I have found that the limits cystic fibrosis imposes on my life are a bit like weather forecasts -- open to unexpected changes. Whether by hard-fought scientific advances, thoughtful (personal) planning, creative thinking or sheer luck, many of the limits of CF now come with beautiful possibilities attached.
Starting at 6 months of age, I began my daily journey battling my chronic illness, cystic fibrosis. And now, at 28, my heart is heavy because one of my nearest and dearest caregivers passed away unexpectedly … my father.
Hollywood often portrays people with serious illnesses as brave, inspirational characters. I don't always feel that way, and sometimes the real "fight" is facing that fact.
There are no easy remedies for the perpetual dance that the parents of a chronically ill child do to deal with the painful and enduring isolation. And personally, I found a sense of hopeless defeat.
Some days, the biggest struggle I have is accepting that I have CF.
Although my lung transplant was the end of one story, it was also the beginning of another, more difficult story.
There are a lot of misconceptions about illnesses. For one, you're supposed to look sick -- or like other people's perception of a sick person. Once I started to doubt myself and the gravity of my illness, I began internalizing a whole lot of guilt.
Watching a Bruce Lee movie inspired me to live my life on my terms.
Growing up, Keenan Flynn rejected what he saw as negative messages surrounding cystic fibrosis. Keenan credits a healthy mental attitude, and a non-acceptance of the negative messages about his health, for his physical development.
All my life I wanted an answer to why I was so sick. Then I got it, in the form of a CF diagnosis.