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Heart Transplant and Loss

Well, I have a post entitled, 'Hibernation: Kidding, Kind of', almost ready to publish; however, this week has not resembled what it looked like on my calendar. In fact, the only thing that remained on the calendar this week was my husband traveling to NYC on business; everything else, and I do mean everything, became … Continue reading Heart Transplant and Loss

Grief and Loss

"Loss is a jagged pill, and grief, a constant companion in varying degrees." Stephanie D. Zimmerman My last post was ~2 weeks ago in response to the death of my cousin, Sherry. This past Sunday, I learned that my uncle Red married 50+ years to my aunt Jeanie, who passed away 2 years ago, had … Continue reading Grief and Loss

Late Effects: Anxiety, Depression, & PTSD

Today, I am attempting my first EVER Facebook LIVE with a closed group Surviving Survivorship that I recently created in an effort to raise awareness regarding late effects of cancer treatment months, years, even decades out from the end of treatment. If you are an adult survivor of cancer diagnosed from birth up to 39 … Continue reading Late Effects: Anxiety, Depression, & PTSD

When the Heart Fails

In February 2008 within the confines of the 4 walls of an exam room and a 20-minute not even 8 weeks after my valve surgery, my husband and I were told that my heart was failing. An encounter etched in my memory forever; an encounter characterized by shared disappointment and genuine compassion. After delivering this … Continue reading When the Heart Fails

Giving Voice to Trauma

"Hiding your core feelings takes an enormous amount of energy, it saps your motivation to pursue worthwhile goals, and it leaves you feeling bored and shut down." The Body Keeps the Score ~Bessel Van der Kolk, MD By way of background for those who likely don't know my story, I was diagnosed and successfully treated for … Continue reading Giving Voice to Trauma

Without the Organ Donor

"Without the organ donor, there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope, and a terrible loss becomes a gift." ~UNOS Without my organ donor, both her story and my story, would have ended on 4/21/2008; her story at 17 and … Continue reading Without the Organ Donor

Rosemary and Remembrance

"There's rosemary; that's for remembrance: pray, love, remember." ~William Shakespeare It was Sunday morning at the hospice house. It had been 3 days since I spoke with my mom for the last time as delirium and paranoia set in, and she finally slipped into a coma. Her last words to me, “hey Stephie!” followed by the … Continue reading Rosemary and Remembrance

Rosemary

" Rosemary, that's for remembrance." ~Shakespeare   Grief and depression are often exacerbated by the holidays; we tend to look back,  remember Christmases past, and for some of us, the whole month holds dates of great significance in our lives. I was admitted to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh on 12/11/78 [and] diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma … Continue reading Rosemary