Thursday, March 24, 2016


"Live as though life is rigged in your favor" - Rumi
The photo above is of a note my friend, Elliot, wrote and posted on a bulletin board in her bedroom.

"Live as though life is rigged in your favor"

It's a quote from one of my favorite poets, Rumi. I'd never heard it before seeing this photo but I don't think I will ever forget it.

You see, Elliot wrote this note just weeks before taking cancer down the only way she could: by dying. She valiantly and bravely battled through chemo and surgeries, but the cancer just kept coming back. Elliot passed away at just 60 years old.

Her grieving husband shared this photo a few days after she died. The above note is one of the last things she wrote.

Take a moment and let that sink in: a woman, dying of cancer, could still look at life as though it was rigged in her favor.

If she could do that, surely I can too.

Having chronic, invisible illnesses doesn't exactly make me feel like I won the lottery. If anything, it feels like the odds are stacked against me.

But it really is a matter of perspective. I once read that some languages use the same word for "challenge" and "opportunity". It is in our toughest trials that we learn who we really are, how strong we can be, and who will walk by our side through the storms.

We've all heard the story about the carrot, the egg, and coffee beans being placed in boiling water. The carrot softens, the egg hardens, but the coffee beans transform the water. The circumstances are the same, but the outcomes are wildly different.

I want to be a coffee bean.

At Elliot's memorial service, her sister shared Elliot's final note to them (since cancer robbed her of her ability to speak):

"There is nothing sad about this"

I have goosebumps just writing that. What an incredible perspective and person. Her ability to face death with such grace and faith blew my mind. Elliot loved life. She was the woman who walked in a room and lit it up with her smile. She was always the first one on the dance floor. Elliot showed us all how to live and also, how to die.

Thanks to her example, from now on, I refuse to be sad about my diagnosis. This is my life and I choose to believe it has been rigged in my favor. I may not understand why I have these chronic conditions, but that doesn't need to stop me from making the most of them. I will no longer let myself believe that I am hindered by my medical conditions. They are the "challenge/opportunities" the universe has given to me and, damn it, I'm going to find a way to be happy about it!

Tomorrow I'll be profiling a fellow Addisonian who isn't letting this disease run her life. If you know of a Addison's success story or are one yourself, please leave me a comment below so we can share your story too!


an Addison alien

who now has the song "Happy" stuck in her head and also apologizes because now you do too

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