Each new day is an entry on my daily gratitude list.
When you click on the information on my diagnosis on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) website, it reads, in part:
“In general, PML has a mortality rate of 30-50 percent in the first few months following diagnosis but depends on the severity of the underlying disease and treatment received. Those who survive PML can be left with severe neurological disabilities.”
When I was living through those first few months after my diagnosis and read that, I cried my eyes out. Since then, I have had three “stable” yearly MRIs, which means that each and every day, I continue to beat those odds. I’ve also welcomed two new “grandwonders,” as I like to call them.
So, every morning, before I get out of bed, I write down five things I’m grateful for.
The most common entry, as you may expect, are my sons and their families, pictured above during Christmas 2016.
Another entry is usually a book or something I’ve read that has given me insight or motivation.
Here are several of my favorites:
You Don’t Look Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness by Joy H. Selak & Steven S. Overman, M.D.
The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Nathan Doidge, M.D.
Stronger After Stroke: Your Roadmap to Recovery by Peter G. Levine.
The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get it Back by Clark Elliott, (Note to survivors: I suggest skipping to Part 3 where he starts talking about the solution. Parts I & II focus more on his post-concussion problems)
And, my caregiver is always near the top of my list. Caregivers, you are angels with skin, in my humble opinion (IMHO).
What are you grateful for? What tools help you stay positive? Please share your ideas and suggestions below. We’re all in this together and I know I need all the support I can get.