What does it mean to be strong in the face of an incurable disease?
Option A: Close your eyes, and punch wildly and madly at the forces that be, because that’s all you got. If you swing your arms and legs enough, maybe you’ll be left alone.
Option B: Be like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, never giving up hope, working slowly and meticulously, struggling to find a way to escape and survive. Believe that hope is precious and good, and that no good thing ever dies. Your survival will be a sign of your strength.
Option C: Be like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, fighting until the end against the forces upon you. You do not expect to survive, but you remain steadfast against your own death. Your defiance is your strength.
Option D: Be like Socrates, and accept one’s fate willingly, as if it were right and somehow just – to accept the deliberations, the unfairness, and the indifference of the forces against you. To be calm until the end, fully realizing what will happen and how. Your calm acceptance of reality is true strength.
Option E: Be angry and be sad. Feel the full force of one’s emotions and doubts, to cry when one needs to, and to allow oneself to be scared. You turn your eyes away from reality when it is too hard to look at it directly, but at other times, you can look at it straight on. To be stressed as fuck. To be grateful for friends. To know both love and loneliness. To feel both cheated and lucky. To feel the unfairness of life and the immense beauty of it all. To despair and to be sad. To refuse to accept the lot of it all, and at other times, to make peace with it. Whether you live or do not, you do not know. Strength at times like this is confusing; trust only that your humanity is enough.