Cheerfulness Can Be Sustained by Allowing Our Outlook to Evolve

Jodi Enders avatar

by Jodi Enders |

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It is entirely typical not to feel fearless during health tribulations. I am confident in my decision to have a thymectomy in a few short weeks. Nevertheless, I am incredibly anxious and hyperfocusing on multiple days in the hospital and an unpleasant recovery.

Myasthenia gravis warriors are brave because we have no choice but to withstand obstacles if we want to make it to the light on the other side. However, peace and satisfaction are not easy to maintain throughout a chronic health journey.

We can conquer anything life forces upon us. We need to reassure ourselves that nothing in life is permanent; life seasons come and go just as ocean waves ebb and flow. We must trust that what is meant for us will arrive at the right time, but it will never be predictable.

Change is inevitable. To sustain optimism, we must modify our viewpoints as change transpires throughout our lives.

I am a plein-air painter, meaning I love to paint outdoors. What I enjoy most about painting things I see in person is that I have the best opportunity to portray the feeling of an environment on my canvas. The final painting is my impression of the scene translated for the onlooker.

We are the artists of our days. We hold the paintbrush. If we were to paint a scene in front of us, we could interpret it and convey whatever feeling we pleased.

We could see a blue sky in front of us but choose to paint the sky a blazing pink. The same goes for how we choose to view life and its endless sequence of obstacles.

Self-sabotaging behaviors can be a thing of the past. We have the option to recreate ourselves. We must remain in a cycle of creating new habits while evolving and escaping past ones.

If we are teachable, we can learn, relearn, and reconsider past beliefs. We can accept where we messed up in the past. All that matters is that we begin today and never stop growing into the wisest versions of ourselves.

We can understand suffering from different outlooks. We can gain new compassion. Acceptance of the unknown may become more comfortable over time. Our definitions of what success looks like may change. We may alter our goals and redefine our purpose.

We must concentrate on what we can control in our MG journeys: the way we perceive them.


Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Rick Fetters avatar

Rick Fetters

I learned long ago during my tour in Vietnam, in order to stay positive, minimize the negative, and accentuate the positive. That philosophy has worked for me 50+ years.

Jodi Enders avatar

Jodi Enders

Thank you, Rick, for your service! I am thrilled to hear you have brought this viewpoint with you throughout life.

William G Ellis avatar

William G Ellis

I had a thymectomy to remove a thymoma on the 20th April at northern hospital Sheffield England. Unfortunately the thymoma had attached itself to my pericardial sac and also to a portion of my lung. Needless to say recovery took a while and I spent three days in intensive care. I am now almost back to normal and I am pleased to say that my consultant says that I am asymptomatic and have been for ten months. Because the thymoma mass was suspicious I will have to have a course of radiotherapy to ensure that the surgeon did not miss anything. Life goes on and I am confident about the future even at the age of 78.

Jodi Enders avatar

Jodi Enders

Congratulations, William, on having a positive outlook while life has put you through many trials. Thankfully we live in an age where our medical team goes the extra distance of procedures to ensure our wellbeing, even if it means a more prolonged recovery on our part. It is fantastic to hear you came out the other end of a problematic thymectomy as asymptomatic.

Courtland Robinson avatar

Courtland Robinson

I had a thymectomy in 2014, only a month after my diagnosis of MG. I and my family had many concerns about my diagnosis (which seemed to come out of nowhere), about the surgery, and about my longer-term prognosis. As a person of faith and having great confidence in my surgeon and the medical team at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I felt that the best I could do was to be present to the possibilities, positive and negative, and to try to live with grace, humor and hope. The procedure went very well and I am doing fine, managing with mild to moderate symptoms, and nearing retirement (I am 65) with a deep sense of gratitude for my life, my family, and my friends.

Jodi Enders avatar

Jodi Enders

Courtland, that is fantastic news that your thymectomy resulted in a fulfilled life for you. My grandmother was also treated by John Hopkins in Baltimore and received excellent care from them. Your outlook on life reminds me of how much strength she had in her tiny body. I hope you enjoy your upcoming retirement and continue to be grateful.

Retha De Wet avatar

Retha De Wet

What a well written column, Jodi! So excited to read more!

Jodi Enders avatar

Jodi Enders

Thank you so much, Retha! It means so much from an experienced columnist.


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