The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the verb fight as;
to use weapons or physical force to try to hurt someone, to defeat an enemy, etc. : to struggle in battle or physical combat
I’ve been thinking a lot about my fight with heart disease this week. A heart sister of mine experienced a major setback after her transplant three and a half years ago. A dear friend of the family passed away after a long fight with breast cancer. What has caught my attention about these two amazing women specifically is, they did everything ‘right’. In my mind, I thought that after my transplant my fight would be over. I would follow the directions of my doctors regarding diet, exercise, medicine etc. and everything would be just fine. The truth is, it may not be. My fight will continue… forever.
When I realized that this fight will follow me beyond my transplant I felt defeated. Why try if there is no guarantee of a victory? Why should I follow all of the rules if I’m not promised the long life I fight for? Then I realized that is exactly why when someone is diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness we call it a ‘fight’ or a ‘battle’. We don’t call it a game because the better or more skilled will not be ensured a victory. We don’t call it a test because no matter how much you prepare you aren’t promised triumph. It is a fight because, like the definition says, you TRY to hurt someone or defeat an enemy and you STRUGGLE in that battle. Right there it says that it won’t be easy and there are no guarantees.
There may be no assurance that the diet, exercise and medications will keep me healthy until I am old and gray but I can guarantee you one thing. You can’t win a fight if you don’t try.
“Don’t say I lost the battle to breast cancer. I actually won. I won by the way I lived and the way I was loved.” — Susan Wardynski, July 2015
I needed that quote this week. It is just like Mrs.W to be able to help me even after her passing. During her battle she was able to begin a nursing career, attend her sons wedding, welcome her first grand-baby, and watch her daughter become a doctor. She’s right, she didn’t lose and I won’t either. I will live and love in a way that would make her proud.
Mrs. W, thank you for always sending me inspiration and courage when I need it most.
Courage, dear heart. C.S.Lewis