Monday, 22 October 2012


Last week I reached a stage where I finally feel I've accepted that MS is part of me.
It happened without me even realising it.
Someone from work - who works in a different department - asked me if my son would like to go to her son's birthday party in November.
I replied that he would love to but he wouldn't be able to this year because I have been pencilled in for some hospital treatment so wouldn't be able to take him.
"Oh dear, everything alright?" she asked.
And then out it came.
"I have MS," I replied. "And I'm getting some treatment which means my immunity will be compromised so am trying to stay away from situations where germs may lurk. Not that your house is dirty or anything..." *Backtracking*
The words just came out.
And then she asked me questions.
And I answered without feeling uncomfortable.
It was just so matter of fact. It was just so normal.
For the first time, I didn't feel I had to hide. I didn't feel like I had to change the conversation. And I didn't feel self conscious.
In fact, the conversation was upbeat and littered with laughter.
To the point where someone else came up to join in the conversation asking what we were giggling about. And so I had to explain again. And again it was ok and pretty painless.
Maybe it is because I am finally in a place where although I am still furious about being dealt the MS card, I have started to accept that it is here to stay.
The dark times that have come and gone over the last two years have waned and I find myself laughing about it in what some might call a sick and twisted way but what I describe as gallows humour.
And after that first breakthrough with my unsuspecting colleague, the floodgates opened up.
I have started making plans in work explaining without any trace of self pity to those who need to know I have MS and am having treatment so things can't happen straight away.
On another occasion, I found myself having a conversation with a woman who had just had her first year anniversary of being clear of breast cancer sharing the shock, horror and absolute desperation of diagnoses and its aftermath. We both found ourselves describing emotions that the other identified with making us both realise that although vastly differing illnesses, the impact on our sanity has been very similar.
I don't know if I have accepted it for good or if my MS monster will throw something in my face to knock me off balance (literally and mentally).
At the moment I feel calm. Long may it continue.