Sue

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Sue Speaks Out !

(We intend to use this as the cover notes for our book)

"I feel it is now time for me to comment on this website that I
have visited many time over the past 20 months. My name is Sue and I am
Bruce’s wife.  He is truly a remarkable man that I have had the
pleasure of knowing and loving for the past 33 plus years.  His
knowledge and drive have never ceased to amaze me.  (Sometimes his
drive makes me crazy, but all in all, it is a big part of why I love him
as I do.) 

The world as we knew it came crashing down on us January
9th, 2001 with the diagnosis of Aplastic Anemia.  I know that many of
you have read his account, but now I will tell you mine.  As the
spouse of anyone with a life threatening illness, one somehow, if lucky,
manages to get through the trying days – often an hour at a time. The love
and support we received from our loved ones was what kept me going.

Our
daughter Melissa kept our family business afloat so we could pay the mounting
bills and buy some time to reconstruct our lives. She was a pillar of
strength to me and her Dad. To her, I owe the deepest gratitude.  To
our other daughters, Melanie and Michelle and Sons-In Law, Mike and
Fred,  I also owe thanks from the bottom of my heart.  Melanie
and Michelle live in North Carolina and Florida so it was sometimes even
harder for them being so far away at a time of family crisis.  They
made several expensive trips home, offered whatever support they could and
were a source of support to me when I needed them.  Mike especially
seemed to be there when I needed him –  mowing the lawn, shoveling
the snow, painting Bruce’s new safe room and countless other tasks.

To
my dear sister Kathie – What a rock she was and continues to be. 
Always brining food, encouragement, prayers and strength.  Heading up
fund raisers, cleaning the house (often with help from other sisters
Dottie and Jill and sister-in law Gayle).  Kathie is also a full time
neonatal intensive care nurse so she deals with pain and suffering every
day. She has been incredible and to her I owe my sanity. She stayed over
night with Bruce in the hospital in Rochester when I was too exhausted to
sleep. She kept telling me, "Bruce is going to make it," when
the end seemed inevitable.  My parents and other siblings were also
very supportive and donated a good portion of their own money to our fund
raisers.  We owe them more than we can ever repay.

We are also
lucky to have some very dear friends who were there when we needed them
most. Bruce was initially diagnosed when Syracuse was being blanketed with
a terrible snowstorm.  I knew our friends, Jack and Liz were out on
the town celebrating his birthday, but another friend Sue asked if she
should contact them. I told her to leave a message for tomorrow. 
Within an hour, they were in the Emergency Room still dressed in their
evening clothes and have been by our sides ever since. Liz has cooked for
us, listened to me cry and been there for me so many times. Jack even
spent the night with Bruce when Melissa, Kathie and I were not
available.  He spent many hours walking the halls and sitting at
Bruce’s bedside in Rochester when Bruce was at his worst and it is a two
and 1/2 hour trip over and back!

Bruce is a lucky man to have so many
loving family members and friends.  Our church family and old college
and high school friends also showed up when we needed them the most. Bruce
was placed on prayer chains from Texas to Alaska and most places in
between. On some of the darkest days, we would receive cards from prayer
chain members or family members that would bring sunlight into our
room.  I felt God’s presence many times during this ordeal and He has
been a constant comfort for me.

I first became interested in
Environmental Medicine when our oldest daughter became ill almost twenty
years ago.  I can not believe that in all that time and with all the
documented successes this field of medicine has provided that more doctors
are not practicing EM.  It heals without surgery and without the use
of toxic drugs. As a Registered Nurse, I witnessed the number of times
that a drug would cause severe reactions only to be followed by more drugs
to counteract the reactions of the first.  It was an endless
nightmare watching seemingly healthy people get worse every time I saw
them.

It is not easy for a person afflicted with an autoimmune related
illness to accept the regimen that is required to get well and I had to
essentially threaten Bruce before he would listen.  It is hard to
give up your favorite foods and eating out and doing the things you enjoy
on a daily basis to be replaced with rice and beans and lettuce and
essentially tasteless foods.  When we were in Texas, Bruce was so
weak from the daily regimen that I had to do all the shopping and meal
preparation while he slept.  I had to help him in and out of the car
like he was an 90 year old man. It seemed like he was dying before my
eyes. I spent countless hours developing a diet that met the requirements
of the Environmental Health Center yet was palatable for Bruce. 

The
mission was clear – We had to get his toxic load down to prevent him from
dying of toxic overload.  The doctor and his staff were helpful, but
it was clear that I would have to be the primary caregiver.  If you
are the spouse of an infected person, I urge you to take this
responsibility seriously.  I would be exhausted at the end of a day,
but now that I have my husband back, I am eternally grateful. 

The
financial burden was overwhelming at times but I just decided that we were
going to do whatever it took and we would figure out how to pay for it
later.  We had to sell our "dream home" after living in it
for less than a year, but I did not hesitate when it  meant saving
his life. Thankfully we had a fund raiser hosted by our good friends, Mark
and Karen that raised most of the money we needed to pay for the trip to
Dallas.  Mark even took time off from his busy schedule as the owner
of a golf course to drive Bruce back to Texas after Melissa’s wedding.

To
the caretakers out there, I offer this advice. I do not claim to be an
expert in the field of Environment Medicine, but I want to add my 
personal recommendations to what Bruce has already said.  Read
everything you can find about Environmental Medicine beginning with the
excellent series by Dr. Sherry Rogers. If you read her books, you will
know much more about how our environment is killing us than most
doctors.  It is probably the most important thing you can do for your
loved one and he or she will not have the strength to do it early
on.  They need every ounce of energy they have left just to stay
alive.  They will likely need regular blood transfusions and there is
no getting around that one in the beginning. 

Take control of your
own destiny and do not rely solely on your doctor. As Dr. Rogers says,
" You can heal yourself, but you have to figure it out on your
own.  No doctor, including me, is going to do it for you." 
Find a way to get your loved tested for allergies and toxic
exposure.  Change his/her diet and return to natural, organically
raised fruits and vegetables.  Try the "grains, greens and
beans" diet Dr. Rogers describes in her book, "The Cure Is In
the Kitchen." I know in my heart of hearts it is what is keeping him
alive.

This is what Bruce has done and continues to do. He is constantly
reading and learning about his illness and alternative ways of dealing
with it.  He has always been driven with endless energy and the power
of positive thinking.  There is very little in life that he can not
do if he sets his mind to it. I am so proud of him and I continue to hope
and pray that we will have another 33 plus years together.

Sue