What does the word really mean? What comes to mind when the word ‘survival’ is uttered?
A word as simple as survival could mean one thing for me but can take on a completely different meaning for someone else.
For a toddler, the word survival may mean “hey look mommy, I’ve walked a few steps, I fell, but I got back up again!”
For a college student, it may mean finishing out a semester you thought would be the death of you, with a 4.0 GPA and now you can walk across the stage (THANK GOD).
And for a mother, the word survival may mean giving up the job you worked so hard for in college, to become a full time, stay-at-home mom for your children. You did it, you’re doing well, and you wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
For me, the word survival takes on a totally different meaning.
See, I battle a disease that sets out to take me out every single day of my life. But I survive. Though I have days like today, when I can barely walk because my knees ache and every bone in my body feels like they’re about to break, I survive.
I survived even when the doctor told me that my hemoglobin levels were so low that I would need a blood transfusion. I survived even when my BRAIN MRI displayed a mass and the doctors said they would have to keep a close watch to see if it progressed-IT HASN’T! Every day seems like a survival of the fittest- Who will win? Me or Lupus?
Even today, as I type, I am sitting upright, heating pad behind my back, blankets on top of blankets covering my knees providing them with warmth, as I pray it away melts the pain away. Even though I feel like crying and questioning why, I choose to be brave. I choose to be strong. Every day is an internal battle between myself and my overactive immune system. But I will win!
I will survive.