I found out last night, an old friend has cancer. It started as breast cancer and has spread to her bones. This is a woman I use to work with. She has the greatest sense of humor and her laugh is contagious. Life is very unfair sometimes. After I spoke with her, I was taking my dogs outside to their little dog run, and as I sat on my chairlift going down, I was grateful. I know that sounds horrible, but I’m being honest. I’ve had this disease for almost 20 years. It has come with a lot of empathy and pity from others looking in who weren’t sick. I was very young getting steroids by IV 1000 mg for 4 days and then going through the steroid withdrawals.(I never tapered because I felt it just prolonged the withdrawal). I’d have stints in my arm at work, go through the withdrawal at work. I tried not to take off for my MS and save all my sick and vacation days for when my daughter was off because I was a single mom. This is how most people I worked with knew me. I was a fighter. They never knew how scared I was to be at the exact point I am now. I was terrified of this day. What would happen if I couldn’t work anymore? How would I afford to live? How would I get around if I need a wheelchair? Who would help me if I was alone? I was in fear of what would happen when I got to this point and my MS got too disabling.
As I went down the chairlift, a chairlift that I always complain about because it’s slow, I realized my fears are mostly resolved. If I continue to get worse, I can get more adapted equipment to help make my life easier and more aide hours. I was grateful because MS isn’t taking me from my life, it just alters how I move in it. Unfortunately, I don’t think my friend is going to be that lucky for long. It brought me back to the day I got my diagnosis. When I saw that fatal car accident and said that day I’m still here. That accident was my reminder and that person never died in vain. It was that accident on that day that always gave me my strength behind my MS. My fight to not let it control my life and certainly not sit back and let my life pass me by. Nickelback wrote a song called if today was your last day. One line in the song is “each day’s a gift and not a given right”. It’s very true so be grateful each day.