Welcome to Mellie's mind...

Where thoughts can be funny, can race at all hours of the day and night and can sometimes not make any sense!

Enjoy the ride!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The results are in.......

In December of 2009 I made one of the biggest decisions ever in my life at the time.  I decided I was going to stop making excuses and I was going to get myself into shape.  My youngest daughter, Elianna, was just under two years old when I told myself it was time to make some serious changes in my life in regards to the way I lived.  I was disgusted with the person I had became and the vision I would see in the mirror and knew if I did not do something about it now it would forever affect my life and the life of my family.  This was me then.

As many of you who know me personally and have followed my journey and participated in my journey, you know I given it all I had.  I worked out, I learned how to eat properly, I educated myself in fitness and nutrition and I transformed myself into the woman I am today~physically and mentally.  I was in the fight of my life, fighting to change myself and fighting to save my life as I knew it.  What I did not realize is that was the understatement of the century.

As I have blogged about before, my neurologist who diagnosed me with MS in October 2013,  says I have had MS not only undiagnosed but untreated since AT LEAST when my son Reuben was born 7 years ago. Due to the complications at Reuben's birth, with my own health, I had an MRI done at the time that my neurologist was able to compare with the MRI in October of last year being able to say with 100% confidence I have MS.  Most people do not have past MRI's to use as baselines so I was lucky in this area.

My doctor, who is the head of the neurology department and is a recognized specialist in MS, explained to me that the first 10 years of MS predicts how aggressive the disease will be in each person. If the MS can be kept in check for 10 years, it tends to wane and even hibernate. He kept telling me how good my prognosis was based on the fact that after having the disease already for at least 10 years and nothing to treat to it other than my spirit, diet, and exercise, that NOW with that plus medicine--I would be 99% good. He even wrote that in his notes and showed me as an expression of confidence.

Still, it was very scary and these past 8 months, waiting for my next MRI,  felt like a lifetime.

As I learned more and more about my disease and as my hubby did research on MS it became apparent to us both how important diet and exercise is to a person with MS. No matter what type of MS a person has or what stage they are at it comes down to being able to assist in managing your symptoms and your flare ups with nutrition and movement.

I believe things happen for a reason.  I believe God has a plan for all of us.  I believe that actions create consequences and everything we do is to be answered for in one way or another.  In all areas of my life and in all factors of my being I believe this to be true.

I do not think when I decided to finally put down the processed foods and junk and start living the life I was meant to live was it was by accident.  I do not believe that when I told myself I would learn how to properly fuel my body with healthy and organic food it was by accident.  I do not believe that when I put myself first above everything else, besides my family, it was by accident.  I was in the fight of my life and this was my Soul saving my body from not only being unhealthy but having a disease that could at it's worse put me in a wheelchair the rest of my life.  Getting healthy not only changed my bodies appearance I truly believe it saved my undiagnosed MS from being worse than it is.

I take a daily injection for my MS called Copaxone.  The medial description of this drug as described on the National Multiple Sclerosis website:  http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Treating-MS/Medications/Copaxone

"Glatiramer acetate is a synthetic protein that simulates myelin basic protein, a component of the myelin that insulates nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This drug seems to block myelin-damaging T-cells through a mechanism that is not completely understood. In controlled clinical trials with relapsing-remitting MS, those taking the glatiramer acetate had a significant reduction in annual relapse rate and a reduction in new lesions as shown on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when compared to control subjects who were given a placebo.  Glatiramer acetate is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the frequency of relapses in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. It is also approved for use in individuals who have experienced a first clinical episode (clinically-isolated syndrome) and have MRI features that are consistent with multiple sclerosis."

Copaxone takes six months to fully take affect in the body allowing the MS to attack they synthetic protein vs. the real myelin of the brain.  During the first six months I received monthly IV treatments of steroids to help reduce the possible damage the MS could be having on my brain while the Copaxone builds up in my system allowing it to help fight the MS.

This last Tuesday I went in to have an MRI done to see if there were any new lesions on my brain from the MS, active or not.  This MRI would also be used as my NEW baseline to re-check to see if the Copaxone is doing it's job fighting the MS in my body or if other avenues will need to be attempted.

I received this email from my Neurologist:

From:Greg R. Zarelli, MD


I am sorry for taking so long to get back to you but I have been swamped. In any case, I have GOOD news about the MRI done 7/15/14. It was compared to the prior scan done 9/27/13 and was unchanged. No new or enhancing lesions were seen. See the report below:

Multiple T2 hyper-intense lesions in the supranational white matter. Previously seen acute lesion in the left posterior frontal lobe has decreased in size. The other lesions are unchanged. No associated enhancement or diffusion restriction. No new lesions seen."

So this is your new baseline MRI. Enjoy the weekend! This is GREAT news!

"No new or enhancing lesions." "Has decreased in size."

I am beyond happy and was moved to tears with these results.  So even though the medication meant to assist in the fight against MS and help prevent new damage has NOT fully taken affect in my body ONE of my current lesions decreased in size and I have NO NEW LESIONS.  Does this mean I was lucky?  Does this mean my MS is not as bad as others?  Does this mean it's by chance I do not have more damage in my brain?  No. I believe, 180%,  this is because I refuse to be sick.  I did not allow my diagnosis to prevent me from taking care of myself.  I attribute this to diet and exercise.  I attribute this to my will to survive.  I attribute this to God's plan for ME not to be a victim and lie down and allow this disease to consume me physically or mentally.  I attribute this to ME.  This is the best news I have heard in a long time and I am on cloud nine.

This not only motivates me to continue on my path to stay healthy but pushes me to be vocal once again about my journey in hopes to not only share with those who follow me but motivate others to get their lives in a more balanced and healthy state.   

Our society is filled with fast food, processed foods, over weight adults and now obese children.  We are sicker than our parents and grandparents before us and we are either suffering from diseases or dying at young ages.  I believe I was spared a horrific future because I changed my life.  It's my hope that as I become vocal again about my lifestyle that others will change theirs with me and be spared too.  

When I shared my good news with my eldest son, Michael, his response to me was:  "That is awesome Mom, I am so happy for you."  He also said, "You are not the type of person who has time to be sick or the patience to be sick, you too strong."

When I shared my good new with Joseph his response to me was:  "I am so happy and proud of you.  I KNEW you would be okay.  This was not your destiny."

When I shared my good news with my friend Carmen her response to me was:  "This is beyond great news!  Awe Mellie... my cup runneth over for you.  I am so stinking happy for you and your family!  All your hard work and dedication is working!"  

We will NEVER know what each day will bring and we will never know our future.  But we can make the choice to live the best possible life we can live.... TODAY!

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