When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, finding a silver lining to the situation can be quite a struggle.
For some, having and living with their condition can mean the end of the world—they feel like there are no more life lessons to learn or grow from. Meanwhile, there are also others who see their illness as an opportunity to live every day with purpose—and no matter how they want to give up, they would still get up, face the day, and pray that everything is going to be okay. (Read: 3 Powerful Prayers for Strength and Positivity)
This is how Kai Palomares lives day in, day out. After being diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) in 2010 and surviving an early stage of cancer in 2018, Kai takes the drab of each day and strives to be as normal as she possibly can. SLE is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
Kai shares with My Pope Philippines how she never lets her illness stop her from living—no matter the circumstances.
How did you react when you were diagnosed with SLE?
My first reaction was sadness. Then after a few days, I thought to fix my living will for my son and travel the world—which we did. I never really thought of it as the end, but instead, I saw it as an opportunity to fix many things. (Read: How This Woman Copes With Her Lung Disease, One Grateful Day at a Time)
Did the illness affect your relationships and faith?
No, it never affected my relationships. It remained as it was which is filled with love. My faith got stronger and I started to love God more.
How are you coping, especially during this pandemic?
I’m good. However, I had episodes wherein I couldn’t walk properly for a few weeks due to lupus flares, which are uncontrollable. I also had to have several shots at home to boost my immune system and depleted vitamins—administered through IV shots because of high doses. (Read: 5 Quarantine Habits That You Should Keep Even After the Pandemic)
Any advice to anyone dealing with a chronic illness?
My message to everyone struggling or living with a dreaded disease is to live life as if you aren’t sick. It helps to think that you are normal. Work the way you usually do and go about your daily routine at the best that you can despite all the physical pain you feel. Most of all, praise God that you are alive and help others to get to know Him, too!