Welcome to PHancy Free, a New PH Column

Rebecca Lidenberg avatar

by Rebecca Lidenberg |

Share this article:

Share article via email
pulmonary hypertension

RebeccaHello, everyone! My name is Rebecca Lidenberg. I’m a 30-year-old wife, mother to one fur baby, and the newest addition to Pulmonary Hypertension News.

I was diagnosed with Idiopathic pulmonary hypertension in June 2015. Before my diagnosis, I never had heard of it, and have spent the past year-and-a-half diving into this new world. Before this, I had been a (relatively) healthy adult, who was just learning how to live life big. When the diagnosis hit, I was sure that “living a big life” was over. But it has been just the opposite.

This has put every single thing I do into perspective, in a very real way. The little things are truly the big things. Those people who love you unconditionally will show themselves. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Live like you are dying. All those cliche sayings that I used to roll my eyes at have become true and meaningful.

A little about me

I was a nanny for many years. I loved it, and was sad to leave that job. But I am grateful I have the opportunity to take care of myself these days.

I’m a childhood cancer survivor, as well. When I was 3, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma. That crazy word means a tumor grew out of my bladder. I had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and this past summer I celebrated 25 years of being in remission. My body has been put through the ringer, that’s for sure.

I have one amazing husband, two sisters, and one cat named Oscar that’s my constant companion. I love cooking, baking, binge-watching Netflix shows, yoga, essential oils, writing, cross stitching, and holding other people’s babies. I hoard books, craft supplies, and I’m always rearranging the knick-knacks in my house.

Here are some things I hope to accomplish with this column: A day in the life of a pulmonary hypertension patient-or, as I like to call it, a “survivor “of pulmonary hypertension. I don’t see myself as a victim, or as an unfortunate soul who has had to learn to bear this. It’s simply learning how to live a new normal. Other topics to explore include: What it’s like to park in a handicapped spot. Lots of recipes. Support. Acknowledgement. And to let others know they’re never alone.

I also tend to take pictures of every aspect of my life, which you can find on my Instagram page: rlidenberg. I have a blog as well, at phancyfree.wordpress.com. Follow me. Make me follow you back. Write me notes. Let’s become friends.

I truly look forward to writing this column. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.

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.


Ella macleod avatar

Ella macleod

Thank you for sharing I was diagnosed a year ago in November. It has been a year of ups and downs for me.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

A Conversation With Rare Disease Advocates