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On October 15th, 2013 I read my thoracic MRI report: “findings most indicative of multiple sclerosis with an enhancing active demyelinating plaque.”  I still remember sitting in the chair at my parent’s house.  I read it and read it again.  I cried.   This day is seared in my memory as the diagnosis day although I didn’t receive the official call from the neurology office until the 16th.

So much has changed over the last year.  I’ve read a ton.  I’ve absorbed as much information about MS as my brain could seem to take.  I’ve struggled through what this may mean for me in the future.  I’ve come to {mostly} accept the diagnosis.

I wish I were in a place where I could wax poetic about how much meaning the diagnosis has added to my life or how it made me more grateful or more kind and forgiving.  While I’m sure some of that is true, one year in I am still a bit angry and hurt.  I am far from a place of celebration.

Instead, I wanted to come from a place of hope and set some goals for myself for the years ahead:

  • I hope to be able to incorporate my diagnosis into my life without having my life become my diagnosis.  In spite of this blog and the many support groups I am a part of, I hope to retain some sense of non chronic disease normalcy
  • I hope to become settled enough in my diagnosis to understand that there will be good days and bad days and to relish the good days that much more for it
  • I hope to one day feel okay with the fact that parts of my body are not going to behave in quite the way I would like
  • I hope to learn my limitations and then learn how to push them just a little at a time so that I can continue to feel challenged and satisfied with life
  • I hope to be able to serve in some way as a resource/mentor to those who are newly diagnosed.  This kindness has been offered to me by so many wonderful people along the way and paying it forward would be the ultimate reward.

So while I am not celebrating per se, I am doing my best to look back on the past year in as positive of a light as I can currently manage and to look forward with realistic goals for what is to come.