This week I was asked to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Of course I said yes, but it got me thinking about the lengths that people are forced to go to, to raise awareness of and funding for terminal illnesses.
I don’t think I am ready to take on the big pharma companies in this little blog – I honestly don’t know whether they do everything they can to cure diseases or not. But I do know that we managed to send a man to the moon but we still have no cure for the common cold and all drugs (whether they work or not) are really expensive.
Why is that?
Is it possible that we as people are more interested in taking pills than in preventing disease in the first place? I don’t know.
I do know that if you are told that you have a life threatening (or worse terminal) illness, everyone wants to talk to you about “the treatment plan”. Doctors, nurses, councilors, and care givers appear out of nowhere and suddenly take control of your precious life. There are blood tests, and cat scans, and MIRs, and x-rays and biopsies and pills and schedules coming out of your ears, but there is no one to coach you on how to actually live without letting disease management consume what is left of your life.
Everyone says “fight this” and I am not saying they are wrong – you do have to summon a will to live every day like never before. But what seems missing is the person who sits you down and says – live in defiance of your circumstances and make a “Life Plan”.
Yes, take your medicine or the treatment that you and your doctor have agreed upon, but more importantly set goals, make plans, support a cause and enjoy the sunshine every day.
Remember – there are many other people who are worse off than you – who did not make it this far – who would actually envy you and all your current problems.
In short – appreciate what is happening to you for what it teaches you about yourself and the importance of life; and for what your experiences can enable you can teach others. Help raise awareness of the importance of living life to the fullest.