I wanted to write this letter to you to let you know how you’ve made me feel throughout the years. You’ve taken a lot away from me, and while I struggled with the things that I missed, I learned that it’s okay to be by myself.
How you have changed my life, CF
You never really let me be with friends the way others did. I never got to hang out properly because you had my chest hurting and you left me gasping for air most of the time. But, you taught me who’s truly my friend and who isn’t.
You didn’t let me join a lot of family gatherings because IVs, antibiotics, and other treatments left me weak, in pain, and without energy. But, you taught me what family truly cares for me and who I can count on.
I never got to run a lot because of you because my lungs can’t keep up. I gasp for air and struggle in an overwhelming attempt to catch my breath. I’ve never quite caught my breath and I guess I’ll never know the feeling of running freely. But, you taught me it’s okay to slow down. Even though I want to run, my body can’t and that’s okay--I can walk.
CF, you’ve given so much pain that words cannot describe. The pain in my lungs and in my body is at times overwhelming and more than I can handle. I don’t know how I make it through the day. The pain in my joints is agonizing and sometimes I need to use my walker to walk around, but it never goes away.
The pain in my chest and lungs is almost as constant, but I can tolerate that. I guess, because of you, I’ll never know what it is to live a day without pain. But it taught me how strong I am, because the moments I think the pain is too much for my body, I realize I am stronger than I see in myself sometimes.
CF you’ve kept me awake too. I can’t remember a day where I’ve slept more than 5 to 6 hours straight. The pain, mucus, and chest tightness keep me up and some nights I watch the moon and see the sunrise. I’m always tired and that I blame on you. Why can’t you just let me sleep?
Let’s not forget the surgeries I’ve had because of you either, CF. Those weren’t picnics--but at least I’m not scared anymore. Surgeries don’t give me anxiety or fear anymore because I’m braver now.
CF, we’ve been together my whole life
I am always reminded you exist in me because, in a way, you are me. You’ve become what makes me, me. It used to make me mad that I am this way because of you, but not anymore. Because of you, I’ve cherished my life and those in it with a love that’s everlasting.
It’s not easy living with you, but I wouldn’t know how to live if you weren’t in it. I’ve known you my whole life, CF. I can wish many things--like not having you around--but I know it’s not happening. What I promise to do is live my life with no regrets and continue to be stronger for myself and my family.
CF, I do hate you, but thank you for everything you’ve taught me, too.
Do your pets help with your cystic fibrosis?