Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What’s In A Name

Back when I first decided to write this blog I had to try and come up with a name for it.  I wanted it to be related to MS but not just “this is an MS blog”. 

One of my cousins was married to a really special lady.  She died a few years ago with ALS.  If you have never been around someone with this disease, it is way worse than most anything you can imagine.  According to the ALS Association’s website, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”  My cousin quit work in order to spend the last months of her life with her.  It was not an easy task to watch someone you love deteriorate and die.

Years ago a friend of mine found out she had breast cancer.  The surgery plus the treatments after really took a toll on her, but she survived and was determined to get back to good health and live a full life.  This was not to be.  She developed cancer in her other breast and her brain.  Although she gave her all to live, the strain on her body was too much to overcome and she died.  She weighed 54 pounds when she died.

Annette Funicello was a fellow MSer.  I wrote an earlier blog about her life and death, so I won’t go over that same ground again except to say that she fought a good fight but lost the battle.

No matter what illness/disease/problem we are facing, we always feel like what we have is so much worse than what someone else has.  I know it is true with me on some days.  On any given day, someone we are in touch with is having a really hard time and all of us need to get out of our problem and pray for others.

As I was thinking about all of this, I imagined in my mind a large table with people sitting all around it.  The table was set up for a dinner with many bowls in the middle.  It seemed like a party or boarding house meal type thing.

As I looked around the table, each bowl had a little note in it with ALS, cancer, MS, malaria, leprosy and all other diseases.  A voice instructed each of us to choose one of the bowls for our own and that not choosing one was not an option. 

I remember sitting at tables with food all around and looking to see what I wanted to eat.  Usually, the food I really wanted was on the other end of the table and I would have to ask to have it passed to me. 

As I looked around the table in my imagination, I weighed all the pros and cons of each disease I saw.  None of them were good and all of them had their own terrors to face and problems to deal with each day.  My eyes finally rested on the bowl with MS on it.  I turned to the lady next to me and asked her to please pass the MS.  This became the title to my blog.

Facing the problems that MS throws at each of us each day brings its own set of difficulties.  We are rarely faced with the same ones for very long and trying to deal with each one sometimes seems more than we can handle.  But after considering what other diseases can do to us, I figure that MS is as good/bad as the next one.

My grandma used to say that we had to be warriors to make it in life because there were always things we must battle.  She said that even when we were not physically sick, there were mental battles to deal with and conquer.  I know that our MS Army is strong and we band together as a fighting unit.

Some days, though, it sure would be nice to just cuddle up against Grandma again and feel safe…………I guess that is what Heaven will be like, huh?!!



Muffie said...

I can relate to so much here! a friend died of ALS in less than a year, my husband's niece had the same kind of cancer and died a few months ago, and I believe that MS is not the worst that could happen to me. I'd never in a million years ASK for it, but given the choice among so many other diseases, I guess it would be a good pick!

Janie said...

Yes, I would much rather just die of extreme old age. But, with all the horrors out there, I guess MS is as good as anything to be stuck with. Just think of all the good people it has caused us to know!! :)