Jennifer Brea recently announced that her ME/CFS is in remission in a new health update blog! After having a total thyroidectomy last year for stage 1 papillary thyroid cancer, Jennifer’s symptoms were greatly exacerbated, and she experienced new symptoms of flaccid limbs, numb legs, difficulty speaking and thinking, and even a hard time breathing when turning her head too far to one side. A cervical collar helped ease her symptoms, which led to her receiving a diagnosis of craniocervical instability and atlantoaxial instability (CCI/AAI). Jennifer received a series of surgeries about six months ago to treat her CCI/AAI, and has had a rapid recovery of all of her symptoms of both CCI/AAI and ME/CFS.
After eight years of moderate to severe ME/CFS that left Jennifer mostly bed bound and dependent on a power wheelchair when she did leave the house, she has now stopped taking all of her ME/CFS medications and is walking and even exercising again. She is still recovering from the surgeries and is deconditioned from her eight years of living with ME/CFS, but is confident that she is on a path to recovery.
Hearing about recovery can cause a mix of emotions, and Jennifer also addresses this in her post. In addition to grieving the time she lost due to ME/CFS, she also feels survivor’s guilt for getting better while others continue to suffer. She plans to stay involved and search for answers, and says in an article on HealthRising that, “the story of remission makes it even more clear to me than ever that we must fight for research to better understand the mechanisms underlying all of our cases. I will never forget the experiences that I have gone through over the last eight years of illness. With my improved health, I will continue to fight alongside each of you for equality, dignity and better care; to challenge stigma and advocate for research dollars and medical education. I will not give up. I am in this fight until every person living with ME, no matter the cause, has access to diagnosis and care.“