What can you do? You gotta put a good face on a bad day, or it all goes to pot. Every evening, before bed, I thank God for the good, and I thank God for the bad, because I know it’s all a part of the whole.

You think it’s fun to have a disease that keeps eating away at your lady parts? To have all kinds of doctors and residents and even students and suchlike, all interested in getting a good look at your baby maker? Spread eagle on the table like the stories in the ladies magazines about the poor gals being kidnapped by aliens?

I’ve had a good run of it, and I’ve still had some good laughs, in spite of the pain. In spite of the surgeries. In spite of the steroids and the other medicines. But I admit it’s hard when you get a disease like this, because you’re not exactly going to walk around talking about it and sharing it at church. It’s called Paget’s but who cares? Nobody’s ever heard of it.

I married my husband when I was a young – fresh out of puberty. We had both just gotten our feathers. Two fledglings, fresh out of the nest, I guess you could say. But my, was he well built! Tall and strong, with every muscle in place. You know how some guys look silly with the boots and the silver buckle and the cowboy hat? He didn’t. He was made for the ranch. I looked up to him literally and physically, and I trusted him implicitly.

All I can say is some people looked sideways at us because we started young, but God is great, and He gave us time. Almost 50 years before this disease kicked in and changed our lives. I’m not the only one growing old, of course. He has a use a walker now, and they say he may end up in a wheelchair. I don’t know how I am going to be able to get him in and out of the bathtub, but I plan to have fun trying!

Remember, I tell younger people, for the days to come, when things get bad. I mean, irremediable. I mean, so bad that you know they are not going to get good again, not in this lifetime. You still have a heart? You still have breath? You still have a mouth? Then laugh. Laugh so you don’t cry. And keep on. Keep on laughing. Where there’s life, there’s hope, and when the hope is gone, oh well. There’s still laughter. And memories…

The dancing we did. The village dances where instead of lining up along the wall with the other girls, I just walked intertwined with my man, wrapped around him like a vine, my hand hooked into the back of his belt. His muscular arm slung around my neck so I was in the crook of his elbow and his hand hung right above my breast, just inches away, haha! I would keep laying my cheek upon his chest, just to feel his heartbeat through his white shirt. Strutting like two peacocks, we were. Well, I guess I was the peahen, but I sure felt like I could wag my little tailfeathers! Haha. And the music…

We’ve had a good run. Not everyone can say as much. We’ve had a good run and a good life with good memories. So would I wish this disease on my worst enemy? Well, haha, I might, but I don’t have any enemies. God has been too good to me for me to hate anyone else or wish them ill. So if a certain number of people just have to have this disease, and God says I can handle it better than the next gal, well, I trust God. And God trusts me. So I’m gonna have to handle it. That’s my view of things.

So some free advice from a old hag. Remember to thank God for the good. And remember to thank God for the bad. It’s all part of life. And you never know what’s coming around the bend. You don’t know what else might get laid upon your table. You don’t know when God might be letting you off easy. It could be a lot worse! You just don’t know! Just accept, and be glad.