‘Every day, I embrace’

My days are numbered. Medical experts essentially tell me this all the time.

I heard it most recently when I attended an MS conference last weekend hosted by the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.

In not so many words, they said that most people with Multiple Sclerosis live with the relapsing-remitting form of the disease for so long and eventually transition to the secondary-progressive form after they’ve had the disease for 10 years.

I hate it when I go to these kinds of things because they often provide a subtle yet very in-my-face reminder that I truly have a chronic, progressive disease. I don’t blame them for their pessimistic forecasts because I realize the medical facts don’t lie.

With a decade under my belt, I guess I’m living on borrowed time.

While I don’t consciously think about it, I wonder if I unconsciously realize this with every step I take. Every stair I climb. Every race I run. Every shoe I tie. Every workday I complete. Every book I read. Every sentence I write.

Everything I do.

Such a reality check has the potential to throw me off my game and into a woe-is-me abyss that could consume my life. But I won’t let this happen. Guided by the charge of Coach Jimmy Valvano who said, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

With a decade under my belt I know I’m living on, regardless what form of Multiple Sclerosis I have.

I consciously realize this with every challenge I face. Every obstacle I overcome. Every frustration I feel. Every battle I lose. Every battle I win. Every moment I live to its fullest.

Every day, I embrace.

6 Responses to “‘Every day, I embrace’”

  1. Keep embracing. Every measure of probability includes the less probable variant also. It is not guaranteed that you will end up in the segment of the most probable outcome. You might end up in the less probable one, which in this case would mean less disability. I like focusing on that one and figuring out what I have to do to end up there.

  2. I am somewhere between 15-18 years into my disease at 29, and so far have not gone into SPMS. I live knowing that I am, despite it all, a blessed person. I know exactly what it feels like to wonder with every step if it will be the last; I can only offer to you my empathy and a compliment on finding your beautiful, if not hauntingly so, words.

  3. Great attitude! Self love makes us stronger.

  4. Dan says:

    @ Judy – Love the opening line from you: “Keep embracing.” Almost like from one of your poems :-) Thanks for checking in with us.

    @ Katherine – It’s great to hear from you, and we’re glad you got something from our blog. We, too, are blessed and we wish you the best as you move forward. Stay in touch on your journey!

    @ Diane – Sometimes attitude is all we have, huh :-) And another thing that makes us all stronger is knowing we’re not facing this disease alone. Thanks for connecting with us to help us all find that strength together.

  5. SS says:

    Thanks for posting this – I am pretty much in the same condition! I too embrace, grin and bear! Prayers your way!

  6. This is so beautiful Dan…not the message from the doctors, or that you are past year 10, but your choice to embrace each day. I try to do the same (and of course some days it is not so easy)…thank you for sharing a piece of your heart here.

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