Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making Comments; Exploring Lungs

Two more suggestions about making comments, in addition to Sara's post: First, it’s safer to write out a comment in an ordinary word file, and then copy and paste it into the blog—that way you can’t lose it if the link goes down while you’re working on it. And second, sometimes we can’t figure out who a comment is from, if just a first name is used as your sign-in and Brooke knows at least half a dozen people with the same name. Of course, if it’s a clever nickname we can sometimes sleuth it out, but unless you’re really shy about using your last name we’d love to know it too.

Now for Brooke-news: They’re really going after that recalcitrant left lung. He had a bronchoscopy today—this involves threading a tube down inside the trach with both a camera and a suction device. The idea is more or less search-and-destroy, get rid of those pesky residual secretions that have been causing such problems. The procedure was not only a great medical success, but an aesthetic achievement as well: you can watch (if you want to) on a monitor as the camera moves inward—this is through the branching structures that lead into the lung, an elaborate and beautiful interior architecture that recedes seemingly endlessly into deep, mysterious wells as their diameter grows smaller and smaller. (If you’ve enjoyed your own colonoscopy, you’d love this.) Bottom line: you can live with a guy for more than thirty years and think you know everything about him, but you’ve hardly seen anything until you’ve seen the insides of his lungs. Wonderful. And clearing up.



Barbara nd Robin said...

15 January 2008

Reading your last comments on the blog, Peggy, it flashed through my mind that Fear of the Unknown would weigh so heavily on a patient in Brooke's condition . A phobia-like fear in which one is helplessly caught and has to fight a terrible fight to be able to take the very next breath. Experiencing "enough" of these crises might give Brooke a feeling of trust in his body to come through for him again and again; therefore trust and hope can grow.
These are indeed tiny steps forward into continued positive thinking towards beating this affliction. The extreme willingness to live that the body can display is a revelation about which one must marvel over and over again. This does take so much physical and mental strength for sure, and you especially, Peggy, contribute to Brooke's strength as do all his family and friends - what a Well of Plenty!
Robin and I wish we could be with you, see you, talk to you and hug you. You are always in our thoughts. Bisous et nous vous embracons. Barbara Beus

Brenda Cowley said...

Dear Brooke and Peggy -- I fear I am one of those guilty of signing off as "Brenda," because I thought my post was labeling me as "Brenda Cowley." But I just checked, and it's just "B.C." (I thought I fixed this.) So -- this is Brenda Sue Cowley, (formerly Larrinaga) -- I want you to know that I check the blog daily, and that the two of you are in my thoughts always. Just plain always. I have a feeling that a lot of people feel that way -- the two of you staying in our hearts throughout the day. Each and every day. How amazing to "travel" your lungs through Peggy's words, Brooke. I'm wishing you WELL, my friends. Every single day...Wishing You Well.
Brenda Cowley

T.R. Hummer said...


Remember "The Fantastic Voyage," that awful sci-fi movie about doctors who shrink a submarine and go, via injection, inside someone's body to scope out a problem? Sounds like you've been on the Fantastic Voyage, at least into your own left lung. I had a remotely similar experience last year when I saw a sonogram of my heart in action. Highly detailed imaging. I know the present situation is full of trouble, fear, and pain, but there must be wonder too. The body is miraculous and strange, and we're lucky to live in a time when the technology exists to enable us to have a look inside.

Hang in there, Maestro. And thanks, Peggy, for sending us a postcard from the Voyage.

Terry Hummer

Erik and Sandy Brunvand said...

Dear Brooke and Peggy -

I feel bad that I haven't left a comment until now. Sandy and I have both been following Brooke's progress through the blog and you have both been in our thoughts ever since the accident.

In particular, we missed you both at our new year's party this year. I have very fond memories of you both sitting in our living room singing along to all that great old folk music going on until the wee hours. Next year we expect you both to be here!

We've also missed running into you both on our trail in the foothils. Actually, we haven't been up much in the snow letely, but it was always a treat to see you both up in the hills. Another thing to look forward to in the future, somehow.

Of course, we can't really imagine what you're both really going through, but it's amazing to hear about it expressed so elequently in your blog.

I love Terry's comment that connects your recent lung inspection to the movie Fantastic Voyage - awful perhaps, but still an trashy classic! Courtesy of Google, here's a quote from that movie (as the're marveling at some internal human anatomy):

"The medieval philosophers were right. Man is the center of the universe. We stand in the middle of infinity between outer and inner space, and there's no limit to either. "

OK - it's not Shakespeare, but a fun trashy movie at least...

-Erik and Sandy Brunvand

Steve Adams said...

Dear Brooke -- I talked with Nick Fels four days ago. He is contacting Peggy about when we might come see you. I am sorry you have been through so much lately, and Nick and I realize it is hard to predict when you will be able to have visitors. Mom continues to ask after you. -- Best, Steve Adams

Poecat said...

Ok… I feel properly prepared for my colonoscopy, something I have been tossing and turning about for weeks. In light of all that has happened some how nothing seems to trivial to me these days, I have a sense of urgency about all things and I am embracing life like I never have before.
A short report from “down under”. The weather here in Wayne County since the new year began has been nothing short of spring like, compared to what we are used to in years past. The only snow remaining on the ground is in well hidden spots on the north side of places where the sun never shines anyway. Boulder and Thousand Lake mountains still sport their fair share of the white stuff making travel into the high country and adventure. Cowboy conversations at Howard’s in Bicknell run the gamut from lost sheep to two hundred dollar a ton hay. Tuesday’s is when the cows and other farm animals start getting nervous as the Salina auction is Wednesday. They can hear Donald’s diesel coming for miles and many a cow has flown the Cuckoo’s nest, some never to be heard from again, rumor has it they show up down in the Roost area north of Hanksville. Back in the day A.C. Ekker would round them up with his plane along with some of the renegade burros from the mining days, and Donald in his diesel would make a trip down County to get them. Not sure who does it these days since we lost A.C. a decade ago. Most likely Lavar could locate them but he is not near as acrobatic as A.C. was, so there is probably more brands on the Roost now than there ever has been making it a good place for today’s outlaws to hide out.
We all continue to have hope in our hearts for progress and read the blog spot with intense interest.
As always

kellolsn said...

Dear Brooke and Peggy,
This is the first time that I too have logged in, though I have been following the blog and you had both in my thoughts. Peggy's profound reflections have brought your situation closer to many of us. We are rooting for you. I haven't seen anything that said the news about your being able to eat more foods has changed, so watch for some soup from Paul and me. I'll leave it at the house, Peggy.
Susan Olson

Shep said...

Dear Brooke and Peggy,

It's been too long since I checked in. Your postings Peggy, are very moving, very candid and bring me back to basics: humor, anxiety, wonder, acceptance, pain, appreciation, caution, curiosity and respect for the whole process. Thank you for allowing us into your heart and head.

Brooke you have chosen a true warrior/soul mate it seems, who is with you no matter where the journey leads. And what a journey! Each day, each hour seems to bring new triumphs and challanges. Perfect bootcamp for living in the present, the only refuge for the degree of pain and progress you seem to be experiencing. I am awed by how resilient you seem to be in the face of such wild swings of fortune. I'm inspired tonight to embrace a bit more of my ups and downs. Thank you. And I promise to "visit" more often. Godspeed, (which is very slow, usually), Shep

Jack said...

Dear Brooke and Peggy-
We have been thinking of you especially today with Barak Obama's inauguration now just hours away. Most of our family (grandkids out of school too) and a number of friends are going to Kingsbury Hall with us to watch the solemn oath and gala festivies together. I have never seen the country or the world so excited about a change of the political guard. Truly amazing. Amdist your huge challenges every day, we know you are also bouyed by the sea change in which we are all caught up. Now to help the new president make the most of this extraordinary opportunity.
Brooke, your courage and life-sustaining force continue to inspire us all to savor every chance we get to be of use. Peggy, your deeply felt reports and compassionate reflections are masterpieces worth reading and rereading. Thank you both for the new life you are infusing, at such enourmous cost, throughout your realm. We hope you are strengthened in some small way by the countless thoughts and quiet meditations offered every day by your friends far and wide.
Linda joins in sending our heartiest wishes to you.

Cindy Kindred said...

I think I've finally figured out how to work the blog, but that is really yet to be seen. I have been keeping up with your postings and really enjoy being able to follow what's happening and to hear from you directly as to how Brooke is coming along. I do plan on a visit, but am waiting until things settle down a bit more and when you're not having quite as many ups and downs as seem to be the case of late. We'll, maybe that's been most of the time. I do get encouraged by your notes and love your optimism and honesty about the day to day trials and tribulations. I know this isn't an easy road.

I especially Peggy liked your piece, the last one I think, where you were tying together your work of the last 20 years and your particular circumstance and how you are both responding to that. It's such an amazing thing to have all that thinking tested in such a real setting. And, it looks to me like you're both finding that energizing and rewarding and you are pleased with what you are finding. The zest for life is an amazing thing and how we live lives too is so remarkable. It's wonderful how we can change and the change itself opens up other layers of life we didn't even know were there.

I do hope to come by soon. In the meantime, I am keeping touch though your writings and wonderful thoughts. Thinking of you both.

Lorraine said...

Brooke and Peggy,

I’m following the blog with admiration, holding my breath as I await news, anxious for progress. As you said, Peggy, there are reasons your experiences resonate particularly. I’ll write you about that another time. Just now, though, I wanted to post a quick note to let you know both of you are in my heart and in my meditation daily.

After days of battering gales that knocked out our internet and off-shore television – both of which come to us by satellite – it is clear, cold and calm today. And while I can’t say it is general all over Ireland, snow caps the mountains just to the north of us and the more distant ones to the south. They rise crisp and white against the pale blue, a sight as beautiful as it is uncommon.

Today, with the satellite dish and internet restored, I’ll be watching as much of the inauguration as I can find coverage. In fact, there will be a good deal; people are as pleased and excited as can be, unanimous in the opinion that the change is very welcome. I find myself overcome at odd moments by emotions I don’t try to name as tears well up spontaneously. I know you’ll be watching too and feeling much the same. It is strange to be watching from so far away, straddling, after a fashion, two cultures, at home and not quite at home in each.

Love from us both,
Lorraine and Denis

T.R. Hummer said...

Brooke: I hope you felt well enough today to watch the inauguration. It's a moment of hope for us in the middle of much that is so utterly (and banally) awful. Maybe that situation is not altogether unlike your own. Elizabeth Alexander, the poet, did OK, but the real poem (for my money) was the benediction. Reverend Lowery did a beautiful turn on Big Bill Broonzy's old blues tune "Black, Brown, and White." When I figure out how to do it (I don't think I can attach a file here) I'll send you a link to the song.

Broonzy sang:

If you're white, you're all right
If you're brown, stick around,
If you're black: get back, get back, get back.

That's the old racial paradigm; Rev. Lowery turned it on its head. Hopeless though it may have looked to Broonzy in his time, all the hard work, pain, and effort have brought us to a new place: a healing.

Heal, my friend. Much love to you and Peggy.

--Terry Hummer