Seven years since my official diagnosis.
Ten years of living with this disease. Living with fear and uncertainty. Learning to navigate things I never expected to. Learning to embrace the "new" me.
It's been a process. Many medications, some terrifying and debilitating. Many treatments and appointments and trying anything that might make things better.
There still is no cure for MS, nor a definite cause.
There is no warning when your body will turn against you.
It's taken me a decade, and I am now okay with having MS. And it does partly define who I am. Probably because I think it's made me a stronger person. I am comfortable with my own mortality and my own illness.
At my last Neurologist's appointment, we discussed that because I am over the 10 year mark of living with this disease, we wait and see how my MS transitions. 10-15 years post-onset is typically when 50% of people decline greatly and become secondary progressive, while 90% of people with MS will transition to secondary progressive within 25 years. This waiting will perhaps be the hardest.
For those who have stuck with me - thank you. Support is the only way to navigate through a progressive disease.
And the MS community as a whole has been an amazing asset to me. I have never seen a group of people rally together with such power. Ever.
And on that note, coincidentally, today is A&W's Burgers to Beat MS day. For every Teen burger sold, $2 goes directly to the MS Society of Canada. This is a huge fundraiser which supports the research, resources, and equipment that thousands of people really need.
So go eat a burger!