Celebrating Multiple Sclerosis

Caro Celebrating MSJuly is a very significant month for me.

July marks my 7th MS anniversary and my 5th Tysabri anniversary.  The days surely do fly by. I can’t believe it has been 7 years since my diagnosis. It feels like just yesterday I was in the hospital not knowing I was going to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I actually do not remember the exact date I was diagnosed, but I was released from the hospital on July 4th – Independence Day and always celebrate then. Shortly thereafter I received my diagnosis, I heard those 4 words that turns everything upside down: “You have Multiple Sclerosis.”

At times I still think maybe there was a mistake; maybe I don’t really have MS. That’s the tiny part of me that is still in denial. A lot of people question “Why me?” but I read someone asked “Why not me?” I really like this saying. I often think of the way I have handled my diagnosis and realize now that I handled it very gracefully. After my diagnosis I never cried, which is kind of strange since I am a crier, but instead wanted to know what I could do to be in as much control of this disease as possible.

Now 7 years later, I contribute the slowness of my progression to starting on a disease modifying drug very quickly, but mostly for choosing to take Tysabri after Avonex stopped working for me. Since starting Tysabri  5 years ago, I have not had a relapse or too much worsening of my symptoms. Of course, I do have daily symptoms and some days are worse than others. But, I know how much worse my MS could be, and I am very thankful for all the functions I still have control over.

As much I would rather not have MS, I am grateful for the many positive things MS has brought into my life. Each year I lead my family and friends in Boston’s Walk MS, which I find to be a very inspiring event. I have found a passion for raising awareness and am doing that by writing this blog, mentoring those newly diagnosed and pretty much making my voice heard to anyone who will listen. I also have made some amazing friends, some with MS and some without, that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. That is the most precious gift MS has given me.

So, this Independence Day not only will I celebrate the United States, but will also celebrate the positive gifts MS has given me.  When you are watching the fireworks this 4th, maybe you will think of me for a moment and celebrate with me. Have a safe and happy July 4th!

4 Comments:

  1. Happy 4th of July <3

  2. The 4th of July is a special time for me, it was my dad’s holiday and he’s been gone 14 years now. I generally start my melancholy on my birthday, the 2nd, and continue with it through the 4th. It’s not a bad thing, reflective really, but I can now think of you on the 4th as well. And you are definitely a bright light in our MS sky…thanks for sharing and being brave enough to switch up your meds when one quit working! Keep on blogging my friend!

    • I understand about your melancholy mood for your birthday. I have issues with my birthday, as my godfather took his own life on my birthday. Every year I find it difficult to celebrate, when over 10 years later I still miss him so much.
      Thank you for adding me to your people to think about. 🙂
      You are special Judy and I am glad we are friends!
      Hope to meet you someday!
      Hugs!

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