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I wake every morning with the knowledge that I have a disease that could very well kill me someday. While a great many people with my disease do go into some kind of remission and live the rest of their lives never looking back, I don’t have that luxury. I have a chronic persistent version of sarcoidosis. Sure, I have periods of quiet, moments of reprieve, but this disease has irrevocably changed my life. I am weaker. I am forever more frail because of it. I am damaged in ways that cannot be repaired and are not always visible. I will never know the joy of a full breath. I will forever struggle with fatigue and occasionally crippling joint or nerve pain or both. I live with the knowledge that my disease can strike me at will wherever and whenever it wants. There is no cure for my disease. I live with the knowledge that I am to some degree at it’s mercy.

Now, I don’t say all of that for sympathy. Nor do I expect or even want anyone’s pity. I say all of this, to say one thing. My life is beautiful.

If this disease has taught me anything, and it has taught me many things, it is that no matter what happens to me, I have a choice in how I am going to accept the challenges that befall me. I can feel sorry for myself and be consumed in pitiful grief that this thing or that thing has happened. Or, I can decide to focus on life’s grace and give thanks that I have been given another day to cherish.

I’m not saying that the occasional bout of self pity isn’t a good thing. I think it is perfectly fine to have my moments but what is not fine, is to live in them. It is not fine to live in a state of utter unhappiness about that which is out of my control and as it turns out, most things are out of my control.

I have a disease that could very well kill me someday. I am not going to waste my time in misery over it. I could just as easily be hit by a bus but because I have this disease, the idea that time and life are precious, is never far from my thoughts. Today, I choose to view the world through this filter because it puts things into a much more meaningful perspective and I have a deep understanding that my life is gift.

My life is beautiful.

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