National Poetry Day

When I was first diagnosed, I found that writing poetry (in the loosest sense of the word) was a useful way to process some of the strange stuff that happens when you have a disease munching on your brain and spine. After a couple of years I stopped as the stories I wanted to tell began forming themselves in prose instead.

National Poetry Day got me thinking though and I returned to a poem that wrestles with a thought I continue to wrestle with: what happens in that infinitesimal moment when relapse turns to remission?

For those of us with Relapsing Remitting MS, there must be a split second – a moment in time – when a shift happens, a switch activates, and our bodies begin, slowly, to repair; that moment when our former ‘healthy self’ begins to return, to reassert.

A while back, when I was tussling with this thought, the following words started tumbling around in my head.

Lazarus

she returns
a summer lighter
a century wiser

I try
to spy deception
in tungsten eyes

she looks for clues
in mirrors
edged blue

orbiting
closer
we collide

ink-black
she glances
my skin

sinking
I stroke
my threadlike ghost

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A Letter A Day… Y

This is day 32 of ‘A Letter A Day’. The last day. It therefore seems fitting that I end on the first letter I received (although, when I chose to post the letters alphabetically I hadn’t joined those dots, so it’s merely serendipity). This letter is anonymous and if you click on the link below, I hope you’ll agree that it tells an important story, beautifully.

Y’s letter

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A Letter A Day… Travis

Today’s letter is from Travis who was diagnosed with MS at the age of 33. Please read his powerful diagnosis story by clicking on the link below.

Travis’s letter

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A Letter A Day… Sue

Since her diagnosis with MS sixteen years ago, Sue has become actively involved with the MS Society’s Research Network, working with the media and representing patients’ views on progress in MS research. Please click on the link below to read her powerful diagnosis story.

Sue’s letter

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A Letter A Day… Steve

With only three days left of ‘A Letter A Day’, it’s my privilege to post Steve’s letter. He was diagnosed with MS nine years after his wife, Caroline, had received the same diagnosis. Please click on the link below to read his diagnosis story.

Steve’s letter

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A Letter A Day… Sandy

It’s the end of week four and today I’m posting a letter from Sandy. In it, he writes, ‘I was 32 and thought my world was over. It wasn’t; it was simply a new beginning.’ Please click on the link below to read the rest of his diagnosis story.

Sandy’s letter

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A Letter A Day… Ruth

Today I’m posting a letter from Ruth. In it, she writes, ‘I had my first episode aged 21, during my third year at University – a period of double vision which was terrifying and for a long time no one could tell me what had caused it.’ Please click on the link below to read the rest of her diagnosis story.

Ruth’s letter

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