The Unlikely Warrior: Finding Purpose with SPMS

Jennifer (Jenn) Powell avatar

by Jennifer (Jenn) Powell |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Unlikely Warrior Jennifer Powell

Jennifer Silver Linings

I am balancing my laptop on one pillow and a leg brace. I have myriad MS-related health issues; alas, this is not among them. After meniscus surgery, aggressive arthritis, and a loss of cartilage, I’m facing knee replacement. Due to a busy schedule and the sustaining effects of Rituxan (rituximab), I am on the books for late summer.

This has been a challenge, and the increase in pain tries me, but God has a sense of humor: My foot drop affects the opposite leg. I walk, weave, and wander. I bump into things, and I knock things over.

And I laugh. I have to. What is my alternative?

My sister is among the few I talk with about my daily trials. We share so much history, and she is sad for all I endure. She is the consummate older sister. We speak several times a day. After our most recent conversation, she sent this text:

“You have been and always will be a warrior. You did not ask for the role but you live up to it.”

This touches my heart and invokes thought. I am the most unlikely warrior. I carry books, not bayonets. It is my mind I keep strong. It is my mind that confronts, then disputes, the negative narrative. I combat pain, fear, grief, and fatigue. Faith and hope are my weapons of choice. Gratitude and optimism are bulwarks that keep the blues at bay.

My arsenal is unlike that of a traditional warrior. I am my armor. I live the war. There is no end in sight. I tire, I cry, I moan. I fall to my knees and pray. I pray for knowledge. I pray for direction. I pray for Him to guide me when my compass spins.

And He does.

I think about what my sister said. Am I a warrior or merely the result of cause and effect? It does not matter. I am here and I have a purpose. I am grateful to be among those who make this world spin. Carpe diem.

This warrior intends to seize this moment, this day, this year, and this life.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Effie avatar


some days I feel like I'm going to break in 1000 small pieces. But it has not happened yet. Maybe it will happen in a day or month or year (s). Until then, feeling like a warrior is not a bad thing, at all! My best regards.

Shaf avatar


Beautifully written!

Martin Matko avatar

Martin Matko

Flghting for treatment of cause M$ Symptoms Organizing 34 Million Canadians demanding research in Blood Pressure/Circulation issues be addressed and treated immediately in CANADA! #CCSVI @ms_matko
FB Group: Multiple Stenosis Society

Learn and Join the discussion!

Melissa Vemi avatar

Melissa Vemi

AMEN my sister and fellow warrior. I'm SPMS and am on Ocrevus. I too am a inspiration everyone I meet.I'm unable to work but I never give up and I'm living by myself and still driving. Thank you for sharing your story!

madeline newton avatar

madeline newton

i haven't had the knee problems that you have had but i do have MS and it is a battle but i also agree to laugh at is most of the time for this is what we can and can't due because of it ...i also agree we have a purpose to go on and help others try to get thru this for it is one big thing we are alive ...i still can see it has it's bad days but ha i breath in the wonders of this world and can see them growing in my garden and i do love this world and we all should enjoy it and bless everyday we are to you and your sister may you both keep on believing and enjoying our beautiful world we live in and happiness keeps us going ...

Ken G avatar

Ken G

I was not told "you should not have any operations if you have MS" until several years after I had aan operation and I went from Relapsing Remitting to Progressive Degenerating MS. I am now Bed Bound and Wheelchair Bound and as the years go by a little less functional.

Pamela Rafter avatar

Pamela Rafter

What a beautiful story
Thank you for sharing it.
I read alot of fantasy books and love Lord of the rings movies ... Dracula and I use these characters in a strong way even the superheroes dc comics
I am that warrior princess and I even when weak know I am truly amazing to be here

Judy avatar


You have beautiful writing! Thank you for that. xxoo

Gia avatar


Very inspirational!


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

Dancing Doodle

Did you know some of the news and columns on Multiple Sclerosis News Today are recorded and available for listening on SoundCloud? These audio news stories give our readers an alternative option for accessing information important for them.

Listen Here