Today is my lifeiversary!

Options
JanJan63
JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member

Two years ago today I had the pulmonary embolism that should have taken my life in an instant if it weren't for the intervention of some fabulous EMTs and emergency staff once I got to the hospital. Seven cardiac arrests is what I now understand to be true from what I've been told. One here at home, five in the ambulance, and one more in emerg. Monday I went to the station the EMTs in our town work from and gave them a big basket of treats to say thank you. Two more of the EMTs that had been there that I hadn't met before were there and were delighted to see how I'm doing. They both gave me big hugs. Treats seems like such a small gesture for saving my life but I don't know what else to do. Previously, while I was still in the hospital, two more EMTs that had been there came to visit me.

None of them thought I'd survive and one on Monday said they tried to revive me long after they'd normally have given up. Certainly nobody thought I'd survive and still be relatively normal. I'm not the same as I was, it's true. Physically I'm much weaker and fatigue quickly no matter what I'm doing. But I'm here to tell the story and to let everyone know that sometimes there really are miracles. Never give up hope. I was given a 3 in a thousand chance of coming out of it alive and with my brain intact and I did it. Not everyone will be so lucky but that doesn't mean it never happens.

If anyone is interested in reading this, here's a link to the article written about the day my doughter brought my horse to the hospital to see me while I was still in the ICU. I think it was on January 3. We were not directly quoted, the words are made a bit more appealing than what I actually said to the writer of the article. I was told I'd get to edit the article before it was published but that didn't happen. It makes both my daughter Heather and I sound a bit silly. I didn't say that I was 'peeking' from under my blankets, we're more down to earth than that. Nevertheless, it's kind of interesting.

http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/Page11020.aspx

My point in sharing this is to never give up hope. No matter what life throws at you always tell yourself that it will get better and you will overcome this. Sometimes hope is all we have. I dont ever want anyone to ever lose it no matter the circumstances.

Jan

 

«1

Comments

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    edited December 2016 #2
    Options
    Happy Lifeiversary! Miracles happen!

    Jan,

    I am so happy to hear about your remarkable recovery!  We know miracles happen every day all over the world - you are living proof of that. 

    For some reason, when I first read your story, I thought you had a stroke.  Does a pulmonary embolism cause stroke? 

    So many families give up when the doctors say a person will not recover fully.  My sister was one that they gave up on too soon in my opinion.  I sure wish they had tried harder. That was 18 months ago, long before I found out I have cancer.  I told my family that I want them to keep trying to save me if I have a stroke, even though I have cancer.  People can survive with few long term health problems just as you have.  I know many that have survived strokes, they are very happy to be alive, even if it has taken them a year or more to regain function.   

    May God Bless you with many more years of life!

    Joan M

     

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Options
    May you celebrate for many, many years

    I think I post for all many Happy Dancing Men and Women Many Happy Dancing

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Options
    Joan M said:

    Happy Lifeiversary! Miracles happen!

    Jan,

    I am so happy to hear about your remarkable recovery!  We know miracles happen every day all over the world - you are living proof of that. 

    For some reason, when I first read your story, I thought you had a stroke.  Does a pulmonary embolism cause stroke? 

    So many families give up when the doctors say a person will not recover fully.  My sister was one that they gave up on too soon in my opinion.  I sure wish they had tried harder. That was 18 months ago, long before I found out I have cancer.  I told my family that I want them to keep trying to save me if I have a stroke, even though I have cancer.  People can survive with few long term health problems just as you have.  I know many that have survived strokes, they are very happy to be alive, even if it has taken them a year or more to regain function.   

    May God Bless you with many more years of life!

    Joan M

     

    Joan, I did have a stroke as

    Joan, I did have a stroke as well. Several things were caused by the PE including a stroke, brain swelling, my kidneys shut down, I think that's it other than when I woke up from the coma I was paralyzed. Some other things happened like my heart raced at something like 170 beats per minute for two days or something like that then it went back to normal. My husband counted 17 IV lines. I think they all went into just a couple of lines in me.

    The expert in the ICU on brain trauma told my husband and daughter that if I survived I'd likely never be normal. He told them I likely wouldn't remember them or be the same personality and I'd probably need to be in a home for the rest of my life. I'm so sorry if your sister could have been saved. I spent almost four months in the hospital and for most of it I didn't read or watch TV, and I LOVE reading. I just lay there thinking. One of the things I obsessed about was wondering how many people aren't given the chance to survive but could have been fine or close to it. They told my husband and daughter that with my cancer history 'it might be kinder to let me go'. They were wrong.

    I thought a lot about being a patient advocate and wanted to find some meaning with my life after all of that but here I am, doing the same things I did before and not doing anything special. I'm kind of disappointed in myself. I feel like I was given a great gift but haven't used it for anything.

    Thank you,

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Options
    Trubrit said:

    May you celebrate for many, many years

    I think I post for all many Happy Dancing Men and Women Many Happy Dancing

    Thanks Sue! My daughter's

    Thanks Sue! My daughter's birthday was yesterday and she was talking about having crappy birthdays the last two years because when I had the PE I was on mop up chemo and had been miserable for a while, then the PE, and last year I was still not overlay well. I told her that this day should be a celebration. I didn't die, I lived. It doesn't need to be negative any more.

    Jan

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,280 Member
    edited December 2016 #6
    Options
    Inspiring Jan, and taking

    Inspiring Jan, and taking treats to the EMT's reinforces the message to keep trying, because you can make a beautiful comeback, and here you are..................Dave

  • Cathleen Mary
    Cathleen Mary Member Posts: 827 Member
    edited December 2016 #7
    Options
    An anniversary worth

    An anniversary worth celebrating. So happy for you.

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    edited December 2016 #8
    Options

    Inspiring Jan, and taking

    Inspiring Jan, and taking treats to the EMT's reinforces the message to keep trying, because you can make a beautiful comeback, and here you are..................Dave

    Thanks Dave! Yes, I wanted

    Thanks Dave! Yes, I wanted them to know that sometimes going on when it seems like someone really isn't going to make it might be the right thing to do. I posted a thank you on our town's Facebook page and have had almost 100 likes. I'm glad. I want everyone to know how wonderful they are.

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    edited December 2016 #9
    Options

    An anniversary worth

    An anniversary worth celebrating. So happy for you.

    Thank you! Last year on the

    Thank you! Last year on the first anniversary it was odd but it felt like a dark day and I just wanted to get it over with. Like it was tainted and something bad would happen again. Totally silly but there it was. This year I just feel normal. My husband and I were driving into the city at the time I'd have been being taken to the city by ambulance two years ago. He was saying he'd never have expected that two years later I'd be driving him around. He said that they had him sit in the front seat of the ambulance so they could work on me in the back and he didn't know if I was dead back there. It would have beeb about a 30 minute drive to the hospital.

    I drove today because I yap at him about his driving so he prefers to have me drive. :(

    Jan

  • traci43
    traci43 Member Posts: 773 Member
    edited December 2016 #10
    Options
    Happy lifeiversary!

    That's quite a story.  So happy you made it through.  Would have loved to see the horse in the hospital!  Never give up, never surrender, that's my motto.  Traci

  • kmygil
    kmygil Member Posts: 876 Member
    Options
    Wonderful!

    HAPPY LIFEVERSARY!  You truly are meant to be here to continue to inspire others.  Thank you for your story.

    Kirsten

  • Colonchick
    Colonchick Member Posts: 36 Member
    Options
    Awesome to hear!!

    I'm so happy that you are doing well! I love your positive spirit and wish you the best!!

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Options
    traci43 said:

    Happy lifeiversary!

    That's quite a story.  So happy you made it through.  Would have loved to see the horse in the hospital!  Never give up, never surrender, that's my motto.  Traci

    Thanks Traci! He was just

    Thanks Traci! He was just outside one of the doors, not actually inside. He was a perfect gentleman.

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    edited December 2016 #14
    Options
    kmygil said:

    Wonderful!

    HAPPY LIFEVERSARY!  You truly are meant to be here to continue to inspire others.  Thank you for your story.

    Kirsten

    I don't know if I'm inspring

    I don't know if I'm inspiring anyone but I hope so! Thank you! I love the dog in your picture! We have three dogs and they are my babies.

    Jan

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Options

    Awesome to hear!!

    I'm so happy that you are doing well! I love your positive spirit and wish you the best!!

    Thank you! Usually I am

    Thank you! Usually I am positive but sometimes I can certainly get down like we all can. I have my next CT scan on Tuesday to see if the lung mets have grown. I had a follow up appointment booked for Dec 20 and moved it to january because I don't want another Christmas and new year ruined. Hopefully it's good news or at least not bad but we always have to prepare for the worst.

    Jan

  • Colonchick
    Colonchick Member Posts: 36 Member
    edited December 2016 #16
    Options
    Good news it will be in

    Good news it will be in January then!!!Wink

  • Joan M
    Joan M Member Posts: 409 Member
    Options
    Sharing your story is a great thing!

    Jan,

    Getting your story out IS doing something great with your life!  Your recovery truly is a miracle.  I told my family that I want them to do everything to save me if I have a stroke from the chemo meds I am on.  There was a 37 year old women in our community who died from a stroke a couple of weeks ago.  She thought she had beat the cancer and was enjoying life with her young children. She went to hospice after the stroke and died.  Telling your story can save people like her, and all the other cancer patients (like me) who have the increased risk of blood clots and strokes from giving up if or when the tragedy occurs. 

    I have said so many times that doctors can't know if a person will be "brain dead".  Of course they have statistics, that show the probability.  But why not give everyone the chance to see if they are one of those that can recover?  I have heard many survival stories like yours where the family was told to let go and some were even asked to sign forms to donate organs of their loved ones.  I understand that not everyone makes it, but there could be so many more if the families understood that many people do survive against the odds.  

    Keep telling your story.  It is a great one!

    Joan

      

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    edited December 2016 #18
    Options
    Joan M said:

    Sharing your story is a great thing!

    Jan,

    Getting your story out IS doing something great with your life!  Your recovery truly is a miracle.  I told my family that I want them to do everything to save me if I have a stroke from the chemo meds I am on.  There was a 37 year old women in our community who died from a stroke a couple of weeks ago.  She thought she had beat the cancer and was enjoying life with her young children. She went to hospice after the stroke and died.  Telling your story can save people like her, and all the other cancer patients (like me) who have the increased risk of blood clots and strokes from giving up if or when the tragedy occurs. 

    I have said so many times that doctors can't know if a person will be "brain dead".  Of course they have statistics, that show the probability.  But why not give everyone the chance to see if they are one of those that can recover?  I have heard many survival stories like yours where the family was told to let go and some were even asked to sign forms to donate organs of their loved ones.  I understand that not everyone makes it, but there could be so many more if the families understood that many people do survive against the odds.  

    Keep telling your story.  It is a great one!

    Joan

      

    Thank you Joan. It's

    Thank you Joan. It's something that really bothers me. How many people have been given up on? The 'expert' in the ICU told my husband and daughter that I had a 3 in a thousand chance of surviving even somewhat mentall intact, he figured the odds of me being the same were non existent. My husband was upset because when we went back and showed him how well I was doing he was kind of dismissive. I guess I made him look bad. Well, that's too bad. It happened and it might happen to other people, too, if they're given the opportunity. I'm so grateful I didn't end up lying in some home being cared for by strangers and am exactly the same as I was before but maybe I'm not the only one who can do so.

    At one point during my physio- I mentioned that I was fully paralyzed after it all, right?- one of the rehab nurses told me she'd watched a show the night before and they'd talked about the difference between very successful people and other people. They said it wasn't business smarts or anything like that, it was just grit. Then she told me I had grit. She said "Ive watched you struggle to stand again and to just pick up the cups (stacking cups was a dexterity activity) and I thought of you,you have what they were talking about, you have grit". It made me feel really good.

    I had several experiences in the hospital that made me grateful to be cared for by the people who did care for me. Some of them I still can't think about without getting weepy even now.

    Jan 

  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
    Options
    Trubrit said:

    May you celebrate for many, many years

    I think I post for all many Happy Dancing Men and Women Many Happy Dancing

    dancing men

    I see you got your dancers to work again!  Happy Happy!

  • ellend
    ellend Member Posts: 109 Member
    edited December 2016 #20
    Options
    Truly inspiring story

    Happy liveiversary! Glad your family kept fighting for you and that you kept fighting. Congratulations!

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478 Member
    Options
    ellend said:

    Truly inspiring story

    Happy liveiversary! Glad your family kept fighting for you and that you kept fighting. Congratulations!

    Thank you! I'm happy to still

    Thank you! I'm happy to still be here. I went for a CT scan this morning and was in the same room as I was in when I was unable to move. Brought back memories.

    Jan