Monday, 27 April 2015

Guess what?

No new lesions!

On my brain OR spinal cord!

I saw my Neurologist today to go over my latest MRI and have a check up and medication chat.

Although I am considered "stable diseased" in radiological terms, and still have dozens of brain lesions and one large spinal cord lesion to contend with - there are no new ones!

These injections are in fact helping me. 

That makes me much less resentful of my nightly shot-routine.

I am also now stable enough on Copaxone (2 years now) to try reducing my injections.  This isn't something that is prescribed per se, but since I am having some lipoatrophy in certain injection locations, my doctor was comfortable allowing me to do this.  I can do the injections 3 times a week now - in hopes it will help my skin (ahem... vanity).  Needless to say - I am thrilled!  Maybe I can reduce some of the damage these injections have done.

The icing on today's cake - I've been asked to speak at the Vancouver MS Walk! (Only for a couple minutes, but still...)

It's been a good day.  A very good day.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The swag!

I am itching to give these goodies away!

Remember - I have FIVE items - and anyone who makes ANY donation to the MS Walk will be automatically entered into the raffle.

Click here to make a donation!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Fundraising item - the bling

Who doesn't love jewelry?

And who wouldn't love to own - and wear - something custom designed and hand crafted especially for them?

Seriously, look at these!

These beautiful earrings, named Berenice after the actress who portrayed the femme fatale Sévérine in Skyfall, are as red as red can get.  A bold, dramatic colour, yet also appropriately the colour of MS awareness in Canada.  Made from sterling silver, the teardrop shaped stones are brilliant red rubies and the tiny faceted stones above are red spinels.

The artist-extraordinaire behind these earrings is Aileen Lau, who created Aria Industries to showcase her incredible talent working with silver and gemstones.

Check out Aileen's beautiful blog here and her very tempting Etsy shop here.

I was so touched when Aileen reached out to me, offering to donate a piece of her jewelry.  We've known each other since elementary school, but have partially lost touch over the years.  People move, things change, life gets busy.  Thanks to these earrings, we get to renew our friendship and raise some money at the same time!

Thank you so much Aileen, for reaching out to me and for donating these stunning earrings. 

To win them - and I know you want to - make a donation to my MS Walk page here.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Fundraising items - the music

It was years ago I heard him sing for the first time.

Up on a stage, alone, just him and his guitar.  No amps, no background, no dizzying distractions.

And it was amazing.  Amazing.

The crowd was silent - taking in every ounce of musical genius Dominique Fricot had to offer.

And let me tell you, he pours his soul - his entire being - into his performance.

I've been mesmerized since.

(And even had the opportunity to join Dominique on a skytrain Christmas caroling adventure.  Non-intoxicated, I promise).

So I asked Dom if he'd like to get involved with the Vancouver MS Walk.  Being an all-around awesome guy, he said yes, and I couldn't be more excited!

I have THREE items to offer from Dominique Fricot - two signed CDs (which are both so fantastic) and an incredible t-shirt (which I not-so-secretly want to keep for myself).

Check out his website here and send him some love.  And get tickets to his upcoming video release show!

Huge thanks for donating, Dominique!

You really can't pass this one up, people!  Donate to the MS Walk here to enter the draw!

Stay tuned for another announcement about Dominique Fricot and the MS Walk soon!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Fundraising item - the literature

You know those books... the ones that don't end up in your to donate pile.  But permanently live on your bedside shelf?

For me, The Last Hiccup is one of those books.

It's wickedly funny, dark, quirky.

I am in awe of Christopher Meades' ability to create entertaining fiction, complete with exquisite prose and detailed, interesting characters.

This man knows how to write a sentence.  A book.  Many books.

And very deservedly, The Last Hiccup won the 2013 Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction.

Here are the judges' comments:

The Last Hiccup is an episodic novel reminiscent of Chaucer’s Tales or the Decameron. At the heart of the story is a hiccup, or more specifically, a boy with the hiccups… This surrealistic novel takes us through the misadventures of Vladimir and along the way the reader gets a good look at society’s foibles. The writing is exquisite, the language poetic and fresh. Although the story takes place in 1930s Russia, it feels very relevant to our times.


Thank you, Chris, for donating your book to help raise funds for MS research and treatment.  Not only are you an amazing author, but you're a true friend and a great source of support.

Check out Chris' website here.

Enter the draw by donating to the MS Walk here and you could win a signed copy of The Last Hiccup by Christopher Meades!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Fundraising raffle!

The time has come, folks! 

I've got 5 wonderful items up for raffle.  All to help get my fundraising blazing in the last month before the walk. 

And all items have been donated by incredibly talented Canadian artists.  Hint - not art in the traditional sense... but some music, some fiction, and something beautiful to wear...

The items will be introduced each day, starting tomorrow.

Every donation to my walk page gets an entry into the raffle.  I'll keep track of the donations and number them in order.  On Saturday, May 2, I'll have a draw to reveal the winners!  And I'll personally deliver or mail the items to you.

It's win-win, right?

So, if you are tempted to win something really awesome, or just want to support MS research, click here to donate!

Oh, and one more not-so-subtle hint...

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

MRI and diagnostics

I would never have received my diagnosis without Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

And it took years of strange symptoms to have it done.

MRI is a modern medical tool - invented only in 1971, with the first human scan not performed until 1977.

Today, MRI is the most definitive method used for MS diagnosis.  There are no blood tests and no uniform set of symptoms.  Neurological abnormalities are often not present on physical examination.

The Evoked Potential test can aid in diagnostics by recording and mapping how electrical signals travel throughout the body.  And a spinal tap can help by identifying abnormalities in white blood cells or antibodies that are associated with MS.  Despite their usefulness, however, these two tests can have drawbacks.  The results they display can be indicative of many diseases (and not just MS) and false positives and negatives can occur.

I am very grateful to have regular access to an MRI machine.  I'd probably still be rotating through Neurologists who thought I was "just stressed" otherwise.


I went for another MRI today - brain and spine.  Ninety minutes enveloped in a giant clanging beige tunnel, head and neck cages on, Hannibal-Lecter-style.  With no swallowing for the neck portion (which psychologically makes me swallow... ugh!).

I always put their headphones on over my ear plugs, in hopes that between the rattles and thuds of the machine I'll be able to hear some music.

The only lyric I could pick out today:

"Back to life, back to reality..."

Thank you, Soul II Soul - your ironically fitting late 80's song took me waaay back and added a few giggles to my day.

Friday, 3 April 2015

WAMS BC Launch

This week WAMS (Women Against MS) was successfully launched in B.C.

It was a networking event held at the Centre for Drug Research & Development at UBC, and was attended by a wide mix of people - the MS Society, people living with MS, MS researchers and specialists, CDRD staff and directors, politicians, and community members.

The one thing bringing us all together - the strong need to increase and support MS research.

Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, and 75% of those people are women.

Thank you to all the dynamic speakers, Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, Centre for Drug Research & Development, Jody Wilson-Raybould, Liberal candidate for Vancouver Granville, Dr. Cornelia Laule, WAMS grant recipient and UBC researcher, and Jennifer Sweeney, MS Advocate and MS Society group facilitator.

I was there in my role as MS Society Ambassador to get updates from MS researchers, to spread the mandate of the MS Society, to encourage people to participate in fundraising events, and to speak on behalf of the 100,000 Canadians living with Multiple Sclerosis. 

I hope to see many of the people I spoke with come out for the MS Walk in Vancouver on May 24th!

If anyone would like further information about WAMS, or would like to get involved (there will be many upcoming networking events and a gala luncheon in November), visit

In all - A very worthwhile evening promoting a very important cause.