Relentlessly Optimistic

So it has taken a while to write this blog post.  Back in 2007, we dodged a bullet. Or, more accurately, we thought we dodged it.  But in March, thanks to follow-up MRI tests, we found out that I too have multiple sclerosis.  Well, “probable MS.”  Probable because I have had only one “clinical episode” back in the fall of 2007; a second episode is required to make a definitive diagnosis.  My plan is not to have a second.  🙂

What I have learned over that last couple of months is that MS today is so not the same as my daddy’s disease. And thank God for that.  The disease modifying drugs that were being developed when I was in college, now have ten plus solid years of FDA approved use (okay, the fact that college was that long ago makes me feel old).  So I started daily injections of Copaxone in April.  And while I do not love daily injections, I’ve seen the alternative and I will do my shots every day without fail.  They offer me the single best chance to have as normal a life as any of us gets.

And to be honest with you all, I have surprised myself.  For as long as we have worried about this happening, I am really at peace with this (and Chris is too).  Strangely, I actually feel like this has given us the information we need to make plans and move forward with life.  Good plans and a full, fun life.

Here is the best part.  I feel great.  I am eating better than I ever have (still with lots of room for improvement) and exercising more (still lots of room for improvement there too). And we are happy.  Really truly happy.  And relentlessly optimistic.

The doctors tell me that their goal is that I never lose the ability to walk, and in this day and age, that actually seems like it is really possible. In our families experience that never really seemed plausible before. But it does, and it is.

10 thoughts on “Relentlessly Optimistic

  1. Common Loon May 27, 2009 / 2:54 pm

    You ROCK!!! Thanks for the motivation. And there is a TON of evidence out there that validates how much has been learned, tested, and improved upon treatment-wise (easily available and understandable to ‘regular’ folks in several WSJ articles, not to mention a multitude of other resources), so you are not just “putting up an optimistic front” – you are SPOT ON!

  2. Rudi May 27, 2009 / 6:58 pm

    As today is World MS day, your post is on-the-money, Eileen! and honestly, you set a great example: never back down, live life and keep moving forward. Rock on!

    Re: the exercise bit: will I see you on a ride sometime? 😉

  3. sprite May 27, 2009 / 9:11 pm

    Congratulations on taking the proverbial lemon and making a limoncello! You rock!

  4. Mom May 27, 2009 / 9:13 pm

    @ Eileen & Rudi — can you post some of your pics from the MS ride of a few years ago, Eileen, when you were really ROCKIN for the cause ??

    Also to Rudi & everyone else — Eileen is VERY MUCH like her Dad — he NEVER EVER gave up and just kept pushing himself forward for YEARS with a wonderfully HEALTHY attitude. Eileen & Chris will too and their prospects are so much richer with time and research and RESULTS. That is why all these rides/walks/etc. — all the fund raising efforts — are so worth it!! Keep on one and all. 🙂 THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART AND WITH LOVE, Mom

  5. sionna May 28, 2009 / 7:31 am

    Eileen, you are a true inspiration, as was your Dad. You and your family never cease to amaze me with your strength, courage and stubborn Irish perseverance! 😉

    And you’re so right. Modern medicine has come such a long way just in the past decade. You have the best attitude to fight this thing.


  6. Susan May 28, 2009 / 7:59 am

    I am SOOOO proud of you and I LOVE your attitude. I am so glad you realize how DIFFERENT things are now then they were then!

  7. MEV May 28, 2009 / 4:46 pm

    Eileen, you are much meaner than MS, LOL!!! I liked the lemons reference but I think in your case it’s taking oranges (stay with me here) and making Orangina. Which reminds me we need to go to Paciugo’s soon…!

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