With a disease like cystic fibrosis, it can be easy to get lost in all the pain, fear, and frustrations and lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. This year has been rough. I started the year with a blood clot, quickly followed by increasing worry about the state of health care in America, all while losing a significant amount of lung function and dealing with way too many lung bleeds. However, no matter how hard the year, I believe it’s always important to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s too easy to wallow in self-pity and pain otherwise. So this post is dedicated to just that—thanking God for all He has given me.
I’m thankful for...
- My new husband ❤️. As I’ve said before, many CFers wonder if they will ever find someone who will choose to love them day in and day out with all the stresses that come with cystic fibrosis. Being the spouse of someone with CF is not for the weak or faint of heart. My husband has taken a crash course in medical terms, health insurance, treatment regimens, and IV antibiotics, and he has done so with a smile on his face and love in his heart. I could not be more thankful.
- My family (immediate, extended, etc)—Always on the top of the list, I am so incredibly grateful for family who love, support, and encourage me. They would do literally anything for me, and I know I have been immensely blessed.
- My twin sister-while this technically goes under the last point, Katie deserves her own number. While growing up with a twin with a chronic illness who always got more attention due to being in the hospital or going into surgeries couldn’t have been easy, Katie continues to be by my side 1000%. I know that if anything even seems a little off, she will be by my side as fast as she can get there. I am very blessed to have such a caring, compassionate, and protective twin sister. (Even if the protectiveness can be a bit much at times, I know she’s just doing her job ;))
- My faith-Without faith, the difficulties of cystic fibrosis would be unmanageable. The unknowns, the “why me”s would overwhelm even the strongest person. With Christ, I know that my health may be unknown to me, but not to God. I know that He is not going to leave me, and I can trust Him with whatever might happen.
- My health-this my seem like a weird thing to be thankful for since my health is far less than ideal. However, I am thankful for the health I have now. I’m thankful I can breathe without needed assistive oxygen. I’m thankful I can work part-time. I’m thankful for the medical advancements that exist so that I am still alive at (almost) 25. I’m thankful for the progress of major drug companies like Vertex, giving people with CF a chance to really live. As difficult as life with CF can be at times, I’m thankful to be alive and breathing.
- My job-I love school (as basically anyone who knows me will know), but I love being a speech-language pathologist even more. My clients are amazing, and I learn so much from them every week. I love being able to help people communicate, and I enjoy the variety of work I have with different clients. I get so much joy every day from the wonderful work I get to do.
So there you have it. Seven things I’m thankful for. In the midst of this holiday season, don’t forget to stop and think of some things you’re thankful for. Have a happy, healthy Thanksgiving to you all!