Today we fight…

How can anyone live with a chronic illness and still smile? How is it that I am able to find happiness after a disease has stolen away a flourishing career, ended friendships, isolated me, and many times confined me to a bed?  How is it that I am not falling apart along with the rest of my world?

I must be living in denial or in some fantasy world that I’ve made up in my own head. No one can have an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis and still find purpose in life. No one can have their life striped away; have moments, if not days, of tears; live in continual, relentless pain, fatigue and weakness yet find themselves not cursing the world, their disease and everyone or anything that says differently.

How can anything good come from a life of pain?

Pain has taught me that joy is possible. After all, I wouldn’t know the treasure a smile can bring if I didn’t know the heartache of a frown. I wouldn’t hold dear those moments of peace I experience if I had never lived through days of chaos and disorder. I wouldn’t appreciate the little things in life that so easily get passed by as nonsense or unimportant if I hadn’t been in a place where those things were all that kept me going.

I don’t know what the next moment in my life or tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if today will end in tears or laughter. I don’t know if MS will get the best of me or if I will be able to muster up enough strength to fight one more day. I don’t know if my hands or legs will fail me when I need them the most. I don’t know if there’s really a light at the end of the tunnel or if I’m headed towards a tragic collision with the 6 o’clock train. There are a lot of things I simply don’t know.

But I do know one thing…MS cannot define me.  I used to be so brave. I used to be a tower of strength. I used to be a mighty warrior. But now…now I’m a warrior with shaky knees, trembling hands and tears in her eyes. I have been striped naked and bare because of MS, but today…today, I put my foot down and refuse to sink amidst the swirling tumultuous seas.

Today, this battle begins in my mind.  I am reminding myself…and you, that we are more than MS. More than the pain. More than the loneliness, struggles and fears.  We are true warriors! And although people may never understand the battles we face or see as we wield our sword, striking the enemy with blow after blow, we stay in the fight…weak, but grateful for one more day.

Wear your medal of honor, bravery and courage proudly today. Hold your head high. You are a hero…a valiant, courageous, mighty MS warrior! And together we fight on!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

45 replies
  1. Cathy Dougherty
    Cathy Dougherty says:

    Sometimes the constant warrior leads to fatigue, but then I read one of your posts and remember there is light to come. The fight goes on!

  2. Marion O'Dea says:

    you are all amazing people, you will get your strength with in. My husband has ppms, he is stubborn and he works hard at keeping himself alive daily. We still ride a three wheeled motorbike together, to help him, i got my license. He is my inspiration, be kind to yourselves. It is a hard battle. All the best. and thanks for this great page.

  3. Laura
    Laura says:

    It has taken away the ability to make plans. You don’t know how you’ll feel one day to the next. I’m going to meet my grandbaby and precious daughter in law and to see my long lost son. I’m so excited, I’ve waited so long to see my super survivor baby! Yet im so nervous. It’s for a week in Florida and I’m in Michigan. What if I ruin things? What if I’m so tired, what if there’s pain, always what ifs…:(. My daughter lives only about an hour away expecting her first baby and her Dad is able to do so much. I dunno, I feel like all that was is gone. So hard to not feel like a failure. You never want to let your feelings show cuz then it’s like I want a pity party. So far from the truth. The things we hide. :’ Where do we go from here friends? Help?

  4. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    I have also wondered why I have not been committed yet but a few years ago (a few years into this world} and took a few IQ tests on a site called Tickle. From that I found I have an emotional IQ of 140 and I think this has helped me deal with all the problems I have been presented with.

  5. Jackie Ericson
    Jackie Ericson says:

    I really appreciate this blog. My husband has progressive MS and other health issues. I’m trying to better educate myself as I continue to give him the love and care and positiveness each day. Each day is a new beginning and together we carry on.

  6. Doug Wineburner
    Doug Wineburner says:

    hi Penelope I am Doug Wineburner I have ms and myasthenia gravis disease together was dxd in 2007. I AM IN A POWERCHAIR AS I CAN NOT WALK AND ALSO CANNOT STAND UP BUT JUST A FEW SECONDS. I then have lost my mom and dad so I just here at home with my 1 older brother, but may have to find another place to live so I just do what I can and go from there.

  7. Casandra Hart says:

    I am so grateful for you. You put into words how I feel so much better than I ever could. You show me every day that I can get through the tears and pain. <3

  8. Sarah Johnston says:

    Oh thank you so very much. I absolutely LOVE this blog you wrote. What an enccouragement. I so needed to hear this today. You teach me how to live. Thanks for everything you do!!!

  9. Lashana Jobity
    Lashana Jobity says:

    Thank you for these mmotivational readings I lookforward eeveryday and I only have Primary Progressive and it’s frustrating but the fight goes on ….. Thank you!

  10. Kritika Jefferin says:

    I try taking care of my self n food tht my body needs. Every time I drink water I make it sure it is filled with things and stuff tht will help my body fight this. Every time I eat I make it sure tht it turns out as a fuel in my machinery against this. I don’t know what may come next but I m making my body ready to fight it food I take.

    • Kim Carver Powers-Duvall says:

      I so understand. Even though I feel like I’m sleeping my life away, I get so frustrated when people say “you are sleeping your life away..,blah blah blah”.

      When I try to explain n inform, they change the subject and continue in selective listening. “Normality” is getting more foreign to me too. I just have to be…living one moment at a time. Thanks for sharing and allowing me to connect.

  11. Hope Wissel
    Hope Wissel says:

    Thank you for encouraging me to keep fighting even when I don’t want to. You are amazing..

  12. Aileen Brown says:

    I too have progressive MS and no one can tell us how it will progress but I wake up each morning thankful that my progression has been minimal – I was always pig headed and am worse now this will not define my life I am one of your warriors and although we don’t get remissions some days are better than others and yes it does make you appreciate the small things in life – my grandson telling me I am an awesome Nana – he is an 8 year old charmer lol things too numerous to mention that I would have taken for granted before

    • Shannon Powell says:

      I am newly diagnosed with ppms. I asked my neuro yesterday if there is anyway to know how bad it will get and when it will happen. I am still working but it is getting harder. Penelope is an inspiration! I am with you Aileen, hard headed to the core ☺️ just ask my husband. Lol. Grandchildren make everything better.

    • Aileen Brown says:

      When I was first diagnosed was told – unfortunately we don’t have crystal balls but you could be no worse in 20 years or in a wheel chair in 2 – it was said nicely and unless something goes really bad in the next couple of months I don’t need that chair

    • Shannon Powell says:

      Penelope it would be much harder without your positive input. I am scared but seeing your strength makes me feel stronger if that makes sense. My left leg doesn’t know how to walk properly anymore. I stagger like a drunk. Lol. I am an X-ray tech and I’m sure my patients wonder. 😁 I just let them wonder. Lol

  13. Donna Philmus Breitowich says:

    You can because the alternative to fighting the battle is losing the battle. And that would totally suck. So, yes, we continue to deal with what we have lost by grasping what we still have, and we make the best if it.

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