Hershey, The Sweetest Place on Earth

Hershey SignFor many of us, the name “Hershey” means one word…Chocolate!   Way back in 1905, founder Milton S. Hershey built his famous chocolate company in the town known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, or “Chocolatetown, USA.”  Two years later, he built the famous Hershey Park for his employees to enjoy and picnic. The attraction is alive and well today!  While living just a few hours away, we were able the enjoy the adventures of this wonderful park.  Roller coasters, zoo, entertainment and the ultimate…tour of the Chocolate Factory!  Up close and personal as we toured the chocolate making process.  At the end, we each got a treat, a spanking, brand new Hershey Kiss!  Instant smiles!

Today, our trip out to “Chocolatetown, USA”  is for another reason.  To see my neurologist at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.  This was a big visit to review my MRIs of the brain and spine.  I was a bit nervous but my husband quickly reminded me to remain focused and stick to my list of questions.  I was so glad he was with me.  Deep breath, good to go.  I try not to worry about things until I need to…and the time was here!

We began the appointment reviewing MRIs.  The good news:  no new lesions, no active disease noted.  This has been my clinical “impression” results since beginning Rebif nearly 12 years ago.  Complete blessing!  So why am struggling with my gait?  Am I getting worse? Progressing?  Help us understand what is going on please.  With the unpredictability of this disease, isn’t that the hard part of any physician?  Can he clearly define or provide a valid answer?  Not always.

He went on to explain that since my MRIs remain unchanged, he really wouldn’t recommend switching to another DMD.  We agreed.  He also discussed with us the fact that maybe my MS is no longer active, hence, no lesion development or activity (relapse) seen on MRIs or physical exam.  Then, am I progressing?  He prefers to say, “I have MS.”   Silence filled the room for a brief moment.

Going forward, now what?  Am I getting messages to my leg?  Is my PT, my BalanceWear Vest regimen exercise worth doing?  What?  What?  What?  I could clearly feel panic settling in.  He politely replied, “Your leg is moving isn’t it?  You’re getting the message.”  What a profound statement!  lol  “Keep working hard and continue to be as strong as you can be.”

hershey.com

hershey.com

Sometime, we don’t always hear what we want to, do we? Sometimes, we wish it didn’t have to be so hard or require so much each and every day. Sometimes, like today, I needed to reach deep within, continue to do what ultimately needs to be done and trust He knows what He’s up to as I keep on keeping on, never giving up.

“Count Your Blessings”

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14 Comments

  1. Good luck Catherine! Sending healing reiki energy your way! Wish Hershey was closer to us (7 hours!), sounds like fun!

    • Thank you Paula! You would love Hershey. Road trip for a weekend maybe!?!

  2. I do understand. It is frustrating and disheartening and, and, and . . . yes terrifying! But each day is a blessing that some others do not have, When I have a bad day I plaster a smile on my face and pretend until I don’t need to pretend any more. Know that there are people here to talk to when the need arises. PS I worked for Hershey Canada for two years. Ruined me for other chocolate!

    • Bittersweet for sure quiall. I completely agree and remember that some others have greater battles, don’t they? Have that pity party, plaster that smile on and get back to the positive. Thank you for your kind words and inspiration. Ut oh…Hershey chocolate strikes again! I was thrilled when they started making their dark chocolate kisses! Say no more! lol!

  3. I loved our time at Hershey. The park and chocolate are a lot more fun than a neuro appointment. I go to each appointment with a list of questions and leave with fewer answers. Wish it were different, but you’re not alone.

    • Hershey chocolates sure do make visits better! lol! I do like to go to appointments with my trusted list, otherwise, I know I’ll miss a question. Type A here doesn’t like to leave until my questions are addressed. Educate me, help me understand so we can process and move along. Thank you for your kind words. Comforting to know I am not alone! 🙂

  4. I’m not sure I understand your doctor’s reply to your question about your MS progressing: “You have MS.” This didn’t seem encouraging to me. With all that you are doing, I would have liked for him to be a little more supportive of your efforts. Am I being too touchy on your behalf?

    • Your honest comments warmed my heart. You are not being too touchy! 🙂 We questioned that as well. He considers me having “MS” due to manage care trying to intervene…stopping DMD since they are not “recognized” to help with progression. Science doesn’t know this to be fact yet. Hence, continuing with my Rebif. I don’t want to go back to where I was when initially diagnosed. Thank you for your care, concern and question. Together, we all will support, share and be the very best we can be! Make it a great weekend! 🙂

  5. Keep up the good work Kath😀

  6. I think I understand your frustration… you wanted a more definitive answer instead of having question marks present. I’m glad at least that you don’t have any more lesions… and that no ‘active’ disease… Kinda leaves you with wondering a bit still… Diane

    • Thank you for your kind words, Diane. We left appointment with a confirmation of what we thought was happening. Educated on why MRIs have remained unchanged and understanding the whole “classification” of MS. Unfortunate carriers are more interested in $ than studies and data for treating MS. I will continue to work hard and be prepared for advancements and ultimate cure for this unpredictable disease and advocate for all. Stay warm and have a great weekend Diane!

  7. Susan Clark Denny

    I’m glad you have no new lesions! My doc called it Progressive with Relapses when I had no active lesions, but was still losing abilities. It was the cumulative damage that the disease has done all these years, including the 25 years that I wasn’t diagnosed! Boo. One the plus side, if I leave my home, I’m using a wheelchair – so yesterday I bought some killer high-heeled, beautiful shoes! Keep going, great lady!

    • Thank you for your comment GF! The unpredictability of MS for sure! Your one smart lady with the use of your wheelchair! You’ll look just beautiful with your new “killer high-heeled” shoes, ready to rock your comedy show! Love ya girl!

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