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Multiple Sclerosis and Beyond

ImageA few of my readers I believe are primarily interested in my posts about multiple sclerosis so I have created a new site just for and about MS. On this new site I would love for people who either have MS, or have an interest in it, to write and submit topics of interest to others, like myself, about MS. I really would like for this site to be interactive with as many contributors as I can get. I know that a number of people with MS don’t really want to bother with having their blog site/page but would like a place where they could submit their own personal story for others to share. And that is why I wanted to create this page. If you are currently one of my readers who cares about MS please check out the new page by using the link below. I will be moving my MS blogs from this site over to the new one as time goes by. But I would really like to see if I’m going to get any feedback on this new site before I spend a great deal of time working on it.

The new web address: http://www.msandbeyond.wordpress.com

 

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HEALTH MIRACLES and GOD

     Over the holidays I noticed, even watched a few, a number of programs that discussed miracle cures and what were claimed to be Angelic interventions.  My interest for this blog centers on those cases where the medical field states freely that either a cure or a spontaneous remission should not have been possible by any means known to man.

     This obviously leads one to believe that only an intervention from God could have been the reason for an otherwise impossible cure. 

     And that got me to wondering that if God did step in and cure what couldn’t be cured, could he have also left that cure to be discovered with in the DNA of that particular patient? I just can’t help but to believe that if we took the blood sample of someone before this miraculous event and studied it along side a blood sample after the cure that we might be able to determine a difference between the two samples and perhaps be able to cure others with the same disease.

     I mean it almost makes sense that if God was going to step in and save one person, who otherwise would not have survived, he would also leave behind at least a hint as to how to save everyone else with that affliction, doesn’t it?

     I just have to think that its worth our time to take a closer look at what messages may have been left in the DNA of these individuals.  Do you think it’s possible? Obviously, I do!

OCCUPY THE INITIATIVE PROCESS

     Recently I have read a number of letters lamenting how Monsanto, Dow, and other corporations and agribusiness bought the election, in Washington State, about GMO’s.  I take a completely different stand on this.  Thanks to these chemical conglomerates we now have a way to question many of their practices and products using the initiative process in every state nationwide.  Let’s face it they spent 46 million dollars in California and another 23 million dollars in the state of Washington to convince us that GMO’s might be safe, my question, how much are they willing to spend overall?   

    

     And Growth Modified Organisms are not the only questionable products that many of these companies distribute that they claim have health and environmental benefits and do little harm.

    

     I propose using the initiative process to question some of these assertions that have been put forward to us by writing initiatives that force these corporations to prove their chemicals and products true value and safety or remove them from the American retail and business market.  And if they choose to spend millions to fight any disclosures of their products that may have little value, or might even be dangerous, then let them.  And if we have to run multiple initiatives on multiple products that they sell, then again, let’s do that.

    

     But if you’re a group planning on running an initiative and you feel that their may be other issues you want to become involved in then be smart and keep a copy of all those individuals that signed the original initiative document so you can easily contact them about other issue’s. This way it would be much easier to coordinate where signature gathers would be, and when, as a convenience to the public while shortening the amount of time needed to collect these signatures.

 

 

Bill Walker

wc.walker@yahoo.com

MS and Spontaneous Remission

Copaxone This is a letter of hope to anyone who has or knows someone with multiple sclerosis. I wasn’t aware that this could happen until I witnessed it happening to someone else with MS. So yes, this is a true story.
About twelve years ago and not long after my own MS diagnosis I was volunteering at a thrift store for animal welfare on Whidbey Island in Washington State. The day I started I also found out that there was another volunteer who also had this yucky disease. And she was much worse off then I was. She described her disease as being responsible for her being blind in one eye and nearly blind in the other. She had to use braces to walk and even then it was extremely difficult. She said that she was always in pain and because of the numbness in both of her feet she hadn’t been able to feel anything in either foot for fourteen years.
We talked quite a bit about our conditions so it didn’t surprise me when she came in one day and said that when she woke up that morning she felt different. When I asked what she meant by different she couldn’t really give me an answer other then she felt different. Little did either of us realize the miracle that was about to take place.
About two weeks after our conversation she was in a complete remission. Her eye sight in both eyes had returned to 20/20. She had full feeling in both of her feet and no longer needed her braces because she could walk just fine without them.
When I asked my Neurologist about this he stated, “Yes spontaneous remission is possible, but it’s very rare, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up to much.”
I was like, are you kidding, sometimes hope is all people with MS have. And let’s put this into perspective. If MS can turn itself off almost as fast as it can come on then that means that there is some kind of a mechanism controlling it. And if we can find that switch then I could care less whether I have the disease or not as long as it stays turned off!
And this gives me tremendous hope regardless of how rare it might be!

https://msandbeyond.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/multiple-sclerosis-by-the-numbers/

A BRUSH WITH CANCER

My Cancer Story

 

     It was about a year and a half ago that I noticed a very small spot on my neck just below my ear.  At first, and for a while, I didn’t really think much of it perhaps an ingrown hair or maybe a little mole but certainly not a big deal.  I had other things to worry about and so weeks turned to months and then something started to happen that’s a bit hard to explain.  It was like a whisper that only my subconscious could hear but it seemed intent on telling me that this wasn’t just another little skin lesion that older people often get that I could just forget about.  Even now as I type this I wonder if a Guardian Angel, or a guiding spirit, or maybe even my long since deceased mother, was blowing messages into my soul to not take this lightly.  And it sounds funny but I came to the point one night where I just looked up at the dark sky and said, “alright I promise I’ll get it looked at.”

     After another day or so I made the call to a dermatologist for an appointment and a couple of weeks later off I went to my check up hoping for the best but almost expecting something short of it.  And something short of it is what I got as the Doctor stated that though it didn’t seem to be much of anything he was concerned at what he thought was a blood line leading to this lesion and felt that a biopsy was in order.  I didn’t even hesitate to schedule another appointment I told him to just do it right then and there which he did.  And three days later I got the call that I knew was coming.  I had a small pre-melanoma tumor that needed to come off as soon as possible.

     One week later I was back in the office for out patient surgery and when it was all over the Doctor showed this little lesion that wasn’t nearly as little as I had thought it would end up being.  That little speck was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, I mean, it wasn’t huge but it had been significant enough to leave quite a little scar.  And I had also learned an important lesson especially for someone like me who has fair skin and had several bad sunburns as a kid when intuition starts to tell you something don’t ignore it.  In my case it could eventually have been a life or death situation!  

 

 

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Multiple Sclerosis: A new chapter

A New Chapter Begins

 

     After writing my first blog about multiple sclerosis I had intended on writing my experiences with this disease in a chronological order.  And just as I was about to sit down and write the next edition I got a phone call informing me that I had been approved for funding for Copaxone therapy.  And though the idea of taking daily injections does not appeal to me I guess you do what you have to do.  Copaxone was the first FDA approved treatment for (RRMS) Relapsing/Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.  It is considered to be the safest of all the MS drugs on the market at this time, as it has been studied for nearly twenty years, with very few serious side effects.          

     However Copaxone is not the first MS modifying treatment that I have used.  Five years ago I was part of a clinical trial for Betaseron which is an approved drug as well but the clinical trial was trying to determine if a larger dose would be more effective then the already approved dosage.  It was a double blind study where forty percent of the patients got the normal dose, forty percent got the higher dose, and the remaining twenty percent were put on Copaxone as the control group.  I was assigned to a group and began my participation with high hopes.  The study lasted for two years and then I continued using Betaseron for another year after that.  At the conclusion of the study I was informed that I had been in the group using the smaller dose which in the end was fine by me because it was determined that the larger dose was no more effective then the smaller one in the treatment of MS.

     After those three years I asked my Neurologist to remove me from Betaseron all together as I was very unhappy with the overall benefit that I felt that I was getting.  I had been told that I might not see any improvement in my general and overall symptoms but that I should expect a reduction in exacerbations/attacks and their severity.  As far as I was concerned neither of those outcomes happened though I was promised a copy of my personal study results which now two years later I still have not received though I admit to only half heartedly trying to obtain them, perhaps now I will so I can write about those results here. 

     I also should mention that I do a number of other things that are thought to perhaps slow this diseases progression.  I take between five and ten thousand units of vitamin D3 daily along with a fish oil tablet day and night.  When taking large doses of vitamin D always ask your doctor to add a vitamin D blood level whenever you’re getting other blood work.  It’s not a good idea to have a super high amount of vitamin D cruising around your blood stream however most people with MS have very low levels to start with.  Even at the higher dose that I take my blood levels have remained right at normal.  And I take the statin drug Lovastatin which some studies suggest might have a positive effect on MS though I also have a borderline high cholesterol level which is what it’s prescribed to treat in my case. 

     And then finally, I also was put on Lisinopril by my doctor about a year and a half ago for the treatment of borderline high blood pressure.  Lisinopril has also been mentioned in a small study as possibly having a disease modifying effect on multiple sclerosis.  And what I will say here is since being on the Lisinopril my flare ups have been much less severe then they were at any time in the past eleven years since I was diagnosed.  I won’t swear it’s the Lisinopril, it could be that my disease might just be transitioning into a secondary progressive stage which is the next, albeit slower, level of nerve degeneration after RRMS.

     In the weeks and months ahead I’ll see if I can catch you up to speed on how I got here over the past eleven years as well as keep you informed about my progress after I start on the Copaxone therapy.

     Please remember, if you have multiple sclerosis, never give up or give in to this disease.  We will beat it, have faith!

 

 

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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

My First Attack

     My first attack was about nineteen years ago when I lived in Maryland.  I was working at the Bethesda Marriott and that’s where I started to notice some tightness in both of my legs.  This tightness was irritating but not debilitating so I really didn’t pay it much thought.  As the weeks went by the tightness started moving its way up into my lower back and causing my sciatic nerve to hurt.  Again, I ignored it thinking that what ever it was it would just go away which in fact is exactly what happened about a month and a half later after a few more symptoms.  After sticking around in my back for a few weeks my MS was on the move again this time causing my arms to be a bit weak and my fingers to tingle if and when I raised my hands above my head.  Each time my disease would move upwards, like from my legs into my back, and then my back to my arms, the discomfort in the lower area would fade away.

     The last stop for this first attack was in both of my eyes.  Every time that I would go to lay down at night and right after I would close my eyes it was like having a built in strobe light flashing behind my eyelids.  And this was when I really started to become a little concerned.  I guess it took the thought of not knowing what this was along with my fear that I could lose my eyesight to bring me to the reality that I should go and see a Doctor.  And so I made an appointment.

     By the time that my appointment rolled around most all of my symptoms and discomfort had gone away with perhaps just a minimal amount of residual after effects still present so my concern was fading along with the symptoms.  The Doctor gave me a pretty complete looking over and asked a number of questions but even he didn’t seem all that concerned much to my relief.  In the end he told me that he really wasn’t sure what was wrong but that perhaps I had just pinched a nerve and since it seemed like it was going away he was pretty confident that this experience was over.  And he was right, for the next six or seven years I didn’t have any symptoms that were like what had happened previously accept that on occasion when I moved my head in a certain way I would get this little electrical kind of tingle that would run down my right leg and be gone in a second. 

     Looking back on all of this now I don’t know if I was blessed in not knowing that eventually I would be diagnosed with MS or not.  You see this was back in the late eighties or perhaps around nineteen ninety when this all occurred and there wasn’t really a whole lot they could have done for me even if they had the proper diagnosis.  And sometimes I even wonder if perhaps my Doctor may have had an idea of what it was but decided against telling me, but I guess I’ll never know?

     What I do know is that six or seven years later it all came back with a vengeance, and the real nightmare was about to begin! 

 

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