It's funny how life works out. The year was 1998, and my older brother was diagnosed with MS. He had just turned 36 and was "living the dream". He called me and told me the news. He was devastated. He really didn't want to discuss it...maybe it would just go away if we didn't acknowledge it. I knew nothing about MS and had no intelligent words of advice for him. What was I suppose to say? I decided I would be the one to research this new member of our family. Off to the internet I went! I searched and read and took notes for weeks! I would update him weekly or so on the new information I found. Little did I know that all of this research would have an impact on my life, also. Four years after my brother was diagnosed, I turned 36 and was told those words "you have MS". I couldn't believe it! For a short time after I was diagnosed, I understood my brother's thinking of ignoring the news. But, then I remembered some of the recommendations I read on-line stating that the sooner treatment is started, the better chance of maintaining your lifestyle. So, within 2 weeks of my diagnosis, I was facing my fear of needles head on! I was not going to let this new "family member" get comfy in my home!
As my symptoms change and/or worsen, I have become more aware of my fears. I have two children, ages 20 and 17. When I was first diagnosed, my first thought was "I want to be able to walk down the aisle at my children's weddings". (They were 9 and 6 when I was diagnosed). As my vision becomes more affected, my new goal is to be able to "see" their wedding.
With the help, love and support of my amazing husband, children and friends, we decided to form a team and join the Walk MS family! What a great decision this has been for me! We always have a great time at our fundraisers and since 2004, my team has turned in over $102,000 to the MS Society, Michigan Chapter! I live for the day when the words "you have MS" are no longer spoken by a doctor!
Life is full of surprises! I have learned to take each day as it is...it is a gift! When my feet hit the floor in the morning and I don't fall down, I know it is going to be a great day! MS has taught me to enjoy life and live each day to the best of my ability!
Just remember, you may have MS, but MS does not have you!