Photo Credit: Alanna Story
You guys! We are super excited for our Take Over Tuesday Blogger today! We have the sweetest, kindest , most incredibly loving, and one of the strongest women around talking about her life and living with a terminal illness. We have the amazing Mandie from The Sherman Army on the blog today. We adore people who are making a difference in this world, and we are blown away by Mandie’s strength. We want to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and hope to one day find a cure. We have been so impacted by Mandie’s story and know that you will be too!
That being said…Take it over Mandie!
Hello Two Sisters and a Story friends,
Life with a terminal illness is… interesting. I remember in elementary school, it was “cool” that I had cystic fibrosis (CF). I got to leave class 10 minutes early for lunch to go down to the office to take my pills (enzymes). I also got to pick a friend to walk with me. I was the fun kid you wanted to be friends with, in hopes to skip out of class early.
I remember being at a friends house one day and she said she “didn’t take any pills, not even vitamins”. Not even vitamins, I thought?! My child mind couldn’t believe it. I thought everybody took pills, it’s so weird that she didn’t. I thought she was the different one, not me.
I remember being 12 when I first understood that CF was a terminal illness. I remember being taken back, mentally and physically. Trying to soak it in. I had serious questions, 1. Why had my parents never told me? I trusted them with everything. How could they have kept this a secret? 2. Terminal? What? No. “I just cough a lot. It’s okay, it doesn’t mean I’m going to die.”
I went home and confronted my parents, in the same sort of manner and caution as discussing Santa Clause. A little bit weary, a little bit unsure, thinking you are right but hoping you aren’t.
I remember their answer, “We didn’t want to focus on the terminal part. We will just do everything we can to make sure you’re healthy, taken care of and continue living our lives along the way.” It’s like I was just sick, but for a really long time. When you do what you have to to get better and give yourself a little TLC but you still get up and go to school, go to work, and get to practice.
Their response was exactly what I needed. I remember almost an instantaneous switch in my head. Like a light switch being turned and all the sudden it didn’t matter to me anymore that it was terminal. It didnt’ matter to me again. I really only spent probably three whole hours thinking and worrying about that “fact”. I went on living the “normal” life I knew because to us, this truly was and is normal.
Check out her blog next Tuesday for part two of this story!
You can find more of Mandie’s story on her Instagram, @ShermanMandie
or on her blog at The Sherman Army!
Thank you so much Mandie!
We love you!
Alanna, Natalie, & Lyndsie