Abigail Cashelle is the pen name of a twenty-something young woman living with a chronic disease (or two). She has been sick since 2005 and has been experiencing the rollercoaster ride of illness and modern medicine ever since.

Raised in a Christian family, Abigail believes in the sovereign God; her personal journey has been as much about her faith as anything. At one point, she was pursuing a Ph.D. in U.S. history; then she was trying to figure out her own identity apart from education; apparently her identity is wrapped up in education because she’s back to finishing her Ph.D. and plans to become a history professor after that. In her spare time (or when she’s resting & recovering), she also enjoys playing the piano and violin; crocheting scarfs, mittens, and home decor; sewing and quilting; reading Christian fiction; talking to her friends; creating the perfect gift for a friend (or a stranger); learning about local history; and finding creative solutions to extraordinary dilemmas.

Why the name?
Abigail: one of the many female Christian names I’ve admired over the years. Means joy and rejoicing.
Cashelle: a lovely name of a girl I met once. A creative variation on the male name Cashel which refers to a fortress. The name Cashel also serves as a surname.

Hidden Courage
Ever since I’ve been sick, people have remarked that I must be a really tough person or that I seem impervious to all the things that happen in my life. Actually, it shows how little they actually know me as a person. I’m actually not that self-confident, and fear informs many of my decisions and actions. Illness, especially an invisible one, makes me feel extremely vulnerable. I hate not being able to keep a schedule or having to constantly ask for accommodations. I make my life work because I have to; I can’t just pretend that I’m not sick, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not hurting on the inside.

Emotionally and spiritually, I’ve come to realize that what really matters is in your heart. A true friend will know who you really are and be there for you through thick and thin, (in sickness and in health.) As time passes and I struggle to come to terms with my own circumstances, I hope that a deep strength and courage is blossoming within my heart. I know that I am more confident to stand up for myself, for who I am, for what I feel, and for what I need. For me, this journey is as much about growing in inner strength and faith as it is about healing and maturing.

Finding the Ordinary in the Extraordinary
Even though my circumstances may seem extraordinary, my life is really about day-to-day activities. It’s about finding the ordinary in the extraordinary, celebrating the normal experiences of life and valuing virtue and character over tasks and resume lines.

For various reasons, I’ve chosen to use a pen name for this blog. I want to protect the privacy of the many people that are involved. I also want to create a separate space for myself where I can honestly talk about my feelings and experiences. All names of people with whom I have personal contact have been altered. Aside from changing names for privacy purposes and obscuring geographic locations, everything on this blog is my bonafide experience. Nothing here is fiction or meant to be misleading.

I do not claim to be an expert on the topics I discuss on my blogs. I know firsthand that people are different and different responses are fitting for different people. Furthermore, I recognize that I’m also fairly young and therefore may change my opinions as time passes. Lastly, I am not a medical professional, and none of the views expressed on this blog should be considered as medical advice; please seek medical counsel.