The start of my MS journey

This is a journey which started 7 years ago, or possibly 32 years ago, in the opinion of my neurologist. In 2011, I was diagnosed with potential MS, after an episode of optic neuritis, the formal diagnosis followed a year later after MRIs and another relapse. Talking to my neurologist, he feels that the first episode was when I was 16, after a bout of pneumonia… who knows ?

The journey has been slow, with no or little deterioration, until the last year, when my walking and right arm have weakened considerably. I’m still able to walk, work, drive and have a good life, but the hiking and kayaking have gone, with all the wilderness to which that brought me. It’s very scary not knowing what will come next, what life will bring.

So, I have decided to go to Russia for AHSCT (Autologous Heamapoitic Stem Cell Treatment ). It’s a stem cell removal, then chemotherapy, then reinjecting of the stem cells into my wiped clean immune system. Hopefully this resets my system, and the MS will be halted. The damage will not be cured, there may be some improvements, but the progression should be stopped.

It’s a journey, and I’m at the start.

Some photographs of my various other, physical, journeys, as this is what I’d like to be able to manage again.

High in the Drakensburg, South Africa 2005 ( I think)
Kayaking, Croatia 2008
Kayaking is my other love, but that’s another post to capture the serenity and space on the water, the active mediation and pure fun kayaking brings to me. Oh and there’s skiing as well … so many ways to be in wilderness with physicality.
Those boots walked many miles
Camino del Norte 2014

The Camino was my longest walk, and still a memory I treasure. 1000km of pilgrimage through villages, hills, along coastlines and along medieval paths, it was a physical and spiritual pilgrimage, even for someone as non-religious as me.

Vietnam 2016, lush and green and so friendly

Vietnam, hill tribes and steep little paths, bustling cities and peaceful bays.

I am unsure where this blog will go, but it’s a place for me to record thoughts, worries, lists, and I guess above all, let people know how I’m travelling. That journey I know will be both physical and mentally tough.

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