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Remembering KateMN - losing a virtual friend hurts too

Posted by @colleenyoung, Aug 11, 2017

On August 4th our dear mentor, Katherine left us. Her son, Scott, sends this message that she wanted to share with you.

I HAVE A PAINTING .. IT SAYS .. “TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE”. THE FUN OF RESEARCHING .. PLANNING .. TRAVELING IS GONE FOREVER FROM MY LIFE. HOWEVER I HAVE BEEN BLESSED TO TRAVEL SINCE MY 50’S TO ALL THE CONTINENTS BUT ANTARCTICA .. MY FAVORITE COUNTRIES .. MANY TIMES. IF MY FUTURE HELD GAZING OUT AT THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA FROM OUR BELOVED ITALIAN AMALFI COAST .. YES! I WOULD GRAB IT WITH BOTH HANDS!

MY SPIRITUALITY AND BELIEF SYSTEM .. NONE OF US KNOW WHAT IS ON THE “OTHER SIDE” BE WE CHRISTIAN, BUDDHIST, JEW, HINDU, MUSLIM OR WHATEVER FAITH .. UNTIL WE “PASS OVER”. THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL WE TRULY KNOW WHAT IS ON THE “OTHER SIDE” .. DESPITE THE DESTRUCTION RELIGION HAS WROUGHT ON PLANET EARTH. BUT I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE THAT AS I “PASS OVER” I AM GOING TO BE MET BY GRANDMOTHER BENNETT AND GRANDMOTHER HUNNICUTT WITH THEIR LOVING HANDS TO HELP ME “PASS OVER”. THIS I BELIEVE.

*I WAS TOLD MANY YEARS AGO THAT IN REALITY “EACH OF US IS THE STAR OF OUR OWN SHOW” .. MEANING THAT EACH OF US GO ON IN TIME WITH OUR OWN LIVES .. SO I WANT EACH OF YOU TO QUICKLY BE ” THE STAR OF OUR OWN SHOW” .. LIVING YOUR LIFE AS WELL AS I DID WILL BE YOUR BEST TRIBUTE TO ME!

I HAVE HAD A FULL LIFE. I HAVE A LIFE I CAN FEEL PROUD OF. I HAVE LIVED LIFE ETHICALLY .. LOVINGLY. I RAISED ONE SON THAT I AM VERY PROUD OF AND ONE SON THAT HAS RISEN ABOVE MANY DIFFICULTIES IN HIS LIFE THAT I AM ALSO PROUD OF. I HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN AN ERA IN WHICH IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT FOR WOMEN TO SUCCEED .. ALLOWING ME TO ACCUMULATE A PORTFOLIO SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP AT THE U OF MONTANA IN A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT FOR GIRLS FROM MY BACKGROUND. I TRAVEL EVERY CONTINENT BUT ANTARCTICA .. FAVORITE COUNTRIES MANY TIMES OVER .. ONE OF MY FAVORITE PIECES OF ART SAYS “TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE” .. THAT SAYS IT ALL! THIS SAID .. I HAVE LIVED WELL .. LOVED WELL. IT IS NOW TIME. GOOD BYE.

KATHERINE

KateMN

Katherine — Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Mentor

Back in 2011 @katemn posted a simple message on Connect with “I am new to Mayo online .. I was hoping to find others…” That single post has grown to establish an incredibly supportive and knowledge community of people helping each other live well with MAC and bronchiectasis. Katherine’s relentless trumpeting of the message “knowledge is learning to advocate for yourself. Knowledge is taking back the power over your health care” will forever remain with all the members of the MAC group and continue to echo throughout Connect. Her presence and words will continue to comfort, educate and strengthen to the community.

Thank you forever, Katherine.

Dear members, I invite you to share your thoughts about Katherine here. How did she support you?

REPLY

@lindam272

My heart is so sad and my eyes hurt from crying. Who would think that the loss of someone I have never met would be so devastating? It is. I’m in shock, totally expecting her to come back after her “rest” to continue coaching us along through our bazillion questions, pulling things from her library, giving us strength, knowledge and courage to go on and battle this disease. I have learned so much through these pages. Katherine, you gave me the knowledge I needed to advocate for myself. The courage to ask my doctor how many MAC patients he treated in the last 12 months – to question his decisions if I felt they weren’t right for me. These forum pages contain more knowledge than I would have ever known without them because I wouldn’t have known where to look and I wouldn’t have gotten the first hand knowledge from others who are affected by the same disease. Knowledge is power and I am grateful for the power that you gave me over my own body. There is so much more I want to say but suffice it to say, you will be greatly missed. My prayers for comfort and strength go out to your family. Thank you for your time, your wisdom, your passion and your strength. Linda

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@mariposa, Thank you, Andree. I know, it doesn’t take long for Katherine to win a place in your heart. She was good like that. She expressed to me that her wish was for me to try to keep this forum going and keep people close. I know it won’t be the same without her, but to honor her, we need to still be here for each other.

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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As Katherine would always say “When you know better, you do better.”

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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@auntnanny, Jan, it is scary for all which is why I wanted to post that info.

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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@windwalker Thank you so much for sharing the information about the super bugs, Terri. This is invaluable information to us all on this forum. I remember reading about her contracting additional bugs from her postings. But I had no idea that they were lethal and resistant to antibiotics.

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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Terri, Thanks for the information. I did not get this or maybe it’s hung up in my email somewhere although I received the responses which made me get on the forum to see what everyone was responding to. I’m so glad to learn that Katherine passed peacefully. And also glad to learn of the cause of her death as I was feeling a bit alarmed as I’m sure others were as well. Good information about hospitals and convalescent homes. I will do my best to stay away or at least wear a mask if I have to be in that setting. Praying that her husband doesn’t feel he was responsible for her death on top of his grief and all the health problems he has. Blessings, Linda

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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thanks Terri M, these superbugs are just awful! I feel for Kates husband, so sad. Thank you for all the information, I think we were all thinking the same thing. Kate really enjoyed life and would want us to do the same, she will always be in our hearts.

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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Interesting that the Serratia Marcescens is the pinky orange bacteria found in the shower etc,wonder if it is the bacteria that does not let MAI live in the same space. I diddnt realise it was so nasty.

@heathert Good point. I didn’t have a chance to look further into the two super bugs that Terri listed in her posting when I first read it. Now that you have mentioned it, I did more reading. Now it’s getting scary. When I first learned that the bacteria that cause MAC do not coexist with the bacteria that produce pink slime, I was relieved. But now it seems that we could be getting both into our body and one or both could become lethal. It seems to me that both of these are ubiquitous. It is probably impossible to avoid coming in contact with them.

Hi @ling123, I guess we just need to stay healthy with good food and exercise & try not to stress, so our immune system is as good as it can be ,hope for a cure in the near future ,and share all information we have with each other to hopefully help one another. We are all in this together. Hugs Heather

@heathert Yes, I totally agree. Eat healthy, stay active, and keep stress level to the minimum. That is the only way to live. Thank you for reminding me that we cannot stop living just because we have a disease. I need that. We ARE in this together. Hugs right back.

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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@heathert, Heather, the pink slime in the showers is a different bacteria. It is called methylobactium. That one can make you sick also, just not as prevelant as the others. The Serratia Marcescens is pink, but it is mainly caught in hospitals and nursing homes.

@heathert

Hi @ling123, I guess we just need to stay healthy with good food and exercise & try not to stress, so our immune system is as good as it can be ,hope for a cure in the near future ,and share all information we have with each other to hopefully help one another. We are all in this together. Hugs Heather

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@heathert Heather, you hit the nail on the head! What you said about eating healthy, exercise, don’t stress are all key to us staying healthy. We are all in this together!

Liked by heathert, tdrell, ling123

@ling123

@heathert Good point. I didn’t have a chance to look further into the two super bugs that Terri listed in her posting when I first read it. Now that you have mentioned it, I did more reading. Now it’s getting scary. When I first learned that the bacteria that cause MAC do not coexist with the bacteria that produce pink slime, I was relieved. But now it seems that we could be getting both into our body and one or both could become lethal. It seems to me that both of these are ubiquitous. It is probably impossible to avoid coming in contact with them.

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@ling123 Ling, the pink slime in your shower is not serratia marcescens, it is methylobactium. The first one is typically caught in hospital settings, not your shower.

Liked by tdrell

@windwalker

By now, most of you have received the news that our fearless mentor, Katherine has passed away. I feel certain this news has rocked the world of many of you; as it did mine. Some people have private messaged me wondering if she had succmbed finally to her bronchicstasis or MAC or pseudomonas. NO, she did not. Our condition is manageable. She contracted two more particularly nasty bugs of which were resistant to all antibiotics. I have been in touch with her son, Scott. He and I both believe she picked those bugs up when she was spending nights in the ICU with her husband and on many other trips with him in the hospital. These two particular ones are mostly acquired from hospital settings. They are super-bugs. When you hear of hospitalized people dying from pneumonia; this is what this super-bug is. I will give you the names of the bacteria for those of you that want to look it up. They are: Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia Marcescens. These two are especially dangerous to people like us that are immunocompromised and have weakened or damaged lungs. We are the types that it likes to attack. People like us rarely survive this kind of infection. For the most part, they are antibiotic resistant. I am sharing this with you so that you know to avoid hospitals and convalescent homes whenever possible. Those can be dangerous places for us. I have a rule: I do not visit people in the hospital. I politely explain to them why I can’t. We all thought the world of Katherine and prayed that she went peacefully. Her son confirmed that she did, she went in her sleep. Her interment and ceremony to celebrate her life will be on Sept. 2 at 2:00. If you can, I’d like for all of us to take pause at that time and honor her. I will post a reminder as that date gets closer. Hugs to all of you, Terri M.

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@pfists Hi Shari, just want to wish you luck on your appointment on Wednesday. I would be interested to hear how it went. Which Mayo are you going to?

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