However, as is often the case in life, out of the negative has come some positive. These past few years, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of family and close friends. That my husband drags himself out of bed at 6 some mornings to help me with my injection before I leave for work, or that my friends work so hard to raise money for the MS Walk on my behalf, tells me that I am loved. I am forever grateful for this.
I’ve also learned to live as we all should, by enjoying today. When I was first diagnosed, the only way I could get out of bed in the morning was to say to myself, “Today, it’s okay”. Two and a half years later, I have taken that a step further. Today I feel good, so what do you want to do? I can’t tell you what my body will be doing next month, but today I feel good, so let’s go.
Recently, the MS Society launched someonelikeme.ca. Its purpose is to serve as an online community for young people affected by MS. Shortly after it was launched, I approached the facilitator about being one of the bloggers for the site. I was interested in blogging for two reasons. The first one was purely selfish. I thought that it would be therapeutic for me to work through my feelings in writing. An online forum would force me to be articulate about my feelings and experiences. Making a commitment to the MS Society would force me to be accountable and to follow through. The second reason was to help others. I was pulled out of the darkness by reading about people who were making a go of it with this disease. They are carrying on with their lives, many of them still living their dreams. It gave me hope that I could do it too. I would love to help someone else in the same way that I was helped.
A trend I’ve noticed lately is to share personal medical information using social media. Friends update their Facebook statuses with phrases like, “Surgery tomorrow”, “I’m beating this”, “Four more treatments” or “I’ve beaten this”. With an illness like MS there can really be no such updates. “It’s stable” or “This is as good as it will be” doesn’t really have the same effect. I’m so touched to see all of you here tonight pledging to end MS. With your continued and generous support, I’m hopeful that in the near future I can update my status to say “I’m beating this” or the ultimate “I’ve beaten this”.