Author Archives: Lara Govendo

Praising the Caregivers Who Helped Me Endure

If you told me 10 years ago that I would be reliant on my parents again, I would have laughed in your face. I was always proud about being independent, and I didn’t need anyone to help me — until I did. When I had my double-lung transplant three…

Respiratory Care Teams Are the MVPs of CF Care

As a person with cystic fibrosis, I’ve formed close-knit relationships with care providers in multiple disciplines. Before my double-lung transplant three years ago, I was hospitalized frequently. I would be hospitalized for a couple weeks, out for a few, and then back in again. So the cycle went. My…

True Story: I Got Fired for Being Sick

I remember what it felt like to get fired for being sick: that pit in the middle of my belly that caused my mouth to go dry, my voice to shake, and my face to flush with shame. Sitting around a table with multiple bosses, I couldn’t believe what I…

What to Do When Depression Strikes

What is that heaviness on my chest that feels like a ton of bricks, for which the only relief is bawling my eyes out? Ah yes, I remember you. The raw, real emotions that creep in the shadows of night, depression is a monstrous hitter. It knows how to…

How to Keep Your Growth Game Strong

September is Self-improvement Month. It’s a timely reminder to stay woke on my growth game. Stagnation is not an option for me. It often leads to complacency, which then leads to murdered dreams. With my new lease on life, I do not have the luxury of staying the…

Transplant Anniversaries Acknowledge Trauma and Triumph

Transplant anniversaries are hard for me. And they’re wonderful. They’re sad, then great again. Up, down, and all around seems to be the cycle of my emotions. These anniversaries affect my body, too. It’s as if I’m reliving the days leading up to my transplant all over again. I…

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…


Featured Column

The Benefits of Being Sick

A banner for Lara's column, depicting a car on a road trip winding through a forest.
As columnist Lara Govendo reflects on her journey through CF and transplant, she realizes there are a surprising number of benefits.

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