Author Topic: In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011  (Read 5512 times)

Offline Libresqua Haner

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In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011
« on: May 10, 2012, 12:30:42 PM »
My mother died June 16, 2011 from Blastomycosis. She was only 61 years old. She suffered from Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Parkinson's, gout & she had kidney cancer in 2003 & had to have a right radical nephrectomy. Her immune system was already suppressed severely, which made her susceptible to blasto & alot of other things. The only symptoms my mom had when we took her to the ER was severe foot pain, which we thought was caused by the RA, Gout,& Lupus. We had taken her to the ER on 3 separate occassions, all in the same week & the drs kept pumping her full of Dilaudid (which did ot help the pain at all) & sending her home. Finally, the 3rd time there, I demanded a chest xray, SED rate, CBC, & alot of other bloodwork because I knew something wasn't adding up & wasn't right; being a healthcare professional myself. The SED rate & CBC were elevated & the chest xray presented, guess what?, "pneumonia". They finally admitted her & started giving her breathing treatments, which did not help. She became delusional & talking out of her head at times & I knew she was septic, so I demanded a CT scan of her brain,which came back normal. They were taking blood cultures & giving her breathing treatments around the clock. On the third day of her being in the hospital, (when she actually started experiencing respiratory symptoms & her O2 sats dropped to 80%) she was rushed to ICU, where she was started on a bipap machine. They put in a urinary catheter & drained alot of fluid from her kidneys & they also aspirated fluid from her lungs for cultures, & done another chest xray. When the results came back the next morning, we were given the diagnosis of pulmonary systemic blastomycosis. She was so gravely ill that the strongest antifungal IV medications (Ambisome) did not help. She was placed on a vent & was given the strongest & best drugs there were but she never got better. My dad, sister, & I had to make the hardest decision ever & take her off the vent because that was the only thing keeping her alive. She had already stopped breathing on her own. To anyone who has experienced blasto, or who is experiencing blasto, my heart goes out to you. It was the most shocking diagnosis ever & it all happened so fast. There have been several cases of blastomycosis within our area over the past year. Just this week, a member of my church called me to ask questions about it & she said another member of our church is currently in the hospital with blasto. This person had just completed chemotherapy, which made her susceptible to contracting blasto also. We all live in the same area/town in Kentucky. Her's is the 6th case from our area, including my mother's, (that I am aware of) within the past year. It is a very scary, serious, & deadly disease. The pulmonologist told me, my dad, & sister that to treat the disease aggressively & fully would take anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer & my mom was so gravely ill that we did not have that kind of time on her hands. A couple days before she was rushed to ICU & a diagnosis was made, one of her attending physicians asked me if she had ever been diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctors were all in shock because the only symptoms & complaints she had was excruciating foot pain. She was screaming & crying in pain non-stop & could not even sleep or eat. I have been researching this disease ever since she passed away last year. I dedicate this to my sweet mother, Virginia L. Haner, Sept. 9, 1949-June 16, 2011. She passed away 2 days before my 34th birthday. Gone, but never forgotten.

Offline lisakuhlmann

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Re: In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 04:43:39 PM »
You have my sincere sympathy. It sounds like you've been to hell and back. Thank you for sharing your story. Please take care of yourself, I see the anniversary of your loss is just around the corner. Please stay in touch and let us know if the number of cases in your area continues to increase. Was it abnormally dry in your area last year?
                                                               Big hug for you, hang in there  ;)
309-826-5472   lisa@ccaonline.com

Offline SheriL

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Re: In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 05:25:24 AM »
I am so sorry for the loss of your mother and all that she and you have gone through.  The knowlede that you have gained in researching this terrible disease may down the road help others in your mother's memory.  God Bless you and your family.

Offline Connie

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Re: In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 01:21:59 PM »
My heart goes out to you. Your mother and yous have gone through alot. I too had blasto in 1999/2000. It was a very long and painful battle. You are very dear for being there and demanding the testing. More of us need to do that. Take care.

Offline Libresqua Haner

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Re: In Loving Memory Sept. 9, 1949-June16, 2011
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 11:33:30 PM »
Thank you everyone for your sweet words. I had a rough day Sunday with it being our first Mother's day without her. Today would've been her's & my dad's 41st wedding anniversary (May 15th). Please say a special prayer for him. Last year was actually very wet in our area. There had been some heavy rain & flooding in some areas where my parents lived in Dawson Springs, KY. The doctors think this could've been the culprit, thus causing the blasto to stir up into the air from the wet ground & nasty waters. Her immune system was already suppressed from the Lupus, Diabetes, RA, Parkinson's, Gout, & previous cancer. I had studied all about this in microbiology when I was in nursing school & when the doctors came out & told us what it was, I almost hit the floor because I knew it was the end. She had been so sick & so weak for so long from fighting everything else & was in the most horrible pain everyday of her life with the Lupus & RA. To the ones of you who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease, my heart goes out to you. For the ones still fighting, my thoughts & prayers are with you. Thanks again so much for your kindness. God bless each of you.