The third plenary at this year’s North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference focused on the changing needs of the CF population that are compelling an evolution in CF care. As a person with CF, this evolution in care directly affects me as I face the challenges of living longer with this disease.
Throughout my life with cystic fibrosis, I never thought about the prospect that I would outlive my loved ones. Now that I have attended some of their funerals, the thought of my own mortality has caught up with me.
Now that I’m in my 40s and post-lung transplant, I’m beginning to embrace the realities of aging with cystic fibrosis. Despite the gray hairs and deepening wrinkles, I know that I am lucky to be looking forward to mammograms and menopause.
I have had a fortunate life with cystic fibrosis given the fact that I married, had two kids, and a career. However, with increasing — and sometimes bewildering — health issues, I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s my CF or just aging, or something in between.
People like me are living longer — median survival for someone with cystic fibrosis is now 56 thanks to research and care. But as I grow older, my health is getting more complicated and I'll need my care to keep up.