In MS patient columnist Teresa Wright-Johnson’s debut column on Multiple Sclerosis News Today, she introduces herself and discusses the pain and uncertainty of her diagnosis. She also shares how spirituality and reflection are leading her to overcome the diagnosis and move forward.
Hello everyone! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my MS journey with you. I am almost two years into my diagnosis and I must say this has been a life changing experience.
I like to believe I have always valued my life. Congenital heart disease compels me to appreciate every heartbeat. However, confirming I had multiple sclerosis intensified my desire to live more intentionally. I had to address my mortality and ponder the legacy I hope to leave. It is my wish to live a long, healthy, prosperous life. However, I’ve come to realize that there is more value in the quality of life than the quantity of life. I have resolved that I will do whatever I can, while I can, fully living in this moment.
Receiving my MS diagnosis was devastating. I was terrified and I often wondered what the new course of my life would be. I am certain many of you can relate. Chronic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis effectuate myriad emotions. Navigating the highs and lows remain challenging at best. There are options available to assist in coping with this complex illness. I am currently exploring the best options for me.
Spiritually, I have a strong foundation and I truly believe in the power of prayer. Prayer nourishes my spirit and it is the sustenance needed for me to continue on this journey called life. My faith allows me to put one foot in front of the other and fight the good fight. There is a voice within that tells me I can make it. Purpose requires me to persevere in the midst of adversity. It does not matter how many times I fall down or the amount of tears I shed. What matters is that I stay in the fight.
Life is not easy or fair. We were never promised a rose garden. I exalt in knowing that life is a gift and it is sacred. If we are alive, we are meant to be here. I have said good-bye to many of my loved ones. Three were my siblings. Reflecting upon this confirms that I am here for a reason. You too are here for a reason. Wherever there is life, there is hope. I vowed to fight multiple sclerosis with the same tenacity that has helped me survive congenital heart disease. It is a fact that we cannot control everything that happens in life. We can control how we react to the obstacles we are confronted with. In all honesty, there are times when it feels as if I’m sinking into an abyss. It is during these times that I remember I am a warrior and a survivor. I have no idea what the future holds. No one does. What is definite is that giving up is not an option. I will finish this course.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7
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.