"There is no overcoming of disability. Because a chronic condition doesn't improve, you cannot conquer it, you cannot defeat it. Arthritis doesn't go away. Neither does MS, ALS, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, many types of blindness and deafness. There is only living with it, coexisting - sometimes uneasily, sometimes not. Having a disability is part of what you are, what you do. Sometimes it's a small part and sometimes, it overwhelms the rest. But what remains is this: you live your life anyway."I am not disabled but I do have a chronic illness (and it's ongoing side effects) that has forever changed my relationship to the world and permanently altered my body. I wear these physical changes quite publicly, as lymphedema makes a prosthesis unwearable. And I need to work constantly to mitigate the post-surgical stiffness and the uncomfortable side effects of lymphedema.
The cancer will never go away completely (although we are doing a pretty good job of beating it back) but life goes on. There are many, many days when I feel wonderful, optimistic and healthy. But on the days that I don't, I keep living anyway. Because really, what other choice do I have?
And really, do go read Lene's post. I found it incredibly thought provoking and beautifully written.