Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 10 Commandments of Life with CF (or Anything Else)

Well, this was quite a week. Beyond flying to NYC for transplant clinic and a meeting with my surgeon (both went well, by the way) and having the small and thankfully superficial melanoma removed from my face tmw (thank you, immunosuppression drugs!), I've been pushing myself pretty hard. Thankfully the push has not been without rewards -- getting to see my sister, for example, and learning that I am not yet at the stage where my transplant clinic wants to relist me immediately for transplant. And, of course, another reward that I think is always a hard won achievement in the world of CF and lung disease: a little insight into who I am personally and who I would like to be as I continue progressing through this crazy, beautiful journey we call living. 

In particular this weekend, I was inspired by the grace and style of some of the fabulous people I'm lucky enough to have in my life. People like my friend Ali, for example, who recently lost a beloved family member to illness after herself battling through a rough summer. Ali, you are the classic example of someone who always thinks of others, even when you have every right to be selfish or tired. Or my sister, Erin, who held steady through a truly crazy week and never once lost her confidence or grace under pressure. Erin, you remind me how important it is to be confident and proud. My boyfriend who encourages me to go with the flow and let it unfold, my folks who remind me of the importance of family, or any number of all of you, who never fail to set the bar for how much complete strangers can love and support each other through absolutely anything. And so, it is in honor of all of these people, and everyone else, that I offer my own insights into the amazing lessons you all have taught me. Or, in other words, "The 10 Commandments of Life with Cystic Fibrosis (or anything else)."

Thanks for the inspiration, beautiful people.

10. Thou shalt not compare thy life, thy coping skills, or thy appearance in the hospital to others, or to what thou hast witnessed on TV or on the Internet. Grey's anatomy is just a sitcom, and no one's hair or makeup looks like that in the ER. Honest.
9. Thou shalt not measure the day's success solely by activities completed, but also by smiles shared, quiet moments of reflection, and small kindnesses given and received. Some triumphs, after all, are small. 
8. Thou shalt honor thy mind as thy body; and thou shalt remember to appreciate both for what they can do, not to disparage them for what they cannot.
7. Thou shalt be kind to thyself and others whenever possible.
6. Thou shalt forgive thy mistakes and the mistakes of others, even if it takes a little time. This stuff is hard, and no one is perfect.
5. Thou shalt feel, even the hard stuff. No, really. That's okay. 
4. Thou shalt allow others to feel. Also okay.
3. Thou shalt strive for perspective. Thou shalt also know it's not always easy to keep. 
2. Thou shalt remember that thou wast made as thou wast made -- it is not thy job to apologize for thy thyself or thy body. It is a gift, not an inconvenience. I promise.

And finally...

1. Thou shalt love others as thyself, and thyself as others. Really.

And now, the age old question: what would you add? 

With love, light, and learning,



  1. Whilst thou shall always challenge the concept change in thine life, for that is the nature of the human condition and life with CF, thou shalt also consider embracing the concept of, leaning into, and learning to adapt to said change when it crosses thine path.

  2. I love #9, something I need to remind myself of constantly, and that I tend to forget often.

    Thou shalt embrace the love that surrounds them, and admit when thou needst a shoulder to lead on.

  3. Thou shall celebrate successes earned, but acknowledge that some good fortune is just that- fortune - and when thy body fails, it is sometimes simply not thy fault!

    1. Amen, Kristin. It is easy to forget that when the successes are flowing. Life's challenges can be humbling and it's nice to remember just how fortunate we are.

  4. Hi Piper long time reader here,my name is Lisa,and we have never met,Hello!
    I just had to comment today because I really liked what you wrote about Not comparing ourselves.Being made the way i am.
    You spoke truth,Thank you.
    Your friend from afar,Lisa Fisher

  5. I love your ten commandments for CF. I'd add patience, patience for medical treatments, patience for others who may not understand, and patience for answers to questions regarding our CF or anything. I just stumbled upon your blog today!
    Just another fellow CF blogger,

  6. Hi Piper, I have read your blog from afar for years but have maybe only commented a few times. Thanks for this post, I am a CF mom and need these reminders too. Hoping to raise my son to be as positive as you are. Thanks for sharing your journey!