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I was diagnosed with MS in March, 1997. It had taken five years to get to this diagnosis, and I was told I was lucky because doc had thought it was cancer of the spine all along.
I have been married for over 30 years to Roger, and we have two children, Emilie who is married with three of her own, and Michael.
I had gone back to college when my children were in Jr. High and hadn't been teaching too long when the symptoms showed themselves. I managed to get in nine years teaching and left this profession with such a heart filled with emptiness. I had been doing some presentations around the state and saw myself in this role along with the teaching itself.
I spent the first year of my "retirement" in such despair until I found an MS chatroom and some truly amazing friends. These friendships helped see me through my retirement process and the Social Security process. I owe these friends many thanks. But I was still empty on the inside. Where was the rest of my life going?
I've always liked to write, and did some of that for a local newspaper. I had a couple of stories published in an area publication, and I knew I loved to write, especially poetry. Always I had wished for the time to do some writing, and now that I had more than enough of that time, why wasn't I doing the writing?
An idea came to mind. . . .all of these intelligent creative people I'd met online, what could I do that could involve many of us?
I knew absolutely nothing about anything on the internet other than how to log on, what and how could I possibly do something on it? The son of a dear friend had just taken a job working in technology and was very savvy himself about the internet and its strange ways, so I asked for his help. He said yes, and helps me to this day get this magazine online.
I am now over 50 years old (and think I'll stop counting), and if not for the MonSter who continues to waltz through my life with me, I'd say I don't look or feel 50. I enjoy every moment of every month that goes into the publication of this magazine, and I treasure each of its contributors.
Thank you, my fine and talented friends, for keeping this little dream of mine alive and well month to month!
Strat, Sarkis A Slyman, has been with the magazine since its first issue. He worked for many years as a sales manager for one of the big companies in St. Louis. He also played blues guitar for most of his life till MS took that from him.
Strat and his wife Linda have been married for over 25 years and have a 23 year old daughter named Terri. Linda and Terri have both also been contributors to the magazine in several issues.
Strat has recently become involved again in his church and enjoys the bible study classes and services there week to week. He has many fast friends in that congregation also, and it is a good family environment for both Strat and Linda.
He enjoys working on the magazine month to month and also on his own website which is linked below. He likes talking to his online friends and helping with the plans for the past two get togethers in St. Louis.
Strat's Homepage: http://stratstl.healingwell.com
Reach Strat by email: S.Slyman@sbcglobal.net
About the Author: Bill is retired, but works tirelessly for the new MS Group in the Seattle area that he founded. He is the father of seven and grandfather of ten. He has been a regular contributor to this magazine since its start.
MS has taken away many things from my life, but it hasn't taken away the most important things. It hasn't taken away what is in my mind and heart, two things that make up what a person is! I know I can't control some of the things that happens to me, but I can control how it will affect me and how I can grow from it. I believe to live life as best as I can today, and tomorrow will be a better day! A simple view at a complicated life!
Life is Better
With A Smile! :-)
Tony and wife Robin live in Alberta, Canada and very much enjoy doing things together. Before retiring, Tony was a CAD (Computer Aided Draftsmen) Operator. He now enjoys being on the computer and taking pictures. He has been a contributor to the magazine since its first issue.
Reach Tony by email to comment: email@example.com
About the Photographer: Ralph and wife and sons live near the Rocky Mountains. Ralph enjoys photography, and sends pictures here monthly to use in the magazine. They have two sons, and enjoy the part of the country in which they live. Please visit their website to see a wider range of Ralph’s skills with his camera. Reach Ralph by email:
From the Author: “Hi there! I'm Luis M., 59 years old, retired teacher and having MS for about 28 years, the last 10 as chronic progressive. I need help in order to survive from one to the other. My only and beloved PCA is my wife of 38 years, wonderful, intelligent woman I just adore. . .During her hours at work I keep myself busy with the pc, ham radio, my call's N2GKI, used stamps with interesting cancellations, reading specially novels by F.Paul Wilson and now I have an added happiness in my life, my 8 months old grandson Joshua Jude whom I visit every other week and spend quality time watching him discover the surrounding world. My wife and I have three grown children, Emmanuel is a lawyer and works in NYC, Andrew is an artist painter-restorer working at the National Gallery in Washington DC, and my daughter, she teaches in a Public school in Manhattan to children with developmental difficulties.
I fell in 1946-47 while going to an errand. Hurt my
left knee and about 6 hours later I had high fever and was unconscious.
The drs.(?) said either Polio or Tetanus, let's hope for the first. I was
treated and my mother became my PT and within 6 months I was walking again
BUT with a skinnier left leg and a very weak left knee.Needless to say I
am happy the definitive diagnosis of PPS was made! I lived over 50 years
IN DENIAL of having had Poliovirus."
My name is Cheryl, I am 35 years old. I currently reside in Michigan with my husband of 16 years and my four children (ages 15, 10 and 4 and infant). Spacing them that far apart seemed like a good idea at the time..... lol..
I was dx'd in November of 1999 with R/R MS and have been using Avonex to fight the MonSter ever since. I'm not crazy about the shots, but I consider them the best weapon I have at my disposal right now until something better comes along. I imagine every shot is a severe punch in the gut of the MonSter!
I love spending time with my family and friends when I'm not on the computer :o) (Which according to my husband, is a rare occasion!)
Being diagnosed with this disease has created many changes in my life, I have to admit most of them for the better. Finding that I have MS has been a very rewarding experience for me, and I would not exchange the friends I've made or the lessons I have learned this past year for anything less than a cure for every single one of us! To my dear, dear friends...I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Deanna with Grandniece, KKKKatie!
I am a very lucky lady! I have a wonderful hubby, Dave, whom I write about all the time. He's a workaholic and a man, so a great supplier of angst for me to write about. In reality, he's my rock and I love him dearly! I have 2 kids...Zach and Zarah...more fodder for my musings! They are great kids and wonderful human beings! I am enjoying them immensely! I got a huge extended family, too, and I know I'm rich in that respect. And friends...I've met some of the most amazing people through this magazine! Car and Strat and Cher and...well..look at the party pics! ALL of them are the nicest people you'd ever hope to meet.
I live in a lovely little valley and I gotta tell you i can just look out the windows of my sunporch and get inspired. Anyone with writer's block...come visit! We'll set ourselves up with coffee or cool drinks and push open the windows for a little aromatherapy and relax and soak in the vibes. Trust me! I am a lucky lady!
Reach Deanna by email: annnieM@starband.net
About the Author: Gaz thinks of himself as "easy-going," but I know for a fact that he is now an elected official in his city. Gaz lives in Australia with his wife, and is the father of three children. He was an elementary school physical education teacher. He stays in touch with youth now days by tutoring and coaching from his walkabout.
Gaz was one of the torch bearers for the Olympics in Australia, a true honor that was bestowed upon him.
To reach Gaz by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Gaz: “Car, have attached a photo of my mate.. Kym Freeman who wrote the poem I sent you. I will give you a little background that you might be able to use.”
When I asked Kym if I could use this poem his reply was simply… “yes mate you fellas are in your own prisons with MS.”
Kym is a talented poet as you can see from this poem, but he is also a talented artist and musician. I enclose a photo of the Cowra Bridge that Kym has painted aboriginal motifs on as a gift to Cowra. He comes from Northern Queensland and lives with his wife Trish just outside Cowra. One night he turned up at my home with some 'gumbi gumbi' which is aboriginal medicine in the hope it may make me feel better. We drank a toast to each other and yes I did feel better but it didn't cure the MS. I am proud to call him my mate.
To Reach Kym, email Gaz at the address following his biography.
From the Editor: Please see the poem by Kym in the April issue of the magazine and another in a more recent issue. They are very powerful and beautifully written. I do hope to get some more of Kym’s poetry in the future to put here in the magazine
I have been working very hard these past few years to make myself able to function like before. I took driving lessons and had my car made so that I am able to drive it with left gas pedal and brake. I still have to get back to work, but decided to take time off since I got the disability checks coming now! I still am very active in working on the National MS Walk. I also plan the MS Christmas party ever year.
Bill and I still live in paradise and we do everything together except fish! I am hoping this winter to get back to going to the pier and seeing friends again. Life really is good!
Reach Jan4ever by email: email@example.com
Reach Car by email to comment or to submit: firstname.lastname@example.org