I have written this blog for eight months. Shortly after starting, I also starting posting to a Facebook page: McReyscope’s Musings on Chronic Illness (www.facebook.com/mcreyscope). It’s been fun and I’ve received a lot of feedback, overwhelmingly positive.
***I have overcome or am learning to live with, with the help of friends and family, Stage IV melanoma and the effects of a paraneoplastic syndrome that have left me with severe chronic pain and fatigue along with a myriad of other serious symptoms.***
Today, I thought it would be fun to share the picture posts to my Facebook page that received the most attention, specifically the most “likes” and “comments” in addition to just looking at total reach. These pictures that I posted were shared from a myriad of other sites. I have tried to give credit to their origin on my Facebook page, leaving the link to the page they came from and never erasing any names or sites embedded in the picture itself. There are many creative people on Facebook. While I have found some of the pictures that I have posted on my page, the vast majority have come from others. And, they are very good.
***So, here’s the Top Ten from my page in its first eight months. In no particular order. There was really very little difference between these ten in terms of reach, likes and comments.***
First is one with a Disney character, Eeyore. Eeyore is one of my all time favorites (along with Tigger). Its message is important: Don’t leave those who become depressed alone and left out! Maybe they are not the happiest people to be around. Maybe the depression makes them angry and irritable. But if we truly care about them, we will show them love and include them anyway.
Next is one that conveys a message very dear to me: Don’t Give Up! Things will always go wrong. There is nothing we can do about the past. We must keep trying and we must keep looking forward. As it says, “Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.”
Another pays tribute to all of those with or without a chronic illness that find a way to shine in some way despite the very rough storms that they have been through. It amazes me how many of us keep finding a way to pick ourselves up and finding something that helps to make us shine like a bright beacon of hope.
This next one is directed at our caregivers and others who give us that needed support. Sometimes, we don’t really need anything done for us in particular, but we really need a hug and the knowledge that there is someone there who truly cares about us. There really is no better feeling.
Another is a great quote from an unknown source. We can look back, not on our defeats or our troubles, but on all the things that we have come through and overcome. How far we have come and everything we have faced! We all have won battles and we all have had to overcome fear, sometimes fear that we thought would surely do us in. I really respect those that celebrate their victories and look forward to doing their best in what lay ahead.
Next, is a fun one that I can really relate to. I really don’t think I’m any stronger (or any better) than anyone else. In fact, I know I am far from the strongest person I know. But I have faced and overcome many, many obstacles. I still smile as much as I can. And, despite the pain, fatigue and weakness, I look forward to trying to do something new every day. I think I must be crazy! And, yes, that should scare a lot of people.
And the next one also conveys an important message. People who do not suffer from a chronic illness, people who do not fight pain and fatigue that is truly overwhelming, do not know what we experience. We ask them to be patient and to be understanding. We ask them to not get angry when we must drop out of an event or if we are unable to come to a party. It’s not our fault and when our friends and supporters are angry with us, it hurts us deeply emotionally and may cause us to fall into depression. We do not choose our fate. Let me tell you, I certainly would not have chosen this way as the way for me to retire. I worked for 35 years hours and hours per day going 100 miles per hour all the time. When this hit, it was confusing and frightening. I would not wish it on my enemies so I ask my friends to understand.
Who thought how hard it would turn out to be to do those everyday things. Those basic activities of daily living. It’s tough to have the energy to just hang out with my friends. Sleeping a whole night without waking up in agony is a thing of the past. Just taking a shower can wear me out and call for a time out to rest. And doing any kind of housework requires a plan and short work periods followed by rest. Simple things lost. But how they make you life so very different. It is a “new normal” and personally I can say without hesitation that I hate it with deep passion.
You can’t post to Facebook without a picture of a cat. And this message is one that I have thought often. So many people think they know what is best for me. They know what I need to do to “just get over it” and “get better”. Sometimes I wish I could give them just 24 hours in my shoes. They would sing a different tune.
And finally an important message about depression. I posted this around the time of the death of Robin Williams. It was widely read and commented upon. Depression is truly a cruel punishment. It seems to come so easily to many with chronic illnesses. And it can be so silent. Having lived with a diagnosis of Stage IV cancer and having to overcome feelings of depression on many occasions, I know what it means for it to be a solitary experience – “a room in hell with only your name on the door”.
I hope you have enjoyed this review of the most popular posts on my facebook page. It’s been fun for me. And, there are a lot of great messages in these quotes and pictures. I hope they do help someone else deal with what they themselves are experiencing. They help me and keep reminding me to keep trying – to never, ever give up.
Please visit my Facebook page. There are new posts every day.
Also check out and read some of my other posts to my blog: