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Marcia Shares Lessons Learned to Help Others Living with COPD

COPD Basics

April 30, 2024

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by Lizzy Sherman


by Lizzy Sherman


Welcome to Faces of Bezzy, a series spotlighting members of the Bezzy community. There’s nothing like hearing and learning from others who’ve walked in your shoes. Chat with other community members, learn something new, or maybe even make a lifelong friend.

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Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

Fast facts

  • Name: Marcia Frost or MarciaLF on Bezzy
  • Location: Champaign, IL
  • Year diagnosed: 2016
  • Describe yourself in 3 words: Outgoing, creative, caring
  • Bezzy member since: 2023
  • Go-to healthy snack: Plain Greek yogurt with peanut butter (Sometimes I melt some chocolate on top.)
  • Your happy place: Cuddling with my Yorkie, Teddy.
  • Best piece of advice you’ve ever received: “This too shall pass.” My mother tells me that whenever I’m going through a rough time.
  • Person who inspires you the most: Michael J. Fox. He used his Parkinson’s diagnosis to help so many.
  • Hobbies: Cooking and baking.
  • Song that makes you smile: Tiny Dancer by Elton John.
  • Favorite movie or show to watch: Daisy Jones & the Six! I’ve watched it twice and I’m thinking about doing it again.
  • Pets: Teddy. He’s almost 4 years old and keeps me going every day.
  • One piece of advice you would give to your younger self: Slow down.
  • Celebrity you would love to see play you in a movie: I’m told I look like Stevie Nicks and Susan Sarandon. They are about 10 years older than me, but I’d be flattered to be played by either!
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Q&A with Marcia Frost (MarciaLF on Bezzy COPD)

When were you diagnosed and what were your first symptoms?

I was diagnosed with COPD (emphysema) in 2016. I had some shortness of breath, so my doctor did a CT scan and found it.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Right now, I’m home nursing a broken foot and getting ready for a major ankle and foot reconstruction, so I can’t drive.

My Yorkie Teddy and I get up at about 8 a.m. I do some yoga or band exercises, make coffee and breakfast, and check my email while watching the morning news.

I usually have doctor calls or appointments and check on things my mom needs done. Then, in the afternoon, after lunch, I do some work.

How do you balance everyday tasks with managing your condition?

When I am in the recliner most of the day, I have a heated blanket that helps with pain. I have multiple autoimmune and connective tissue diseases in addition to lung issues. I do some chair exercises every hour or so.

What’s one thing you wish you knew right after your diagnosis?

I wish I had changed doctors sooner. My first pulmonologist told me nothing! I had to read in my CT report that I had emphysema.

My new pulmonologist is wonderful. He is always open to questions and available when I have a problem.

What has been the most challenging part of living with your condition?

Definitely getting out of breath so quickly. People think you can build up stamina all the time. That is partially true, but with COPD, you hit a wall at some point.

Before my ankle problems, I could walk about a block. I could try every day, and that was as far as I’d get without huffing and puffing.

What do you wish friends and family understood about your condition?

How absolutely wiped out I get from little things.

What advice would you give to someone just starting treatment?

Don’t give up! There may be no cure, but there are a lot of treatments. Ask for another treatment if you think yours isn’t working.

What led you to become involved in advocacy work for your condition?

I always like to help people with things I’ve learned on my long journey with chronic illness.

What does being a part of Bezzy mean to you?

Someone welcomed a new member to the forum the other day and wrote, “You could always ask Marcia anything. She knows a lot, and she cares.” That really made me feel good.

Fact checked on April 30, 2024

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About the author

Lizzy Sherman

Lizzy Sherman is a writer and editor specializing in health and wellness. Her work has also appeared in Healthline, Medical News Today, Greatist, CNET, and many more.

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