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Cancelling Plans when you have Cystic Fibrosis

As Robert Burns once said “The best-laid plans often go awry”. Living with Cystic Fibrosis can often put a dent in these plans. Cancelling time with your friends is already a bummer, so how do you make it a little easier? Read these tips from our CF community!

  • “After too many times of suffering the consequences of not putting my health first, I’ve learned to say no. For me, it’s just not worth sacrificing my health. Lucky for me I’ve got a great family and friends who totally understand that. But having to miss weddings, family gatherings and/or trips with friends is always such a disappointment. For me, I’ve learned to always have a backup plan (ie. cancellation insurance for trips etc), and do things like facetime. It’s not the same but it’s better than nothing. And lastly, I try to do something fun for myself. If I can’t be there and be part of whatever the plans were because of my CF, I try to find something fun that I can do to try and compensate.”
    – Kim Wood
  • “I have learned to not feel guilty when I have to cancel plans because of CF reasons. Although it may be very frustrating for me to tolerate change of plans because of the effects of CF, my friends understand the need for me to be selfish about my healthcare. I know that if I don’t stop to get better, then things can turn for the worse very easily and quickly.”
    – Timothy Vallillee
  • “I’m really lucky with the friends I have in that they all understand that my CF comes first and sometimes that means I have to cancel plans last minute. I think the best advice I can offer here is helping your friends understand your CF and you. Spend time talking to them about what it is and how you feel when you’re sick. Allowing them insight can help them understand why you are cancelling plans.”
    – Mackenzie Norris
  • “Just be honest. Being too sick or too exhausted to maintain plans when you have CF is completely understandable. Don’t make up an excuse; just directly explain why you’re cancelling. My friends and family understand that I have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ CF days, and sometimes I’m just not up to the task.”
    – Abby McFee
  • “Be honest. People generally empathize and understand, when we have to cancel due to CF/health circumstances. Also, give as much notice as possible.”
    – Erin Sullivan
  • “When I have to cancel plans, I usually try to come up with an alternative, rather than just outright cancelling. For example, if I was going to go for a walk with a friend, but I’m not feeling well, I’ll suggest watching a movie instead. I also find that being very open about CF helps because if my friends understand my illness, they’re more able to understand why I need to cancel plans. When it comes to more serious things that need to be cancelled (like appointments or meetings), I usually keep it simple – I’m not feeling well. Really, I think it just comes down to being open and straightforward ahead of time so that when difficult times come up, people have context for it and can understand your situation.”
    – Terra Stephenson
  • “When I have to cancel plans it is because I am literally about to collapse. I hate cancelling plans and I never used to, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that you can rent that movie when it comes out or you can go to dinner another night. My job is to keep myself as well as I can for as long as I can and the people who love me will understand that and reschedule. I never cancel plans and just say ‘sorry, not coming’ I always say ‘let’s reschedule this date or we can do this instead!’ I never want my friends to think I’m standing them up, I love them all and want them to know they are important to me, and if I am important to them they will also learn to bend a little bit to help me out when I need a break”
    – Meaghan MacRury

Have insights you would also like to share? To be quoted in our blog please contact Terra at tgillespie@cysticfibrosis.ca

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