Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Featured Blogger: Melissa of
"My Lung Transplant Journey"

Any member of the CF Blogroll is eligible to be a Featured Blogger! If you'd like to be have a little time in the spotlight and help bring more traffic to your blog, leave a comment or e-mail beingcindybaldwin AT gmail DOT com, and we'd love to feature you! Don't forget to include your e-mail address so that I can send you a list of interview questions. (Currently, I am posting the interviews in the order that I receive them, so don't be worried if it takes a few weeks for your interview to go up.)

Today's Featured Blogger is Melissa of "My Lung Transplant Journey." Melissa has spent eight months waiting for new lungs, and uses her blog as a way to record her thoughts about her transplant adventure and keep friends and family updated with any news. It doesn't take much browsing on her blog to see that Melissa is a courageous and inspiring example of a CFer who is absolutely making the best of difficult circumstances! Don't forget to pay her blog a visit.

First, tell me a little bit about yourself! 

My name is Melissa and I am from Red Deer, Alberta. I am single and 21 years old. I used to work part time at a grocery store up until about a year and a half ago when I got to sick to work. I have completed my third year in the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Alberta and am hoping to go back and finish my final year after my lung transplant. I have one sister, who does not have CF, and many step siblings.

How old were you when you were diagnosed with CF? What led to your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed when I was 3 weeks old. After I was born I was failure to thrive and after arguing with the doctors and going through a few tests I was finally diagnosed.

What kind of effect has CF had on your life?
Throughout my childhood and teenage years my CF was under control. I had CF, but it did not have CF. I had a similar childhood to many others. I went to school, played with friends, and had a great time. Throughout my teenage years I played basketball, baseball, curled, and participated in as many sports as I could. The only difference was that I did treatments twice a day and took numerous enzymes and other pills. The first hospitalization I had due to my CF was when I was 14. I went in for what they called a tune-up and every year after that I would go in for two weeks for this tune-up. Things took a turn when I found out I had got a bacteria that is called mycobacterium abcessuss when I was 18. This is a really bad bug and I started being treated with numerous IV medications for 3 months at a time. Things continued to worsen and despite all my and the doctors efforts, my lung function dropped drastically. Currently I am at 25% and am awaiting a double lung transplant. I found out in January of 2012 that I would need a transplant and things progressed quite quickly. I have been on the list for 8 months now and it is not getting any easier.

When did you start blogging? What led you to start blogging?
I started blogging after I found out I needed a transplant, and the idea of transplant led me to start blogging. I look at it as sort of a diary that I will be able to look back on years from now to realize all that I had to go through and how thankful I was for my donor (when one is found). My blog follows me leading up to my transplant, and will continue to follow me during and after my transplant. As many may know, transplant is not a cure, but a treatment. It does not come without complications, but in the end the positives outweigh the negatives.

What is your favorite post you've ever written?
I wouldn't say that I have a favorite post because they all equally mean something to me. I am really proud of the pre-transplant video I created though. I'm hoping to make a post-transplant video too.

What are a few of YOUR favorite CF blogs?

My favorite blog is live, laugh, lungs - This young girl has undergone a lung transplant and it has been inspirational reading about her story. She brings humor into every post and it is a great read.
Another one of my favorite blogs is Breath to Blog - This blog helps me understand that we cannot take one single breath for granted. It is a sad, sad story.

What would be your #1 piece of advice to others with CF?

My number 1 piece of advice to other CFers is to not take one single breath for granted. You never know what will happen. Live your life to the fullest and make all your dreams come true. Do your treatments and keep yourself as healthy as you can! And lastly, you HAVE CF, CF DOES NOT HAVE you!!

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