The Difference Between ‘Living With a Terminal Illness’ and ‘Dying’

The Difference Between ‘Living With a Terminal Illness’ and ‘Dying’

After rolling out of bed a disheveled mess I got ready to begin my daily medical rituals; I started my tube feeds, took a fist full of medication, did a few breathing treatments, rubbed myself down in BioFreeze, and then turned on my laptop. It was going to be a good day! I mean how could it not? The first things I see when my computer whirs to life is my face on the front of one of favorite websites. Next to me my little oxygen concentrator started beeping, alerting me that I had waited to long to take a breathe. (How embarrassing. I had literally forgot to breath out of excitement.) I took a nice deep breath through my cannulas, and got ready to read my article! The title read:

I feel fortunate to live while my body slowly deteriorates, to not be bound to death like I was in December even though I am riddled with failing organs, and a fatal prognosis. Someday again I will be dying, lying in a hospital bed with only days left ahead of me — and truthfully yes, if you want to define “dying” as losing a battle to illness then I am in every sense of the term dying… but personally I like to call residing in this defective body, riddled by disease: successfully, and enthusiastically living.

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