PH Awareness Month has begun! And while I have so much information to share about PH and what it is: the symptoms, the treatments, dealing with it on a daily basis, etc, I'm taking the time today to remember my phriends (friends with PH) who have sadly passed away from this crappy disease.
I became a part of the PH community when I started my first-ever treatment back in 2003. I didn't know there was a website available, and only discovered it after opening my first shipment of Tracleer. Every shipment includes a lot of paperwork, and a flyer for the PH Association was included. I logged on and began at least a week-long cry fest! The tears were of shock that there were others out there like me. They were tears of joy that there were others out there like me!! I read the message boards for days, every single message, and I started to post when I felt comfortable enough to share my story. It was an amazing experience, to finally be able to relate to others.
Not too long after that, I thought I'd try out the live PH chat rooms. I became hooked. It was so cool to share in real time experiences I've dealt with all my life. I will never forget the two ladies who made me feel so welcome in the chat room: Tanya (Seaspritemo) and Brenda (GeorgiaBrenda). Tanya was funny as hell. She made me laugh every time I was in the room, and eventually the few times I talked to her on the phone. She was a fighter, or a phighter,and had many problems to deal with on top of her PH. She passed away a few years ago, and I miss her spunk! And then there was Brenda. She had a quiet kindness about her, always had a "smile" in the chat room, no matter how she was feeling. She led the Wednesday night chats for a long time. About 4 years ago now, she missed several chats, which was really not like her. I tried calling the number she had given me awhile before that, but I always got an answering machine. Finally, per the suggestion of another phriend, I did some investigating on the White Pages, and found a neighbor's number. The gentleman at the other end was very kind, but also very sad to tell me that Brenda had passed away a few weeks before. I was so sad to hear that she was gone, too. I wanted to continue her Wednesday night tradition, so I asked if I could host her chats, which I continue to do to this day.
So today I'm especially remembering these two ladies who made me feel so welcome in the PH community via the chat rooms. I have an unfortunately huge list of phriends who have gone before Tanya and Brenda, and ever since then, and I will always remember them as well. But Tanya and Brenda were the welcoming committee to the beginning of my online PH journey, and I just can't ever forget them.