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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Neil Cavuto chooses to enjoy life, despite illnessess

I so happened to be in a patent's room tonight and Neil Cavuto was giving his daily "common sense" editorial. Jack Kevorkian had been on his show he evening before, and told Cavuto life sucks, and Cavuto basically has no clue about what it's like to suffer.

"Just once," Cavuto said, "I'm going to do this just once." He was referring to himself: he wanted to respond to what Kevorkian said by talking about himself, and that he does know what it's like to suffer.

What he said thereafter was very interesting to me, especially considering I work with people who don't such good fortune, and yet find a way of enjoying life regardless.

Here's what Cavuto said on his April 22, 2010, show's common sense editorial, "I don't know Jack":
"I know everyone's focused on how Jack Kevorkian helped so many die, but I was much more interested in why he was so down on living.

"He said it was tedious and empty — often painful and lonely. And then, the not-so-good-outlook doctor said, it was over. Hard to be happy, Kevorkian told me, when so much in life is not; especially for those dealing with illness and pain.

"I strongly disagreed. I said life is not miserable; that I wasn't remotely miserable.

"He just smiled; Jack all but saying I didn't know jack. That I couldn't know, I wouldn't know. Easy for me to smile, he said, when I have so much for which to smile.
"Some of you agreed:

"Kevin Myler, New York City: "Listen to Dr. Death, Mr. Good Life. Get out of your perfect world and feel some pain. It'd do you good not to feel so good."

"Sarah Emerling, Boston: "I like you, Neil, but Dr. Kevorkian is right. You have lived a sheltered life. Walk in my shoes before you start lecturing anyone on skipping in theirs."

"Larry Mahan, Lebanon, Missouri: "Neil, you are a young man, I'm sure have a nice family… everything is good. I am now 60… I have two herniated discs, pinched sciatic nerve… renal cell carcinoma… borderline emphysemic now too… you will just have to be there someday… no way can you understand…"

"You're wrong, Larry. And Sarah, and Kevin. And you too, Dr. Kevorkian.

"You're all wrong saying your woes define your life and your attitude about life. And you're wrong assuming mine is a sheltered life, unaware of your pain and unsympathetic to those in pain.

"I am not here to win your sympathy; just this once — and I promise, just this once — your attention. I know pain better than you think and illness better than you know. It's public record, but for the record, let me be clear and go on the record. Again, just this once.

"I have multiple sclerosis; a pretty tough neurological disease for which there's no cure. And I got it only a few years after beating back a pretty serious cancer for which it once looked there might not be a cure.

"Again, I'm not trying to win points, just make this point: Illness doesn't define who I am or how I feel. It's shaken my life, but it hasn't sapped one iota of my enthusiasm for life.

"Sure, there are many days I wish my voice could be stronger, my legs sturdier, and my eyesight clearer, but I can't count on these things. Only that living is worth dealing with all of these things.

"Jack is right: I don't know jack about misery, but that's only because I choose not to be miserable."
I think this is similar to something I wrote about having asthma, as you can read here.

And, believe it or not, I received emails noting to me the following, "How could you be so stupid to find so many good things about a disease such as asthma."

The answer is similar to Cavuto's, in that I "choose" to find something good even in those things which I don't particularly want. Life is what you choose it to be, and I choose to enjoy it regardless.

I think most people are this way, and not so pessimistic as Jack is.


Heather said...

You know, I've had bad asthma my entire life, and to be sure I've suffered greatly, especially as a child. A large part of my knee decided to fall off as a result of the steroids (5 surgeries and counting), but it never occured to me to whine about my asthma, or food allergies, or wonky knee. It just never did.

I can't understand why some people don't stop fighting their illness and just go with it...treat it, and chill out...que sera sera.

Medical Mojave said...

Eh. He has the money to buy medical care I can only dream of.

I'm all for positivity, but you know what allowed me to stop whining (mostly) about asthma?

Medication that worked.

You know what will shut me up on everything else?

Effective medical care and medications that work.

You'll never hear a peep from me again once that magic day comes.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a 6 year survivor of incurable non Hodgkin lymphoma Cavuto is right. Life is always worth living if for no other reason than it makes your loved ones happy that you are still with them.I will never be defined by my lymphoma and I will fight it to the last breath.