My name is Diane. What I would rather do is tell you why I feel this chronic illness has enhanced my life rather than ruined it; to paraphrase Gandhi, how the illness “harmonized my inward and outward life;” how every new day became a precious gift, full of joy. Because of this illness, the grass became greener, family time more precious, the sky bluer, and the sounds of crickets and chickadees and colors of sunsets more glorious. I learned the value of homemade soup, a card or hug. I became more connected to my faith. I learned to spend my life wisely and included proper nutrition, exercise, and prayer. I was diagnosed in 2006. Had I developed this disease in the 1960s, I would have been dead within 6 months of diagnosis.
It is now the 21st Century. Rituximab has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. I am 5 years beyond diagnosis, in complete remission, and work full-time as a lawyer. I have gained much from this chronic illness—an appreciation of each day, and common sense and courage to deal with whatever next confronts me.
Published: May 2011
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