Twenty years ago, not only Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died. A few days before, my childhood friend Nathalie had been killed in a car accident. I remember watching endless reports about Diana and Dodi’s fatal crash thinking about Nathalie. She was the first to go…the first one of my generation.
Today, on my 43rd birthday, I would like to tell you about two amazing experiences I had when I recently traveled through India. Both of them were extremely physical. One of them made me aware of cultural differences in our attitude towards death. The other one gave me insights about the poorest of the poor – and how the other half dies.
No matter if you have a partner or you don’t, if you have children or you don’t, if you are surrounded by many friends or just a few – the battle against chronic disease and terminal illness will have to be fought alone mostly. Like Sisyphus, you are rolling your burden up the hill, but have to watch it going down again. And just like Sisyphus, you can find happiness…
I once went to a party where people had done their very best to dress up – and then they all had to take their shoes off. The hostess was wearing an extremely tight and short cocktail dress, but she combined it with scuffs and the overall effect was ridiculous. (Also for the guests in their hole-in-toe socks) If you do your very best to look good during those bedridden or homebound days, don’t forget to choose your shoes carefully. I have summed up the golden rules for spoonie shoes for you here.
My immune system is so delicate. A sneeze turns into a cold turns into bronchitis turns into pneumonia. I am not kidding. I have been trying to boost my defense for at least twenty years. 99 percent of the usual natural remedies don’t work for me. Initially, when I found out that I had CLL it seemed like a logical consequence of those millions of viruses and bacteria which have inhabited my body. Of course, I still try to improve my resistance against infections.
Do you know the saying that bad news travel fast? Well, so does chronic disease. Once you are diagnosed, you are constantly aware of symptoms and their influence on your life. And within shortly, you have to adapt to a completely new lifestyle. I try to beat my cancer by being faster. As long as I am strong enough, I want to be one step ahead.