[Scarcely more than a month ago, at the invitation of friend and singer Chris Buhalis, I went to the Anchor Bar, around the corner from COBO Hall, where the US Social Forum was in full swing. Chris was performing at a benefit for Ontario miners, members of the steelworkers union, out on strike. The place was packed. I shouldn’t have been surprised when the boisterous crowd, engaged more in conversation than listening to music, was forced to attention by a ruddy, vibrant, and angry woman who seized the microphone. Chris later confirmed that no one messes with Anne Feeney. She was there, along with Dave Rovics, troubadours you can count on to perform when the chips are down. Seems the chips are down for her right now. Read her letter, send her good wishes, send her a few bucks if you can. — Lew Rosenbaum]
How much one conversation with a doctor can change your life!
This time last week I thought the next time I’d be writing to you would be with my exciting September news and Labor Day special…
This time last week I thought I’d be in Sweden tonight packing to go to Ireland to meet up with all my wonderful tourmates.
Instead, here I am in Pittsburgh packing to go Shadyside Hospital. On August 3rd, in Sweden, a lung specialist advised me that I have an 11 cm tumor on my lung that is stressing both my heart and lungs in dangerous ways. As terrifying as this diagnosis is, it is in many ways a relief to get an explanation for the several mysterious and troubling symptoms I’ve had for the past few months… including increasing fatigue, shortness of breath, terrible coughing, and bizarre heart rhythms.
I could have stayed in Sweden for the bronchoscopy, biopsy and surgery … my health insurance would have covered everything in Sweden that it covers here. But even the best case scenario here will involve a protracted recovery period and probably at least six months out of work. It was also hard to think about being so seriously ill so far away from my children, and my lifelong network of friends in Pittsburgh.
So here I am, at home in Pittsburgh, surrounded by friends and family.
Luckily, Tom Pigott and I have been able to arrange full and wonderful coverage for both the Ireland tours in August. The wonderful Charlie King will be joining the August 10-19th tour, and Tom will be hosting the August 22-31st tour with some of my favorite folks in Ireland. Both tours will continue uninterrupted, but, alas, without me this year.
My friend Jan Boyd has set up a Caring Bridge page for those of you who want regular medical updates on my condition. The URL is http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annefeeney … (The only reason you have to log in to the site is to keep spam robots from posting stupid messages…)
I hope to be posting updates on Facebook as well as soon as I feel up to it.
For the complete letter and link to her web site click here.