Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Sunday, April 2, 2017


The ride up the beautiful coast was fine, going north, and I arrived to Kathy's funeral very early. I was amazed that I had driven past this area and never noticed that there was such a huge complex - a Catholic Church, a funeral parlor, the Rectory, a school and a large circular building that sells flowers. There was a wedding finishing up in front of the church so parking was impossible. I made another circle and found a spot along the entry road then walked up a hill to the church.

I met Kathy's husband near the door of the church and we were able to speak for a few minutes. I learned some things about her passing. If I can give you any advice at all, Dear Reader, it is to once again resist the easy route of a local pulmonologist. I know they are closer to home and a smaller office and easier all around but this advice is especially important if you have a more "rare" Interstitial Lung Disease or a lung issue that is unusual. Please, please ask to be referred to a local university's research hospital. They are at the forefront of the latest trials and treatments of these diseases. They have seen it all before. Kathy's husband was frantically trying to get her into one of our wonderful renown university hospitals a few days before she died. Too late.

Kathy's friends and family came from all over the globe. It was a Catholic Mass and really no eulogy. The priest spoke about their work within their parish but nothing about her life. The hearse was ready, we were all now gathered out front when the director of the funeral parlor announced that the service was now over. No reception. Rather awkward.

It seemed unfinished somehow. I walked back to the car then had to drive past the hearse to leave. Tears began and I said a very quiet goodbye to Kathy as I slowly passed.

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