Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Ending on a high ....

As anyone who reads this blog, or knows me well, will know, this year hasn't been an easy one MS wise. Two relapses in six months at the start of the year knocked me for six. Then a period off Rebif, followed by a trial month on Avonex left my body not really knowing which way was up.
I struggled to come to terms with the medication options available, feeling that they were harder on my body than the actual MS. Side effects are a common problem with Disease Modifying Drugs and as hard as I tried to see the good they were doing, I simply couldn't function while on them.
It wasn't easy but after some discussion with my family and my MS nurse I made the difficult decision to simply stop taking any.
I've talked before about how it's a double-edged sword because there are people around the world, and the UK, crying out to be given the chance to take some form, any kind, of medication and they aren't always readily available. Yet I have never been denied any.
And now I'm turning them down.
But it's our local policy not to give MS patients regular MRI scans so I don't know if the 18 months I spent injecting myself  with drugs was even worth it.
I have always found this a frustrating situation. Surely a yearly scan would show if the lesions have increased/stayed the same? Then I might at least feel that every side effect was worth it.
Regardless, I have had to make a decision that feels right for me and my family. For now that means going without.
In recent months I have also managed to come off all of my pain-relieving meds which is brilliant. This proves, to me at least, that a relapse is simply that ... a blip, a knock-back, something I can, and will, overcome.
Those meds were essential to keeping me functioning but today I need none. To say that aloud is so amazing. To know that my body won't always let me down. That I can fight this.
But, more than that, it feels incredible to be saying that 2012 is, in fact, ending on a very high note.
In order to come off the DMDs but leave my options open, I choose to take what they call a 'pregnancy break'. This allows me to stay on the waiting list, so that when I decide that taking DMDs is once again right for me, I will automatically be allowed to start again.
And the reason I choose this option is because it wasn't far from the truth.
My husband and I have always made it clear that we wanted a baby brother or sister for Charlotte.
And, to our joy, that's exactly what we're doing!
I am 12 weeks pregnant, we had our first scan yesterday and our precious second child is due to arrive on 30th June 2013.
Sometimes the twists and turns of this road I am travelling on are hard to fathom. But this morning, as I write, I am clear that they have taken me on the right path. Yes, having MS is not ideal, but I am happy, I have a wonderful family and incredibly supportive friends.
Today, life is good.


  1. Catherine, am so happy for you! What a roller coaster of a year, and some big decisions, but am glad it's ending on such a high! Merry Christmas!! :)

  2. Wonderful news! Maybe once bub is born and over breast feeding, Gilenya may be an options with meds? I went from Avonex to Gilenya, and I'm loving it!

    Whatever you do, have fun with pregnancy and the new baby!

  3. Congratulations! Such happy news xxx