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6 Years On

18 November 2015

Today is the 6th year anniversary of my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. I do not celebrate, (ok I may use it as an excuse to eat cake!) or commiserate, though I do acknowledge this day each year. I like to take a moment and look back over the past 12 months and see what I have managed to achieve regardless of my MS. I like the look of my past 12 months, there have been many achievements, big and small, though equally as important.

Some days my achievements will look like getting out of bed and just being, and getting through another day. Other days its about ticking something of my bucket list, like going overseas to Fiji. For me they are both equally important to acknowledge, because by viewing them both as achievements is acknowledging the unpredictability of my MS. Accepting both good days and bad days, and all the ones in between.

When I was first diagnosed I had such urgency about achieving my dreams, feeling as though if I didn’t do it right now then I would run out of time! Now 6 years on, I can say that I have learnt to live in the right now. I still set my goals and have my dreams, and I continue to work towards them, though now without so much urgency. With time I have come to accept that the only thing and outcome I can control is what I am doing with my right now. Now is Everything!, Its wonderful! It’s important!

If I was to talk to the me back there 6 years ago and tell her anything, it would be this.

Slow down! Take more moments, and breathe, just breathe. No matter what you think is coming around the corner, chances are what comes, isn’t even close to what you imagine. Don’t go rushing through life, because when you rush you miss the important moments. Allow yourself to grieve, and to hurt, for the work you do now will help you later on when things get harder. Live! Every moment, big, small, and indifferent. Really live it.

There have been many changes in the world of MS in the past 6 years. When I was diagnosed, you only had a choice to inject yourself, or go on infusion. Now there are many new options of treatments from oral drugs, diet protocols, injectable, infusions. There are also exciting trials happening around the world. New discoveries all the time. This brings me hope, because imagine what could come in the next 6 years?

I have learnt many things since that day sitting in my neurologist’s office. One of those things is, I am not alone! There is a worldwide community of people with Multiple Sclerosis out there, waiting to share their story, create awareness and offer support. They will nurture you on your bad days, and celebrate your good days, they are a family of sorts. I know without a doubt that I would not have gotten through these last 6 years without them there to tap into.

There is no way of knowing what will come my way in the next 6 years, though I am excited about what opportunities are waiting. Yes, My MS presents me with limitations, and the road ahead is not clear, though the last 6 years have taught me, I am stronger and braver than I ever believed!

So here’s to another year forward, with all its challenges, uncertainty, and achievements just waiting for me to discover them. Right after some much needed sleep. 

Comments (4)

What a great way to mark your anniversary! I really enjoyed reading the wisdom you have gained from your experiences, and I love your approach of getting whatever out of the "now" you can. Much as I wish for your sake that you didn't have MS to deal with, it sounds as if you've managed to grab a few really great "silver linings" from what the experience has been so far. Happy anniversary!

Really enjoyed the read Amber :) I marked my 1st Anniversary last year, but found it brought up some really bad memories, so I decided not to keep a note of the specific date for future years (made easier by my terrible memory of dates!!). It's nice to hear your reflections on your Anniversary though - and here's to another great 6 years ahead for you!

Thanks Amber! I love what you say about slowing down and breathing. So simple and yet sometimes so hard to do. Here's to several more years of new discoveries!