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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

@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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@ling123, Hi Ling. I looked up those bugs when she told me which ones she had back in March or April. After reading up on them, I knew she was going to have one helluva fight ahead of her. She knew it too.

@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 But Terri, the Wikipedia seems to suggest that Serratia Marcescens is the pink slime: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serratia_marcescens

@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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@ling123 Wow, Ling! I looked it up on another site and it did not mention it being in our bathrooms. I just now looked at the wiki site you posted. Gee, there is no end to the puzzles we must solve, is there? I have been exchanging e-mails with Dr. Falkinham who is a microbiologist at Va. Tech. He studies the pink ‘slime’, I will ask him tomorrow about that. Will get back to you about that one. Thanks for the tip-off.

@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 terri, I have read that the Serratia Marcescens also found in the shower. Its all so confusing. I hope you are correct.:)

@johnbishop

I only know Katherine through her posts and words. I am a mentor that lurks into other health concerns hoping to learn and do a better job in my mentoring area. Reading Katherine’s posts and seeing her impact on the people she helped was amazing to me. All I can say is that she will be missed by all, including me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and all who were touched by Katherine.

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@johnbishop Good morning John. I find myself re-reading Katherine’s posts. Like you, I am learning from her how to respond better to our members. I hope today finds you well.

@johnbishop

I only know Katherine through her posts and words. I am a mentor that lurks into other health concerns hoping to learn and do a better job in my mentoring area. Reading Katherine’s posts and seeing her impact on the people she helped was amazing to me. All I can say is that she will be missed by all, including me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and all who were touched by Katherine.

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Good morning Terri (@windwalker)! I have been doing the same thing. It helps me focus on what’s really important in life. I’m fortunate emough to be able to still be working and have a job that I can work from home. My “office” is a lower level room with a window next to my computer that I can look out and see all sorts of little critters and some big ones sometimes. I put a couple of bird feeders outside that are visible from the window so that I can take pictures of birds and more. Something always pops into view when I seem to need a little extra support for thinking.

John

IMG_1208

@johnbishop

I only know Katherine through her posts and words. I am a mentor that lurks into other health concerns hoping to learn and do a better job in my mentoring area. Reading Katherine’s posts and seeing her impact on the people she helped was amazing to me. All I can say is that she will be missed by all, including me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and all who were touched by Katherine.

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Sorry, the picture is not showing for some reason. It was a really pretty yellow finch that just happened to drop by.

Liked by tdrell

@ling123

I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to figure out what to say. But words won’t come easily. I’m still in shock. I’m mourning for someone I have never met. But I felt her presence every time I came to this forum. She was the first one to respond to my very first posting here. She responded to all my subsequent postings with wise suggestions, encouraging words, or a heart to let me know that she read it. She made tremendous efforts collecting a vast amount of information on Bronchiectasis and MAC that all of us here will benefit from for years to come. She was like a mother hen watching over us, urging us to learn about the diseases as much as we can and cheering us on. I have a feeling she will still be watching over us from wherever she is. I’m holding on to this comforting thought. R.I.P dear Katherine. Rest assured that you’ve taught us well and built us up to face and fight this disease. You will always live in our heart.

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This is Pamela in Boston – I have just read today about Katherine’s passing and I am devastated, like so many of you. Ling has expressed everything I am feeling right now. Katherine gave me hope, advice, love, and so much encouragement. Her constant daily emails were comforting and informative. I will always hear her voice as we continue on with our day to day challenges. Pamela

@windwalker

Katherine was and is the kindest person I have had the privilege of knowing. She gave so much of herself to help others; and I know she did so when she was feeling horrible herself. She was generous, selfless, and inspirational. We didn’t have to meet her in person to feel her warmth and compassion; she was great at conveying that through her words. I will be forever grateful to her for leaving us with many posts of wisdom to go back and refer to. To honor her legacy, I will do my best to live by her example, be supportive to our members, and mention her often. To Katherine’s family: we will all be eternally grateful to her for starting this forum and always being there for us. She was our beloved mentor and we will NEVER forget her. Our prayers are with you.

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Terri – my heart goes out to you in hearing of Katherine’s passing. You have done such an incredible job in helping us all process this sad event. I have only returned to the forum today after 3 months absence. I will give you a call soon but am travelling now and do not have your number…. will call once I get home, around the 25th of this month. Much love, Pamela

@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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@ling123 that is where I read it also, will be great to be able to find out from Dr Falkinham through Terri, I have read some of his articles in the past and he is so knowledgeable in this field. Heather

@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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@heathert Yes, can’t wait to hear what Terri brings back to us on this topic.

Liked by heathert

@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, if I had the pink slime in my bathroom, I’d keep a spray bottle handy with water/bleach combo and keep those surfaces treated.

@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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@ling123, @heathert, The e-mail went out to Dr. Falkinham this morning. Will let you know what I learn.

@johnbishop

I only know Katherine through her posts and words. I am a mentor that lurks into other health concerns hoping to learn and do a better job in my mentoring area. Reading Katherine’s posts and seeing her impact on the people she helped was amazing to me. All I can say is that she will be missed by all, including me. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and all who were touched by Katherine.

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@johnbishop, John, your finch photo is whole. What a lovely work environment you have! What kind of work do you do?

@pamelasc1 Hi Pam. I sent you my number via private message. I hope that you are traveling for pleasure, and that your daughter and the twins are all doing well. hugs, Terri

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