It shocked the world (and me) when just a little bit over 2 weeks ago, we found out that actor Chadwick Boseman had passed on due to Colon cancer.
It made headlines also because seemingly nobody knew, but his closest family and friends. No one leaked it to the media while he was alive.
The fact that he was so young and talented and that his light was dimmed so early, really hit me in the heart. I empathize with him with the weight loss. I was sad that many online earlier in the year, as recent photos had surfaced people made light of how thin he had become. I personally just thought it was for a role he was playing. Now looking back, you could see that his illness was taking toll on his body. Last fall I became ill 3 times and dropped down to 78lbs. Now I’ve
I have never had Cancer myself (praise the Lord), but have know others that have. I imagine it is a similar beast, but I know it’s not the same.
But today I would just like to talk about how in awe I am that despite Mr. Boseman’s diagnosis, he still worked and was seemingly active.
If you have read my blogs, you know that I have Chronic Kidney Disease and was diagnosed about 4 years ago. Currently, I am in Stage 5, which is classified as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). I am currently on what is called Peritoneal Dialysis at 35 years old. I am just now gaining enough weight to get officially listed on the Kidney Transplant list. But enough about that.
Here are 5 ways that I empathize with Chadwick may have been going through during his fight:
- The appointments– I have a doctor appointment every month and lab appointment every month….it really is a drag to schedule these things around your other things you have going on but you have to. This may not seem bad, but it’s difficult when you have a husband who works a ton, a kid in virtual school now and you’re running too businesses from home.
- Treatments- Thankfully, I get to do my dialysis at home. Every night though, I have to hook up to my dialyzer for 10 hours a night. This causes me to be very cautious of my time in the evening. Making sure I set my machine up, take a shower and be in bed on time so I can get up for work and help my son get ready for school. Dialysis has helped me feel better, but has changed my body a bit (How Dialysis has changed my body, I’ll save this for another post).
- Somedays you just don’t have the energy– Although if you have a chronic illness and you are likely receiving life saving treatments and/or on medication (usually ALOT of medication) that are supposed to help you, sometimes the treatments or the meds do quite the opposite. Most of us used to pop up and jump out the bed, now we have to sit there and wait for our bodies to catch up to our minds. It’s hard because we have stuff to do! A life, kids, husbands, wives to tend to. None of us asked for this, but yet we have to push on.
- Attention– Being “sick” does require support. But it’s difficult. Personally when I have a medical issue, I just want my closest relatives to know. When I was in the hospital while pregnant with my son for 3 months, I didn’t want too many visitors. I like for folks to visit, send cards and what not, but I do not require people to sit with me for prolonged periods of time. I admire that Chadwick’s family and friends didn’t reveal to the press what was going on with him. I think some people (such as myself) don’t like to make a big deal about themselves.
- It’s such a mental battle, as well as physical– I think the mental part can the real challenge. Questions like, “why me”, “how’d I get this”, “Lord, did I do something to deserve this?”, “what about my family” are all things that pop into your head. I always say “I’m a young person, with old people’s problems”. I never expected to be notified that I had a life threatening disease at 32. I mean I thought only “old” people have kidney failure. It’s a daily fight to keep negative thoughts out of your mind.
Everyone’s battle is different though.
I hope for my readers I gave you some slight insight to what people with chronic illness are dealing with.
Everyday is a fight.
We may look ok on the outside, but really the sad fact is often were not. Sometimes we might not want to share that, like Chadwick Boseman chose not to and for me that is just fine.
Until next time…