Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I felt great after the walk along the ocean and felt even better after the rehab class yesterday. Sherman wasn't there so I must phone him today. When I exercise, my breathing is better for days and days afterward. Since I am with my mom today and we are going to be in a car to Nancy's on Thursday, I won't be able to do my exercise routines. Hopefully, yesterday's double dose of exercise will carry through.

While I was waiting in the lobby near the entrance to the rehab gym, a woman walked out of the gym and paused to put on her jacket. I began a conversation and learned that she received a heart transplant at my university hospital about three months ago. She was doing really well but was struggling with prednisone and additional weight. I gave her my prednisone diet (non-starchy veggies and protein) and told her how much better she will be feeling in three months after cardiac rehab classes three days a week.

I learned that she still had relatively young children and that she developed the heart problems as a result of radiation treatments for breast cancer over a decade ago. Oh, how far the medical world has come. When she told me she had beaten cancer and now is dealing with the transplant, I knew I was in the presence of a with a warrior. A survivor.

So I guess we all have a choice. When given the bad news, do we want to pretend we are fine? Deny the diagnosis? Wait to die? Or, are we warriors? Do we learn everything we can about the disease? Do we take care of ourselves by eating well and exercising? Do we stay active in our lives?

The choice is ours to make. I chose to fight and here I am, eleven years after my diagnosis and fourteen years after the disease invaded my body.


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