At 34, I had no obvious symptoms or family history of colon cancer. My body was telling me something was wrong and compelled me to push for more tests to reach a diagnosis. Now every day I get up and learn to be comfortable living in the uncomfortable. With more screenings happening earlier, you may never have to.
Now that I am feeling healthy on Trikafta®, I no longer feel special for thriving despite the challenges of cystic fibrosis. I don’t feel like I belong in the CF community anymore, and I miss that sense of camaraderie that comes from a shared struggle.
Despite the scars and appearance-altering side effects of medications, I am proud of what my body has survived in the face of cystic fibrosis. Being a brand ambassador has lifted my spirits and led to a greater acceptance of my body, which has withstood a double-lung transplant, a feeding tube, and a port.
I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. After one year, I’m still fighting a tiring battle with it and cystic fibrosis, but I won’t quit.
I asked the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Dr. Whitney Brown about how cystic fibrosis care might change as the CF population grows, lives longer.
A few years ago, it took one small staircase for me to realize that my health was on the decline. I look back now on that moment fondly, though, because it helped me learn to listen to my body.
While you are grinding through a seemingly never-ending cycle of cystic fibrosis treatments, it also can be helpful to engage in self-care activities that bring you happiness. This nurturing routine can help you keep perspective and remind you of why you are undergoing all these treatments in the first place.