If you’re living with a chronic illness, sometimes it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I, personally, know that there are some days where it just feels like the universe is out to get you, but there are ways you can alter your perspective to see the silver lining. We asked our Patient Leader Connection Facebook Group*:
Despite the challenges of your health and caregiving journey, what is one thing you are thankful for?
- “When I was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma almost 10 years ago, I discovered a voice I didn’t know I had. It wasn’t a good voice — I remember, a month after i was diagnosed, getting pulled over for using a cell phone while driving when I hadn’t been using a phone. I argued with the police officer — something I’d never done before (and haven’t since). It wasn’t good. Over time, the frustration that created a voice was refined into a willingness to speak out. And while I’ve kept a blog about my condition for almost the entire time since my diagnosis, I’d never thought of myself as an advocate, or an influencer, or a patient leader. And now I do. So I’m thankful that I have a voice, that I discovered it, and that I’ve been encouraged to use it to help others who haven’t found their voices yet.” – Bob McEachern, Lympho Bob
- “I am thankful that I am not alone. When I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I did not know one other person with FM. So, I set out to change that and unite FM Fighters from around the world through my Community Facebook Page. Now, I’m connected to fellow Fibro Fighters in 24 countries. As isolating of an illness Fibromyalgia can be, at least I’m not alone because I have a global network of support I can reach out to. More importantly, I also have friends throughout the world whom inspire me every day. I’m forever thankful and grateful to each and every person who has joined my FM community and who support each other through our healthcare journeys. ” –Kristal Kent, The Fibromyalgia Pain Chronicles
- “I am thankful I chose to speak up. I wanted to hide living with bipolar disorder. I wanted to tell no one. I had such a deep sense of shame. I am thankful I got over that. ” – Gabe Howard
- “I’m grateful I’m alive and have the ability to have a life outside of the hospital and the bathroom. I can do anything now I have accepted my circumstances and love the chance to aid others in finding acceptance and joy in their life again.” – Erin Goodwin, InsideOut Ostomy Life
- “I am grateful for many things but perhaps the “wake up call” of being diagnosed with a progressive health condition in my mid-30s has not only made me very intentional about how I live going forward but also made me grateful for my youth which was, thankfully, quite un-hindered and carefree.” – Leslie Krongold, Glass Half Full Podcast
- “I am so thankful for the gift of life. Obviously, it goes without saying when you have a cancer diagnosis at age 36, but cancer gave me a purpose and a passion I did not have before and I am forever grateful.” – Katie Parker, Breast Cancer Patient Leader
- “Through all of the bad days, frustrations, doctor appointments, and treatments…I’m thankful that I realized I still had a big voice that could make a really big difference to a lot of people. My disease finally gave me something to be thankful for and I never thought that would happen.”- Kimberly Hartmann, A “Dummies” Guide To Learning To Live As A Patient Instead Of A Nurse
If you’re seeking some inspiration on your chronic illness journey, be sure to join our Patient Leader Network to stay in touch with all of these Patient Leaders and help each other along the way.
*If you’re already a WEGO Health Account holder, be sure to take advantage of our closed Facebook group. This wonderful community is a great way to make connections across condition areas and to learn from other Patient Leaders.