What about your New Year’s resolutions? Do you usually get very far? Do they last for the whole year, are they forgotten after a few months or even a week? According to the statistics, less than ten percent achieve what they initially wanted, that’s a bit scary. Naturally, as a chronic illness warrior I have lots of goals to set each New Year’s Eve. I revise my energy, physical abilities, potential risks and possibilities. Some of my resolutions are health-related – they concern special diets and workouts. Others have to do with the way I combine my private and professional life. Will I get far with my brand new resolutions? No idea. Still: I have a word of comfort for you.
A few years ago, I would have defined “achievement” in a different way. Being chronically ill, I have learned to set my goals with greater flexibility. Looking back at this year which is soon going to end, I see that I have done all the things that I wanted to do, although I had to alter my schedule various times.
When I became a chronic illness patient after my diagnosis, it took me a while to realize I was part of the „spoonie community“. I found out that such diseases rarely come alone. Most of the patients seem to have a whole catalogue of afflictions. I don’t. I have CLL and my immune system does not really deserve its name, but that’s it. However, once you are a spoonie, chronic health issues seem to pop up everywhere.
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.