Living with IPF — a column by Charlene Marshall

Charlene is a fiercely independent 30-something year-old 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.

Focusing on What Is Still Possible This Holiday Season

This holiday season will be far different from previous ones. Because we are still in the midst of a global health crisis that won’t be resolved by Christmas, families must make difficult decisions about how to celebrate the holiday season this year. As a Canadian, I haven’t paid close attention…

There Is Power in Your Pulmonary Fibrosis Story

I have always been uplifted and inspired by stories of hope, resilience, and people overcoming challenges. I would argue that many others feel the same way, because as humans, we all crave connection with one another, and stories are powerful tools that can unite us. In our current global health…

How Palliative Care Can Help IPF Patients and Their Loved Ones

The words “palliative care” often frighten those of us living with a life-threatening illness. This is because the term historically has been associated with end-of-life care due to its link with hospice care. But the two terms were formally separated in 1990, when the World Health Organization officially recognized palliative…

How to Talk to Kids About Chronic Illness

I have never met a cohort of people more resilient than children. I am reminded of this every day in my career, as I am privileged to walk alongside families facing hardships and discuss with parents and caregivers how to help their children through difficult times. As a trained therapist,…

Avoid Toxic Positivity to Help PF Patients

I began hearing the term “toxic positivity” this year, and the pandemic has illuminated the term’s meaning for me. According to The Psychology Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, toxic positivity refers to “the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations.” Since the beginning of…

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