How Was Your November?

Jen Cueva avatar

by Jen Cueva |

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mental well-being

We just celebrated Thanksgiving, y’all. Where has the time gone?

November was quite busy for me. I wrote in my last column about unexpected health issues with my hubby. Thankfully, he is recovering well and returning back to his usual self.

November was also Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. I led a project called “30 Days of PH,” a collection of unique perspectives from the PH community. If you missed the stories, which were primarily based on Instagram, check out the previous link to read each inspiring one. The writers were amazing to work with.

Because I am a “long-term” survivor of PH, I have lost too many PHriends along my journey. I know that by surrounding myself with a life-threatening illness, loss is inevitable. Just last week, I found out on social media that another local PHriend I had met with many times passed away. This was shocking for me, although she was a long-term transplant survivor, too. My heart ached for sweet Angie and her family.

I couldn’t hold back the emotions that consumed me when I read this. I called my husband at work without realizing that it wasn’t his break time. He immediately asked if I was OK. I burst into tears as I told him about Angie. Once I calmed down a little, my mom called me. We talked for a few minutes, and before we hung up, I lost it again. My mom told me we should be grateful that I am still here. Yes, I am grateful, but as I mentioned to her, I feel it is unfair.

A PHriend shared a photo on Facebook of a group of about five or six of us at another PHriend’s home where we had gathered for lunch one year. It was loads of fun. Unfortunately, now when we look at the photo, I am one of only three who are left. Yes, I am grateful that I am one of the three. But I also mourn for those we have lost. This reminds me of the reality that PH is life-threatening.

My intention for going on Facebook that day was to post my PH awareness project. Instead, the gut-wrenching news was the first thing that popped up. Angie and I lived about 45 minutes from each other. We had met on many occasions at local PH events and for tea luncheons. We would sit with a couple of other ladies to enjoy lunch and tea and to catch up. I will miss our tearoom dates and our texts. Just a few weeks before learning this heartbreaking news, Angie texted to check on me. She was a sweet lady, and I am happy we were PHriends.

In our broken world, there is sadness and joy in every home. We can experience these emotions simultaneously. In her book “One Thousand Gifts,” Ann Voskamp writes that “we must celebrate the joys of others, even as we ourselves suffer.” Reading this reminds me that someone is always either hurting or rejoicing. No matter the situation, I can celebrate with the ones rejoicing and cry and pray for those who are hurting. These feelings can coexist.

So, how was your November? 


Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.


Linda Grant avatar

Linda Grant

My husband,Jack passed away November 1st. He suffered with PAH for about three years. He tried Adempas and Letaris for a few months but had to stop because his body dropped below 100. It had taken a year to find out what was causing his shortness of breath. His cardiologist finally checked the pressure in the artery going into his lung. It was 104 and should have been 25. From that time his oxygen pressure went from being set on 2 to be on 8 when he passed away. We could only guess the cause, sleep apnea or sawdust. He was 76.

Jen Cueva avatar

Jen Cueva

Hi Linda, I'm sorry to hear about the recent loss of your husband Jack. I hope that you and your family can find some peace while knowing that he is no longer suffering or struggling to breathe. Spending you all warm thoughts and hugs. I'm sure this holiday season will be tough for you all.


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