Well my day came that we had to say good bye. It was a very emotional day. I did not want to pack and leave. I did not want to leave my family and friends. I even tried to get a little girl, Helen’s granddaughter to kick brad in the knees to let me stay. I was proud to be part of an amazing journey with so many people. Proud that I taught my little sister to sometimes say F**k it. To live in the moment, to enjoy life again. To smile and laugh. Those are all little things that I was taking with me home. A little piece of everyone that I met. A new joy of life, an inner peace. As Brad brought our luggage to the front,
I knew I had to start saying good bye. As the tears started to flow and the hugs never seemed to end our ride was there. We loaded up the car and I got in. I could barley catch my breath. As I turned towards them all to see the tears in their eyes. I knew we really were a family. One last time I would see the Diane wave not as a part of it, but for me.
As the car drove away, my heart was breaking. I believe I cried the whole way to the airport. Even though leaving was hard and my Costa Rican bubble just burst. Home, back to Canada and back to reality that there are so many more people suffering with MS that cannot afford to travel to have the amazing experience that we all experienced. Home to our family and friends awaiting our arrival. Home to my fur babies that I missed so much. Home.
The plane ride back to Toronto seemed to take an eternity. It gave me time to reflect, it gave me time to look deep into my heart and find where I wanted my life to go. It gave me time to remember what the last 2 weeks really meant to me.
We arrived back in Winnipeg around 12:30am. We got off the plane and I felt sad. Sad that my journey had ended. Brad was quick to remind me that my journey had not ended it was still going to continue. He was right.
I had people to talk to about what they were going to experience when they went to Costa Rica. How it will feel like a dream but it is truly a reality.
The next morning it was a mad house of phone calls and people wanting to know what it was like. Coming over and looking at me up and down and making me feel like I was a side show. I am still the same person, only difference, I can see clearer. Mind fog gone. Bladder and bowels are normal and the best part my balance. I can stand on one foot. I could not do that before without falling over.
I was so excited to go to my doctor and show her how great I felt. How great the treatment is. She was so happy for me that she wanted me to tell everyone to go to Costa Rica. I gave her my reports from Dr. Fallas and said if you want to see my CD’s of my procedure let me know. She filled my prescription for the blood thinners that I had to take and gave me a hug.
Next off to see my Neurologist. Don’t worry, I am one of the lucky ones that have not one doctor behind me but two. Brad and I sat in his waiting room with excitement to tell him all about it. He welcomed us and sat there and listened to all of my improvements. He was happy for me. It saddens me that he has to be quiet about how he really feels about CCSVI and MS. Because Canada would be in a better place if we had more doctor’s that really cared. Doctor’s that cared and do not call us “cult members chasing after a hoax”. A direct quote for Dr. Mark Freedman.
It has taken me a while to finish my past, present and future because I was at a loss for words. I did not know how to explain my true feelings. I tried and tried many times, but the words would not come out right. So for the past few days I have sat at my computer and poured my heart and soul into not the final chapter in my life. But a new chapter. A new beginning. I am proud to share my experience with you all. If I have learned one thing from this journey is that I am in control of my life and body. I will not stop advocating for people with MS to make sure that each and every one of them have the treatment here in Canada. Here in their own back yard. WE all have a voice. For a while people with MS lost their voice. We have gotten it back. United we stand.
I can tell you this. This is something I am passionate about. Yes the treatment should be available here. But there should also be proper follow up care and physio for each and every person with MS. NO one should be denied follow up care. Mohair Mostick is now the spokes person for follow up care. He lost his life not due to the treatment, but because he was turned away from a hospital when he needed help.
Myrna Driedger our health critic here in Manitoba has been along side of us pushing to get this treatment here. Last week she held a debate where she was requesting that the treatment be offered here. She asked that people that had the treatment be in the gallery that day. I went and for the first time in 5 years I was able to put on a pair of high heel boots. I walked into the Legislative building proud, proud that I had been liberated. Don’t get me wrong. I was scared putting those boots on. But sassy Sharlene is back.
What the Government needs to do is take MS out of the equation and realize that this is a vascular issue. And treat people now. It is the right thing to do. The ethical thing to do.
So to tell you what I want my future to hold is that I want to go back to work. I want to be the person I was before MS took over. I lost who I was for a long time. I was there but just hidden by the scarlet letters of MS.
As we bring 2010 to a close I wish each and every one of you happiness. If I have learnt one thing, it is to believe in yourself. Believe and you will succeed.
Dr. Godley thank you for helping people get the answers they need. Finding out that I indeed had CCSVI made me stronger. Mark and Travis from Passport Medical. Thank you for creating an AMAZING program. Thank you for giving not only me but many others their lives back.
Jen, thanks for telling me to just take a leap of faith. Dr. Fallas, THANK YOU! You gave me my life back. God Bless you! To everyone else, Thank you for being a part of this amazing journey. I truly believe the best is yet to come.