your update (coincidentally it was one of today’s quotes),
    “Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” – Max Lucado
    Sending some Cotton clan love your way!

  2. Chris Rief says :

    Love and support, and anything else you could need and I could give, are yours brother !!! Just let me know.

  3. Anonymous says :

    There is something about a serious illness, an accident, a dramatic change that forces us into the present. And as you write so beautifully it is there that we realize that the only thing that really matters in life is love. I’ve often wondered when this is such an obvious truth and one we all want to experience, why we often get forced there instead of going willingly, but when we are lucky enough to know someone who *is* there and reminds us, we are indeed blessed. And we are blessed by you. No apologies needed for ANYTHING you might want to love before your surgery, including needing to ride at 2 in the morning. Will respect your recovery time and need for privacy, but if you or Tina need anything, a run to the grocery, do some laundry, just holler.

  4. Hlee says :

    Ken – we’ve been thinking about you since reading your last two postings. Sometimes there are no words – or maybe appropriate words – to describe how we felt. Maybe it’s being parents now that we realize how vulnerable we are as human beings and it does color our approach to and perspective of life dramatic. I guess I don’t even want to use the word inspiration here for you because it entails a little bit of distance and at this point, we are feeling that vulnerable feeling because we just have love eminating for you as someone really special to us. SALT will be one of the most cherished and valuable evenings of the Curtins’ lives and one we will reference in our memory as a guide for what really matters. Please keep us notified. We really care about you and are sending nothing but that vibe your way.

  5. D.R. says :

    I love you Kebo.

  6. Anonymous says :

    Ken, u know how much you and all your family mean to me. Your strong fight reminds me of your dad and the love of course comes from your mom and your dad. The Maudsley friendship is something I will always cherish. If Tina needs me during this process, please give her my number and I will be there. You will be in all our prayers. Love you and Tina

  7. says :


    We feel that you have made the best choice by having surgery. If possible, we hope you will visit Florida as planned.

    All the best and much love from,

    Liisa and Ken

  8. Rob Marbury says :

    The greatest of these is love. — 1 Cor 13:13
    We’re here for you, Ken. If you need some comic relief or visitors before or during the down time and recovery, just call! (Rob and the Group)

  9. Juanita Krisher says :

    Okay, first, just want to say “CRAP” and you are awesome. Just know that. You have a gift and you have shared it with tons of folks out here in cyber land. I have passed on the book you recommended to a friend and to many of my wound patients. Second, II Timothy 1:7~ have it tattooed on your chest, butt, maybe on your pretty head. God does not give us a spirit of fear…but of power, and love and sound mind… repeat often and rinse. Ha!
    I will pray often for you, this is just another fork in your road.
    Take care my friend.

  10. Sharon says :

    Great design! I want one!!! Hope to still go with you.

  11. Andrew Loveman says :

    Ken –
    All the Lovemans send their best and will be praying for the precision of your surgeon, the compassion of the medical staff, the healing of your body, and peace for your soul.
    Glad we could get together a while back and I would love to see a Silver Streaks reunion with you as the guest of honor if possible. Also glad we could discuss some old issues and I appreciate your attitude and graciousness.
    You the man! awl

  12. Phillip Burchfield says :

    Pulling for you,dude!!!
    It’s unbelievable the courage you have, very inspiring!

    • Anonymous says :

      Keep rocking!!!! I’m glad to get a chance to have lunch with you yesterday….. I’m hopping for a goood MRI for u t

  13. Jonathan Godbey says :

    Your words about love are inspiring and true. I pray that the surgery will be a success and that you will know, live, and teach love.

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