Author Archives: Lara Govendo

A Giant Win After a Big Loss

After a monstrous letdown, we need a win. Those of us with chronic illness need reminders to keep on keeping on. The glimmer of hope for better days is necessary to move forward. Rarely do we have a whole day that is good, so when we do, we cling…

Plan A Didn’t Work — Now What?

I open my eyes, and the walls around me blur like a mirage. I whisper through my post-intubated raw throat: “Did it work?” My nurse replies: “No, they weren’t able to fix the problem.” Preliminary tears well up in my anesthesia-drunken stupor. She must be lying, I think…

I Don’t Always Wear the Badge of Bravery

In my previous life (pre-double-lung transplant) I was the bravest I’ve ever been. Before my transplant, the most important piece of my identity was bravery. I was brave in the face of death countless times. Post-transplant, my courage level has shifted into fear, anxiety, and reservation. How do we…

I’m No Longer Resisting a Rest

Earn your rest. Earn self-care. Earn taking care of yourself. The list is endless for the unrealistic standards forced on us by society. The United States is driven by an obsession with productivity levels. Taking days off is portrayed as weak, a lack of trying, and laziness. Where is the…

How I Regained My Independence During the Pandemic

As restrictions from COVID-19 lift ’round these parts, my urge to get back to business as usual has intensified. I’m lucky to live in a state that’s been less affected, so I dared to ask my favorite doctor the burning question: “Is it safe to grocery shop again?” I…

Let’s Unite to Ditch the Charade of ‘I’m Fine’

Confusion over how we “should” react to suffering wreaks havoc in the mind, often triggering a shame response. We so often utter the words, “I’m fine,” though that performative response is far from the truth. Inside, we cry out for help. The cultural norm’s expectation is to function without our…

The Story Behind Awareness

Each time I meet someone new, CF pours from my mouth. It has become impossible to negate that intricate piece of who I am. Cystic fibrosis isn’t my whole life, but it has evolved me into the person I am today. May marks Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month. In…

The Counseling Connection

Despite battling chronic illness, I managed to stumble through six years of college. Obtaining my master’s degree in mental health and school counseling was a herculean feat. But I didn’t power through it on my own: I believe in my own product and have had therapy on and off…

The Transformation of Transplantation

In spring 2015 I began journeying toward a challenge I hadn’t known would come to fruition so quickly: lung transplantation. Concerned for my life, my care team had labeled my cystic fibrosis “unmanageable.” Blinded by my inability to admit when I was sick, I couldn’t realize that truth. Wanting…

Hanging by a Hope During the Coronavirus Crisis

The invisible killer is nothing new. Something that can’t be contained? I feel that. Not knowing if or when it will hit you? Every. Single. Day. Cystic fibrosis is a monster. And so is having a transplant. There’s always an underlying fear of the untamable beast. Those of us with…


Featured Column

How I Discovered That PTSD Was Causing My Post-transplant Struggles

PTSD, mental health, communities, stress, grateful, work, trauma, rare disease day, transplant, CF community, National Blood Donor Month, birthdays, holidays
Columnist Lara Govendo addresses an issue that several readers may relate to: post-transplant PTSD, which can wreak havoc.

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