Monday, 17 November 2014

Do You Hate Your Disease?

The completely honest answer to this is no. And I know I'm going against the vast majority of sick people when I say this. I've heard the old "if anyone tells you anything different, they're lying" but I promise you I'm not. Diseases are quite rightly hated furiously by most people but the strange thing is that I've never felt it myself when I think about my own diseases. I'm not a hating kind of person. I feel like someone has won if they make me angry. I remember people asking Lynda Bellingham (a British TV actress who spoke out about dying of cancer before her death very recently) if she'd thought about all the people who had done her wrong. And she said "you don't." And I thought that was an odd question. Of course you don't, why on earth would you?

I understand why people hate cancer. I hate cancer. It's not something that such a deep part of your make up like heart or lung disease is. I was always going to be born with heart disease and I was always going to have lung disease. It wasn't a little piece of chance, a cell that mutated. There was no bit of bad luck that could just as easily gone the other way. My disease was written into my genetics from the get go. It is as much a part of me as my green eyes and my long toes. It's not an alien tumour that's growing inside me. It's my own organs

That is not to say I wouldn't prefer a life without my disease but I would say that I wouldn't change anything now it's happened because it makes me who I am. Who am I if not "the girl with heart disease"? I thought I might be alone in my lack of anger but everything Lynda Bellingham said in her interviews I completely agree with. She had it all right. There was not an angry bone in her body. And I think it's much better to live your life peacefully, rather than filling yourself up with anger at something you can't change. 

I think it helps that I don't think of my heart and lungs as diseased. I think of them as weak flailing young, birds just broken out of eggshells, premature babies with such delicate skin they're translucent. I don't imagine them as blackened smokers organs. They're weak and flailing but they're trying their best and I'm proud of them for getting me this far. They've done alright and they've survived an awful lot. I no more hate my disease than I'd hate the runt of a litter. In fact I'm more disposed to love the cute, little weakling than the puppy that's jumping around and chewing on my shoe.


  1. I feel exactly the same way about me and my diseases Sara! I've never really hated them. I used to get frustrated and that bothered me but I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't been born with heart problems that then turned into lung problems. I think overall they made me a better person. Why be angry at something you can't change? We do the best we can with what we've got and that's all we can do and I certainly don't plan on spending my life angry at something that has made me who I am.


    1. I'm glad I'm not alone! I always think it's strange how little it bothers me day to day. I completely agree that it makes us who we are and we wouldn't be the same without it. I would hate to be angry all the time. Got to keep our chins up and carry on!

  2. Wow I just want to say that you have an amazing attitude. Your blog looks great, I'm really glad I stumbled upon it in my random internet searches. :) When I was 19 in 2013 I was diagnosed with cardiomypathy (heart disease) and its been hard not to hate it.

    I have a blog too and I plan to post about having genetic heart disease as a young person some time in the future. -



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