A Powerful Strategy for Dealing with Chronic Illness Unfairness

chronic illness unfairness Mar 21, 2023
Chronic Illness Unfairness

Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness is not fair. Your life will never be the same again.

Your plans and dreams for the future are suddenly disrupted. The unpredictability of new symptoms and treatment plans impacts your daily life. It can make going to work, socialising and doing the activities you once loved increasingly difficult. There are so many reasons for feeling upset.

I get it! Living with chronic illness is not fair.

Diagnosed with MS at 22. After completing two degrees at university and starting a corporate career. Life was beginning. Then MS changed everything. It’s not fair.

As a 25-year-old, spending months in hospital, initially paralysed, unable to wriggle my toes. Then wheelchair-bound, having to learn how to walk again. It’s not fair.

Then at 28, being unable to use my arms or legs, the fear of requiring high-intensity care for the rest of my life became paralysing. It’s not fair.

Having lived with MS for 25 years, I’d created a life that is conducive to my overall wellbeing. The relapses had stopped. MRIs show no activity.

So, what does the universe do? Throws me another challenge—breast cancer. And to make it even more complicated, Stage 4 from the beginning. Cancer in my breast, liver and sternum.

It’s definitely not fair!


I know I’m not alone. Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness can make you feel like you’ve been robbed of a fair and healthy life. The challenges keep coming. They impact every aspect of your life. You don’t deserve the cards that you have been dealt. It’s not fair.

But what do you do?


To live well with a chronic illness, you are faced with a choice

Spend all your energy lamenting what could have been. Being frustrated and increasingly filled with negative energy. Which makes everything worse for you. Not only does your physical and mental health suffer. But also, your quality of life and your relationships with those around you.

Fortunately, I decided I did not want to travel that path early on. MS has no cure. It was to be an ongoing presence in my life. But I was young. I still wanted to live a life filled with positive experiences. One that was not defined by illness.

I came up with this strategy.

Create new memories.

Simple, I know. But without creating new memories, I would never have experienced any magic in my twenties.


In 2000, as I lay in a hospital bed, I promised myself if I regained mobility. If I walked again, I would start living with no regrets. My friends were all travelling and living overseas. For months I assumed this would never be my experience.

But as I went from a wheelchair to a walking stick, the Lonely Planet Guides became my constant companion. I kept taking more steps, setting new goals until I walked into Flight Centre and booked a flight to London.

Looking back, I’m still amazed by my tenacity and fearlessness.  But my motivation was to create new memories. When I looked back on my life, I was determined that the months I spent paralysed in a hospital would be overshadowed by the freedom of travel. Although London and the Tube proved too tricky for my legs, I hopped on a bus to Edinburgh. I could not have chosen a better setting for my healing. I had reclaimed my independence, and MS no longer dominated my every thought or my identity. Lesson learnt.



The next time I found myself in a hospital and rehab was for an MS relapse where my legs and arms were affected. My neurologist asked, “Where to this time?”. Even my doctor knew that my desire to create new memories would help facilitate my recovery and healing.

My mind started racing again. But this time, I craved a different experience. Travelling by myself again. But this time to Romania. Volunteering for a few months in a day centre for children with special needs. The irony is not lost on me. I witnessed children with so little also having to learn how to walk and function again. Life was not fair, but their energy and positive outlook were contagious. It motivated me to keep living well with MS. Embracing every opportunity that came my way.


Building resilience helps you to live well with chronic illness

It’s been 12 months since my breast cancer diagnosis. A year dominated by fear and anxiety I’d never experienced before. Yet not surprising given that my cancer had already metastasised (stage 4).  

All of a sudden, I felt out of control. I was lost in a new world of cancer.

But then I realised that although MS and cancer are two totally different diseases, I could still apply the strategies that have helped me live well over the past 25 years.

Create new memories.

Thank goodness I remembered this simple strategy.

It worked in my twenties. It helped me to attract incredible experiences. Now I was calling upon the energy of my younger self to help me navigate through the darkness of cancer. To enable me to move forward and embrace life with two life-changing illnesses.

Planting the seed about being open to new possibilities was the key this time as well. And my goodness, things have happened quickly.

I no longer wanted to pack up and travel overseas, by myself or with my partner Andrew. But I knew my healing needed me to experience a different adventure.

We started going for drives into the countryside. Life had been so intense; we needed time to breathe fresh air. The chats during our drives gradually shifted towards envisioning our perfect block of land. While we hadn't planned on purchasing property, the universe had listened.

On a day I was busy, Andrew decided to check out a property we were interested in. A few weeks later, we went to have another look together. He wasn’t sure whether I’d like it.

No need for any concern. As we opened the gate, our ute was met by a swarm of dragonflies. For me, this has the spiritual meaning of transformation. The energy as we drove around the acreage felt right. It was all we had visualised. I instantly knew this was our place. A place where my healing would continue. (You should listen to Andrew explaining to his mates that I wanted the property because of dragonflies!)



Again my simple strategy of creating new memories has worked. Instead of focusing on how unfair my life is. The reality that I have been dealt with two life-changing illnesses in my lifetime. My attention is diverted. I am so excited about this new adventure and the unimagined possibilities this land will create in our life. Follow me on Hurdle2Hope Instagram as I share photos and videos like this!



It’s okay to acknowledge that dealing with the challenges of chronic illness is unfair.

But if you feel like this frustration is beginning to dominate your life. If you are struggling to move beyond the unfairness of chronic illness. Remember this simple strategy.

Shift your focus and start creating new memories in your life.

This will help to divert your attention, build your resilience, and take your power back. But even better than that? Like me, you may start attracting unimagined possibilities in your life.


Are You Ready to Reclaim Your Life?

If you are living with a health challenge or supporting a loved one who is the good news is...

You can start your own Hurde2Hope® journey today by accessing this FREE on-demand MindsetMasterclass.

In it, you'll discover the exact three mindset shifts that have empowered me in my life with MS and now stage 4 breast cancer.

I'm so excited to share these insights with you! ❤️🧡💚