In some wayS I have it easy. My cancer, while nothing to sneeze at in terms of diseases to contend with, is very well known and recognized as a mighty foe. In fact, it is hard to get away from the pink sometimes as one company or another raises awareness for the disease.
The point I’m stressing today is: I don’t have to explain “cancer” to anyone. But, let’s remember all the people whose journeys involve unknown, invisible and highly unpredictable foes. They don’t have the luxury of years of awareness campaigns. Most people now empathize with cancer— but they tire of other illnesses, especially those that are little understood or that have a great deal of variance in terms of severity.
For example, it is one thing to explain to an employer that you need to take a medical leave because of a surgery or a cancer treatment, but what is the best way to address migraines when one has no way to know if tomorrow will be a good day or a debilitating one? Or how about the rare muscle disease that makes the simplest tasks in life a challenge but no one but those closest to you can see that?
I don’t have the answers to improving this tough situation. In fact, I am not even sure what the right questions are.
So, I am turning this one over to you, readers. Add a comment today. Or, visit my own Go Beyond Treatment website and contact me there with your thoughts.
Please, what do you think? What are the challenges that come with chronic or lesser-known illnesses, especially those that may be invisible or upredictable? Where have you found support? What do you want others to know?