Monday, February 28, 2011

Trying To Make A Difference

I am on a course in my life whereas I am not blogging much here at Living with MS. For those who have been reading my blog over the years, you know I have always been involved in my community volunteering with different non-profits, but lately this non-profit is where I have been devoting a lot of my time and I have been busy researching and writing grants for other non-profits. It is also no secret that I am an activist in my community trying to make a difference in the small southern suburban area outside, but in the same county of the city of Memphis.

I have been spending my time at my new blog called Living in Millington that I started November 19, 2010. For a new blog my stat numbers and response from residents are impressive and encouraging. I am still around, however in 2012 we will be electing a New Mayor and my goal is to make sure a good ole boy or one of their descendants DO NOT SIT IN THAT CHAIR. That is why I will be blogging more at Living in Millington than I will here.

I have been stopping by and reading your blogs, I just have not been leaving a comment. That will change soon, I will drop a comment now and then even it is just stay say HI... my way in letting you all know I am have not forgotten you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Mrs. Anna Lois Dean Ward was the second senior friend of mine to die in a week. Mother Seals and Mrs. Ward were both special to me. I enjoyed their company and I will truly miss them. However, I want to share the follow about Mrs. Ward.

In December 2010, I was given an assignment to write a Christmas story. I suggested writing what Christmas means to a person who was told around Christmastime they have cancer after surving cancer thirty years ago. My editor liked the idea and gave me the green light to take that approach for a Christmas story instead of writing the norm. I chose my senior friend for my Christmas article because of her faith and strength while she battled the rare cancer, multiple myeloma. I wished I could have written about everything we talked about that day, but I am limited to 300 words on an article. During our interview, December 10, 2010, she confided, that her doctor said her labs were not looking good and she needed to schedule an appointment. With a somber look on her face, she said, "I believe my cancer is back." We talked a little longer before I said my goodbyes to her and her husband.

I was devastated when I had to call Mrs. Ward and tell her my editor scrapped the article because I knew she was excited and looking forward to reading it on the published day. I could not bring myself to tell her why. I lied and said they decided to run various pictures of Christmas decorated homes. However, according to my editor, it was opinionated and not joyful. As far as I am concerned, what Mrs. Ward said about Christmas is the truth! Newspapers and magazines are in trouble today because they want to sugar coat, white wash, and pretend commercialism has not taken over every holiday including Christmas.

Mrs. Ward was an ANGEL on earth and I feel blessed to have known her.

Below is the article the newspaper decided not to run because it was too opinionated and not joyful enough.

In the 42 years Anna L and Joel T Ward were married, they celebrated many Christmases together. Their Christmas in 2005 was a sad one because Anna was diagnosed with cancer, multiple myeloma. Christmas is a blessing in Mrs. Ward's eyes. Christmas in 2007 was very hard for her. She was in the hospital for 29 days feeling very low at one point and felt as if she was not going to make it. Hope left her for a while, it was then she felt herself in the hands of the Lord and began believing, without a doubt it was possible for her to be healed. "I have learned if you do not believe you can be healed your battle is going to be harder." said Ward.

Ward received news her cancer was in remission in 2008. Ward said, "For a short while, I did have that little doubt, that this is it, I am going to die. People are inclined to accept the word cancer as their fate. I did that to; when I was told, I had multiple myeloma because I survived breast cancer 30 years ago. I am thankful to have been able to participate at my age to harvest my stem cells to treat my cancer. No matter what medical science has to offer, I truly believe that I am here because of God's Mercy." Ward continued, "I would tell anyone that you have to believe that God is real and that he can do what he says he can do. My savior was born Christmas Day; Christmas means to me that he came here to forgive us for our sins. I believe that if my Savior had not come into this world to save mankind, I would not be here today. Therefore, Christmas is a time to celebrate God's gift to us, the day his son was born. Christmas has a higher meaning to it. The world has taken the focus of Christ out of Christmas and has put a commercial focus on Christmas. That is very tragic." Anna and Joel Ward plans to spread the Joy of Christmas Day visiting people in the hospital wherever they can.

My friend did not get a chance to spread the joy on Christmas Day in 2010 because she was sick by the cancer that aggressively invaded her body again. She was admitted into the hospital until the day she died January 21, 2011.

Do you think her story was opinionated without joy? I do not. To me it is a testament worth reading, how faith and hope gives you joy to believe and know in your darkest moment it will be all right.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This Is Interesting and Strange





NOW, figure this out...take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and see what you come up with.

My number was 111 and every member of my family number was 111. I find it strange and interesting. It definitely make you go hmmmm... I had some friends do it and their number came up 111. If this is interesting to you, please do the above and post your number.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Multiple Sclerosis been good to me in 2010 and I pray it continues in 2011. Yes, I have had my moments, but it has not been as bad from previous years. There is no doubt in my mind, God does not give us more than we can handle. I know my MS behaved this year because my husband has been going through a lot medically in 2010. I am thankful I had been able to be there for him as he has been there for me when my multiple sclerosis is at its worse.

The unconditional love I feel for my husband, I would gladly have my multiple sclerosis rear its ugly head so he would not have to have any more surgeries or health problems. I cannot see my future without him. Therefore, my wish for 2011 is for the return of my husband's good health, continued better days than worse for me and my virtual friends living with or without Multiple Sclerosis.

See you all again in 2011!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It has Been Awhile Since I Posted A...

If you had been reading the blog you know, every now and then I post a Did-U-Know, which is my way of passing on some fantastic consumer information news...

After the birth of my first born in 1982 my breast size went from a 36DD to (warning put your drink down now) to 38K. I could not buy a brassier from a regular store; I had to purchase my brassieres from specialty lingerie stores. To me carrying around all those breasts were a curse to everyone else it was envy from woman and sexual gawking from men.

I carried my large twins nicely for many years because they were supported with the best money could buy. However, I had enough of unwanted sexual advances and carrying the weight, so I made a decision against my husband wishes to have a bi-lateral breast reduction. I felt like a new person after my surgery and it was wonderful being able to shop for a brassiere at a regular store again. I became a Victoria Secret gal, I could not get enough of purchasing brassieres from The Secret until I tried a Maidenform, and my preference is their Lilyette Minimizer collection. The secret to Victoria Secret is their brand is overrated. You have to give credit where credit is due when it comes to VS, they have a damn good marketing department.

Anywho, after all these years of being a Maidenform gal, I never knew about the lifetime warranty on their products. I had recently purchase another Lilyette and one of my snaps broke. Instead of throwing the bra away, I contacted the company. I was ecstatic to hear about their lifetime warranty; all I could think of was how much money I threw away over the years when I no longer used a particular style Maidenform brassiere. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I went through my lingerie draw and pulled out the Lilyette brassieres I no longer wore and mailed them off to Maidenform a week ago. Maidenform wasted no time in replacing my brassieres. I received my replacement brassieres TODAY!

All you have to do to replace a Maidenform product is:
Provide your name, address, and phone number inside the package you are returning. I also provided a size and style change for one of the brassieres I sent to them.

If you do not wear Maidenform brassieres and know someone who does PASS THIS ON TO THEM!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It Depends Where You Inject

If I did not believe, Copaxone was slowing the progression of my multiple sclerosis. I would not be taking the daily injections. I quit injecting Copaxone in my right buttock two years ago. As of December 7, 2010, I will no longer inject Copaxone in my left arm. It is now December 13, and my left arm is still sore. Immediately after removing the needle from my arm, my arm went limp, pain radiated from my shoulder blade to my fingernails. Trying to lift my arm was like trying to pick up a ton of bricks. I counted the minutes thinking to myself, "In about 15 minutes I should be able to move my arm." I sat in bed watching the clock; it was two hours before I could lift my arm to my face and several hours later before I could lift my arm over my head.

During that time a strange sensation flooded my body, my brain felt like a circuit breaker going haywire, then an extreme fatigue invaded my body, a fatigue I am still experiencing as of today. I have been doing great and feeling fine when I was not taking my injection after my flu shot occurrence. Yes, I had some pain here and there and slight immobility because of nerve pain in my foot during my hiatus from taking a Copaxone injection. Where there is belief, there is doubt, I am questioning is all this is worth the unknown of what happens after an injection.

There are times I do not know what to do when it comes to treating my MS. I do know I will not be taking an injection in my left arm again. There are only five other places I can inject Copaxone. Unless, for some other reason...If or when I experience what recently occurred when I injected my left arm and what I experienced after an injection in my right buttock over two years ago happens in the remaining places I have left to inject.

Regardless of my belief...
There will be no reason for me to continue taking Copaxone.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Been Too Long...

photo credit:

Well, I did not bounce back quickly after taking that dreadful 3-point flu shot with H1N1 being one of the components. I was literally out of commission for 32 days ironically multiple sclerosis was not the reason why. I will NOT take another flu shot if H1N1 is one of the components. With that said, let tell you what the two doctors I see the most, my primary care and my neurologist think about this year flu shot.

My neurologist does not believe the flu shot caused me so much suffering for thirty-two days. My primary care does believe the flu shot caused my distress because of the H1N1 and my immune system already compromised having MS. Hmm, now whom do you think I trust the most, and I am beginning to question my neurologist for refusing to believe the H1N1 component in this year flu shot could cause distress for MS patients.

It has been since my last post that I have taken a Copaxone shot, the way I was feeling taking a daily shot was the last thing on my mind. When I began feeling better, the thought of sticking myself again everyday kept me from doing what I know
I need to do. After, organizing my medical records last night into one large binder, I could not help but read my history.

I know I complained about Copaxone when I experience an IPIR. However, I honestly believe Copaxone has slowed the progression of my MS according to my MRI reports since 2003 to the present. BELIEVING is what gives us HOPE and keep us MOVING. Therefore, as of December 01, 2010, I will be taking my Copaxone injections again, and I will try my best not to stay off course as long as I did this time.

Finally, I have a problem with the CDC deciding to include H1N1 into this year infulenza shots leaving us without a choice. The H1N1 vaccine was rushed because of an outbreak of the swine flu and a fear of a pandemic. As far as I am concern the H1N1 was UNTESTED because it was rushed in the hopes of preventing a pandemic; UNTRIED because a mass amount of people refused the vaccine during the outbreak; and EXPERIMENTAL because it was mandated into this year influenza vaccine.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You Have NO Choice

I am having second thought of getting my flu shot Tuesday, September 14. My initial reaction was NOT to take it once I was told that all influenza shots have H1N1 in it. I took the shot because I know Multiple Sclerosis weakens the immune system, making it so much easier for me to end up with "the flu". Multiple Sclerosis can actually set our bodies up to make getting "the flu" a much more dangerous situation.

I am having second thoughts about taking that flu shot with H1N1 in it because I have been experiencing the following flu symptoms: cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, aching muscles, aching joints, weakness, and fatigue. In the beginning, I thought I was having an MS exacerbation because of the intensity of aching muscles, joints, weakness, and fatigue symptoms I live with everyday, but managed when those symptoms stay at a level 6...unfortunately they are at a 10, thankfully have medications to relieve the pain. I knew more was going on once my nose start running, my throat-became sore, and I started coughing. It clicked to me that I am trying to come down with the flu. I guess I can look on the bright side of things; I do not have a fever. If the symptoms that are not the same as my MS symptoms stay mild, I am hopeful I will bounce back soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Showing No Mercy...Unless You Control IT


This heat wave is no joke! If hell is hotter than what it has been for the past three months...I pray living my life by the Golden Rule is my ticket into heaven. :-)

Multiple Sclerosis and I have been battling during this heat wave. IT is getting upset with me because I have not allowed IT to take over. IT needs to know I am in control of my body! There was a time I allowed IT to control my body, but I did not like the way IT played. I use to go about my daily routine as if I was not living with MS (IT) during the summer months and would have to be injected with 3000 mg of Solu-Medrol two to three times during the summer because IT would affect my body in a negative way for days.

This is the first summer in years; I have not had to have an IV Infusion. I know that is because instead of allowing IT to control me, I took control of IT by LISTENING to MY BODY. I have learned to say NO, and still be productive in my LIFE and that is the greatest feeling ever. When I was forced to quit working in my dream job eight years ago, I thought my life was over. I like my new non-paying job better. I now utilized the skills I have learned over the years to help and be a voice for others and work with disadvantage children.

Yes, I have Multiple Sclerosis, but to me MS mean I AM Mighty Strong!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tomorrow Is Not Promised To Us

Today marks the second anniversary of the death of my mother-n-law. I am thankful to have some of my husband's favorite recipes of his Mom in her handwriting that she wrote in a memo pad for me in 1995. I miss her kindness, gentleness, wisdom, and loving personality. Her stroke came without warning and the mercy of God called her home quickly. My husband mourned her deeply, and I know he still mourns her. She is the reason he is a strong and compassionate man and I thank her for that.

I have the saying "Tomorrow is Not Promised to us" on my mind because I am thinking of the quickness of her death and the quickness of the death of my grandfather who died 28 years ago August. I am also thinking about my on health and the health of my husband. My husband is ill and I understand the emotions he is experiencing right now. I had been there when I was diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. This is not a pity post, this is a post about strength to live today as if there is no tomorrow.

The following is an example of why we should enjoy each day we have with loved ones. I returned home Monday from my family's 35th Family Reunion. On Wednesday a family email was distributed about my first cousin Gwen being in ICU on a ventilator...I could not believe the words that were on that email because I had just load pictures from my camera onto my computer and there was a picture documenting the laughter I shared with Gwen and others Saturday evening. Fortunately, God answer prayers, Gwen was removed from ICU yesterday and it looks as if she will recover.

The point to this post is no matter what we face in life we have to enjoy every day as if it is the last day we have with love ones and friends. Self-pity and depression can push a person to the brink of death. I know from experience that is not the answer, I harnessed my self-pity of living with MS into living with a purpose; I embraced my depression as part of me and take a medication that works for me so I can keep on living. I thank God every day for making me an example for others to see. I think the years of me living with multiple sclerosis prepared me to be strong for my husband and it prepared my husband to realize life is not over. That is why I know my husband is going to be okay once he goes through the cycle of knowing he now has to live life with a chronic depilating illness.