The definition of blessing that I choose to cling to when it comes to my cystic fibrosis is “a beneficial thing for which one is grateful; something that brings well-being.”
While most people on the outside looking in would consider me a martyr for thinking my potentially terminal disease is truly a blessing and chance for opportunity, my husband and family would tell you I am far from it.
Cystic fibrosis is one hundred percent a blessing.
Throughout my adolescence, teen-hood, and now adult life, I have been given more opportunities and more opened doors than I can keep a record of. I have been given an incredible platform to advocate for something I love and am passionate about. Yes, you read that correctly. I love my cystic fibrosis.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you there are days I hate and loathe it. I hate that I was given a life-expectancy of 24 (btw, I’m 25 now!) I hate what it makes me feel like sometimes. I hate how many pills I take on a daily basis (30+). I hate the time-consuming treatments and vest therapy. I hate the insulin pump I have attached to me at all times. I hate the huge scar that cuts my stomach in half and makes me look like I have a giant fat roll when I sit. I hate the scars from my PICC lines in my chest and in my arms. I hate that now when I am on a PICC, I have to take blood thinners. I hate the irreversible damage that’s been done to my lungs. I hate that when I sweat, the salt burns my eyes. I hate the way I’m so comfortable talking about gross bodily functions (yes, I’m talking about poop and gas). I hate the fact that my mom had to give up nearly 2 weeks of work for me to stay with me during hospitalizations throughout my childhood. I hate that I had to BE in the hospital for 2 weeks multiple times throughout my childhood.
But in the midst of all that hatred towards the logistics and things I can’t control about my cystic fibrosis, I LOVE the way it has given me an appreciation for my life. I love the way it causes me to love fiercely and unapologetically. I love the way I have gained new friends and the conversations we have. I love the community I have found amongst people I can vent to, in which others wouldn’t understand why I’m whining. I love the way I was forced to grow up at a young age and learn that there is a sense of maturity necessary to tackle life. I love the way that my parents MADE SURE I had a full and fun childhood, despite my (more often than not) limitations. I love the way I can personally contact my doctor and that there are nurses who make me feel like family when I have an admission. I love the way my husband cares for me and loves me WITH my cf (not despite it). I love my relationship with my parents and family. I love that the doctors are working SO HARD to find a cure for the entire CF community. I love the events we have to raise awareness and to see so many family’s pulling together to support one another. I love my blogging opportunities. I love my speaking opportunities. I love the life that cystic fibrosis has given me because it’s a life that I otherwise may have just wasted.
A blessing can come in many forms. I am grateful that the Lord has given me this opportunity to turn something horrendous into good for His glory. I am grateful to doctors who work so hard to give me a good quality of life. I am blessed to be able to speak into the lives of others with cystic fibrosis and share my heart in battling something no one without it would understand. I am 25 years old and I plan to keep letting CF be a blessing for me until the day (and even after) CF stands for “cure found”.