Thoughts for those who suffer with illness and for the families

I originally sent this to a friend of mine, but I thought it could help a lot more people too, so I am sharing.

I am very sorry to hear this news and will most certainly send good ju-ju your way. While I do not have cancer, I have spent almost my entire life sick and/or in pain so, if I may, I would like to give you just a few thoughts that I hope will help.
Thoughts for you:
Fighting your health is something you have to do alone; no matter how much your family and friends love you, it is something you will always have to fight alone.
But that should give you some comfort; knowing that because you alone have to fight it, you can control more of the variables. I can’t control if my mom gets depressed because I am always sick, but I can control what I show her and how I handle myself.
I often find it hard to find reasons to continue though, knowing in the same breath that no one can understand the anguish I am going through, but I find strength in one thought: You have one choice; you lie down and do nothing and the pain will only get worse, or you get up and fight, in the hopes that it might get better. It’s really the only choice because friends and family can’t fight it for you. They can’t take away your pain no matter how bad they want to. Only you and your strength and continued hope can do that.
That may sound bitter or depressing but it is really not meant to be. Hope is the greatest weapon against illness because it gives us our strength.
When it gets hard and you think it just can’t get any worse, try and imagine how it can and think about the possible rays of hope you have in front of you. I liken it to a dog being cornered; the dog either cowers and lets the beating come until he dies, or he fights for his life; that is what battling illness is. It is long, hard, and exhausting. It will take everything you have and maybe only for brief moments of relief, but it is the journey that matters here; not the destination.
Learn what this illness can teach you about internal fortitude and hope. Learn to truly appreciate your body and health and the moments of happiness in between.
And thoughts for your loved ones:
I have had to watch my parents faces when doctors told them I needed to have two spinal surgeries at 27, a heart surgery at 23, and an autoimmune disease at 22; a grand total of 8 surgeries in 11 years. Their faces that conveyed desperation, anger, anxiety, terror… I cannot know how helpless they feel as I fight battles they cannot fight for me, but I imagine it is horribly frustrating. My mother told me that she is angry with God for the battles I have had to fight; which tells me that it wears on her more than she dares to show me. My dad calls me every day because he wants to know how I am doing and goes to as many doctors appointments as he can.
It wears on them, and I know they would never ever make me feel like a burden.
But realize that we will…as the sick one, it’s hard not to feel like you are an inconvenience or bothering people. It’s hard not to show people just how bad you feel because you don’t want them to worry. It’s hard because you know you have to fight it alone and that telling the ones you love will only make them worry more.
So what can you do to help? Talk to him. Hold his hand. Don’t smother him, just be normal. Let him bring up his concerns and worries in his own time because he does want to talk to you about it, but doesn’t want you to worry. Try not to let him know how much you are worrying because it will only make him less likely to tell you how much he is in pain or how scared he is. Find things to make the days better, the pain less…read a book together, do puzzles, bring him a treat, something to make him comfortable, etc. Anything to occupy his time and mind.
And most importantly, don’t lose hope; because there is nothing harder than to keep hope when everyone around you has given up. Before I got a diagnosis, everyone doubted me and thought I was either a hypochondriac or lazy… and I had to reassure myself, on my own, that I was right and there was a reason I was sick… and sure enough, there was… and since then, everyone has rallied around me in support, but it wasn’t until I proved it on my own; and keeping hope when no one else does, it one of the hardest, scariest, and loneliest things you can do.
As I said in your portion, try and learn what this illness is here to teach you. Learn the strength, the hope, the appreciation, and the love that such trials can bring.

I hope that was not out of line. I have spent so long being sick that I have many examples to share and I hope that is my purpose for having gone through what I have. Dark days will come, and then maybe even darker… but you get up and fight because it’s better than lying down to die.

My thoughts and prayers,
Taylor Luster

Sent from Yahoo! Mail for Windows 8

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One thought on “Thoughts for those who suffer with illness and for the families

  1. Pingback: 10 Lessons from Chronic Illness and lots of Surgery – 7 down, #8 in 3 weeks. | Taylor Rae Luster- Flights of Fancy

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