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.
Here here! I have always enjoyed looking at the sky, amazing shapes and colours. But I do look at it differently now, if I feel hemmed in by my symptoms or my circumstances I look up and the enormous expanse above me gives me a sense of freedom. I also now sit in the sunshine every chance I get, even with a coat and scarf on as I feel nourished by it, which I am because my vit D levels are low.
My garden is small but I look at each plant really carefully, taking in the shape, colour and texture of every leaf, bud, stem and petal. It takes a long time to see even the smallest of gardens if you look close enough, and then it feels spacious.
I definitely have an appreciation now that was lacking before.
I won’t be venturing out there this morning though! The wind is tearing through right now!
That’s such a beautiful comment! I’m like you, if I’m feeling overwhelmed by the whole MS thing, I go outside and have a big stretch, looking up at the sky. I just think, I’m still here and I’m doing ok.
In a way, MS has given me the chance to wake up and smell the coffee, rather than hurtling through life.
I met two friends (who have MS) for coffee the other day and we all talked about ‘the untalkable’, that physical symptoms to one side, MS had in its own way, made our lives better. We all felt stronger as people and more at ease within ourselves.
Take care in the storm! Wrap up warm. Seems to have passed us by, thank goodness.
Just what I needed.. Having a blue time at the mo,for some unknown reason. Life is pretty good really so why am I not smiling. Diagnosed 15 years ago just after the birth of my daughter RRMS but its been called Benign recently! Tingly feet, whappy balance and fatigue tell me somethings happening. Perhaps that’s why I feel blue. Your blog has inspired me to find someone to paint my walls yellow. Need more YELLOW in my life. Thanks so much
Sorry to hear you’re a wee bit down and so lovely to hear you’re going to get your walls painted yellow! My favourite colour. Really does cheer me up.
It is hard to always try to stay chipper with MS, and it’s ok to have a few down days. I know I’ve had my fair share, lol. Guess we’ve just to look for the magical in the ordinary 🙂
Thank you for your comment!
I had one especially horrible relapse, right after being diagnosed, that left me unable to walk or use my right hand. It was terrifying. I told myself if I recovered, I’d never take walking for granted again. While I can walk fine now (albeit with some fun foot drop and balance problems), it’s a hard thing, to be constantly aware of what’s good and working; things you so readily take for granted. But it’s so, so important to make each moment count. Thanks for reminding me!
We’re all guilty of that I think! We always make promises after something like a relapse, to always savour every moment, live in the now, etc. And it can be incredibly difficult to remember! I think I am getting better, probably because my brain can’t hold more than one thought at a time, lol.