Joy and Gratitude, Six Months In

It was a cold, sunny day in January, about a week after Ken’s diagnosis. I was sitting in my pastor’s office, in the little house adjacent to my church that the ministry team used as their headquarters. Snow was piled up outside the doors and windows, and slowly dripping from my furry winter boots onto the old carpet. I

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How MS is Changing Our Future, Not Dictating It

I’m 22, and I’m making a fool of myself. “Will you marry me?” I ask. Not on bended knee, or over a candlelit dinner. All the time. A bad day, a lull in the conversation, a moment of happiness — multiple times a day, I causally propose marriage to Ken, my boyfriend of four years. He

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Not Scared, But Certain

Ken and I celebrated our four-year anniversary this Sunday. It was the first time we had ever celebrated our anniversary together; this year, the date happened to fall during my Spring Break, and thanks to an amazing deal and my dad’s air miles, I was able to fly to the Netherlands to be with him for a

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A is for Anger, B is for Beginning

I’m not an angry person. I don’t like fighting, I shy away from conflict, and even my constructive criticism is coated in several layers of kindness. But since Ken’s diagnosis, that’s changed. They say the second stage of grief is anger, and it seems to be true for me. Suddenly, I have a bitter streak.

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I’m Thinking of Getting a Tattoo. Or Buying Sheets.

When it comes to relationships, our culture likes to focus on firsts. First kiss. First love. First time. You hear about them from your friends, and see them on TV. You wonder how they’ll be when they happen to you. But here’s a first I never heard much about, or expected: first diagnosis. First breakdown

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The Post-Diagnosis Happiness Manifesto

Just under a week ago, my partner Ken was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. With his diagnosis came a brand new to-do list: tell family and friends. Contact work to talk about options. Make appointments with a specialist. Look into treatment. For me, the diagnosis also came with a new list of daily tasks. Until Ken’s relapse is over,

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A Good Year to Be Fearless

It started on New Year’s Eve, with a tingling in his hands. Over a few days, the tingles evolved into numbness, and spread to his legs and torso. He had trouble picking things up, and dropped his DSLR camera in a department store. Ken, my boyfriend and partner of almost four years, was experiencing the small and

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