Cancer Research UK has launched Every Moment Counts, ‘a platform where people who have been touched by cancer can upload and share precious moments, both everyday and extraordinary’.
The idea behind it is that when you’ve experienced cancer, these moments make you suddenly hyper-aware of the here and now and of how wonderful it is to be alive. It’s sad but so often true that sometimes it takes a serious illness to remind us of this.
People like me who live with MS may not face a life-threatening diagnosis that cancer can bring, but we do have to adjust to a lifelong, degenerative and incurable illness. Life as we know it will never be the same again.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people with MS over the last two years, and we all feel that MS has made life more precious. The mundane can seem magical, we value our friends and family much more and we just seem to appreciate life in a new, more vivid way.
MS makes us stop in our tracks and take stock. What once seemed important no longer is and vice versa. The old rule book is torn up and thrown away. Although MS can appear to condemn us to a life of misery and uncertainty, it can also liberate us from old routines and destructive habits, both mentally and physically. After the obliteration of diagnosis, we can rebuild our lives in a way we choose, where we can savour precious moments so much more.
Someone told me recently that one day they just sat and watched the clouds, something she hadn’t done since she was a child. As for me, MS has made me see my life through new eyes. I’ve weathered the storm and come out the other side.
I sometimes feel like a child again, taking pleasure in the most simple things. Meeting an old friend for coffee and having enough energy to hold a conversation. A hand-written letter arriving with the post. Baking a tray of chocolate brownies with The Teenager.
Every Moment Counts is a brilliant idea, for all of us.