Great to hear from you - we're very grateful indeed for your feedback.
I'm pleased that you've taken up our suggestion & started learning kana ... and that you feel you're already reaping the benefits, in practical ways.
When you say "... there not being any true katakana text", we take this to mean that you aren't finding as much katakana text examples to practice reading since katakana isn't used in written Japanese as extensively as hiragana [?] That is, katakana is mainly found in the form of 'loan words', rather than used to inflect verbs, for prepositions & particles and when no kanji exists for a uniquely Japanese term [さん being a good example].
I think you'll find that the katakana will be easier to remember the longer you're exposed to them.
Where are you getting your kanji cards? Have you been able to visit any bookshops during your visits? As I said to you in the follow-up to your course in September, if you can find the time to spend a day or so in Tokyo, go to the Kanda district, Tokyo's bookshop quarter. Maruzen is an excellent bookshop [chain - so you will find outlets in all major cities] - for learning Japanese material & for English-language books about Japan.
I have found Kenneth Henshall's A GUIDE TO REMEMBERING JAPANESE CHARACTERS [Charles E. Tuttle Company/Tokyo: 1988] a really useful reference guide to learning the 1,946 joyo kanji [常用漢字]. Maruzen is a great place to browse ... and to find surprising titles/resources.
We'd be grateful if you would keep us posted on your progress ... and please use this Message Board to pass on any tips you feel would help others following your example.