Friday, January 2, 2009


So I thought I'd take a cue from everyone else and write a post dedicated to the new year. On a total sidenote -- and hopefully without sounding *too* cliche -- I am honestly STUNNED to think that it is 2009. That just seems like such a high number to me. Probably because I've always measured my life by graduation dates, and those are all behind me now. Unless of course I can come up with yet another degree to lust after. "Professional student" does have sort of a nice ring to it, right?

Anyway, here are some of the major CF milestones that defined my year. Feel free to make this interactive and add some of your own to the list. Good, bad, ugly...let's hear it all in the spirit of a big collective fuck you to this disease from all of us who survived another year.
  • A year ago today, tx wasn't even on my radar. That is totally unbelievable to me, but it's true. January 2008 was the first time my doctor brought up the possibility of me being evaluated. Total sucker punch at the time, but I'm honestly grateful now for her foresight. Still, that has to be one of the hardest milestones I've ever reached.
  • February/March: First ever partial airway collapse (result of prolonged pnuemonia) and subsequent first ever bronchoscopy. The best thing to come out of this was the series of totally drugged emails I sent from the recovery room as I came off the anesthesia, courtesy of my mother smuggling in my blackberry. I emailed friends, I emailed family, and yes - I emailed work.
  • In April I got my appendix out. Ironically this was the only hospital admission I had this entire year, despite being on IVs a total of 5 times for 3-4 weeks each.
  • May was my first meeting with the tx team. They apparently thought I was sane enough to go through the rest of the eval after that initial screening. Go figure.
  • July/August: Faced -- and survived -- the actual tx evaluation. Honestly I feel like this was SUCH an accomplishment, although I know the eval is really just a drop in the bucket. But it was my drop, my bucket, and it felt huge to me.
  • Sampson joined my family in October! This was so the best thing that happened to me this year. He has a life expectancy of 12-14 years, meaning that he and I should be together until I'm about 40. You do the math, but I'm pretty sure this means CF is gonna have to wait around on me for a while.
  • I turned 27 on the 27th of November (also happened to be Thanksgiving), making me officially 9 years older than anyone ever thought I would be.
  • December: Wore O2 in public for the first time on an airplane. Surprisingly, the world did not stop turning and I actually didn't feel that self-conscious. The only really annoying thing ended up being that they had taped the canula along the top of the plane somehow, so I couldn't really move my head around much. Maybe this was just United's way of telling me to work on my posture?
In 2008, I had three pnuemonias and two other major infections, saw my CF doctor over 20 times, started the AzLi expanded access program, confirmed that I am not deaf from overusing tobra, also confirmed that I am not diabetic from overusing prednisone, and gained a total of 15 pounds. I also worked really hard at a job I love, bought my first apartment, made some really amazing friends and had tons of fun with old ones, saw several friends get married, sent baby gifts to old college roommates, watched my sister design and launch a fashion line almost single-handedly, celebrated my mother's retirement, and took my dad to his first (and last) game at the old Yankee stadium. And through all that I think I also found time to grow a little as a person, whatever that means. I can honestly say it was a great year, although I can't say it was an easy one. I guess the two don't always go hand in hand anyway.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2009.


  1. What a busy year you had. I hope 2009 treats you well! Happy New Year to you!

  2. Fabulous!!!!!!!

    I laughed out loud at the vision of you on the plane staying perfectly still so as not to strangle yourself with the tubing. Many a nights I have woken to be curled in a ball and my tubing pulled tight so can't move...odd.

    Sounds like 2008 was VERY eventful!!!!! Hopefully 2009 sees less infections and NO tx!!!!! :)

  3. What an AWESOME post Piper. I enjoyed reading it so much!!!!!

    You have had quite the year.. both terrific things and not so terrific things, but we learn from both, don't we?

    I do hope that 2009 brings you tons of joy!

  4. Just had to say this is a fantastic post.

  5. Wow! That was a great year!

    I am on Aztreonam too! I love that stuff! How cute is the eflow? :) It's the little things that get us excited!

    I hope 2009 finds you Healthy and Happy!