Five years of smiles


Hey everyone, this is just something short and sweet

Today is a special day for me. Today marks five years since I first became Chronically Ill. When I was thirteen years old, illness is something that I never imagined for my life. I guess its not something that anyone imagines for their life. And yet, this day, five years ago, I woke up and I couldn’t walk. It was the beginning of my battle.

Over the past five years, I have lost everything and more. My friends. The ability to attend school like everyone else. The ability to walk, to dress myself, to shower myself, to feed myself. I have spent the best part of the past 5 years in a wheelchair. Months were spent in the Royal Childrens hospital relearning things like a baby. I never realised how difficult it could be to put one foot in front of the other, both literally and metaphorically. It is important today to not sugar coat things. To not be reminiscent, and view things in a softer light.

Life has been, for lack of a better example, a living hell. There have been more tears than smiles. More screams than giggles. It was not known if I would live. It was not known if I would ever walk again. If I had a future. For reasons I don’t understand, I am alive today. Some of it was fighting. Some of it was medical help. The rest was luck, or maybe fate, depending on what you believe.

I have spent my years on the sidelines, and yet I refused for this life to pass me by. When you are sick, you have a choice. Make or break. We get to choose whether illness will make us, as people, as individuals. Or whether it will break us. This does not mean whether we live or die. Far from it. Rather, it means how we let illness determine our view on life. Do we choose to love it? Or do we choose to be indifferent?

The choice is entirely ours.

I will not lie, and say that on the first morning, exactly five years ago, that I chose Make. That morning was only one note in a seemingly never ending composition. My decision has been shaped, not through my own ‘bravery’. My own will to ‘fight’. I made my choice based on those fighting alongside me.

My parents, holding my hand through the waves of screams. Just one more step. This became their slogan. My younger brothers, throwing socks at my head while my head was firmly planted in a bucket. Peppering my hospital bed with soft toys, holding hands with scratchy notes. This doesn’t mean we like you.

The doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, cardiologists, rheumatologists, and every other white coat wearing ‘ist’. The ones determined to draw the odds on my side of the coin. Those who worked beyond their pay check, just to see me take an extra step.

And for those just like me. Those who walk alongside me in the Microshield corridoors. Those whose arms have matching track marks to my own. The bald soldiers, the bloodied ballerinas. For each of you who wake each morning to a different battle, and continue despite it all. We all hear the same battle cry.

This morning, I woke, and I had a choice. To weep that I was sick and for the life I have lost. Or to smile that I was sick and for the life I have gained.

People like to ask me if I will get better, if there is a cure. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter. Maybe I will face this disease another five months. Another five years. Maybe forever. I am no longer afraid of the future. Prognosis to me has nothing to do with the words relapse or remission, and everything to do with live and smile.

This morning, I had a choice. So I woke. I ate my high calorie breakfast, retched in the sink, swallowed my morning medication, selected two minutes twenty for my heatpacks. Then I walked into the bathroom, and carefully selected my most expensive makeup. The curling tongs laced through my blonde locks, and Sia’s ‘Never gonna leave me’ blasted from the speakers while I sang at the top of my mucusy lungs, perfectly out of tune.

I took photos, played with my puppy, smelled the new pink flower growing outside my bedroom window, said hello to a butterfly, planned a shopping trip with a friend, bantered with the boy in my class, tinkered on my shiny, finger printed piano, cried while watching a Youtube video, told my boyfriend I missed him, studied for a future which I am determined will be mine, drooled over Cleo’s latest fashion spread and wrote a blog.

Today, I lived. And not only that but; I loved it. Every single moment.

Smile for yesterday. Smile for today. Smile for tomorrow.

And most of all?

Just see how pretty this life is. Every single moment.

Keep fighting everyone ❤


6 thoughts on “Five years of smiles

  1. got this comment on my FB about your blog;
    ‘what a determined gal…. Not to let life bring her down…. we all should all get something out of reading her blog… Never give up try to make the most of what card where dealt cause someone else is proabably dealt a worse card and can still smile and get the most out of life… Inspiring..! Thanks for shareing it carly.. Hope life treating u well and hope your smiling..’

  2. Ahh, so true 😀 I totally agree, this is a great message 🙂

    My mantra is that if I don’t keep fighting, then the last 8 years of my life mean nothing, all that effort and suffering meant nothing if I give up now.

  3. You inspire me so much!- I feel so inadequate that I can’t maintain as greater “fighting spirit” as you though….

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