30 Days of PF: Finding Peace and Relishing Life

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Photo courtesy of Jerry Barnum

Day 13 of 30

This is Jerry Barnum’s story:

My name is Jerry Barnum. I am 70 years old and live in Minnesota. In 2017, I was diagnosed with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis with autoimmune features.

As one who learned I have a terminal illness, I can attest to the range of emotions that, at times, are overwhelming. The stages of grief would ebb and flow, especially at night, as I closed my eyes and pondered what the future would hold for me and my family. Anger at times, too often sadness, even thoughts of denial would flood my consciousness, robbing me of precious, life-extending sleep.

And then, after reading a testimony from another patient explaining her path to acceptance, I, too, discovered peace. I have learned to relish life, to find joy in God’s gifts of family and friends, in the laughter of my grandbabies, in being ambulatory, and in still breathing, no matter the struggle.

I will not let this disease rob me of life’s simple, wonderful pleasures. As I close my eyes, I now thank God for another day of living this glorious experience of life. In peace.

Pulmonary Fibrosis News’ 30 Days of PF campaign will publish one story per day for PF Awareness Month in September. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPF, or read the full series.

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