Quite frankly that is what this life is all about...fighting. Fighting for what you believe in, fighting to be one's best, fighting to divide and conquer, fighting one's way to the top, fighting for your rights....hell, some even fight for their right to die.
After my suicide attempt in 2006 and subsequent ongoing recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. And the daily battle in my head and my heart against the demonic nightmare of sexual assault as a young boy...that I realized that the word FIGHT had taken on an entirely new meaning for me.I learned that staying in the fight, as it were was no cliche, it wasn't a joke.
I figured out then and there that one must persevere, push on, hang together and fight whatever enemy we face at that moment: Be it illness, oppression or even those once forbidden memories that haunt us until the day we die..
Now I am fighting a completely different kind of fight...I am now fighting an unforgiving illness that to date has already cost me two years of my life, every dollar and asset I ever owned and lastly...my right leg, below the knee.
It seems from my perspective that this nightmare shall never end. It was then I realized that I am no longer Thom, no longer the person I always thought I was...nope now I am simply a BKA (Below the Knee Amputation). I'll own that title from now on...with pride and determination.
And considering all I have been through and witnessed with the suicide attempt, subsequent coma and drug/alcohol addiction...it is this latest fight, believe it or not that frightens me the most...It frightens me to my very core of my being.
I truly know the meaning of powerlessness...of having NO control over the things that are killing me from the inside out. It would be easy, I could see now for a person who suffers so to give in...to surrender to it...to quit. I would be less then honest if I said those thoughts had not entered my mind from time to time.
But I cannot, will not EVER give in. Why, you ask, why not just float downstream into a drug-laced oblivion and let the madness of disease eat me alive? Isn't that the natural way of things: We are BORN/Then we DIE.
Because their were two people in my life, both woman who set the bar so high when it came to fighting their illness (in both cases cancer) with such ferocity, dignity and fervor that I cold never soil my memories of them and our friendships but not fighting back against my own medical monsters.
Christy was just 24 when she died back in the mid 1990's, after several lengthy battles with Cancer. She was my friend and I will never forget those days...the who notion of her dying was so incredibly impossible at the time. Yet die she did. We just could not accept that she was gone from our world.
The other woman is A*****. Odlly enough I have never seen nor met her in person and probably never will. She is still very much alive and fighting her war against this evil and unforgiving pestilence called Cancer. We met through a mutual FaceBook Friend. I was drawn by her passion, her dignity and absolute positive determination in the face of such terrible odds as her disease progresses. I witness this only through Facebook posts, her own and when she is physically unable,those of her friends. Even as a detached witness...her response to her long, difficult fight humbles me to the very depths of my soul.
It is her determination that has led me to this place where I reside today and continues to educate and inspire me to fight on with humor, dignity and good grace. Certainly if she can maintain her love of life...her joy and sense of humor, then I certainly can as well?