I’m NOT my disease

Wheezing Away, written by Billy Dursens, is an interesting blog that I check into on a regular basis.

He doesn’t write daily, but he writes about a lot of things that interest me.  While we both have blogs focused on COPD, though, we have very different viewpoints of life.  That’s why I like coming here and going to the MyCOPD Team social networking site – we all deal with the news of our diagnosis differently.

As I’m reading about the death of Intel Founder, Andy Grove, who passed away from Parkinson’s disease complications at the age of 79, I know it’s true that the battle isn’t over until its over.  And that the diagnosis of a critical disease isn’t all that we bring to this life.  (Check out Andy Grove’s Wiki if you want more info – he was one of the original designers of the Integrated Circuit – and the CEO of Intel).

In my case, I want to emphasize that I am not my disease.  I have a large and varied life outside of purging my energy through making jewelry, watching favorite TV series which make me think, audio books, reading, or blogging.  Passions.  Hobbies.  We all have ’em.

Billy touched me today, though, with his blog featuring a quote from Michael J Fox:


For me, it’s the whole Kobayashi Maru sequence (geeky, old school Star Trek reference), that you deal the hand you’ve got, and you re-write the rules if you’re facing a no-win scenario.

Not saying that I can win by changing the rules or how I deal with the reality, but simply that giving up is not in my DNA.  Doesn’t seem like it’s in Billy’s DNA, either.

In my case, I have a good example in my older brother, who passed away from Brain Cancer in 2011.  Big Bro was never supposed to be the one who died, Golden Boy, as I was always the one who was ill and not expected to make it to this point in life.

To be here after my big brother is gone is really weird, and in some strange fashion makes me fight all the harder to enjoy every moment of life that I have, and to re-write the rules when they don’t fit what I want to know about my reality.

Mike with Blue Jay March 2010

Both Mom and Mike didn’t get enough time, and did the best they could to keep moving and enjoying life despite their heartbreaking diagnoses of COPD and Brian Cancer.

So, I especially enjoy the Michael J Fox quote as I came across it this morning as a reminder that the game isn’t over until it’s over.  We get up, we do what we can, and we try and pack in as much joy and fun as we can despite dealing with the reality of whatever any of us may be going through.  As long as we have breath in our bodies, we have a chance to fight anew.

And, yes, that’s my big brother feeding a wild blue jay (just like Snow White in the Disney movie) – the “Mayor” could have anyone or anything eating out of his hand because he was just that patient and charming.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and my Mom and remember how good we had it, despite any momentary upsets or challenges.

Easter 1969 – Baby Sis, Mom, Yours Truly, Big Brother

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