(Friends: A few months ago, I asked Carrie Gallagher, our Chief Marketing Officer here at Balancing Life's Issues, to contribute to this column. She wrote an amazing story about living with a very serious autoimmune disorder. So many people wanted to know more about her journey, so here’s Carrie writing about her challenging road to becoming a parent.
Thank you for that beautiful and uplifting story, Carrie. It is very inspiring. I am a grandmother with a couple of autoimmune disorders and am now 2 and a bit years free of cancer. Yup, there were some tough times when I felt crappy and the first autoimmune disorder had not been diagnosed. Once it was I was pretty sure I was going to live (I hadn't been so sure during the wait). I hadn't planned on retiring at 65, I figured I could teach nursing easily till I was 70. But the darn autoimmune wouldn't let me work that much. Do you think it was telling me something? Slow down. I tended to do a lot - like work full time and go to school and be active on committees. I learned that lesson, but it took the cancer for me to really click in that I must slow down.
I am now so thrilled to be alive. I do get frustrated, probably a bit too often, but I am working on that, when the fatigue, pain, nausea, and itching are driving me to distraction - but I am so glad that I am experiencing these things, cause that means I am alive.
I have learned so much in the last 8ish years and I am so much more grateful for my life, my family, friends, and my ability to continue to be active in a different way. Life is beautiful.