My Story

Welcome to Jim's CaringBridge website. I've created it to keep friends and family updated about Jim's progress. Get started by reading the introduction, MY STORY.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write Jim a note in his guestbook.



Jim was diagnosed with kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) with possible bladder and/or prostate involvement on Monday, November 22nd.  He was seen by a urologist (surgeon) on Tuesday who determined that two surgeries would be needed.  First, to remove the kidney (one half of which is made up of cancer), and the second to operate on the prostate and bladder.  This outcome of the second surgery is the unknown right now since they don't know if the cancer has spread there.  The lymph nodes look good (hurray!), but they are going to remove some during both surgeries to see if the cancer has metastasized.

Monday, November 29th, Jim has a pre-op physical with his doctor.  During that visit, I am going to tell the doctor about dizzy spells and migraines that Jim has been experiencing and see if he will do a MRI or CT prior to surgery more to relieve Jim's fears than anything else.

Tuesday Jim has his pre-op lab work, and has surgery on Wednesday, December 1st at 11:00 am.  The surgery is expected to last three hours.

He is expected to be in the hospital for four days, and will come home with a supra pubic (think that's right) tube in place of a catheter.  Jim chose to have the tube coming out his side instead of being catherized (who wouldn't???) for six to seven weeks while he awaits his second surgery.   His surgeries will take place at Regina Medical Center in Hastings, MN.

For those of you who know Jim, you know that he is not a complainer.  Ask him how he feels, and he will respond with a resounding, "Great!"  His enthusiasm for his customers at Funkie Gardens, for designing gardens, and helping them with garden concerns is legend.  And it has been said on many occasions that he could sell ice to Eskimos.  But I know he would only do that if he felt they really needed it!  Because for Jim, it is not about the sale, but enhancing the lives of others.  And gardening is such a passion for him, that he loves to share it with others.

He also is a very talented artist.  His past series of paintings included the Quincy Mine operation in the Keewenau National Park, and, most recently, a series of 22 paintings of National Parks in the Western U.S.  Jim's paintings are in private collections and also in the collection at the Quincy Mine site.  I have posted photos of his most recent series under the PHOTOS tab of this website.

Be sure to visit the JOURNAL tab for periodic updates.

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Jana Lawton posted a new journal entry, "Cautiously Optimistic!".

We are cautiously optimistic after receiving the good news that nothing showed up on the CAT Scan yesterday.  I say cautiously (I am the cautious one, Jim is optimistic), ... Read more

Lucy Forsting signed Jim's Guestbook.

Hi Jim and Jan, I'm going to take the optimistic approach, too, because if anyone deserves to have a wonderful life, it's both of you!  We absolutely love the painting, ... Read more

Sandra Abraham signed Jim's Guestbook.

Hi Jim, I was surprised when I got this notification after such a wonderful summer. You are a survivor and those of us who are on your team believe in you and your ... Read more

Jana Lawton posted a new journal entry, "Cautiously Optimistic!".

We are cautiously optimistic after receiving the good news that nothing showed up on the CAT Scan yesterday.  I say cautiously (I am the cautious one, Jim is optimistic), ... Read more

Sarah Spencer signed Jim's Guestbook.

Jana for Jim: I am so sorry that you are going through this, seems that when things start looking up, something comes along to bring us down. But I know that you will ... Read more

Carol sewell signed Jim's Guestbook.

Hope it is only good news today. Let us know as soon as you find out anything. Love, Bill & Kay Read more

Ann Good signed Jim's Guestbook.

Dear Jim & Jana, I am also available to take Jim to & from his appointments... you just keep us posted on when and where, OK?  I have added Jim to two prayer ... Read more

Pam Goodreau signed Jim's Guestbook.

Jana: I want you to concentrate on getting Jim well and don't dwell on how he will get to his appointments.  I will take him if need be----and I mean that with all ... Read more

Jana Lawton posted a new journal entry.

Well, the cancer is back.  We found out late Wednesday that the lab results reflected its' return.  On Wednesday, Nov 30th, Jim goes in for a CAT Scan with contrast to ... Read more

Jana Lawton posted a new journal entry.

Well, Jim's appt with the oncologist on the 28th has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for the latter part of April due to insurance reasons.  Again, frustrating!In ... Read more

Lucy Forsting signed Jim's Guestbook.

So happy to hear of the steady progress being made by Jim.  I'm sure that once he can "play" with the plants again, recovery will be even speedier.  I wish we ... Read more

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