The other day I was sitting, reading on my phone in one of the comfy recliners at my local infusion center while my intravenous drugs dripped steadily in to my IV port. The piercing sound of a bell broke through the relative silence and soft murmurs of the room. A man had received his last chemo treatment for his cancer. Applause broke out in the room, we were all so happy for him. He had reached the finish line of his disease.
But, this got me thinking. I will never, unless something drastic changes, be able to ring that bell. I might not ever see a finish line.
As a full-time working mother that is also battling RRMS, I feel like that huge hurdle of finding a cure is out of my hands.
I think I should concentrate on what I can, and have accomplished. Every day at the end of the day, I should be able to ring a bell, if only mentally.
Maybe I had a normal day. Got up, got my kid to school, worked, and came home to spend time with my family. Is that worthy of a bell to ring?
Maybe I had an excellent day and was able to go to work, play with my kid AND go to gym. Need a huge bell to ring there.
Or maybe it wasn’t such a good day, I might have been really fatigued and only able to accomplish cuddles on the couch with my preschooler. Some days, I am the World’s Best Couch Cuddler. But should I get a bell to ring for couch cuddles? I think I should. I did SOMETHING!
Every fourth Friday I sit in my recliner to get my much-needed dose of disease modifying therapy. I feel lousy on that day and maybe the weekend after, but I am back in action ready to tackle the world on that Monday. A bell to ring for another successful DMT cycle.
We need to remember to focus on our little accomplishments. Those little accomplishments can turn into big ones. Because every day I’m battling, and every day I’m winning. I don’t need a finish line. I just need to remember to ring my bell and celebrate what I do.
*Kelsey Lawrence was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014. She is the mother of a free-spirited 3.5-year-old, and a Development Coordinator with MSAA.