Today marks the last day of CF awareness month so I felt it was a great opportunity to write a post. After writing a blog for the last 4.5 years I find it difficult to come up with new posts, I feel a little like I repeat myself often. However when it comes to Cystic Fibrosis any time is a good time to talk about it.
CF may someday stand for Cure Found, but as of right now unfortunately that's not quite a reality for the majority of the CF world. I'm not going to go off about what I think of the new "treatments" and even more so the COST of it but I'm going to share a few of my CF moments of my life.
Cystic Fibrosis made me unique. I was the only one in my family even extended family so it made me 'special' and despite my daily life was different it wasn't "bad". I was 10 or 11 years old and I had just started 6th grade. My nose began bleeding so intensley that for the first time I remember I was worried and scared about "being sick". My cough was deep and raspy. When my teacher Ms. Delong scanned the class and saw my hand raised waiting eagerly to answer the question she had just asked the class I was caught off guard with the tone of her voice as she called my name. I had no idea I looked any different than normal but apparently I did.
My face was pale and my cough was fierce. I called my mother and she came and got me from school. My fear and awareness of my disease was becoming more real to me as my mother and my doctor discussed the seriousness of my symptoms. This was when CF forced me to grow up faster than all the other kids my age. It was the beginning of dealing with stress and worries that my peers would not experience until well in their adulthood. The nosebleeds became so much more than just a nose bleed, it was my body communicating to me that it was sick and although I could not stop Cystic Fibrosis from attacking my body, I knew I could control how well I took care of the body that CF was slowly destroying.
I remember CF clinic. I looked forward to them. The staff from the University of Utah would come to Idaho Falls about every 3 months and I knew that Carol Wood would be there along with other CF families and I would get to see a few of my friends from CF camp. Carol was such a compassionate person and she knew how to motivate me with love. After my PFT's and blood work she would take me in the elevator to the lower floor where the pop machine and candy machine's were and would let me pick out the treat of my choice. I have so many wonderful memories of Carol & Camp Redcliff (which holds so many of my fondest memories growing up). . .just remembering encounters with her at clinic brings me to tears because my heart is filled with so much love for her. Carol recently reunited with our Heavenly Father after her courageous fight with an aggressive cancer. . .the world lost a wonderful woman and Heaven gained a beautiful angel.
I have thousands upon thousand of good CF memories. . .CF taught me to learn who I was, it taught me to love who I am and to never allow myself to be limited by my limitations. CF gave me more tears of happiness than tears of sorrow. Even in 2007 when CF had ravished my body and i fought for every breath I took. . .I still was given so many moments of joy. The joy in growing close to my family, being held by my husband, shown love and over abundant charity from my community and most of all having my faith strengthened as I grew so very close to the vail and to my Heavenly Father. All I did in life was lead by one remaining and steadfast fact . . .the fact I had been given Cystic Fibrosis. I learned lessons in life that I would not change for anything. I was the best Me I could be because I embraced my gift that is Cystic Fibrosis.
So to me as much I do hope and pray for a CURE I also feel like CF awareness month can also be a month to reflect and focus on the good times, the happy times, to look back and realize that Cystic Fibrosis shaped me into the ME I am today. . .so I'll use today to THANK my Heavenly Father for giving me the gift of CF.
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