Thank You CF: The Positives of Marrying Someone with Cystic Fibrosis
"Are you sure you want to commit to this?" "What happens if she gets really sick or dies at a young age?" "What happens when you have kids and she gets sick?" These are some of the questions that I had to field when my spouse, Cheriz and I decided that we wanted to tie the knot. Having a relationship with someone who has CF can be scary for sure. From my own experience, those fears haven't outweighed the positives that have come from our life thus far.
We have been married now for over 6 years. In that time we have had our ups and downs. We have had to deal with sickness, we have started new medications, we have added therapies, and much more. It is really easy to dwell on the "negatives".
Together as a team, we have grown to see and appreciate those positives that impact our family. Here are some of the positives that have come from my life thus far with Cheriz and CF.
With CF, there is the possibility that fertility issues might come up when discussing raising a family. We were not sure if Cheriz could have children. Two things we did not want to risk were her health or the baby's health. After long discussions, we decided that we did want a family. We were going to explore the different options.
This is where fostering came into our life. We realized that there are so many children out there who do not have a home, and we would be the couple who opened our home to them. These expectations of ours did not go as planned. We fell in love with our little foster kiddo and are now looking to adopt him and make him a part of our forever family. Without CF, this would not have happened.
Both of our careers have changed over the years, both to our benefit, and because of CF. When we met, we were both in round two of college. We were trying to find what we wanted to be when we grew up. I was going to be a teacher, and Cheriz was going for her masters degree in social work. Once we decided that we wanted to get married, things had to change. We had the talk about what Cheriz would do for benefits once we were married. Once married, she would drop off her parents insurance.
We made the decision for me to put my degree on hold and search for a full time job, with good benefits. Since that decision 6 years ago, I have made a career change. I have now worked my way into management. I make a good salary, we have great benefits, and I am a part of a great family focused company. Being home by a decent time every night has helped create a good work/life/family balance.
Cheriz has also found her career. Partly due to CF and our kiddo's special needs, she is now a stay at home mom and has a full time job at home. She can focus on our kiddos needs, while also making sure that she gets all of her therapies and treatments done. Without CF, these changes would not have happened.
Because of CF
I have heard many people with CF, including my spouse, say "Do not let CF define you". I understand where this phrase comes into play. Those with CF are more than just a disease, they are individuals who have their own beautiful personalities, hobbies, talents, families; the list goes on and on. Being in a relationship with someone with CF has shown me how to see how CF directly impacts different facets of our life in positive ways.
I see my spouse as an individual who has those personalities, talents, hobbies, etc., but I also see her as someone with CF; and that is not a bad thing. Because of CF, we have a beautiful child, we both have great jobs that we enjoy, and we have a home that is perfect for our family. Without CF, we may not be so blessed.
How has CF impacted your romantic relationships? Please share with the community in the comments!
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