Two things happened to me today.
The first was the realisation that in four days time I will be starting my second course of the Big A.
The second was the realisation of how much has happened since June 2010 when I was given the first definite hint I had MS.
So much has happened since that day when I spent an afternoon with my unborn son flourishing and fighting inside my body in a hospital ward with a sympathetic doctor called Ellie (whose kindness I will never forget and will always be grateful for) as I started wailing and mewling about the unknown and unpredicted future it looked likely I was facing now MS had reared its ugly head.
That day several sympathetic cups of sweet tea were presented in polystyrene cups and remained undrunk (because pregnancy had created an unwanted and unexpected aversion to my favourite beverage) and hope and ambition turned (temporarily I am pleased to say) to despair and fright.
Over the next months, the fear that my growing baby would be affected by the sensation loss I experienced from my toes, up and across my swollen belly to my chest was replaced by fear about how I would cope with a small infant.
And then the guilt. The guilt spilled from every pore. It invaded every thought, every conversation, every breath I took. MS and guilt had taken over my very being.
As if by magic, anger soon appeared. I raged. I cried. I hated. Oh how I hated. I became resentful and rebellious and impatient and generally a vile excuse for a human being.
It built up inside. All of the emotions, all of the unfairness of it all, all of the self pity. And suddenly I was cast into a dark, dark place. Was it depression? Possibly. Was it a break down? Maybe. Whatever it was the pent up emotion and pain was finally released over two weeks in tears. With every teardrop that fell, a little bit of hope returned. With every tissue thrown into the overflowing bin, a bit more of me started to return. Pain, someone said to me recently, is weakness leaving the body and with every tear I shed, the emotional pain was relieved.
Now I am here. I am me again. But this time I am me with MS. And you know what, I can cope with this. I have hope again. I'm going to be ok. I may not be the ok in the way I thought I would be before MS, but I'm going to be ok.
And in four days time, as I lie on the hospital bed with a drip attached to one arm and a bag of jelly babies being devoured, I won't be dwelling on the hand I have been dealt. Instead I will be dealing with it. I will be coping with it. And I will be ok.