After hearing a diagnosis, you can choose to take it one of two ways, negative or positive. It’s easy to be negative especially with all the downfalls and hard truths one has to face when confronting an illness. Being positive with a chronic illness is not so easy. All those downfalls and hard truths have to be accepted and turned around into something positive. Not an easy thing to do. Today’s guest writer choose to look at the positive when surrounded by the negative. Cazandra Campos-MacDonald shares her story of overcoming her sons’ chronic illness, and how she transformed from a pessimist to an optimist.
When I read stories about people living with chronic illness I am absolutely fascinated. It’s not that the details of their illness particularly fascinate me, but it’s what I have in common with them that deeply resonates in my heart. I am the mother of two sons with severe Hemophilia A and life with a bleeding disorder can be very difficult. My oldest son, Julian who is 19, has not had many complications throughout his life. He infuses himself regularly, and a young man self-infusing is not “normal” for most, but for him it’s just part of his world. My youngest son, Caeleb who is 10, is my mighty warrior. This precious boy has endured six ports, thousands of infusions and more hospital stays than I can count. He lived through some of the most excruciating pain I have ever witnessed, lost mobility for over a year and has severe joint damage. Despite all of that, he is a happy, well-adjusted boy who enjoys school and recess and has a compassionate heart. It’s been a rough journey.
I think there are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who see the glass half empty and the ones who see it half full. And when you live with a chronic illness you have those seasons where things are going pretty well and the glass looks refreshing. But when you have a time where nothing is going right or getting better and your pain is at an all time high, the glass may as well be filled with sand. There is nothing refreshing about it.
I equate the half empty and half full mentality to having hope or not. When I was younger, I admit that I was the world’s biggest pessimist. To see the brighter side of a situation was almost impossible.
But as I got older I realized that being an optimist gave me power, and when my faith was a part of that optimism, I realized there was nothing I couldn’t do and I finally understood what it meant to have hope.
I don’t have time to live a life that is focused on all of the worst possible scenarios. I want to make the most of every day with a good attitude and healthy outlook on what is yet to come. When a situation comes up with hemophilia, I jump into action to figure out how to best handle the bleed. I want my sons to know that when a bleed happens they need to attack it, follow through and know that they will get through the bleed and move on to better things. They know what it is like to live with pain and bleeds that never seem to stop and keeping their minds focused on getting past the bleed encourages them to see the “other side.”
Deep in the center of my soul is where my faith lives.
My faith has helped me keep hope alive throughout some of the worst times in my life. If I am able to stop and be still I can hear that small, powerful voice telling me to always look for the “other side” where all of the “good” lives. I will pass on the power of hope for as long as I am able. I want hope to consume me and keep me living life with joy. I am a prisoner of hope.
Taken from Cazandra’s website, Cazandra Campos-MacDonald: Shining the Light of Hope & Encouragement:
Cazandra MacDonald has a calling in her life…to encourage others. Her excitement is evident when she is able to share her message of optimism and reassurance to:
•Empower individuals to move past disappointment and live a life filled with purpose.
•Transform life’s unexpected craziness into positive outcomes.
•Tap into God’s strength in the middle of your greatest weaknesses.
She is passionate about sharing her life…from the joys and fortunate experiences to the sorrow and heartbreak. Through all things she encourages audiences to see the light of hope and encouragement in all circumstances. Cazandra has encouraged women to shed doubt and discouragement and live lives fully in Christ and has shared from the depths of her heart to families of children with bleeding disorders to live in hope and not fear.
Cazandra is a former public school educator who currently works in the healthcare industry as a patient advocate serving the bleeding disorder community. She has been happily married to husband Joe for over twenty years and they have two sons, Julian and Caeleb. Cazandra understands the challenges women face as she constantly works to balance the roles and responsibilities of being a pastor’s wife as well as a working mother to two sons with Severe Hemophilia.