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5 month update

July 14, 2013

I first of all want to dedicate this post to my friend, Karen, who just went through the operating room doors ( 3pm EST July 14) on her way to receive the Gift of Life.  I have been part of her support team and the last two months I’ve been able to help her occasionally in the physio therapy room as she kept her body strong for surgery.    She listed the week after I received my lungs.  She is strong and has a wonderful care team that I am proud to be part of.

I now know what it must have felt like for all of you, family and friends!  The waiting time while on “the List” and then the anticipation of whether the possible match was viable, and now the surgery, and then recovery.

I woke up at 3AM (prednisone can do that to you)  checked my messages and saw that Karen got the call last night.  She is now in the hands of the best of the best.  She can rest while they do their work.  I look forward to seeing her when I get back to Toronto and look forward to helping her in her post transplant journey.

Meanwhile, I’ve been out here at Games Lake in Sunburg, Minnesota for 3 weeks now.  The last 2 1/2 weeks were filled with family & friends visiting, holiday celebrations and the annual Stroh family reunion at Uncle Ben and Aunt Kathy’s lake home.  Being Duo Citizens, Scott and I had a lot of Independence celebrating to do and visiting with all the people who were part of my hands on team as well as those who were there in spirit and moral support.  Things have now calmed down, and Scott is back in TO for a couple weeks.  I look forward to  more friends coming to visit  and sharing with them what I could only observe a year ago.

This past year has given me life, there are several folks very close to me who had loss, who have given me strength even though they were in pain.  The Stroh family, Caroline, Shannon, Ben, Kathy, John, Anne and the rest of the Stroh Clan –for Cousin Steve; Katie Malone and the Malone family— for Jim Malone; Mike Edwards, Sue, Courtney & Hailey— for their Aunt Borgie, Keith Cormier…The love of his life— for Eileen, the family of my donor— My donor.

I am reminded to slow it down a bit, as the healing process is still happening, I have a fungal infection that is being treated and now a bacterial infection that I will start to treat tomorrow.  So needless to say, I’m learning what “immune-suppressed’ means.  I find that when I go outside, the world is very full, but overwhelming, I think I can jump back in, but I get a heart flutter every time I try something I haven’t done for such a long time.

The world has opened up for me again, but it’s heavy, and I’m so used to being confined, that I’m a bit skittish .  I’m not Atlas yet …in fact i can barely hold myself up in downward dog!  But I none-the-less feel better and more confident each day.  I’m Alive! and as Scott reminds me, ..since the moment we were told that lungs were available, every day, every hour has been better than the one before.  Two years of relentless descent ended and the walk back up started.  He is a wise man, that Mr. Dyer.

New life is everywhere, the prairie grasses and wildflowers are progressing, the female turkey and her chicks were outside my window this AM, the doe has brought her fawns close to the house.  Both mothers are very aware of the ‘humans’, they know when you are looking at them…don’t even try opening a door or window for a snapshot…they are off and running.

I have posted a visual update, may have gone overboard, and I didn’t even get to every one.  Lots of hugs, gratitude and thanks!!!

Walk up to our house in Toronto.  Slow and steady, but ready and able.

Walk up to our house in Toronto. Slow and steady, but ready and able.

Slow and Steady, my constant reminder.

Slow and Steady, my constant reminder.

These will bloom and hopefully bring the butterflies.  They had a bit of hard luck in Texas this Spring.....here's hoping

These will bloom and hopefully bring the butterflies. They had a bit of hard luck in Texas this Spring…..here’s hoping

Healing and grieving with my friend Keith.

Healing and grieving with my friend Keith.

 

Finally a time to relax. Sue and Penelope

Finally a time to relax.
Sue and Penelope

So nice to see these two relax.  Scott still has the arms crossed... hmmmm.

So nice to see these two relax. Scott still has the arms crossed… hmmmm.

Dad still gets himself down to dock to fish.  My inspiration to keep on moving.

Dad still gets himself down to dock to fish. My inspiration to keep on moving.

Angus needs me now.

Angus needs me now.

Love in action

Love in action

This I do not aspire to be doing soon.  But the thrill of the their ride pleases me.

This I do not aspire to be doing soon. But the thrill of the their ride pleases me.

this I can do!

this I can do!

Kenny

Kenny

When it comes to relaxing, Hammocks force the issue.

When it comes to relaxing, Hammocks force the issue.

Well maybe it's not relaxing for a active cocker spaniel.

Well maybe it’s not relaxing for an active cocker spaniel.

The Stroh's and the memorial tree for Steve

The Stroh’s and the memorial tree for Steve

Malones and tree for their Father, Jimmy.

Malones and tree for their Father, Jimmy.

They don't come just because we feed them, they also love our grasses.

They don’t come just because we feed them, they also love our grasses.

I welcome them to my little prairie, they eat the deer ticks.

I welcome them to my little prairie, they eat the deer ticks.

For Karen... see you soon!

For Karen… see you soon!

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5 Comments
  1. Frank Manzo permalink

    Slow and steady DOES really win in the end. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It is so great to see you enjoying each step of it. Your progress is amazing! … I love it even more that you’re giving back. Well wishes to Karen. She’s very lucky to have you as a running mate… xo

  2. Tammey Stroh permalink

    Thank you Pam for sharing with all of us! Uncle Ben keeps me posted. ALL the time and am so greatful for that. Ben has been such a big part of my life through the years and I know how valuable he is. Stephanie and I both have said that Uncle Ben has been a God send and we do know who sent him to us! I am so happy that you are doing so well, and please continue to post pic! The Stroh reunion is only once a year so we don’t get to see you very often.

    Love and prayers for a inspiring healing that really makes all of us think about what we have taken for granted!

    Tammey Stroh

  3. Frank Taylor permalink

    A lot of nice pics there, Pam.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    It is remarkable to think how much has changed in five months. You continue to inspire all of us!

    Cheers,

    Frank

  4. Carman Hamilton permalink

    Hi there Pam. Great to get your update. I’m very pleased you are progressing well , except for those little infections that we seem to get. I too am so blessed and experiencing activities that I used to do like golfing ( slightly shortened holes) entertaining with guests, etc. Keep healthy and strong my friend. carman

  5. Kathleen Grunden permalink

    How blessed you are to have such a wonderful family and so many supportive friends. And what a blessing you are to Karen. I’m so glad to hear how well you are progressing, and that you recognize that “slow and steady wins the race”! Continued prayers and good wishes . . .

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