Monday, May 14, 2012

Victim or Victor

A few weeks ago there was an article by a doctor who writes a syndicated column about health issues. His focus was Lupus. I was very excited. I love seeing the general population receive information about Lupus besides by House on TV. I would love for the doctor to look at me like they do on House and say "Maybe its Lupus" then they say no it's this terrible ailment that no one has ever heard about. It never is Lupus on those shows because you can't treat it, walk out of the hospital, and get on with your life. Lupus is messy and always present. Even in remission. I am finally in remission after 3 years of fighting Lupus in my spinal fluid, it has been a long battle. A battle that has taught me many important life lessons, such as humility. Lessons I am truly thankful for. I could have done with a little less pain, but yes I am thankful for the difficulties I went through. Which brings me back to the syndicated doctor in our local paper. He was educating the relative of a newly diagnosed Lupus patient. I thought he covered all the important information about Lupus very well. Then he wrote the phrase - victims of Lupus. Victim. I am not a victim. I looked up the definition of victim it is a person harmed, the synonyms listed- sufferer, injured party, casualty, loss. So maybe I am a victim. I have suffered, my body has been injured and has the scars to prove it, I have lost plans I have made for myself, the ability to enjoy a sunny day. But I don't want to be a victim. Yes, one day this disease will more than likely take my life, I plan on being one of the 90% who live a normal life span. I have known many who fell into the 10%. My sister lived for only 5 years after her Lupus diagnosis. Then there was a woman I met through my Lupus Peer Group, she was in her early 70's. Neither of these remarkable ladies ever acted as if they were a victim. They were strong and encouraging until their last breath. I was sad to lose them, but thankful to know they were free of their suffering. I use many of the lessons they taught me. My sister would not like the victim word either, she was a fighter. I don't like the word victim because it makes me feel as if something is taken away, it is the end, or I have no say. But I do have a say. I have suffered and it has made me stronger, taught me to persevere;I have been injured and it has taught me new ways to do things, I have had loss and I have gained the enjoyment of a cloudy day, new hobbies I would never have tried. So by definition having Lupus makes me a victim, but I choose to live my life as a victor.