The Long-Awaited Reveal


I started this blog because I love to write. But without a specific focus, I found it hard to find something to write about every day. In the back of my head I knew the perfect direction to take From A to Pink, but I was scared. It’s a very personal subject, something I’m not used to talking about with people until long after they’ve gotten to know me. But I decided that the potential gains far outweighed any fears I was harboring. So here we go!

At the age of 16 I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease. (To read more about what CF is and my experience with it, see the tabs above.) In one way, it was a relief. I had an answer for why I’d been so sick for the past three years. But mostly, it was overwhelming.

And it still is. Which is why I wanted to start this blog.

On New Year’s Eve, my friends and I were listing all the things that we hadn’t done or experienced 10 years ago. For example, we didn’t have our driver’s license, didn’t pay bills, have boyfriends/fiances/husbands. And I didn’t know I had cystic fibrosis.

These 10 years have been hard. And I’m still a long way from fully dealing with what it means to have this disease. And completing the daily treatments I have to do continues to be a struggle, even though they will add years to my life.

I’m hoping that keeping this blog, and sharing my struggles with my readers, will help hold me accountable. Because when it comes down to it, I’m the only one that can keep myself healthy. I can decide to take my medication or not. I can do my chest therapy twice a day, or I can half-ass it. I can go to the gym, or I can sit at home and watch TV.

CF is a tricky disease. We carry bacteria that are only harmful to other CF patients, meaning that support groups (aside from ones online) are nonexistent. If I find out someone has CF, I have to keep my distance. It can be very lonely.

Luckily I have an amazing boyfriend, wonderful family, and fabulous friends who support me in whatever way I need. Whether that’s a shoulder to cry on, letting me vent my frustrations, or gathering people to participate in a fundraiser. But they can only do so much. Like I said before, the rest is up to me. And I’m hoping that keeping a record of how I’m thinking/feeling will help me stay on track. And give me a place to talk about my struggles without feeling like I’m burdening someone.

The other reason I wanted to make CF the focus of my blog is because it’s such an unknown disease. And awareness is key in finding a cure.

The first memory I have where I realized how little people knew about this disease was at a Martina McBride concert. It was a benefit for CF, and the first one I’d attended since my diagnosis. Seated next to me was a mother and her young son. At one point he turned to her and asked, “Mommy, what’s cystic fibrosis?” To which she replied, “I’m not sure, I think it’s a muscular disease.”

It’s because of experiences like that that I want to educate people about CF. Especially because my belief is that people would be much more willing to support a cause that they understand. One where they know where their money is going (research), who it’s going to help (CF patients), and what it’s for (to make CF stand for “cure found”).

I don’t want this blog to become all CF all the time. I’ll still post about music I’m listening to, books I love, and what I did over the weekend. But it’s also going to be a place for me to talk about whether or not I did my treatments this week, what things I’m struggling to deal with, my appointments at Hopkins, advancements in research, etc. And a place where people can ask questions, gain insight on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, and learn what cystic fibrosis is.

I’m really excited for where this could take me, and I thank you for joining!

(P.S. Answering questions/getting constructive criticism/meeting others with similar struggles/etc. is a large part of me starting this blog, so PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact me! Email FromAtoPink at gmail dot com.)

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34 thoughts on “The Long-Awaited Reveal

  1. I think what you’re doing is really wonderful! I’m currently at an internship doing social work in pediatrics and it’s difficult to see the families and patients trying to deal with chronic illnesses. Offering your support to others will change people’s lives and I hope that you are rewarded by it, as well 🙂

    • Thank you, Kara! It’s so encouraging to know that someone is reading and gaining something from it. Let me know if you have any suggestions, since you have a different perspective working in the healthcare field 🙂

  2. Great post, Katharine! I’m excited to read more and learn more about CF, too. I think this blog will be a great experience for you and for others. You are doing a wonderful job of helping people understand the illness and supporting others who are in the same boat! I’m so proud of you! xoxo

  3. I am so excited for you to be refreshing your blog with a focus on CF. I have to be honest when I say I don’t know that much about it, so you are already sparking discussion and creating awareness around the illness. I think it’s a wonderful niche that will allow so many to find you as a means of support. You are truly going to shine – not that you didn’t already 🙂

    And now that I’m in Baltimore, and if you’re doing fundraisers or working with the CF Foundation, I am more than willing to jump on board for the cause!

    Kudos to you for taking the blog in a perfect direction for you.

    • Thank you, Quinn! You are so sweet – and I appreciate the support! One thing I have in the works right now is organizing a team for the Great Strides Walk at Camden Yards. If you’re interested, let me know and I can get you the details. So excited that you’re now in Baltimore!

  4. I’m so happy you posted this blog- and gave such an honest look into why you have been hesitant to write about CF. I must admit, I don’t know much about CF – but I am eager to learn.

    Julie of SavvyEat and I were discussing spending some time on our blogs focusing on Making a Difference- maybe one of our spot lights can be CF awareness and a fundraiser for research or something? What are your thoughts? Is this something you would like to be apart of? let me know dear!

    Your blog is fabulous, by the way!

    • Hi Heather! First of all, thank you so much for reading! I would LOVE to be a part of your Making a Difference idea – this is just the kind of response I was hoping to get. Just shoot me an email letting me know what you need from me! Thanks so much 🙂

  5. Hey Kat!

    I know we haven’t chatted in forever but I do keep up with you– yay for Twitter! 🙂 I was kind of sort of secretly hoping that this would be the new focus of the blog and I’m SO glad I was right! So proud of you for speaking about things openly and I know this is going to be great for both your health and for CF awareness. Congrats, lady!

    • Kathleen! I am SO glad you stopped by to let me know you’re reading 🙂 And for being so supportive. Thanks for all the kudos – hopefully we can keep in touch!

  6. Hello,

    First of all, I must say I really enjoy reading your blog. You have a really infectious personality that bleeds through your writing. I honestly didn’t know anything about CF and reading this has taught me a lot about the struggle that you and many other people worldwide are going through.

    I’m sure that with your friends and family alongside and the occasional nudge from a random, yet inspired reader, you will get through the struggles with ease .

    Best Wishes,
    Joe

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! As a writer, espcecially about such a sensitive topic, it can be hard to gauge how you come off to readers, so I’m glad to know it’s only positive. I hope you keep reading and feel free to give any feedback – this is a very new venture for me!

  7. Good for you! It takes a lot of courage to write about something so personal. You are dealing with your condition with grace and humor, and that speaks volumes about who you are. I look forward to reading more and increasing my awareness.

  8. This is my first stop on your blog. It came up in a feed reader because you posted about CF.

    Congratulations for having the strength to talk about it. My girlfriend has CF and had a double-lung transplant two years ago, so, like you, I try to educate people about it as I can.

    I’ll keep checking in here. You write very well.

    Keep your head up. You’re doing a good thing.

    • I am so glad you found my blog! Mind if I ask where? One of the things I hope to gain from this is meeting other CF patients. Like I said on the blog, it can be lonely and having someone else who understands what we’re each going through can make such a difference. Hope your girlfriend is hanging in there. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  9. How brave of you to share this! I often avoid talking about serious things because that makes them seem more real, but you’re absolutely right: people need to be more aware of cystic fibrosis. Can’t wait to read more about it and you soon! 🙂

    • Thank you SO much, Michelle! I’m really excited to start on this journey and having readers like you giving me encouragement is beyond appreciated 🙂

  10. YAY, I love love love this new focus! I read it last night and sat crying on my couch…I think Cameron thought I was crazy, until I said…it’s Kat…then he understood! I am so impressed by you! I can’t wait to read more and such!!!

    Oh…and this phone thing is really not working for us…we NEED a phone date!

  11. Just keep writing… It’s good for you! You know, until you write the next great american novel – or my biography when I become famous in 40 years.

  12. The first think I clicked on was Peanut Butter Prerogative. 🙂

    Great blog, Kath. You look like you’re on top of the world in the main pic! Hope you always feel that way.

    -Kali

  13. I’m happy that you’re blogging again! And I love your honesty. I know that your candid posts will help a lot of people (and if anything – help someone without CF understand it better!)

  14. I think it is incredibly strong and incredibly brave of you to share your highs, lows and life with CF. You are a talented writer and I know that many people will appreciate learning more about CF (I know I will) and also the support your receive I am sure will be amazing. I look forward to your future blog posts and the start of a new year 🙂

  15. Katharine, Kudos on starting this up! What a great avenue to vent, inform, meet others struggling with CF and to learn more. Does Hopkins have a list serve of their patients. I really count on my support group for my AN and this could lead to many interesting things.

    Great photo, by the way. You look beautiful and healthy in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll be checking in on you!

  16. Wow! I applaud you for being brave enough to open up to all of us on here. I’ve found the blogging community to be one of the best and most helpful places to share struggles… I think it’ll do you good!

    Much love and Happy New Year!

  17. I just came across your blog and I think it’s fantastic. Kudos to you for raising awareness of CF. I don’t know much about it, other than that one of my friends in college (who was a cross country runner) suffered from it. I look forward to reading more from you!

  18. I just found your blog and after reading this post, I must say that you are a beautiful and delicate person on the outside but a strong girl inside.
    You are doing a great job being in control and I hope to read more from you!

  19. Congratulations on your blog! Your story has really touched my heart. I had suffered with severe joint pain for years with no diagnosis. I finally was put on a prescription anti inflammatory which helped. I also had prayer at my church. They taught me to speak to sickness and disease and command it out of my body in Jesus name! They taught me I had more authority than I realized. I hope this doesn’t freak you out but it all has worked for me awesomely! I guess what I am saying is…God can make away where there seems to be know way! Have faith girl! I will be praying for you!

  20. I just went back an read your story. You have an incredible strength of character, and I love how it comes out in your writing. I did an internship working with CF patients at Hopkins in ’07, and gained an amazing respect for those I was working with. I can’t imagine what you are going through, but I hope you’re able to find support through your blog and the motivation to take care of yourself as best as possible. I didn’t even think about not being able to have support groups because of infection- I hope this can be your support group instead. 🙂

  21. I’m so glad you commented on my blog so I could discover more. Sounds like you have an interesting story and I’m glad you’re sharing it 🙂 xoxo

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