Since being diagnosed less than three weeks ago I have had such an outpouring of support. Friends who I have not seen in years have rallied around me. I have a couple new friends that are close to the disease one has it and the other has a mom with MS. People who did not even know I existed 3 weeks ago lifting me up and encouraging me to fight. Plus all the great people I have had by my side from the beginning. I am amazed and I am blessed.
Once I was given the second opinion I felt overwhelmed and a little helpless. I was not sure where to turn, what to do or where to go. I felt like I truly had lost a part of me and unfortunately gained another part that I really did not want. As you can see from my last post I needed to regain some control. Not over how I felt physically...it pains me to say that I may never have that again. Mentally though...that was another thing. I decided to enlist the help of my family and friends to be a part of a team for the MS Walk in Raleigh. To do something good for myself and others who carry this disease with them every day.
I am so moved by those who have pledged to join me here in Raleigh. I am amazed at the generous spirits of so many to financially support this endeavor. I am without words for how I feel about two very special friends from long ago who have decided to head up their own team in NH. In less than three weeks they have rallied friends and family to join them (and now me) in walking and fundraising for the MS Society's Central New England Chapter. We now have a friendly challenge to see who can raise the most funds. (Don't tell Ellen and Sean, but I plan to kick their butts!!!)
The days are still unpredictable and frustrating. The pain and other symptoms are still ever present. But somehow focusing on the good that can come from the situation is dulling it all just a little. I think we all have a choice in life. We may not get to choose what happens to us. We may not get to choose our circumstances. We may not get to choose the road we travel. What we do get to choose is how we respond to the curve balls life throws at us. We can let all the difficulties throw a dark shadow over all that is good in our lives. We can huddle under the covers and hope it passes on it's own. We can get swallowed up in the pain and the "why me's". It can happen to the best of us...getting caught up in what has gone wrong instead of what is still right.
In order to survive, in order to have the best life possible we must pull ourselves back up by our bootstraps. We must take that baby step forward. We must not let our spirits be crushed by things we cannot control. I was chatting with a friend today. We were talking about high school sports. I reminded him of who I was then and who I still am now. I may not have been the fastest or the most talented athlete, but I sure did have heart. I was a scrappy player who gave it her all. No one could ever say that I did not give 100%. I always felt I had something to prove. I am still that same girl. My brother Donnie shared with me a great quote back in December, after my initial diagnosis...
Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man
But soon or late, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.
I am still trying to prove to myself and anyone else who will listen that I have heart. I have a desire to live a full life. I have a desire to help others and in turn I help myself. I may not feel good physically. I may have to make some adjustments along the way. But one thing is for sure, I'll be damned if this disease is going to take my heart.
I would like to encourage all of you, no matter what life is throwing at you today to remember that you have a choice. With that choice brings power. The power to be happy. This week I have heard some bad news...a battle was lost to cancer, leaving behind a family heartbroken, one that mourns the loss of their mommy and their wife. I did not know this woman, but have many friends that did. She fought the good fight. She never gave in. She found the joy in every day. She LIVED. She made the choice and chose to be happy.
I ask that you all take a look at your own lives...are you making the choice to live? Are you making the choice to be happy? Are you looking around to see what you do have? Are you reaching out and grabbing it?
Time is so short...we should not waste it on what we do not have...we should all embrace the blessings we do have. So find someone to hug. Find someone to kiss. Find someone to share a belly laugh. Find someone to share LIFE with, because LIFE IS GOOD.