Friday, November 2, 2007


I feel like I haven't blogged in ages! I'm sorry I've been MIA. And when I say "A" I mean it! This week has been so busy and it's not over yet!

I've got a few things on my mind this morning.
I've been thinking about mystery and fact: two words that keep the balance in romantic love and medicine. (Yes, I have a strange mind.)
Without mystery, love would be dull and uninspiring. Without fact, like the fact that your partner really cares, love would be far too scary to pursue.
Without fact, medicine would be nothing but a bunch of guesses and speculations; hardly worth undergoing the pokes and prods. Without mystery, there would never be the moment when a patient overcomes an illness despite all of the predictions of the doctors.
Fact gives us comfort and mystery gives us inspiration to keep going.
Two great opposites that go great together!

Another thing I am thinking of this morning is the word "survivor." I was reading that on a few patient blogs--not quotes from the actual patients but from those in "The Well World." I really don't like that term. (Have I talked about this before?) To call someone who has survived an airplane crash a survivor that makes sense to me; that's just a fact. To call me, a patient, a survivor makes me sound like I had something to do with it. For many of us who are in "The Sick World," we have seen people who did everything right die despite all of their "compliance" and effort. Likewise, we have seen people who do only the minimum of self-care live long and healthy lives. My grandmother smoked from the time she was 13 until she was in her 90's. Was she a lung cancer survivor? I don't think so--I think she was lucky!
Like my grandmother was, I think I am lucky. There are plenty of people who would have liked another transplant, or even a first, but didn't get one. There are people who excercised more regularly and ate a better diet who got cancer after transplant and died.
When I hear the word "survivor" I think of the TV show. I am not the winner of a million dollars, nor did I do anything better than anyone else to secure my position here on this earth. To call me a survivor is to call me a winner. That makes my friends who have passed the losers. No, I will not accept that! Call me lucky, called me grateful but don't call me a survivor!

Finally, the thing on my mind this morning is an event I am helping organize and will be speaking at this weekend. We are having a community pet memorial service. I think it is going to be a very touching and healing gathering for those of us who have lost and miss our beloved animals. My job is to create the program and write my talk. I will need to give it much more thought but I will post my talk once it is written--probably tomorrow.

Just a friendly reminder that Sick Girl Speaks! is available and there is a discount for patients and professionals. Email me if you're interested.

Have a great Friday!

1 comment:

Jill said...

I know this is a hot button for you, but I am going to dare to play devil's advocate on this one...

I think the notion of someone who survivies a plane crash has a lot of similarities to your situation, i.e.:
* it takes determination and stamina
* it takes knowledge (what if you did get that second dose of the evil medicine? or if you had the sinus surgery?)
* your chances of making it through are much better if you have good tools and solid support
* finally, there's definitely a sense of luck or fate!

No matter what verb you use to describe getting to this point, I am so glad you're still here, Tiffany!