Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2 Girls on a Mission

Laura and I :

(let this download a lil, video at bottom)

This is the hardest Blog I have ever written. I woke up this morning and I found out my beautiful best friend Laura passed away last night. I started crying so hard I gave myself an asthma attack. I couldn't and still can't comprehend this. She was struggling a lot over the last year and especially last 6 months. But in the last few weeks since moving back home to Illinois she seemed to be getting some of her steam back. She kept fighting pneumonia and lung infections that wouldn't go away, but she was starting to be able to eat more and even doing more walking. She even climbed a flight of stairs. I really believed that Laura would battle through for a few more months until she could be listed for a Transplant. I never knew whether she'd get one, but I think I always believed she would. I couldn't bare the thought she wouldn't be able to get one.

Transplants are so difficult. You have to meet the criteria and have a small window (where you are ill enough, but not too ill). It seems so unfair that we are only allowed this window of opportunity to save our lives. She was always trying to be positive, she was always so sweet and beautiful. I can't believe she isn't here anymore.

Everytime I get sick or have a surgery I call or texted Laura. She was my partner in this battle. She had a similar type of case of CF that I have. We both have lots of intestinal/stomach issues. Both have had over a dozen sugeries/procedures and some secondary problems. She had CF diabetes and I have Arthritis and minor liver issues. She just understood. I know my family and non-cf friends are always there for me, but Laura could get my weird jokes about shaky hands on surgeons and stuff. We've know each other since we were kids!!!!! We practically grew up together in the hospital and watched as all our other friends lost their battle to CF.  I hate CF because of the amazing, young people it took from the world. I know I say I appreciate CF for teaching me strengh, determination, and independence. Well, its a love hate relationship.

At the age of 10 I lost Casey, my other half. My CF twin sort to speak. Casey and I used to pull pranks on the CF Camp instructors. We put a frog in an easter egg during the hunt! We used to stay and play at each other's houses in the summer. We'd go swimming at hers and drink ensure after getting out. And I even still have a carebear pillowcase she gave me! Casey was my age and she should not of lost her life at 10 years old. Andrea was a couple years older than me. She was 17, me 12 when she passed away. Andrea actually used to stay at my house for a full week or two in the summer. My mother was like a parent to her and she was like a big sister to me. Kevin, my monkey boy. Kevin I used to race wheelchairs with in the hospital and we'd play hot wheels. We never hung outside of the hospital, but he was always in whenever I was. I used to have my nurses all sign a tourniquet and I have one that say Kevin "your monkeyboy" . He was 17 when he passed away. Then there was Danny, my first crush and kiss. He passed away in 2010, we were both 24 when he passed away. Danny and I had lost touch because when we were in junior high is when CFers were told not to be around each other anymore. I invited him to my 8th grade dance as my date (he couldn't go), but sadly in high school we lost touch of each other until I found him on facebook in my mid 20s. And now CF has taken Laura from this world. Laura and I have remained close ever since we were kids.

Everyone always says "at least they aren't suffering anymore" and yes I'm glad her suffering is over. But not really, why? Because I know I'd rather be alive and suffer every single day if it meant being with my family and friends. Laura kept on pushing. She first told me in 2012 she'd need to new lungs, but it wasn't time yet. She wasn't sick enough. She knew it would be a hard long road ahead of her, but she wanted to fight. And yes, there are times when we think "ugh will it stop, will it ever end" "does CF always have to get in the way
of my plans" BUT, we never wish for it to end if it means not being here. She was so much like me when it came to the way we look at CF. We've seen people give up, people turn to drugs, people get negative about life due to CF and neither one of us wanted to be like that. We reminded each other of what life was worth and how beautiful the world is.

I'm mad, sad, devastated, confused, every emotion and for more than one reason. First, and foremost. It's unfair. I know that nothing ever is and that is life and it seems childish to write that statement. But she was 33, she wanted a career, a family, and at 33 her life ended. She was so sick most of the time she couldn't even hold down a job the last 5 years. She was in the hospital too much to be able to get through classes, when she got her CNA I was so proud. She had dreams and things she wanted to accomplish. She didn't get a chance to even start them, she practically lived the last year in the hospital, but Laura did do this. She motivated and still motivates me every single day. There are days I don't want to do my nebs and just go out with my friends instead, but I'm reminded of Laura. She'd say to me "Girl, do your nebs, you gotta!" She used the word Girl a lot. I can hear her say it actually, with a bit of spunk and flare. So mostly I'm sad because even though Laura did do amazing things, she didn't get the life she deserved. I hope she realized what she did for everyone and what she meant to us!

Also I'm upset in a selfish way. It makes my mortality more real. We were similar, we watched as most of of our friends from our clinic from my age group pass away. And I don't know what to do without her. For the last 10 years bascially she has been my only friend with CF (that I've known since childhood) and the only CF friend I've hung out with (in the past) in person. She knew everything about me. She was my go to for everything CF. Life will be a lot tougher everytime I'm sick or down in the dumps about CF. I don't call my friends at home (without CF) when I'm feelin down or upest about CF stuff. Even though they'd listen  and empathize, Its not the same. I feel like I lost the better part of our team, the half that was the spirit and beauty.

So Dear Laura:
I'm sorry we couldn't be together for the last 5 years in person that I never got to see your face smiling at me in person! I hate that those superCF bugs kept us apart. But I always knew you were by my side and still are. I will think of you whenever I eat good n plentys (even though people think we are crazy  for loving them). And know I'm going to take my sadness and turn it into power. I'm going to try even harder to kick CF's ass (as you always said) and to show it who is boss! I'm going to think of you everytime I run a 5K (which I'm going to start doing again), because you always were so proud of me for jogging and keeping on top of my health. In 2012 when you told me you needed lungs I made the facebook video for you, then I started training for first 5K. You were my inspiration. I always think of you while jogging and listening to Bruno Mars " You can Count on Me" and you were the reason I finished my first 5K (only one I've done) in 2012. The last 2 years I've been lazy and complacent. I promise no longer will I sitt on my butt. I will be the healthiest I can be and achieve what I want in life for myself and for you. I want to continue to fight CF and prove to CF that it won't always win!!! I'm still in battle (as you always said) and I know you are rooting for me!   I love you so much, I can't even comprehend this yet.

Your Cyster (sister with CF), your bestie, your partner in the mission,
LOVE, Cheriz

Please take the time to read about Laura's Long Journey. I have all the posts about her labeled Laura. So when you click on the link below it will show them all. Go to the oldest post and read towards the newest if you want to read them in order! Laura's Posts Newest-Oldest- read here!

 And if you knew Laura and want to pay respects. Donate to the CF foundation: you can do it online www.cff.org or you can donate to my "CF CLIMB" Challenge. I'm going to be climbing over 59 flights of stairs to raise money for CF & now for Laura! I'll be posting it in a week or so to my Facebook page & on here! Below was the video for Laura that I made in 2012. While she didn't get her lungs and the video is a lil old, I think it still shows her beauty as a person. Girl, I love you and miss you! Feel free if you knew Laura to leave a comment below about her!


3 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss, sweet Cheriz.

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  2. What horrible news, I'm so sorry for your loss! We sent her cards and donated to her transplant fund, it's so sad she couldn't get that transplant in time. CF is such an awful disease

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  3. She loved all the cards. She called me telling me she got some from people she didn't even. I think its amazing that you and everyone else jumped in to help, it reaffirms our faith in humanity. Thank you for donating too! All proceeds now will go towards funneral arrangements. She continued to motivate me, so if we could help her be motivated on some tough days then I'm very happy. And when I run a 5K early in the spring next year it will be all for her, she will still be motivating me. Thanks again!

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