Disability • MS

Happy MS-iversary to me!

Here we are again – another year older, another year wiser? Certainly another year with MS – September 1st makes it 8 years.

As my loyal and regular readers (?!?) will remember from last year, I choose to celebrate this day. Why not? A celebration means cake!

It’s a chance to look back at the year and celebrate all that has been and look forward with hope with all that is to come.

What a year it has been! It’s been the year of Winnie – our Winnebago, and it is no surprise that today finds us on the road again, for our longest trip year. A whole two weeks. And what a difference it has made to the quality of life of all 4 of us – me, Ian, Lacey and Deefer.

So this year, I choose to celebrate:

  • The time of the road. The time spent looking out of that big window at every changing views that are different than the ones I see at home. The time on the road is also my journey with MS. This year has had its bumps – a major drug fail that reminded me of how lucky I am with what ability I have, and, of course, the onward march of the progression of MS. But I’m still here, I’m still enjoying life. And life is all about the journey.
  • The time parked up. The campsites – the marmots! The breakdowns – the drama! But also the time parked up at home. There’s been a quality of life adjustment there too, we having CSIL and getting my own personal assistants so that Ian has some freedom from me. It’s all to do with quality of life, however you can get it.
  • Technology! Where would we be without it?!? Staying in touch by phone, email, Facebook. All so very important. Everyone seems so much closer, no matter how far away they are – the laughs, the photos – so many photos! And meetings – doesn’t matter where I am, I can take part by phone, by online conferencing – what a life.
  • Making a difference – or at least trying to – yes, City of Kelowna, I mean you! This has been the year when I start to feel like I’m involved in the advocacy things that are the right fit for me, where I can make a difference. My heart is still very much with the MS Society, but I’m also spreading my wings to new challenges. So much to be done for disabled people, so many incredible people already leading the charge. I’m just grateful to be able to be a part in this.
  • Family – and friends that have become family. As I write this, we are waiting the arrival of Kiyara. It really brings it home to me when I realise that my granddaughters will only ever have know grandma in a wheelchair. (Grandma scuba dived?!? How did she get that chair underwater!) So many changes, I’ve been so many different people. And throughout it all, family and friends have been an ever present source of strength and comfort.  

Thank you, everyone who has been a part of it. 

And the year ahead – who knows?!? Can’t wait!

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Michelle in wheelchair with lightsaber fighting Dart Vader