I was diagnosed with MS in 2003, and that was hard to handle. Because of the MS, in 2005, I had to stop driving. In 2008, I had to start using a mobility scooter. I had a MRI to check my MS and found out that I had a lump in my neck and had to have a biopsy in 2009. I was told I have chronic lymphoma leukemia. I had to wait for it to get to a certain point for treatment. At the time, having young kids, it made it hard, not knowing how long you have or how much of their life you will get to see. Luckily, I have got to see them both graduate from high school and my oldest just graduated from Dalhousie University with honours. My youngest will start university in September, and this makes me very proud. I hope I get to see him graduate in four years.
I started chemo in February 2011, and had a lot of nausea and fatigue. I was basically in bed for the next two months. It took a while to get back to somewhat normal. Because of the chemo, it actually helped my MS.
In 2016, I had to do something, so I found the Rum Runners Trail and planned a long drive. While planning this, the idea of a fundraiser came up, so I decided to go from Halifax to Lunenburg on my mobility scooter, which is 110 kms. Since I didn’t know the trail, I decided to do it in two days and I had fun.
Last year, I wanted to do something in the valley, but the trailers don’t connect the same and it would have been unsafe. When my blood tests showed the CLL is active again, I thought I was going to have to do chemo all over again.
This is proof that research works. They now have a pill in place of chemo which allows me to do a fund raiser this year. I decided to do the Rum Runners Trail again in reverse. From Lunenburg to Halifax in one day and this is going to be very hard with the fatigue and pain I have daily, but I know I can do it.
Having cancer changes your life, you go through things others don’t understand, and it causes you to be mad or depressed, sometimes useless. I have had to go through this twice in ten years. Now I am going through this all over again. I find the pill much better than chemo but it still has some bad side effects that are unpleasant but tolerable.
That is why I do this fundraiser. It gives me a little bit of feeling useful. I am not very good at the fund raising part, but I feel at peace while I am on my scooter. It allows me to go out on my own, to the grocery store and being out in the fresh air helps me.