Charlene Marshall,  —

Charlene is a fiercely independent 30-something woman who can’t sit still. She loves coffee, wine tasting, playing with her dog, and spending time on the beach with her family. She’s a lover of all things travel, and never passes up an opportunity for a dip in the ocean! A proud Canadian, Charlene was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in 2016 after 13 months of investigation into sudden shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and unusual fatigue. IPF has forced her to slow down, but she’s slowly learning the value of quality versus quantity in everything she does.

Articles by Charlene Marshall

Grateful for My Cognitive Abilities, Despite Failing Lungs

Many chronic illness patients experience brain fog. Those living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and life-threatening lung condition, are no exception. Due to being chronically under-oxygenated, especially as the disease progresses, many IPF patients find their brain fog prohibitive to important aspects of their life, such as excelling…

Are These PF Symptoms Annoying to Others?

One of my biggest fears is being a nuisance to others. As much as possible, I try not to rely on anyone and have learned to become stubbornly independent. This is why living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a debilitating and life-threatening lung disease, has been so hard on me:…

COVID-19 and IPF, Round 2: Here’s What Happened

No one will ever convince me that COVID-19 is just a cold. Unfortunately, I’ve heard this sentiment echoed by healthy friends since the start of the pandemic as a means of downplaying public health measures meant to curb the spread of the virus. But having had COVID-19 twice now, I’ll…

Even With IPF, I’m Still Privileged

Given the various unfortunate events happening around the world, including the evolving war between Russia and Ukraine, I’ve been reflecting on the many ways my family and I are blessed. At times, I’ve been guilty of not realizing my privilege. I’ve always had the basic necessities, including a roof…

An IPF Patient Perspective on What It Means to Be Rare

For most of my adult life I was blissfully unaware of rare diseases. This lasted until 2016, when I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a life-threatening and progressive lung disease that affects about 200,000 Americans, with 50,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. Like many others,…

I Often Find Myself Downplaying My Invisible Illness

One of the unique challenges of living with an invisible illness is figuring out how to tell others. Although I’ve lived with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) for five years, it’s still not easy for me to disclose my condition. Most people wouldn’t know that this life-threatening and relentless disease has…

How Pandemic Fatigue Is Showing Up in My Life

As we approach year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am tired. I’m sure we all are. This pandemic fatigue, combined with the January blues, makes it a difficult time of year for many, and leaves the world feeling heavy and dark. While there is no immediate fix, being…

The Top 4 Words I Use to Describe IPF

I have tried countless times to describe idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In 2019, I tried to explain what it physically feels like, but I still can’t find words that adequately convey how hard living with IPF is, especially as it progresses. I never do the experience justice. Since most…

Your PF Community

Woman laying down reading

Visit the Pulmonary Fibrosis News forums to connect with others in the PF community.

View Forums