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Monday, April 29, 2013

Big MAC Attack

Those of you who have read the Gypsy for a long time know that I deal with a chronic and incurable lung disease called bronchiectasis. The past few months have ranked high on the challenge list for me.
 
This winter it seemed like things were getting worse. In the winter I had bronchial pneumonia and was on IVs for three weeks. The exhaustion started long before. I chalked it up to the holidays. I don't think that's it anymore.

At long last my pulmonologist referred me to an infectious disease specialist. After giving up 10 vials of blood, spitting in one cup and peeing in another, then getting a chest X-ray, I just had to wait. For eight long weeks.
The results are in. I haven't quite figured out quite how to process all this but the diagnosis is something called "mycobacterium avium complex" or MAC. Yes, I have a big MAC attack. It is related to the tuberculosis germ and it is very serious, but is not contagious.I was totally freaked when I tested positive on one of the TB tests (which is also used to diagnose MAC, but I didn't know that at the time.) I was frantic that I was contagious, so this is a great gift.

MAC appears to come from the environment (water, soil, air) and lands in people who are immune-suppressed and have lung disease. In fact, I came to learn that women 60+ with bronchiectasis are targets.
In other words, I could be swimming in the same ocean as Rick, walk the same dusty road or fly in the same airplane and if the bacteria was there, I would be likely to attract it, while it would roll off him like water on a duck's back.
The literature says treatment is long and arduous, involving a three-drug regimen of oral antibiotics for 15-18 months. The side effects of the drugs appear to be nausea and gastro-related, as many chemo symptoms are. A loss or radical change in vision is another even more disturbing one. Or, as my doc said, the cure may be worse than the disease. For a visual person, one who does art and loves to read, this is almost more frightening than puking is annoying. Apart from the coughing and yuck, one of the key effects of the disease itself is chronic fatigue. Which explains a lot.

To add to the mix (and to add insult to injury), the debilitating headache I've had for a week on only one side of the head appears to be shingles. I'll get that confirmed later today. But it sure looks likely.

I've just had it. I don't know whether I'm angry, tired, frustrated, defiant or conquered. A little bit of all, I think. And definitely depressed.

For those of you who have hung in here this long, I apologize for too much information. But I did so for a couple of reasons.
First, most of you who comment (and with whom I've established warm friendships despite the miles between us) do indeed live far away. But through sharing our stories over time, I have found a great network of support and encouragement. We cheer each other's successes, whether they relate to family or career, art challenges or sports achievement. And we bolster one another when we are down -- when we are sick, stressed, under too many pressures from work or school or illness or family issues or all of the above. 

I need that support right now.

Also, I know from my stats that a lot of people who visit the Gypsy don't comment. I wish they would! They may be colleagues or family members or old friends who see the post link on FB. Still, you can be part of that support system and I need you, too.

Until I am set up with a treatment plan, I don't quite know what is in store for me. I'll find that out very soon. I have a lot of questions for the docs and more pop into my head every day. I will always wonder if they could have tested me for this sooner (and why they didn't) and where it came from in the first place. Those are things I don't know that they can answer.

I have to let that go and focus on the road ahead, not the one behind. There are lots more that they can and those are the ones I  must focus on.
I talk a good game but that doesn't mean that I'm pretty darned scared, at times a bit emotional and I'm certainly not unaware of the life changes that this could bring. I do a lot of things and I love them all. I love working with community groups, going to art classes, savoring my friendships at book club and wine group and those things matter to me. As I have anticipated retirement, I've thought of things I'm excited to do -- travel, write, meet new people, make art, go beachcombing, take cooking classes, hang at the lake, get a new job or pick up part time or freelance work.
I know I may be able to do some of those things. I'm not quite sure at this point what is really possible, at least for awhile.

What I am holding in my heart right now is the example of so many people I love who have faced something I suspect is far scarier and more life threatening than this. The women in my world who have had cancer, breast, brain, bone. The men who have had prostate and other cancers. Our own Greg and others in Rick's family with thyroid cancer. Cousins who deal with ongoing pain or have experienced major surgeries. The friends who deal every day with chronic disease. And so many others who just deal with "it." Whatever "it" is.

I have role models in my mind -- some of you are among them; strong human beings who have looked physical and emotional challenges in the face and said, "You don't get me yet."

I didn't go through all the labs and appointments to get to this point and say, "Well, thanks for looking into it, but that sounds a little yucky, so I think I'll take a pass."
I'm in it to win it. 

Thanks for being there.
(And I promise that The Marmelade Gypsy won't be a daily journal of progress or back step. I'll keep you posted, of course. But it will be what it has always been -- a little bit of art, a little bit of life, a little bit of photography, a little bit of travel, a little bit of the joys, a little bit of the challenges. Join me for the ride.)

56 comments:

Ruth said...

Jeanie, while it's good to finally know what is really going on, this is all quite heavy and overwhelming. I pray and trust that somehow, as treatment begins, you will be able to focus and feel at peace in spite of everything. I give you a big hug, all the way around the big MAC.

Mike said...

I am so sorry to hear of what is happening to you. It is so unfair. But you can and will find a way to overcome everything that is thrown at you. You are strong, resilient and bright. Also I am certain that the turmoil you are experiencing with your job only exacerbates your physical problems and when those issues are resolved your health will almost certainly improve. And one last point. Good chocolate and petting Lizzie is bound to help.

jamieh said...

Jeanie ,I am so sorry to read all this. it sounds terrifying and scary for you and will be a challenge for you. however , in all the time i have known you you have faced so many different moments if joy and stress...sins like it is now time ti they to pull the energy yo have shown and turn it inwards. this time it is for you and about you. all of us are sending hugs and warm thoughts. we will ride this with you and be there to hold your hands..even if only virtually ! please keep us posted with updates. we alkaline care. Jamie

jamieh said...

Jeanie ,I am so sorry to read all this. it sounds terrifying and scary for you and will be a challenge for you. however , in all the time i have known you you have faced so many different moments if joy and stress...sins like it is now time ti they to pull the energy yo have shown and turn it inwards. this time it is for you and about you. all of us are sending hugs and warm thoughts. we will ride this with you and be there to hold your hands..even if only virtually ! please keep us posted with updates. we alkaline care. Jamie

Kate said...

Jeanie,
I'm in it to win it with you and will do whatever it takes to make that happen for you. As a wonderful friend and compassionate support system for so many people, you will find that your blog comment capacity may be overwhelmed by comments from all those you have touched.

Smashley said...

Jeanie, I'm so sorry you have to add another thing to the "list." The positive side of things is that there is a treatment if it comes to that, and lots of side effects occur very rarely. Still, it's not an easy decision. I hope the fatigue and general feelings of ickyness leave you soon, and don't come back!

I had shingles in middle school (urg) and there was no anti-viral med that worked to help it then. They thought I had it again in college (turned out to be symptoms of something else) and apparently Valtrex can help reduce the symptoms/breakouts. Also, capsaicin cream helps dull the pain. It's usually used for arthritis, but it also works on shingles pain!

Sending lots of hugs, hope you are feeling better soon!

Ashley RJ

Beth said...

So sorry you are having to go through this. I am sorry I haven't kept in touch lately either. I am living with constant pain from acute arthritis in the ankle I fractured last Fall. Also my Mom's health is rapidly declining and I am her only care giver now. And still keeping my precious Granddaughter. She is what keeps me going. I pray that they find a way to treat you that doesn't cause such severe side effects. Don't give up my Dear Friend. I am not giving up either. Still hobbling around my yard this spring planting flowers,,lol.
I will try to keep in touch more often.
Lots of Love,
Beth

Joanne Huffman said...

Sending gentle hugs and positive thoughts. When you can name something, you have power over it; so, I think you are on the path to controlling as much as possible. Remember to rest enough, take care of your needs, and let people help you when they can. Good luck with the shingles thing; I hope it's as light a case as possible.

Jeanie said...

"I'm in it to win it"....of all the information in your post that is the line that stood out to me. Whatever else needs to put on the back burner for now please do all that you can to take care of yourself. You WILL win it and when you have the vibrancy of your life will be all the more sweet. Please know that though I am far away, my thoughts and prayers and hugs are with you.

~*~Patty S said...

Feeling at a loss for words here dear Jeanie ...
may the circle of Love and caring you have around you even across the airwaves help you make the very best of your diagnosis and health issues.

Your positive attitude and bright disposition will help all along the way I'm sure.

Sharing my favorite blessing with you my friend:

May the long time sun shine upon you
All Love surround you
and the pure Light within you
guide your way on...

BIG (((hugs))) and healing wishes always!!!
oxo

anno said...

Jeanie, I am so sorry you have this ahead of you, and, honestly, it makes me more than a little angry as well -- it just seems so unfair. I hope you find peace in the midst of all this, and I hope you can feel all the love surrounding you. You are in my heart, friend, and I hope you are feeling better soon. xo

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,

My heart goes out to you.. I know this is very scary, and I want you to know I am here for you.. I will keep you in my prayers daily, in hopes you will be on the road to recovery as soon as possible...
Bless you dear friend, sending you a big hug!
Penny

Beth M. said...

I envy your strength and honesty. To be so open with people who already care about you. To say without trepidation--"Hey, I feel like a stray dog wading in a pool of garbage juice over here! So care lots and LOTS more for me right this very moment!! While you're at it, jump in your time machine and get me one of those 'Care Bears' (ca. 1985). Yeah, the one with the sunshine tummy or maybe the heart tummy--Tenderheart or some nonsense--so he can blast some animated healing energy in my general direction. But, of course, only if it's not too much trouble."

And I totally would get BOTH of us some 80's cartoon bears, that is, if I had a vehicle for time travel...and maybe a few less psychiatric medications on my nightstand. :P

So we both know what it's like to weather a chronic, debilitating illness, where entertaining a cure is laughable but somehow ongoing treatment to manage randomly reoccurring symptoms is acceptable. (REALLY?!?) Actually, it's not acceptable. It sucks! [Herein lies the comfort...] You are not alone. And I know that you'll dig this: the state of man is a cooperative endeavor in the state of nature. (Good stuff, eh??) We strive to make sense of our world through individual experiences and social interactions.

Well, my personal experience is allocating two-thirds of my 31yrs to duel with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. I know all about the anticipation of recovery only to be blindsided with setback after setback. I know what it's like to fear the unknown. I know how to be a model patient and still not get better. I know how infuriating it is when a nurse is unsuccessfully sticking you with IV needles because all of your "good" veins are scarred from decades of treatment. Hell, I know what it's like to vomitate* in public!

And, in this moment, I know that we share a connection amid each of our unique struggles. As my therapist says, "This is NOT a pity party!". Rather, this is a "What-It's-Like-To-Be-Human Meetup" with several new acts opening for some familiar headliners: love, happiness, pain, joy, tears, relief, anxiety, smiles, cats, macarons, ladies' tea, fairies, fellowship, decoupage, changing seasons, family, Paris, more cats,...(Did I mention cats??). In sum, I'm sorry that you're hurting in this moment. But this moment will pass and, though another may also bring discomfort, there's a chance that it may bring relief. And those are pretty good odds. :)


*Ask for Zofran, either pill or intravenous dose, to curb tummy trouble!

Linda said...

Jeanie.... ditto what the others have said. I will be praying for you.... for strength and wisdom... and that you feel the love of God surround you. And for healing... and for the side effects to be minimal. Anxious to hear about the shingles. For the last 3 plus years, I get shingles several times a year. They are always in the same place and they are mild outbreaks. They make me tired. So they would certainly add to your tiredness. Hang in there... you are such a strong woman, I know you will conquer this! Hugs to you.

Lisa Crumley said...

Jeannie, I wish I had words to comfort and heal you. I am so sorry this is happening to you. It must be terrifying and frustrating -- along with a host of other things. I appreciate you sharing with us so honestly. I am sending you love and good thoughts. I encourage you to do whatever you need to care for yourself -- I recommend Reiki, meditation and guided imagery (I especially like Belleruth Naperstack who does a lot of guided imagery for different conditions and situations), and anything else that makes you feel even just a little better. Hugs to you, Lisa

karlascottage.typepad.com said...

Best of luck with your tough decision. And hopefully, the Dr. says no shingles right now, my fingers are crossed.

Stefanie said...

Dear Jeanie,

I'm so Sorry to read about your desease an Feelings about it.
So Sorry that I have not enough englisch words to comfort .
Send you big healing hugs!

Maybe you're interested in photos of my dolls to distract you from your thoughts.
So I send you a link to my other blog.

Stefanie

Http://sammelleidenschaft.blogspot.com

Friko said...

O sh*t.

Actually, now you know what you are facing. Which means you can line up the big guns to deal with it. And beat it. Some people look problems squarely in the eye, curse a bit, wail a bit, get very cross, but get the bugger in the end.

You appear to me to be one of these people.

Janet said...

Jeanie, I'm at a loss for words! I'm never very good at expressing myself. After reading your post I'm struck by two things...the unfairness of it all, and the strength with which you are approaching it. As for support, you have mine 100%. I've admired your blog for all the things you mentioned. And I admire you for sharing this personal piece of information with us and admitting that you need some help from us.

Hang in there! I'll keep you in my thoughts each day and send lots of positive thoughts your way. Whatever you decide to do regarding treatment, you'll do it with class and determination...just as you do with everything else.

Anonymous said...

Well....that's pretty darned exotic for a diagnosis, but in a world of baseball caps you are always the silk top hat with a peacock plume.

Seriously, though ... we're with ya. I'm with ya. Miles apart, but with you in spirit and that's powerful.

Last year at this time, Paris. Next year at this time, this will be well behind you and you'll be up to your ears in good times and fun.

I'm betting on it.
LOVE YOU.
Maryanne in SC

Retired English Teacher said...

Oh Jeanie, I am so sad and upset after reading this. I hardly know what to say, except, I am here for you. I also wonder if it would be possible for you to come out to Colorado to go to the National Jewish Health. (see https://www.nationaljewish.org). They are the leading respiratory hospitals in the U.S. I have had the good fortune of going to this hospital for 17 years. Their doctors are awesome. I am only 70 miles away if you come out, you can stay with me. Really, write me or call me. We can talk. Love you.

artful joni said...

Jeanie, I just stumbled across this blog and stopped to read the story of your illness. My 29 year old daughter has been sickly for the past 10 years. We could never get to the real cause. We just went from Dr. to Dr. and they would try something else. This past January she suffered a neck injury which thankfully she has made a full recovery from. When i watched her in bed so sick and depressed I knew we had to get to the bottom of what was happening to her. In talking to the Dr. that was treating her for the neck injury we met an internist that searched this out for her. She too has a rare disorder that will take a year to treat. But she will get better now that we know the direction to take. Even when days seem heavy with so many unanswered questions, I would encourage you to continue looking for the answers that will take you to a path of healing. Once you have that plan in place, just take it a day at a time. There will be good days and not so good days, but there will be the results at the end. Faron's immune system is so low that she also contracted her condition when none of the rest of us did. She is taking predigested protein drinks everyday and that has helped with her immune system. Good luck on your journey and let others help you. Joni Russell

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh Jeanie. I just want to reach through the computer and give you a big hug. I am so sorry that you are dealing with all of this - it's a lot of 'big stuff' to take in and process, but I am glad you are giving yourself time to do so. I am sure the questions are piling up in your mind, and hopefully you get answers soon. I will be thinking of you and praying for you and sending warm thoughts from North Carolina.

I do commend you for having the strength to say that you need help and support. I think sometimes we feel like it makes us weak to admit we need help or encouragement, but I actually think it takes a strong person to let down your guard, admit your vulnerabilities, and ask for help.

And I am happy to see all the wonderful comments you have received so far. You are loved and adored by many, including myself!

Marilyn said...

Jeanie,

What wonderful support I see here. I am so extremely sorry you are having to venture through this, but I do know you will win in the long run. Thanks for sharing this with us and including us in your support. We are here walking with you, sometimes providing a place to put your head down and cry, or maybe to scream, and sometimes even to see something humorous in the adventure. Love you and I am here.
xoxo Marilyn

Introverted Art said...

og my goodness Jeanie, it is good to have name but man, you are a trooper!

anno said...

checking in ... wanted to make sure you had PLENTY of comments. Just in case I needed to make up some fake identities or something. But, as I suspected, that won't be needed. You are so loved.❤

Mae Travels said...

I'm so sorry to hear the long and difficult process you face. I wish you the best.

Vivian Swift said...

Hi Jeanie --

I read this in an AA memoir, that clapping for a person's "share" in a meeting is how recovering alcoholics buy each other drinks. So to leave a Comment on your post is how us remote supporters hand you a big glass of champagne and toast your spirit and your courage. I also toast your sadness and grief and weariness: some days it's too much work to smile for the camera. Whatever you feel like celebrating, good or bad, here's to you.

Susan Bailey said...

Keeping you in my daily prayers, something good will come out of this though that may not be evident right now. I think of those pictures on your blog of the footprints in the sand - yes, He will carry you, but it also reminds me that one step at a time is all we are expected to do. We're all with you!

Maggie said...

Dear friend I am so sorry to hear this news, thinking of you and sending Reiki healing to strengthen you and help you through this testing time.
With love
Maggie

The Artful Diva said...

SO sorry to hear about your illness, Jeanie. You've been dealt a crummy hand, but I know you will come through it all with style and grace. I'm praying for you, kiddo!

I need orange said...

What hard things to have to take in, and to face!

It doesn't seem fair -- you already have one issue -- stacking another biggie on top of that just isn't right.

Sending you best vibes, that the docs can come up with a treatment plan that helps you feel better, without any significant side effects!

Bella Rum said...

Jeanie,
I've known for some time that something was amiss. You've done all of your readers a service by being brave enough to write about how difficult this is. I think that we're sometimes afraid to admit that we're frustrated or angry or depressed. You make it easier for others to admit those darker moments by sharing yours. I thank you for the links. I stopped by in the middle of the night last night. I often find myself here when I can't sleep. You have a way of lifting my spirits. That will not change.... even if you write about the less than happy things. I admire your classy style. I can't tell you how sorry I am to learn this. May your treatments work their powers and may the side effects be negelible. Share when and what you please. We are in your corner. You are in my heart, always.
Bella

Jan said...

Jeanie,
You are an amazing person and I am so blessed to have the gift of your friendship. I believe putting it all out in the universe helps you & others deal with coping, and you do it all so eloquently! I'm in it with you and will be there along the way to see your progress and hold you up when you need it. Your stories are beautiful, photographs pure artistry, and your way of getting through this will be a heartfelt journey of love and emotions! Healing thoughts and love coming your way endlessly! xoxo Jan

Keith said...

Jeanie,

I'm really sorry to hear about your illness and challenging course of treatments. I know you'll meet these challenges as you always do. But, after Carol's illness and experiences of my own, I also realize how important it is to treasure each moment of happiness that you have each day. Illnesses have a way of giving you new perspectives about what is important in life, in relationships, and in goals for the future. Your friends become much more important, and small things bother you less. Your friends are with you in this course of treatments. You only need to ask if you need health. You've been such a good friend forever. It's time for us to be there for you.

My Grama's Soul said...

Oh Jeanie....i am so sorry to hear of this happening in your life. I am a fairly new follower so I am just learning about you...but I do feel you will do whatever is necessary to keep your sunny out look and continue doing the things you love as often as possible.

You are in my prayers.

xo

Jo

Anonymous said...

Jeanie, I was so surprised when Rick told me that you are fighting the deamons again. This computer doesn't like me writing to you either so tomorrow I will call you. Hugs and prayers are with you. Love, Kitty

Anonymous said...

Dearest Jeanie, I havae been out of things the past month or so and so was surprised when Rick told me a little while ago that you are again fighting the deamons. But at least this time you have a name for it. I hope that helps a little bit. Please know, dear daughter, that you are continually in my prayers and hugs, and if you need them a little closer, collect from Rick. Love, Kitty PS This was first message I found when signing off!!!

Arti said...

Jeanie,

I'm saddened to hear of your diagnosis. It must be overwhelming for you and Rick. But just hang in there, now that you know what needs to be done. I pray that God would give you the strength and resilience that you need to overcome this. Stay close to Him, our healer and friend.

Are you taking time off work? If so, you can now have some more free time to do what you enjoy. Focus on your interests and passions that can turn you away from looking too closely at your condition. Yes, do arts, read books, take photos, and blog. We're all here to accompany you on this journey, albeit not physically close, but still just a click away in the blogosphere.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Jeanie, I'm sorry your health troubles have multiplied. You've done so much in spite of your bronchiectasis, I know you have deep personal resources to use in dealing with these new challenges. Thank you for sharing so honestly and inviting the support of your readers and friends. You honor us with your openness and I hope we'll be able to help with our support and positive energy.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Hi Jeanie - I find that fewer than 1% of my readers comment - although you are really good about it. Thank you! You have no shortage of commenters today ;)

I am so sorry to what you are going through at the moment. It sounds scary and unknown. I hope the sun shines down on you brightly through these days! Thinking of you, xoLaura

Quiltmoose - Dagmar said...

Dear Jeanie,
I am so sorry to read about all your health challenges - as if you hadn't had already enough on your plate!
I am sending positive energy and healing thoughts your way!
Hope you can feel my virtual hug!

Dagmar

Tracy said...

Oh, Jeanie... bless you! I'm so sorry you're having to deal with so much these days. And that the treatment you will be undertaking soon causes such adverse reactions. The reduction of eye sight... Oh, my... And now shingles to boot. I know how scary all this is for you. So much not know yet, so many questions. Take one step, one day at a time. Focus on you and your health, what you need. Let go of what you don't need. Do what you can. I can maybe help you along with tips on the fatigue thing. ;o) (I've actually been going through a bad patch lately. I'm giving myself pep talks...LOL!) Will be here still for the ride along with you, whatever it brings. Know you are loved and supported. We're cheering you on, Jeanie... and holding you gently in our hearts too. :o) ((LOVE & BIG HUGS))

Peter Olson said...

Of course, to read this was not really joyful, but the way you say things is so full of good, right, feelings that finally one takes pleasure reading it! Of course, I have no advice to give, except - just keep on being the person you are!

... and I feel that blogging should definitely also be for this kind of stories.

shoreacres said...

When you listed your current experiences with this disease - with the whole complex of conditions you're having to deal with - you included "conquered" along with angry, frustrated, depressed, and so on. That's the only teeny-tiny disagreement I have with what you wrote here. The very fact of this post is the best demonstration of all that you aren't conquered at all. Tired, yes. Frustrated? Absolutely. Ready to smack the universe upside the head with a 2x4? Probably. But not conquered.

Deciding to take on the treatment is the only rational response. If I were 85 years old and offered chemotherapy, I probably would say no. But you're in the prime of life and have a lot of living to do, and if I were in your situation I'd say "Bring it on".

I wish there were something I could DO. But of course, I'm a "fixer" at heart, and have been since childhood. Sometimes things can't be fixed, they just have to be endured until they fix themselves.

One note re: the shingles. Mom endured them for a couple of years, and once they were gone she was given a drug called neuronton to deal with the lingering pain. It worked like a charm. I'm absolutely certain your docs know about it, but if they haven't mentioned it, you might ask. There are the usual concerns about drug interactions, etc., but it never hurts to ask.

As for the rest, I'm thinking about Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird". He said, ""I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."

OldLady Of The Hills said...

My Dear....My heart goes out to you in this MAC dilemma. I know you will make the right decision for yourself about this---Not an easy one, I know. I'm with you, as you know, in the Bronchectasis.....Stay strong, my dear, and weigh all the possibilities....! You've already been through so much---now, Life has handed you more. Soooo not fair, but...who ever said life was fair?
I'm so happy for you that you have such a strong support system---Essential to helping in one's overall well being, I know.
I send you Healing Hugs, my dear Jeanie....
((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

paris parfait said...

Oh Jeanie, this is awful news. Such an annoying turn of events! But if anyone can meet a challenge, it's you. You are stronger than you know and it sounds like you have good doctors on the case. Plus you have lots of people around who love and care for you. Be gentle with yourself, as you adjust to all these changes. Find your own rhythm in dealing with these health issues and reserve a few minutes every day for something that makes you happy/brings you joy. And keep fresh flowers in your house at all times - no better mood lifter, other than perhaps the laughter of a child. Thinking of you and sending positive energy and big hugs across the miles. xx

Annie said...

The best part of this is that now you have an answer. There is nothing more depressing than feeling sick and not knowing what the heck is going on.

Along with everyone else, not so happy with shingles landing on top of this at the same time. The good news? Shingles are temporary. They will be gone and a lot sooner that the lung issue. I've been around shingles a bit and though damned uncomfortable, it DOES go away.

Loving you from afar. Praying for you daily. And looking forward to seeing a healthier you when we meet in spring of next year.

beth said...

oh jeanie....first of all, here's a huge hug!! next, my heart is aching for you. it doesn't matter to what degree any of our problems are, but when they are our own problems they're big. it's obvious that here, your blogging home, you have tons of support and prayers and i hope you feel that right now as you deal with this ugly disease.
i'll be thinking of you....so much !!
xo

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Oh my sweet sweet friend. If only my viritual hugs would do you good! I wished I lived closer so I could pamper you with my home made chicken soup, arrange a wild flower bouquet in your home, bake you my famouse apple cake and spoil you with goodies, tell you stories, share my pictures and talk for hours just so you could 'forget' a little about your sorrows and pains. I'm so here for you when you need a blast, or leat of steam. I'm also kinda worried now for my little man, he's called (as you might know) Mac and he has a sevire long condition too....brrrr I sure will have to look into this, you've opened new doors for me here (sorry it had to be you).

I wish you all the best and I'm sending you lot's of support, love and prayers. And don't you think about other people's grieve nor their pains. This is yours and you're intitle to 'have' it. Every body carries their own bag of lugage and it's hard on each and every one of us.

Do keep up your spirits as high as you possible can my friend, and when moments are down, just let them flow in, sit down and pamper your soul with grieve in any outcome that suits you. All tears will heal you and let the anger out.

I'm ALWAYS here for you my friend. Again as sayd if only I lived closer.......

Soft warm wonderful hugs from my heart to yours.
Dagmar

I need orange said...

Thinking about you!

Jenny Woolf said...

Jeanie, I am sad and angry to hear that you have this hanging over you. I know from having read so much of your blogging that you are strong and you will cope. Thinking about the prospect of something bad is always upsetting; so when life is whirling around you I hope you will be taking few moments out of your day to remember the things you love and that make you happy, just to remind you that there are always good things.

And I hope that continuing to communicate with us through your beautiful blog will be rewarding for you, too.

I'm thinking of you.

Barb said...

Oh, my goodness, Jeanie - how can you have Shingles along with the lung issue!! Do you have any accumulated sick leave so you could take some paid time off work? Would there be any option for early retirement? I just think the work stress isn't helping your health. But, I know your retirement is in sight. I thought of you so much at Zion and Bryce - so good to get into a high desert environment for a week. We returned home to Breckenridge last evening in snow! I both biked and hiked on our travels, but my aerobic capacity and strength are much less than before January. Little by little, I feel that I'll regain health. I hope it is the same for you, though I think you have a longer road to travel.

Naturegirl said...

Oh dearest Jeanie I came in and read this post a few times and had to step back and absorb it all!!
I know that you are experiencing a wide range of emotions.
Illness is a private territory but as you mention we are a close community of caring bloggers. When one hursts we all feel badly and want to do what we can .."The swords of battle are numerous" I can see from the numerous comments left that words..all words..have the ability to change our thought patterns and can open new pathways toward healing.
I so understand your feelings of overwheliming fear of the unknown as you well know I have walked the cancer journey twice.
What can I say, stay positive,may you find the courage to persevere on your journey to wellness.
Know that you are in my prayers dear one and I send you healing energy. love and light Anna xo

Gathering at the Table said...

Supporting you, praying for you, continuing to encourage you and remind you that I am here in this land of blog for the things you speak of too. So sorry I had missed this. I've been through so many changes lately (reflected in all my blog changes) that some days I do not know my left from my right.
PLEASE keep us posted. As always, feel free to email WHENEVER you like, dear Jeanie.
HUGS,
Marcia

Oh, great natural mix for the lungs...even recommended for TB... beets, honey and ginger. Peel and slice the beets, cover with honey and ground fresh ginger. Let sit until it makes a watery liquid. Take spoonfuls throughout day. Of course, check meds and allergies.
xoxo's

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I wish that I was close enough to give you a hug or two and to be a comfort. Bless you, my friend.

Bises,
Genie

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