Sick Girl Speaks!
Lessons and Ponderings Along the Road to Acceptance


"I was born with cystic fibrosis and have undergone two double lung transplant surgeries.
Despite that, this is not a book about transplant or CF. In my travels, I’ve had the
opportunity to interact with many patients with a wide variety of diagnoses. While we may
have been on different medications, had different surgeries or experienced different
symptoms, the emotional, spiritual and psychological effects were often nearly identical.

I was inspired to write this book after a conversation with a friend who came to visit me
one summer. Her father had just had a stroke and was in the hospital. She told stories
filled with fear and sadness because she was so lost in the medical maze while
desperately trying to take good care of her dad. I was overwhelmed with the desire to
share with her all that I had learned through the years of stumbling through my own
illness maze."

-Excerpt from
Sick Girl Speaks!
Sick Girl Speaks! contains a lifetime of patient experiences, lessons and emotional reflections. Tiffany Christensen has lived with chronic,
acute and terminal illness. She has spent decades in the medical system making mistakes and overcoming obstacles. The time has come,
after her second transplant, to  tell patients and families what she knows.

While many books in this genre tempt readers with ways to cure illness, Tiffany's approach is far more grounded in reality. A cure is
certainly one possible outcome to illness, but, if that is the only objective, patients will find themselves devastated time and time again.
Instead, Tiffany advocates a spirit of acceptance entwined with logical strategies to make life better; no matter the physical outcome.

The book combines anecdotal teachings with honest journal entries. The road to acceptance is a winding one and the reader will see
contradictions even within a few short pages. This is evidence of the wide physical and internal landscape this author has covered during her
long illness journey.

With wit and clarity, this author brings us into the world of a patient--imparting lessons that could only come from so many years of
experience.
Sick Girl Speaks! is an easy read with much to be gained for patients, families and professionals alike.

Reader Reactions:

    “I wish ‘Sick Girl Speaks’ had existed when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of twenty-four. Tiffany loads her book
    with practical tips and advice, personal anecdotes, and profound wisdom. The reader will learn how to jump over the daily hurdles and
    wiggle through the emotional hoops that she will encounter on her vulnerable thoughts, makes the reader feel like she has sat down
    with a caring new friend who will guide her through the medical maze, preventing many headaches and conquering fears that no one
    else wants to talk about. I highly recommend it. It will make a huge impact on how you will choose to live with your illness.”



                --Lisa Copen, founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week,
                                                      Rest Ministries, and author of “Beyond Casseroles:
                                                           505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend”


"I originally picked up [Sick Girl Speaks!] because I wanted to read about [Tiffany's]experiences in living with CF, because my daughter, who
is a year old, was diagnosed at one month old.  However, her book is so much more than a memoir into those experiences.  It is extremely
well-written, and gives life-saving advice about dealing with the medical profession.  After reading it, I felt like sending a copy to every
doctor who I feel has given me poor care!  I plan on reading it again so as to absorb her advice.  Thank you also for showing that miracles
can happen, but even if they don't, a person can live a fulfilled life.  I hope to instill my daughter with Tiffany's teachings of life, love, and
mortality.  Thanks again!"

                                                                                                               ~ Meghann B.



"This is not just another CF memoir about illness and is far from maudlin or depressing. Tiffany’s unique approach was to create a “user’s
manual” for patients on how to navigate the medical system, how to cope with illness and poor prognoses. It is a valuable educational tool
for medical personnel, patients, as well as families and partners of people with any chronic, life-threatening illness.  In doing so, she weaves
into the instruction manual short vignettes about her life and the valuable lessons learned. She is personal, honest and endearing in her
writings and leaves the reader feeling like one knows the author intimately after reading it. Each chapter left me reflective, grateful and
empowered.

She touches on many psychosocial areas imperative for readers to know, such as: the value of reaching out to a support system, body
image, acceptance, faith, communication with medical personnel and insurance companies, maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of
humor. She teaches readers to empathize, and it was easy for me to imagine myself in that place of helplessness as the body gives out. Yet,
her teachings also shine with hope, showing how the will to live can surpass even the grimmest of prognoses.  
Despite what most readers may assume is a depressing topic, Tiffany’s sense of humor comes through even in the most frustrating
moments, and I found each chapter entertaining as I laughed and cried with her in her musings. It is a book that many patients and their
families will be able to relate to. Tiffany Christensen gave a gift to society in writing this much needed and one-of-a-kind book and I feel
privileged to have been inspired from reading it."


                                                             ~Anabel Stenzel
Author, “The Power of Two: A Twin Triumph over Cystic Fibrosis”



                                                                                                                                -Jennifer Eisenmann, cystic fibrosis adult,South Carolina


"In a culture that often skims the surface in dealing with illness, Tiffany Christensen speaks with a bold, vibrant, deeply-knowing voice that
is, without question, real.  In
Sick Girl Speaks!, she helps us navigate the physical, emotional and spiritual terrain that patients and
caregivers face in the disorienting, sometimes hostile medical system.  Having faced death more than once, Tiffany offers all of us insight
into what it really means to live.”  

                                                                                                                             -James L. Brooks, Executive Director,
ProjectCompassion