When I was a child, I was embarrassed for anyone to know I had cystic fibrosis. I just wanted to be like everyone else. For me, that meant hiding my CF. I didn’t focus on what I couldn’t do. I focused on what I could do. I was good at running track, so I concentrated on that. People knew me for my skills at track and pole-vaulting not because I had CF.
It has always been important to me to try to keep up with others. For me, that meant getting up early and, sometimes, going home early to do treatments and still be able to participate in activities. I think it’s critical to do whatever you can to be “normal.” That’s different for everyone, but it’s really all about refusing to let CF be the focus of your life. Yes, we all have challenges in varying degrees, but we can do our best to have a life that deals with CF but doesn’t center around it.
Go out, live life, have friends, set goals. I pack a lot of living into a day, probably more than most people do in a week. Not because I have to or because I want to prove something, but because I want to really live.
You have to set your belief system so you’re determined to live your life with the highest quality possible. You can’t do that if you’re totally focused on CF. Develop your interests and live. Live life in the forward!
“Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.” ~ Melody Beattie