intro to halt my MS

Thank you for taking time to learn more about my journey and my hopes for the future. You might have seen parts of my story published by WCPO or The Northerner, or know more of my day-to-day struggles as I have the pleasure of seeing you often. Here, I hope to offer a platform to…

musing

Often, language seems to fall short. At least lately, the means by which to express gratitude through speaking or writing seem incomparable to the experience of emotion. Maybe my internal thesaurus didn’t carry forward after the reboot six months ago. Maybe it’s the fluctuation of hormones through early menopause. Maybe the language part of my…

halting

Merriam Webster defines the transitive verb as “1 : to cease marching or journeying. 2 : discontinue, terminate.” On the six-month anniversary of transplant, today Dr. Burt offered me a fantastic early birthday present. He confirmed that my MRIs show no new lesions, which means that so far, HSCT has halted my MS!! Since diagnosis…

moving

pedaling away on my stationary bike this morning, I noticed my pace is a half-minute faster than last week. Incremental, but significant. Sitting in meditation this morning, I noticed a greater sense of ease, despite the empty belly and mental distractions of the growing to-do list. Incremental, but significant. Talking with my grandmother this morning…

stunning

Five months ago today, my immune system was obliterated… annihilated… my white blood cells, neutrophils, etc. all, “too low to count” created the perfect environment for the last round of chemo and return of my own stem cells to help my body rebuild a new immune system. Today, the BBC published a story previewing interim…

consuming

People survive in different ways. ~Nikita Gill (via meanwhilepoetry) I keep saying (out loud, and in my head), “This [transplant] has been such an interesting experience to observe…” and when I wonder the extent to which I tempted fate, or altered my destiny, question whether I made the right decision to (rely on others to help)…

shaping

sometimes, you have to do it wrong in order to make it right. At least, in order to reverse the patterns of muscle tone that my fascia like to exert, repeated reps to work my toes, ankles, knees, and arms in awkwardly exaggerated ‘wrong’ ways can help my body recognize what should be ‘right’ in…

transitioning

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” ~ Pema Chodron Today marks three months post-HSCT and the end of some restrictions; I can now swim in a public pool, take out the garbage, garden, change a diaper…and by April I won’t have anymore restrictions around food, pets, construction zones, or remodeling….

understanding

some things never change. Understandable, as some things were never intended for change. Some people might feel stifled or threatened by the very idea of change, as it can be uncomfortable. unpredictable. unfamiliar. Sometimes, if we’re lucky enough to pay attention, we are able to witness change with mindfulness and nurture understanding. Unveil new appreciation…

noticing

“Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are uncommonly and marvelously intricate in thought and action, our problems are most complex and, too often, silently borne.” ~ Alice Childress slowly, but surely, my immune system continues to develop itself. Aided by water, vitamins, herbal supplements, nourishing vegetables, red meat, nuts and seeds,…

abundance

“happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.” ~Gautama Siddharta When I sat down with reporters from WCPO to share updates since the last time we talked, the question of “what are you thankful for this year?” eventually emerged. Admittedly, the list seems beyond boundaries this year. access to resources and…

attuning

how busy the mind. just thirty days ago, the 8.75 million stem cells that were harvested from my body were infused back to begin their adventure of building my new immune system. At the time, and even leading up to the transplant, throughout chemo and the battle with insurance, I’ve considered HSCT to be my…

homecoming

words cannot even describe the feel of my daughter’s embrace when we returned home. Bursting with joy, she ran out onto the driveway, no care for shoes and we showered each other with love. Eager to show me the “arrangement” she had put together, she wanted to lead me into the house – except I…