One May Have Good Eyes Yet See Nothing

I started to write an update as it’s been two weeks since my last infusion day…

But everything seemed so trivial when I saw it typed in front of me

There’s so much that I want to say and yet it doesn’t feel like it would amount to much

So I’ll make this brief and say the only thing I’ve really been wanting to say:

I’ve been watching TV like all day every day

The bingeing kind of TV watching

The kind I’ve been unable to do in so long

And I was scared to say this aloud or type it out

But fuck it it’s my blog after all

My eyes don’t hurt

I’ll say it again for the people at the back

MY FUCKING EYES DON’T HURT!

I can’t remember a time when they didn’t hurt

It’s been that long

How crazy is it that I can barely remember the before MS version of me

I’m not foolish enough to think this is permanent

But for now I’ll relish in this moment

Temporary and short lived or not

And if it all comes back in the blink of my eye…

Write. Write until it stops hurting.’

-Anais Nin

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A look on the (very) (red) bright side

Why bother sitting in the sun for hours when you could just straightline 1000s of mgs of steroids to get that same sun burned look. 🤦🏻‍♀️😡😤It’s funny how the steroids are to help our bodies deal with the Lemtrada infusion but also seem to deliver the most obvious side effects. I’m now laying my head on an ice pack in a air conditioned room with a fan on. So essentially it’s the equivalent of hot humid Toronto day.Send cold provisions. ❄️❄️❄️

No pain

Been in bed for a few hours and feeling drained to the bone but I wanted to jot some notes down.

Today was day 3 of Round 2 and the end of the treatment cycle. Hoping I will be among the many who haven’t needed a third cycle.

Today was comparatively easier than the last two days and had my awesome zen and calm sister by my side today who was a super caretaker.

I had one major spike with blood pressure where it went up to 160something over 111. But managed to make its way back into safer territory.

I was nicely drugged up for most of the morning into the early afternoon and felt little more than the Sahara desert of dry mouth and throat.

While doing my infusion I met a fellow MSer who was getting Tysabri treatment (which I was ineligible for due to previous exposure to a virus). This Misfit of a warrior has been battling MS since she was 17 and has been through her hurdle of using a walker and I’m sure much more but has since done well with Tysabri. Wishing her and everyone else on this weird fucked up ride of MS, nothing but strength, courage and good vibes.

My nurse Christine today was excellent as were the other two and I even got to see Nurse Amanda who rocks!

I hope this made some sense as I’m pretty doped up at the moment. 🤤

I won’t even begin to describe how many pics had to be taken of me throwing up the round 2 day 3 hands. I just couldn’t get it right! You’re welcome world!

But I just wanted to say I fucking did it! I did it! I can’t believe I did it and yet here I am with the bruises and soreness to prove it.

All of you in real life and in the cyber world have made my journey somehow a little easier, a little less lonely and have given me a whole lot of support. Much love and respect to you all.

Although there is a slight possibility that this may be the drugs speaking or just allowing me to be more honest, either way take it while you can. 😂

Day 3 has made for an achey, tired and woozy little warrior.

Who is off to bed in hopes of deep blissed out sleep and with whispers of hope on her tongue for a better tomorrow.

🙌🏼✊🏼🤞✌️

Someone Like Me

One more day to go

Tomorrow is my first day of Round 2 Lemtrada treatment

Today is my prep day

I am prepping meals and snacks for the infusion days

And dinner meals for the week

I need to take the dreaded Prednisone this afternoon to help my body get ready for the infusion

I have a roster of family coming with me on each of the three days

I feel ready

More than that

I want it to be done already

It’s kind of like putting your life on hold for a minimum for one year

With the possibility of extending that

This year has not been kind to me

And I’ve had difficulty in dealing with everything from work to my health to my finances and personal life

What doesn’t kill you…right?

Having said that I do feel better prepared for around 2

I know what to expect and what not to expect

And I now know that nothing good ever comes without sacrifice

So if it means another year of my life on hold to make the next several years hopefully better…

So be it

I have discovered I am the type of person who needs something to look forward to

A purpose

A goal

A reward

I find it motivating and challenging and I like overcoming challenges

I thought it would be helpful to me if I made up a list of things I am looking forward to

It makes this more tangible

And it makes this feel worth it

Here goes:

  • I want to go to Salem for Halloween this October
  • I want to go to a beach somewhere this summer (sorry Ontario, with an ocean)
  • I want to plan a trip to a place I’ve never been like Ireland or Portugal within the next 6-9 months
  • I want to find a job where I feel valued and where I feel like I’m doing something goodI want to become reacquainted with the city I love by exploring different neighbourhoods or rediscovering old neighbourhoods
  • I want to take up photography as a hobby and incorporate that into this blog
  • I want to make this blog into something…more
  • I want to see and spend time with the people I love and who make me smileI want to spend my nights sharing stories with J. where we can laugh and look forward to the future that is open for usI want to make my body and mind healthy for the first timeI want to remove unhealthy toxins from my life and body (looking atcha Paxil
  • I want to get a tattoo to immortalize this experience as is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced

And this last one, is probably the most difficult and simultaneously the most important one to me.

  • I want to feel at peace in my soul. In my mind and in my body. I don’t expect happiness 24/7 but I want to know that it is attainable even for someone like me…

The Final Countdown

One week to go till Day 1 of Round 2 Lemtrada treatment.

I’m not as scared this time around and somehow more scared all at once.

Last time it was because I didn’t know what to expect and this time because…well I do.

I’m happy to report that I will have the same amazing nurse as I did for Round 1. I felt like I was so well cared for and that definitely eases some worries.

I’m less apprehensive about the treatment this time around and more worried for what comes afterwards.

Will the recovery be the same? Some have reported it as being worse while others have said it was easier.

So now I’m just waiting to pick up my pre meds to prep for treatment.

I’m mostly settled into the new crib.

Gonna make some healthy meals for infusion week.

My doc asked me why I seem so apprehensive and not looking forward to it.

And it’s not that I’m dreading it, I think I just have more banking on this one now.

Maybe this will be a game changer

Hell, I could really fucking benefit from one

Right about now

One week to go

🤞🤞🤞

36 Years Old And Still Not Okay

Sick and tired

Running a low grade fever

Closer to treatment I get, the worse I feel

I feel like I’m nonstop fighting a flu

Tired of feeling this way

But honestly, I can’t even remember a time where I didn’t feel shitty

Where I didn’t feel sick

Or just generally unwell

Mentally or physically

Even pre MS diagnosis

Facebook reminds me of all the statuses I’ve posted over 10 plus years complaining over one sickness or another

Is it possible that I’ve never been really OK?

And I know what the optimists will say:

You gotta be positive

Things will get better

But I have no evidence to prove any of that as plausible

In fact all the evidence I’ve collected throughout my life points to the contrary

The evidence illustrates a life filled with sickness and struggle as a result

Try as hard as I might

And I cannot for the life of me

Think of a time when I felt…I don’t know even just OK

But that can’t be possible right?

No one can always have been and continue to feel like shit, right?

Is anyone’s luck that bad?

So is it my mood then?…

This is like a chicken and egg thing

And I can’t figure out what came first

Did my mental health change one day…

And then my physical body became sick?

And when did this all happen?

Because I’m looking back through the screen shots of my life and I can’t think of a time where I felt…I don’t know…good

But ‘good’ sounds so insignificant

I don’t understand it

And I don’t know how to fix something that I don’t understand

Then I worry that I’ll never understand

So where does that leave me?

Sick

And

Tired

At only 36 years old

And still just fucking lost

In the chaos of moving and health shit, life keeps throwing curveballs my way.

<Below is response to my employers email demanding I complete the medical documentation regardless of being on a leave (that they not ‘properly authorized’ and with treatment approaching which will hopefully change my physical health>

Hello Employer,

Thank you for your email. I am  seeing my doctor on Thursday and will request that he fill out the forms. However I would like to note that I feel that having him complete the forms when I am obviously currently unfit to work is a waste of time. As of right now he has clearly indicated that I am not medically able to work. So any medical documentation done right now will be inconsequential and disregards the purpose of my treatment which is to get better. Regardless of my personal opinion and his professional one, I will ask that he fill out the paperwork again.

As EMPLOYER have been aware of since last year, I have treatment coming up very soon and it has been insensitive and has showed a lack of compassion in demanding that I do this before my treatment has occurred. EMPLOYER has repeatedly reminded me of my contractual obligation while showing no insight to the obvious difficulty that a long time employee of EMPLOYER is undergoing, while attempting to embark on a second round of chemotherapeutic treatment for the sole purpose of improving their physical health. The forms EMPLOYER have demanded ask questions that show no clear understanding of what Multiple Sclerosis is and how it affects its sufferers. 

I had hoped that an agency I loved working for and hoped to continue to work for a long time would have showed me more compassion and empathy instead of making me feel like a burden and drain on their resources. At this time all I can say is I’m disappointed with EMPLOYER, which as far as a contract goes, I understand means nothing. I have learned my worth as a result of having several years of experience in this field and as such have a thicker skin than most, however I hope in the future EMPLOYER can show its employees more understanding and sensitivity than it has shown me, because having a chronic and incurable illness is hard enough. Once again, I will request my doctor complete the forms EMPLOYER is asking for. 

Angela Gagliardi