June 16, 2017

June 16, 2017
Grandma and Grandpa

Monday, June 14, 2010

NL #40: Like Fingernails

NL #40: I've noticed that, when we see one another, those of us with serious illness are somewhat like dogs meeting one another in a park. No, I don't mean we sniff one another's butts, but we are cheerfully curious about one another and want to know the other's story. It's like a club with a rough initiation.

Friday, while I awaiting my massage, another woman--apparently healthy--said to me, "Excuse me, this is a personal question. Do you have MS?" I explained that no, I have had brain tumors. "Oh," said Danielle, "I've just been diagnosed with MS." She smiled. It's a kind of introduction.

We shared stories about how our illnesses were discovered. Danielle was in a chronic pain study at the University of Washington, and when they did an MRI they found the MS. We also shared stories about early symptoms: apparently many MS symptoms are much like brain tumor symptoms. We also talked about how people react to us. Danielle said that yesterday someone told her she had made a contract with God before she was born to experience this illness in this life. Another person told her that she must have "something in her" that fostered the disease. A couple of her closest friends, she said, avoid her as if her MS is contagious.

I've heard enough similar stories from others with life-changing illness that I suspect I am the exception rather than the rule: no one has suggested that God or I plannned this illness or that I deserve it. My friends and family have gathered around me and Ann in a web of support.

I think of my tumors more like fingernails than as some deserved blight. I got fingernails. They came with me when I was born. I really don't know why. I also got tumors, one of which was born with me. I don't know why.

Thanks for being the friends you are. If you believe such nonsense as Danielle has encountered, at least you're keeping it to yourself. You're the best. Mary

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment: I'd love to hear your thoughts!