Dear fellow cystics and all those who love them:
Well, I guess the time has come for me to write this letter. To be honest, I've been putting it off, I think in part because I know it's going to be sappy. And I don't always love sappy. But I do love the truth, and I know that sometimes, tough as it is to admit, it takes a little sap to get us there. So, friends, here is my sap, my heart, and my truth:
I admire every. single. one. of. you.
I'm not kidding. I really do, although some in different ways than others, of course. If there is ONE thing that my time as a member of the CF community (both in real life and online) has taught me, it's that there is no ONE way to handle this disease. There is no foolproof approach, and there is no cystic (or CF family) who I have met that is not trying to live in the best way they know how. And for me, that is the very definition of admirable. So let me break this down for you just a little more:
To the 8 year old boy who just celebrated his 1 year lung transplant anniversary (and his phenomenal mother), you are amazing.
To the 32 year old woman who just got listed for transplant but still managed to find time this past year to get married, and to continue at her job despite huge obstacles, you are amazing.
To the 25 year old woman who works full time and is pursuing a masters in bioethics while balancing a rewarding family/social life and asking some really tough questions about CF, you are amazing.
To the 29 year old poet who seems sometimes to put my own soul into words, and the other 29 year old woman who just took a huge leap of faith in moving several states to pursue her own sense of adventure, you guys are not only neighbors now, but you're also both amazing.
To the 30 year old man who improved his own lung function by leaps and bounds (or should I say strides) through his dedication to exercise, and who is now using his gift to inspire other CFers, and who found time amongst it all to get engaged, you are amazing.
To the woman with CF on the transplant list in FL, who is moving to follow her dreams of new lungs, and who took the time to fold cranes for each of her fellow cystics on the waiting list, you are truly amazing.
To the young man who has severe cystic fibrosis coupled with another genetic disease, and to his mother who is unafraid to write honestly about their lives (the good and the bad), who clearly moves mountains to help her son drink in and enjoy every drop of life, you guys are nothing short of amazing.
To my friends who are "square pegs" and had to fight for their own CF diagnoses, who came to terms with CF at an age when the rest of us were already well-versed in its ups and downs, and who advocate for recognition and better treatment of "their CF," you guys are pretty darn amazing.
To my friends who are raising families, running 5ks, fighting their clinics to get the care they know they need, searching for love, getting married, starting new jobs, taking disability to focus on their health, trying out new treatments, going the extra mile (or 2), starting blogs to educate other CFers, and generally out there living, you are all...you guessed it: amazing.
To my newfound friends at my own transplant center, who keep me laughing and smiling and who generally make it all bearable, not only do I owe you all a huge thank you, but wow, you're amazing!
And to my "transplant idols," whether you're there for me on the phone when I go through dry runs, or have a blog that I just can't get enough of, or showed me that it is indeed possible to run a half-marathon with transplanted lungs, well, I don't even think I can begin to say how amazing you guys are.
In short, I'm amazed by my fellow CFers. And I just want to say to all of you that I embrace your stories, your triumphs, your tragedies, and your lust for life. I will celebrate with you, cry with you, and proclaim your awesomeness from the rooftops if I have to, because I think you are what makes this disease worth fighting. You are the truth of this disease, the living proof of its blessings and its cruelty, and I am beyond grateful for the lesson.
It may be sappy, but that doesn't mean it's not real. Because the reality is that we're all just out there trying to find our own path through life, and breath.
With deepest admiration and respect,
- I am a 33-year-old wife, sister, daughter, friend, law school graduate, CFer, lifelong student of public service, blog writer, patient, Sagittarius, reader, Top chef fan, double-lung transplant recipient (twice!), and dog owner living in Colorado's beautiful Mile High City. I love all things colorful, funny, inspiring, or needlessly sarcastic. I share my city with about 2,500,000 other remarkable people, share my disease with 70,000 other beautiful souls, share my life with some unbelievable family and friends, and share my apartment with one very handsome guy and one really fat mutt with a kick-butt personality. We make it work.
About This Blog:
This blog is about me, my life, my sometimes craziness, my disease, and my current journey as a double-lung transplant recipient. It's also a celebration of everyone out there with CF (and other chronic illnesses). It's for you, inspired by you, and dedicated to you -- the community that keeps me writing, living, and breathing.
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