I have suffered from asthma since I was a child. Many people like to think that asthma is not that important or that is does not affect your day to day life. That may be true for some people, but not for me. I take medication every day to prevent attacks and still have to carry a rescue inhaler just in case. Thankfully, my asthma is better controlled than it used to be, down from having attacks several times a week and feeling wheezy all the time, to less than once a month. It is hard sometimes when I am getting close to running out of my medicine. I had several times in my life where I could not afford it and became so ill I had been taken to the emergency room. Also, every time I get the flu or a chest cold is a battle involving my "puffer", a heavy duty decongestant, and a possible doctor's visit. I am very grateful for the advances in technology that have allowed me to live life the way I want to, even if I do have to be cognoscenti of my triggers.
On the other end of the spectrum is my father. He was diagnosed last year with terminal lung cancer with not long to live. He originally presented to the ER with weakness and abdominal pain when the masses in his abdomen and chest were discovered. While he may not have long with us, I thank God every day for the doctors and nurses that discovered his illness. Thanks to chemotherapy, his life can be prolonged so that he can do what he wants to do and we can spend more time with him. Chemo has given us the chance to celebrate birthdays, Thanksgiving, and hopefully Christmas one last time.