Posted by: sistermom1 | March 23, 2014

MS — by my Numbers…

This month marks the 9th anniversary of my MS diagnosis. How to commemorate this auspicious, life-changing event – and is the word “anniversary” even appropriate?

First number – I am now 57 years old – an age that I always felt I would reach and go beyond. Getting here with a full life and an open heart is more of an accomplishment than I ever considered, as there are several friends and colleagues (Older and younger) who are no longer on this plain with me. I miss them and take a moment now to thank them for coming into my life for even a brief moment to teach me so many lessons.

So what are some of my other important numbers?

19 – the years I have been married
17 – the years I have been a mother
30 – the years I have been a SGI member (www.sgi-usa.org)
8 – months until travel to FNCC (a spiritual spa in Florida)
5 – the years I have been blogging
2 – the months before I will complete my book for publishing!

With so many numbers running through my mind, I have been examining my own life and relationships. One big realization that is overarching everything else:

Our problems do have a purpose — they are the door through which we must walk to have the experiences/lessons we need to learn in this life. Here’s some of what’s happening right now.

- With weekly in-home nursing and disciplined exercise, my physical improvements continue – and have been slow but steady.
- Our family continues to move forward towards their own goals/accomplishments – Our son was accepted into his first choice college! Our daughter continues to enjoy her freshman year in high school, my husband continues to work at a major new assignment, which is challenging and exciting for him.
- I have a stronger relationship with each of my docs – thanks to my exposure to and learning from Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin
- I have come to appreciate this journey to stillness and what my MS experience has opened in my life. This has exposed me to much that has quieted my mind and helped me live more whole heartedly, like any book by Brene Brown, Martha Beck, Cheryl Richardson or Louise Hay. In addition to regularly chanting and studying Buddhist writings, I began a daily meditation practice, and started tapping, which has helped me disconnect from the limiting beliefs that have been running rampant in my life.
- Through applying much of my reading, I have become more mindful of what I am doing, how I am feeling, and as a result the effect that I am having in the world — regardless of my wheelchair. I find myself being open, confident and less judgmental of others as I progress along my pathway — not limited by anyone else’s idea about who and what I am supposed to be.

These are some of the numbers that come to mind. Happy Anniversary to me — and to my entire family. As we move forward, I start 2014 with my goal of walking again intact, but I am not waiting for that to accomplish the other goals I have set for myself. I remain determined, energized and ready to face this year!

Posted by: sistermom1 | February 19, 2014

Ten Things I Learned During the College Application Process

Our son is a high school senior who just completed the college application process. Our daughter is a freshman in high school, so we will apply this learning again soon. In this blog entry, I share some of what we learned about maintaining our perspective and sanity while helping our oldest child apply to college. I have come up with 10 simple rules (there are a few more, but I narrowed it down to 10!) that were very helpful to me and my family during the process. (By the way, our son was accepted into several colleges, including his first choice!)

1. You start when you start – There is never a “right” time – some start when the kids are infants, others begin in middle school. Bottom line, at the very least, it is important to begin thinking/planning for the college application process once your child is a freshman in high school.

2. Breathe – Not those short, nervous breaths, but those deep wonderful breaths that the body really savors. According to the website http://www.onepowerfulword.com, there are at least 18 benefits of deep, purposeful breathing, including relieving tension, and relaxing the mind and body. Both of these will definitely come in handy throughout this process.

3. Remember the child in front of you. You are looking for the best place for your child — not the child you would like to have or wish you had. Not the child that will accomplish what you were unable to do for whatever reason. This has nothing to do with you/your legacy, wherever you did or did not attend college, or whether the school is considered acceptable by others in your social/family/peer group. YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE BEST COLLEGE FOR YOUR CHILD! Besides the standard college directories, I read 2 great books by Loren Pope: Colleges that Change Lives, and Looking Beyond the Ivy League.

4. Gear up — competitive parenting is a full-contact sport. Especially where I live, you will be subject to lots of people sharing their opinions (well-informed or not!) about what you are doing, (whether you want to hear it or not!) and how it compares to what they did/are doing, or think you should be doing. When they do…

5. Remember #2

6. This is so not about you (except you will probably have to pay for it!) This is your child’s experience. Keep that firmly in your mind. Your child needs to write the essays, not a consultant. According to several college admissions directors, the committee can tell when the applicant has not written the essay themselves. Your child needs to manage the deadlines (with your help whenever needed!), and the relationships with the people who will write their recommendations, not you.

Also – your child may be eligible for many scholarships/grants. College is expensive, and whatever help you can get will be invaluable. Please complete the FAFSA, regardless of your financial income. It will make it easier once your child is accepted into a college. You never know where the support will come from, and completing the FAFSA really helps. In fact, many of the private resources for funding require that you complete the FAFSA form to be eligible for consideration. Please don’t overwhelm you child with extra essays – it is not worth it – to you or them.

7. Realize that you don’t know anything about the world that they will need to navigate/be successful in…Fifteen years ago, had you ever heard of blogging? Cybersecurity? Website design? Life coaching? None of these legitimate careers existed 15 years ago. Even if you are determined that your child is heading in a very specific direction (doctor, lawyer, accountant, scientist…), please breathe deeply and release it to the universe. Your child may find something else that really inspires them in college – maybe in a completely different direction than you expect, and that should really be ok…

8. The basics are still important and need to be addressed. It is really important to come to grips with the application schedule. Encourage your child to apply early if you can, (not necessarily early decision, but early application – there is a difference!) Be ready to help your child successfully manage deadlines, because there is no wiggle room. Not just for the applications, but for the supporting transcript requests from the school.

Consider this – If you are writing your child’s essay, will you write your child’s homework for the next four years? What is this teaching your child about your opinion of his/her writing skills? About honesty? When they do write their essays, encourage them to be honest – do not add extra activities to “look good” that they really do not do.

Being polite/appreciative of whatever help you receive from teachers and/or family members along the way is a huge part of this, as well as communicating well in writing and via email. In addition to this point, please consider and…

9. Remember #3


10. This too shall pass. Remember when your child was learning to walk? How about toilet training? Hopefully, your high school senior is able to walk and use the bathroom correctly without your help. How did you get here? Patience, other helpful people, an open mind combined to get them and you through it. They were successful then, and so will you be now!

Posted by: sistermom1 | January 27, 2014

The Death of the Big Envelope

OK – Do you remember completing all of those college applications? Printing out the forms, writing those essays (typing them and maybe even making copies on a Xerox machine!) Getting them mailed on time, and waiting with fingers crossed for the decisions? Forty years ago (yes, 40!) I remember watching the mailbox for college decisions and hoping to receive several large envelopes in the mail. The large envelope meant “Congratulations, you have been accepted.” A regular business-size envelope meant “Thanks for your application, but no”.

Having recently completed the college applications process with my son, I had a rude awakening today. Although he has already received 2 large envelopes (yay!! and whew!), there are a few decisions we are waiting to hear. Here is my rude awakening — many of the institutions will not use regular mail, but will let him know their admission decision via email.

I was indignant: “VIA EMAIL? What about the envelopes? So you mean he’s going to have to log into your website and click on the information he uploaded a month ago, and see a screen that delivers your decision? How impersonal! How awful! What about a letter? After all of his work, THIS is how he is going to find out? Oh my God!…” My sister-in-law, who is a college admissions director, looked at me sympathetically and said “Yes, he would be lucky to get a letter — we just don’t do it that way anymore..”

Now, my son has no problem with this. As a young adult, most of his world communicates in this way. Even in high schools, turning in written work is dramatically different than my “old-school” experience. (Have you heard of turnitin.com?) The lack of connection notwithstanding, my son absolutely does not mind that this is the way that many institutions operate, and he is anticipating the deadline to check his email for the upcoming decisions with no attitude at all. I am beginning to think this may be yet another issue of my ego, but more on THAT at another time….

As I continue considering this state of things, I received an email that really helped me understand what my approach should be at this point. None of this is about me — this is definitely our son’s journey, and my role is to support him positively, personally and emotionally (financially!?). For me to do that well, I have really been forced to let go of my experience and expectations based on the way things used to be, and what I think. The universe responded to my discomfort, and I received an email with the following information that I desperately needed to remember:

If we look at life with the eyes of Faith, we can see that we are protected, guarded and guided to better and better outcomes. It takes seeing life this way to be able to ride this wave. We have to be willing to look at death, letting go, heartbreak and chaos with the eyes of celebration, for all these things are a part of the dance of creation that keeps Life moving.


I am committed to riding the wave, enjoying this process, and helping my son move through it smoothly and with his soul intact. Wish us luck, and I will keep you posted….

Posted by: sistermom1 | January 24, 2014

Half Empty?

I had a powerful realization this morning. I am surrounded by glass half-empty kind of people. When things are in an uproar, and they are unsure how things are going to work out, they tend to go negative, and lead with “what’s wrong” and why things are not going to work out positively. This is the polar opposite to the way I take things.

If a glass is half-empty, then it is also half-full, right?

I am developing some appreciation for how some of the people around me interact with me – especially as a chronically ill person. How hard it must be for them to deal with me, especially since I am a glass-half-full person almost 100% of the time… To top it off, I just completed reading “You Can Create an Exceptional Life” by Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson. In it, they write about the power of affirmations to eradicate fear and improve the quality of your life. >”…The formula is simple: Think thoughts that make you feel good, make choices that make you feel good, and take actions that make you feel good. Then surrender the outcome, trusting that Life will bring you what you need to grow and be happy.”

Adding affirmations to my “half-full” approach to life is something that I have not consistently done — at least until now. After reading this book, that changes today. I never thought of my diagnosis of MS as something that invited me to consider/learn more about what my body needs. I have been treating MS as something to fight and as a problem to solve rather than as a wake-up call that is giving me an opportunity to grow, change and live thoughtfully and consciously. Of course, I will continue to seek and follow solid medical advice and counsel. Along with that, I am revving up my side of the equation. Not sure exactly what will happen, but remembering that life is a journey not a destination, I pledge to celebrate each day with strong, positive affirmations — no matter what!

Posted by: sistermom1 | January 6, 2014

A Very Happy Start to the New Year

New Year’s Eve was my 19th wedding anniversary. I woke up that morning feeling a combination of happy, sad, appreciative, celebratory, reminiscing, and forward-looking. When my husband and I first started this journey together, I had no idea how it would go (does anyone ever know that?). We have built a great life together, including two wonderful children, and I am very proud of it. Since 2005, we also have experienced building our lives with the major health challenge of MS in the forefront, which has dramatically affected our life together. When I think about how this illness has impacted our marriage, I go through a series of emotions, often ending with “I am so sorry that this has happened to us.” Whenever I share this with my husband, he looks at me with deep love in his eyes, sighs deeply, and tells me to stop apologizing and that “We need to play the hand that we have been dealt, so let’s keep going.”

That statement has meant so much to me over the past few years. Our life together is not what I envisioned for us 19 years ago. In fact, our life together is very different than either of us ever expected. That being said, I feel fortunate to have built a beautiful life with someone who loves and respects me (and vice versa!) and whose promise I can confidently rely upon every day. The energy and focus required for me to progress with this illness can often take much of my attention from my family. My definitions of things like “a good mother” and “wife” and “partner” have all shifted along with (because of?) the physical, emotional and spiritual challenges brought on by MS.

We returned to a normal schedule today. Both kids returned to school. My husband started a new assignment on his job — one we are very grateful for — not only because of his income, but because he can continue working from home. I attended a wonderful meeting yesterday, one that left me inspired and encouraged. Even the Metro Access driver who brought me home really inspired me today. Not only was he very friendly, happy and positive, he shared his experience with me, which was deeply impressive. He was in a major accident – run over by a 18-wheeler. As a result he spent 10 years in a wheelchair. He was a customer of Metro Access for that time, and he made the determination to drive for them one day to repay his debt of gratitude whenever he could walk again. His experience really encouraged me, as I continue to work to regain my walking ability. Yes, the specific reasons for our disabilities are different, but the fact that he was disabled for so long and worked hard to be able to walk again deeply encouraged me in my own journey. Thank you so very much!

As I welcome another year, I truly do feel blessed. It is a real benefit in my life to feel this way rather than feeling pained and negative. Every day is a new challenge — a challenge to stay positive and hopeful, to keep exercising and strengthening my body, to keep chanting to deepen my Buddhist practice, to keep up the energy work, the tapping and the meditation, along with writing this blog (the book release will be in 2014!)

Posted by: sistermom1 | December 19, 2013

Sharing Wheelchair Kamikaze’s holiday blog

Hi everyone!
There are several wonderful blogs out there written by folks who are dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Although I am preparing to write one, I just received this blog and had to share it with those of you who read this blog regularly. Please read and enjoy, and maybe even give a gift to one of these deserving organizations! Merry Christmas to all!!!

Yes, it’s that time of year again: the holidays are upon us. It’s incredible how they always just kind of sneak up on you even though it’s impossible to miss the signs of the season, most notably the endless holiday themed advertisements and TV commercials that these days start running even before Halloween.

Maybe it’s precisely because of the constant commercial bombardment with manufactured Christmas cheer that the actual day of the holiday inevitably comes as something of a shock. In an effort to simply maintain our sanity, perhaps we tune out all of the faux happy holiday chatter and go into a survival mode state of denial. Really, there are only so many Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi holiday advertisements one can watch before the brain simply perceives them all as white Christmas noise. And does anybody ever actually ever get a luxury automobile for Christmas? Anybody normal, I mean, folks in the “1%” not included? Back in 1981, my mother’s boyfriend gave me his recently deceased father’s 1970 Oldsmobile, but it wasn’t for Christmas and the car needed a new transmission and left rear quarter panel. Still, at 17, I was thrilled with my first set of wheels, and in my adolescent exuberance that 11-year-old Cutlass may as well have been Santa’s sleigh complete with flying reindeer.

Whatever the reason, I always seem to find myself scrambling to order last-minute Christmas gifts for the folks on my list, even though these days my schedule isn’t exactly bursting at the seams. Thank heavens for the Internet, where even gimps can spread Christmas cheer without much fuss. With just a few clicks of the mouse, it’s ho ho holy crap, I just maxed out my credit card. But far be it from me to play the part of Scrooge, as I do derive great satisfaction in giving gifts to the ones I love. In fact, I honestly much prefer giving gifts more than getting them, which I’m sure says something revealing about my quirky psychology.

In the spirit of giving I thought I’d provide a list some lesser-known MS nonprofits that would greatly benefit from the holiday largess of MS patients and those who care about them. In the world of MS nonprofits, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is the great big hairy ape in the room. Due to its ubiquitous MS Walks, high public profile, and aggressive fundraising, the NMSS has become the face of MS to the general public. When most people think about making a donation on behalf of MS patients, it’s to the NMSS that the money flows. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to MS nonprofits as Kleenex is to tissues, melding in the public’s mind as one and the same.

In reality, though, there’s a plethora of worthy smaller MS nonprofit organizations out there, many of them starving for funds and some of them doing incredibly important work in the nuts and bolts research trenches that will with any luck eventually cure this damned disease. Trust me, when the cure comes it will most likely be from one of these little guys, not from the monoliths most often associated with MS research, who, though well intended, may be just a little too invested in the status quo, even if on an organizationally subconscious level. I by no means want to disparage the work being done by the NMSS, and the folks I know who work for the organization are all extremely caring and dedicated people, but there are lots of other guys in the sandbox who tend to get crowded out by the well hewn NMSS fundraising machine.

Here then are a handful of nonprofit MS research groups whose voices are all too often drowned out by the booming fundraising megaphones of larger organizations. The below groups all get the much coveted Wheelchair Kamikaze stamp of approval, and I’d urge WK readers to request that their family and friends who might be inclined to make MS related donations this holiday season to consider the following groups in lieu of some of the more obvious candidates.

♦ The Myelin Repair Foundation (click here) – As its name implies, the MRF is entirely devoted to researching strategies and methods for repairing the damage done by the MS disease process. Founded by Scott Johnson, himself a PPMS sufferer, the Myelin Repair Foundation aggressively seeks to break down the barriers that slow down medical research by encouraging collaboration rather than competition, and actively partnering with research groups and organizations pursuing the tangible goal of myelin repair and neuroregeneration.

Now maintaining its own research laboratories, the MRF has set its goal to have a therapeutic agent that repairs MS nervous system damage available to patients by 2019. That may seem like a distant date, but it’s only five years away, and for decades patients have been told that a cure for MS will be had within 10 years. So far that promise has been nothing but a lie, but I’m confident that the MRF stands an excellent chance of turning promises into reality. I’ve had the pleasure of having dinner with Scott Johnson, and I can personally attest to the drive and dedication of the man and his organization. The MRF is already making great strides towards reaching their goal, a goal that once achieved will have tremendous positive impact on each and every patient stricken with multiple sclerosis.

I’ve previously posted the below video, but it’s exceptionally well done and conveys the mission and vision of the MRF in an extremely personal and emotional fashion, while memorializing my late friend and comrade in arms, George Bokos, The Greek from Detroit. I’m featuring it once again in the hopes that readers will forward it to friends and loved ones, some of whom will hopefully choose to help the MRF achieve its audacious goal.

♦ The Tisch MS Research Center of New York (click here) – The privately funded Tisch Research Center is an integral part of the MS clinic at which I am treated. Headed by Dr. Saud Sadiq, the Tisch Center is at the cutting edge of MS research, investigating and innovating paradigm shifting methodologies for combating multiple sclerosis and repairing the damage that the disease inflicts on its victims.

In extremely exciting news, the Tisch Center recently received FDA approval to begin only the second US trial using adult stem cells to repair damaged central nervous system tissues in MS patients. Utilizing breakthroughs made through years of intense research at the Tisch Research laboratories, the clinical trial will use stem cells specifically targeted at repairing nervous system damage (neural progenitor cells) injected directly into the spines of trial subjects in an attempt to achieve the Holy Grail of MS treatment, the regeneration of cells damaged or destroyed by the MS disease process. One of the trial subjects will be noted journalist and author Richard Cohen, husband of TV personality Meredith Vieira, who, along with Dr. Sadiq recently appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to talk about this groundbreaking clinical trial. You can view clips from The Dr. Oz Show featuring the trio (click here-part one) and (click here-part two).

Dr. Sadiq is my MS neurologist, and I can testify to the man’s obsessive passion for finding the cure for MS and his deep compassion for the patients he treats. Dr. Sadiq is a bit of a maverick and a very “outside the box” thinker, a fiercely independent physician who refuses to permit pharmaceutical representatives to even enter his clinic so as to keep clear of the influence of Big Pharma. Given the frustrating and unrelenting nature of my illness, I consider myself lucky to have Dr. Sadiq on my side, as I’m confident that if anybody will come up with the answers I seek, it will be The Big Guy (as I affectionately call him). The Tisch MS Research Center of New York is certainly worthy of whatever tax-deductible donations come its way, as in addition to stem cell research the center vigorously conducts a wide range of studies specifically targeted at finding a cure for MS. Hopefully, the upcoming stem cell trial will culminate in results that will forever change the way MS is treated, and for the first time restore function pilfered by the disease.

♦ The Accelerated Cure Project (click here) – The ACP is an organization dedicated to speeding up the pace of multiple sclerosis research and treatment by engendering collaboration among researchers through a variety of mechanisms. Perhaps the most valuable resource provided by The Accelerated Cure Project is the ACP Repository (click here), a storehouse of blood and spinal fluid samples collected from over 3000 subjects, along with voluminous data on the medical and familial history of those subjects. These samples and data sets are available to scientists and organizations conducting research that can positively impact patients with MS.

The ACP Repository contains samples of Wheelchair Kamikaze blood and spinal fluid, which I understand is being kept in lead lined containers under the watchful eyes of Seal Team Six. Heaven forbid any WK derived substances fall into the hands of nefarious evildoers, as pure bedlam would be sure to follow. Labrador Retrievers would take their rightful place as the dominant species on the planet, and hordes of crazed wheelchair drivers would terrorize any who dared stand in the way.

All joking aside, The Accelerated Cure Project is devoted to the all-important goal of eradicating multiple sclerosis. Along with the ACP repository, The Accelerated Cure Project maintains The Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum (click here), an online community connecting, educating, and challenging MS researchers worldwide. Although intended for MS researchers, The Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum is a valuable resource for anybody interested in the latest MS info and research findings. Additionally, the ACP maintains the OPT-UP program (click here), a wide-ranging clinical study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of MS drugs in real-world settings, identify predictors an early indicators of response to specific drugs, and detect biomarkers specific to progressive MS.

The Accelerated Cure Project is an exceptionally important resource for MS researchers around the globe, and the organization has provided specimens and data for over 70 groundbreaking MS research studies. The biosamples, metadata, and interactive resources provided by the ACP are playing a vital role in research that could very well unlock the answers for which we as MS patients so ardently hope.

Well, there you have it, three smaller MS nonprofits all well deserving of charitable donations this holiday season (or any season, for that matter).

Please allow me to wish Wheelchair Kamikaze readers a very Merry Christmas, a happy belated Hanukkah, a tremendously good Kwanzaa, a happy Festivus (for the rest of us), or just a particularly good couple of weeks for those who don’t celebrate any of the aforementioned holidays. And of course, may all of us have a New Year filled with abundant health, happiness, and laughter.

As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol, “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

Amen to that…

Posted by: sistermom1 | December 1, 2013

Ending 2013

It’s the end of the year. Time to reflect and to take stock — something I do every year — although things are very different now, the general idea remains the same. This year is ending with a bit of a bang.

Spiritual growth – I am still reveling in the aftermath of the Hay House I Can Do It conference. (www.hayhouse.com) I highly recommend attending this event, wherever you live. The speakers were incredible, and they made me think about how I am spending my life, as well as how to get more out of every day. I have continued to deepen my Buddhist practice by chanting more every day, and pushing myself to grow beyond my personal likes and dislikes to be a more compassionate and mindful person. I have cleaned out my TV-watching, virtually eliminating the reality TV that I watched mindlessly. I won’t mention any specific shows here, but you can read about my guilty pleasures in a previous posting! I participated in two meditation classes with Oprah and Deepak this year, and they were absolutely life-changing. After reading two powerful books (Mind Over Medicine and Finding You Way in a Wild New World — check them both out on http://www.Amazon.com) I attended a “Finding your calling” web class led by Martha Beck, Amy Ahlers and Lissa Rankin (www.findingyourcalling.ning.com). As a result of this class, I decided to move forward on a major project next year!

Health and nutrition – After 6 weeks of PT, I end the year with a nurse coming twice weekly to help me exercise. I got a great recipes from Kris Carr for green juice, which I drink every day. I use the standing frame every evening, for at least an hour. I have set some significant goals over the next 6 months – at least getting back to where I was 2 years ago before the UTI (I walked 20 feet with the help of a walker), and I can see it ahead.

Family – My relationships with several members of my extended family have grown significantly and positively. We hosted a phenomenal Thanksgiving holiday gathering at our home. I have enjoyed wonderful times this year with my spouse and children. Our daughter is loving high school and is progressing in her weight loss goals. Our son continues his move forward in the college application process.

I have finally moved forward with several things I have been postponing — I ordered a threshold ramp to facilitate my using my wheelchair, I also finally ordered some new holiday decorations. We are starting to plan our area’s 10th annual MS Women on the Move luncheon. I have proudly been involved with this event all 10 years, which would never have happened had I not been diagnosed with MS. We have raised several million dollars for MS research. As I mentioned earlier, I am excited to share that I am self-publishing a book in 2014 with the working title – Diva on a Mission – my journey through marriage, motherhood and MS! Stay tuned….

Despite starting this morning with a fall…I will not be derailed!

Posted by: sistermom1 | November 1, 2013

Four Years on the Detour

It’s been four years since I started this blog, and 8 years since my MS diagnosis. With over 190 posts, it is clear that this has been an incredible and life-changing experience for me, and I am feeling like I am at an important point in my journey. Although I am not sure what it all means, I continue to move forward.

Many of the things that I shared in my last posting continue – I have a nurse coming 2 times/week, I am exercising regularly and using the standing frame an hour a day. This combined with my daily meditation practice, energy medicine, EFT, increasing my Buddhist practice, and much stricter nutrition has left me energized — looking and feeling better than I have in months. It has also left me with my goal of walking again intact. But you know what? I realized yesterday that it no longer matters to me whether or not I walk again. No, I have not given up — but what matters most these days is that my spirit and energy remain high, and that I can encourage and inspire other people right here and right now — in the current moment. Answering the question “How can I serve?” has become much more important to me than whether or not I am in a wheelchair.

So what else is going on right now? We are moving through the college application process with our oldest child. Taking the SAT, writing essays, taking college campus tours on the internet is how he spends most of his days when he is not in school. The first application deadline was November 1st, and he met it comfortably. On to the next set of deadlines! We are also navigating freshman year of high school with our daughter. She is making good friends, earning great grades, having a ball, made the practice tennis team and even placed in last week’s speech tournament.

My relationship with my husband continues to grow. He is an incredible man — and a tremendous partner who I am blessed to have in my life. The life we have built together means so much to me, and I hope that together we have been able to make a difference. I am still trying to figure out my place in the world, and I still have many questions — where do I fit in now? How does MS affect my journey/ ability to make a difference? What is my calling? Yes, it has been a while, but my journey continues (Much longer than I expected, but WTF!) Equipped with my spiritual practice, my friendships and my family, I am not sure of my final destination, but I am learning to enjoy getting there. I have read before that life is not about reaching a particular destination, but it is about enjoying the journey. This diva is getting a glimpse of what that means.

As we enter the holiday season, I look forward to whatever is coming my way. I have reached a special place on this detour/journey. Where do I go from here? Welcoming myself to a new stage — and I accept that the detour is the journey. Should we rename this blog? Stay tuned……

Posted by: sistermom1 | October 16, 2013

The realizations keep coming

Two weeks After the Hay House conference, the realizations continue.

Since the I Can Do It weekend, I have added a regular meditation practice to my daily prayers(www.sgi-usa.com). I have been tapping more consistently (www.thetappingsolution.com) and have begun doing energy medicine on a daily basis (www.donnaeden.com). As a result, my morning routine has become longer and more important in my daily life. In addition, I have started having twice-weekly visits from a nurse, who relieves my husband from the task of my daily showers, gets me dressed and helps me do daily exercises. I use the standing frame every day for one hour. This, in addition to my daily Qi Gong practice has really changed my perspective and has changed my daily life.

So — How is it going? I guess my best answer came directly from my environment. After having a difficult night’s sleep, and no time to do my morning prayers, or any morning absolutions, my nurse D arrived to help me get showered and dressed. We completed my exercises, and as we ended, she asked if everything was ok with me. She commented that she did not feel any energy or excitement coming from me – that my aura seemed low-energy and much heavier than usual. I realized right then that my efforts at lightening my spirit and connecting with my higher self had absolutely had an effect that others could see/feel, not to mention how I felt on my own. A significant message from the universe that happily, I did not miss.

When I started this blog, the name “Diva on a Detour” came to me one day, and it really resonated. It definitely caught the spirit of what I was feeling at the time – this diagnosis of MS had gotten in my way, and I needed to get around it — get back to normal asap. But according to Dictionary.com, the word “detour” is defined as ” a roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed.” My latest realization is that this is not a detour, but this experience is my journey. The route is a circuitous one — much different than I ever expected — heading towards a new normal, but this is my route. I may even need to change the name of this blog to reflect this realization — more on THAT later….

As I end this blog entry, suffice it to say that my life continues to change, and that the realizations continue. I advance with excitement and a strong determination to grow and build on this strong foundation to create a big, meaningful life, every day. I encountered this quote from writer M. Scott Peck today (the universe continues to support my efforts!), which really reflects the attitude that I have moving forward:

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

- M. Scott Peck

Posted by: sistermom1 | September 30, 2013

A Perspective-Changing Weekend

I don’t even know how to start .

I spent the last two days at a conference sponsored by Hay House called I Can Do It. (www.icandoit.net). I went on my own, coming home both nights. It was the first time in many years that I was completely on my own, all day, without my husband or children to rely on or help me. I was nervous about doing it, but deep inside I felt that this was something I really needed to do.
That was right on so many levels.

The universe really supported me through the entire weekend. Metro Access was on time and all four drivers were all positive and helpful.
The hotel was fabulous — (www.gaylordnational.com). Easy to access – even the bathrooms! – and dining options were plentiful and delicious. The staff at the conference was positive, helpful and supportive, and the conference speakers were absolutely incredible – perspective-altering and life-changing!!!!!!!

There is much to say about my experience this weekend. I learned a lot about myself and the universe and how things really work. I left the weekend inspired and confident that in fact I CAN do it — I am ready to face my illness and any other concern that reveals itself to me for a solution. I am seeing my obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow and to WIN
Thank you so much Louise Hay and Hay House for an incredible, empowering weekend! So much more to come…..

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