March 26, 2010

The day of tomorrow...

I was just reading an article in the magazine we publish at the office and one sentence really struck a cord with me. "The day of tomorrow isn't promised to anyone"

While this is true for everybody on this world, this applies all the more for people who are chronically (and terminally) ill. As a family member or as a friend, we sometimes tend to forget this little truth.

I my case, I think it's an auto-defence mechanism, a way to make sure that you and your loved one can live life with a semblance of normalcy.

I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one who developed this mechanism to cope with it all. Sometimes you just don't WANT to know, because then you'll have to deal with the implications.

Take for example the case of my mum. She's been showing Lupus-related symptoms since age 15, that would make it a 40+ year span. In linked article describing SLE, they talk about a survival rate in United States, Canada, and Europe of approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years. What kind of rate does that leave somebody after 40+ years, you ask yourself?

In my mum's case, she wasn't (correctly) diagnosed until many years later, which is a blessing in disguise. Pregnancy is a high risk in the case of this illness, I'm glad she didn't know before, otherwise, I wouldn't be here today.

But on the other hand she's never been one to blindly do as told, she's always been a feisty woman. Maybe as a result of having to fight pains all her adult life.

This brings me back to the guy I was reading about, I know him personally too. I just can't imagine how it is to be in your late teens and be told that you have a degenerative and fatal disease. I'm quite sure he's had (and still has) his bad moments, but nonetheless he still soldiers on. Still looks for challenges and opportunities in stead of just giving up and living from day to day.

He still goes and studies and wants to help others, to give back. In the time I've known him, I haven't seen him with a frown on his face, he's always trying to cheer others up. Maybe it's his way of cheering himself up too.

For once, I don't even know where I'm trying to go with this blog. Maybe all I'm trying to say is, don't let yourself be beaten down. and if you know somebody with a chronic disease or some other kind of limitation, don't forget that they are still individuals like you and I, not a case-number, not some anonymous statistic. Help, when help truly needed and when asked for, just like you would do to any other good friend.

And meanwhile, live each day as if it could be your last. If you love somebody, don't wait till tomorrow to tell them for tomorrow may never come.

1 comment:

Johan said...

All very true. I'm waiting for the magazine to arrive here in Antwerp. I'm curious to read the article concerned. Very well written blog!


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