October 22nd, 2019
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
To friends, clients, and anyone else reading this,
I have written and rewritten this post more times than I can count and debated not posting anything at all. However, I have always been an open person and find comfort in writing. I also believe we can find strength and support in sharing.
While our family are no strangers to hurdles, we seemed to have peace in a few years of “quiet” (not that our family is quiet, I mean you’ve met Liv and I). With many new adventures, blessings, partners and kids joining. It amazes me that life seems to become even sweeter and richer as it goes. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything so profound as when I held my nephews or niece for the first time.
This summer however threw quite a few challenges our family’s way again. Troublesome news kept coming. My anxiety was high, my heart heavy and my mind completely preoccupied. You may have noticed stretches of my absence on social media or in the shop. One thing that filled summer was my journey on being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
It`s a very long story and symptoms go back further than even I knew, for now I am writing the cliff notes version. I was referred to Dr. O’Keefe for an eye appointment July 2nd after some extreme eye pain I’d been experiencing. He found my right optic nerve was swollen- optic neuritis. That along with some other symptoms I was looking into such as numbness were indicators of MS. He referred me for an urgent MRI. While I had known something felt wrong and I was no stranger to MS as my best friend had been diagnosed with it months before and my great aunt had suffered from it. It was really not what had crossed my mind as an explanation. It came as a bit of a shock but I was relieved to be getting some answers. My body had not felt like my own for months and this connected all the dots.
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted. Bloom.”
Kristel Scheafer Photography
On July 9th I went for an MRI. It was my first one and I would say…I was not a huge fan. I did however have the nicest guy getting me ready and taking the MRI. Seems silly but I probably won’t ever forget him. In those scary and uncertain moments some people stand out for being so kind and making everything less scary and overwhelming. So, to whomever you are in the very slight chance you ever see this, thank you. I missed your name but your friendly conversation and tucking me in tight in for the MRI made the strange process easier. The MRI itself took an hour and a half. Which aside from sleeping is probably the longest I’ve ever gone without talking or moving in my life haha.
Since then my results were confirmed by Dr.O’keefe and then again at my first visit to the MS Clinic October 10th. I have relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. I will begin treatment October 29th. I will be going ahead with an aggressive treatment which will be an intervenes treatment once a month in Saskatoon. Which they have informed me also involves comfy chairs, Netflix, and free WiFi.
Here are some end things that I hope everyone can take away from this. For one, while this news is very disappointing, I am very optimistic and staying in extremely high spirits. This is my diagnosis; it has been confirmed by multiple doctors and I myself have seen the MRI photos. It is not wrong and that is okay. I will face this challenge, do what I can on my own, and trust in the extremely qualified professionals helping me. They have my best intention in mind and research/treatment have come extremely far as it is a common disease effecting many. Most days are still normal days for me and I eagerly embrace those days. Days at work, summer on the boat, time with my pups, laughs with family and friends, and of course snuggles with my nephews and niece. While certain challenges or feelings may arise each day, I look forward to the moments untouched by all this. This will not be what defines me and I am still me!
Secondly, this is one of the main explanation for the days the shop has been randomly closed. I have always aimed to interrupt work hours with this situation as little as possible. However, I know some days have and will be affected by treatment and other appointments. So please continue to bear with us as some days when we can’t get coverage the shop may be closed.
Kristel Scheafer Photography
Olivia, Preston, Teddy and I are taking a trip to Kelowna & Osoyoos. Hours will be a bit different this week, I will make sure to keep them posted. Kaibree is covering lots and can help you with anything you may need! Or, if needed she can leave a message for Liv or I. I will not be back till Wednesday next week. However, between Kaibree, Liv and I we are trying to cover the days as much as possible. I know these hours can sometimes be an inconvenience but Olivia and I run a small shop, aside from a little help from lovely girls, it is just the two of us. We are so grateful for your understanding and support!
Also, if you are sick please consider cancelling your appointment with me. MS weakens the immune system and treatment will even more. My doctors have stressed it is extremely important I avoid getting sick so if you are feeling under the weather, I am happy to reschedule you.
Next, to all my friends and clients I thank you a great deal for understanding and extremely appreciate all your thoughts, good vibes, prayers, etc. They always come as a great comfort! A big thank you to my bestie Mikaela who was diagnosed months before me and has been extremely helpful and as usual a great person to talk to.
I also want to thank all the healthcare providers who helped me in this process. I owe a ton to the Battlefords very own Dr. O’Keefe and his care. The MS Clinic and everyone else have been phenomenal, they are all extremely caring and helpful.
Lastly, to my family- thank you so much for everything. I have the most loving and supportive family. You all have made this so much easier on me. Your care and love are the greatest things I could ever ask for. Each of you have done something so special for me. Your roles in my life have helped formed me into the person I am today, a person who is prepared for this journey. Please never forget how eternally grateful I am for all of you. Love you all.
My personal community in all aspects of friends, clients, family, doctors, etc. have made this process so much easier. I am blessed for all that I have.
Kristel Scheafer Photograph
“When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.”
PS- Make sure to take some vitamin D, you’d be shocked by how much we lack!