Both of the books I am going to talk about really have a “something for everyone” feel to them. Whether you are male or female, young or old, have RRMS or PPMS or any of the other versions of this disease, you will find words that inspire you, cut you to the raw with emotions or make you laugh until there are tears streaming down your face. They are wonderful stories told by amazing people – people willing to open up and share their perspectives on life with a chronic illness.
The first book I want to share with you is
by Ken Cruickshank
I spent the day reading. The ENTIRE day. I hadn’t intended to, and although that might sound heavenly to some, it can come with risks for me these days. The mental work of comprehending what I am reading can be exhausting. My eyes will often become strained after trying to focus for “too” long and begin to go blurry – even though I have not physically exerted myself – as is often the case for the messed up vision crap. And IF what I am reading leads to an emotional response, if it triggers memories, emotions, and feelings it can be completely draining.
So when I started reading yesterday and I found myself bawling my eyes out – on page FOUR I figured getting through this book might take a while. Not that I didn’t enjoy it. Not that it isn’t well written. I just thought it would take awhile to absorb it, going bit by bit.
That is until I got up this morning. Rather than tune into the news that Shawn always has on in the mornings as he prepares to leave for work, I grabbed my cup of coffee and the book and curled up in the big leather chair in the corner to read a chapter or two.
That was hours ago, and the book is done and I have dozens and dozens of post-it notes sticking out from my already dog-eared copy that arrived just two days ago. It’s THAT good. Truth be told, I was hesitant about reading it. Partly because I knew virtually nothing about Ken or his life with MS. I didn’t know if he was a chronic illness optimist or an eternal pessimist. At this point in my life, my positive attitude has gotten me this far, and I don’t really need to be dragged down or bummed out. As I am re-defining my expectations of myself, forgiving my body for its discretions in what I thought was a signed deal, and learning to truly love life again, I didn’t want to step into a “whoa is me” scenario and not be able to pull myself out from the negative thoughts.
I couldn’t have been further from the truth and quite honestly one of the main reasons that I couldn’t put the book down is that I loved everything that Ken says in his book. He goes beyond the expected litany of tests and probes and doctors appointments and makes his journey with MS about his life and all that he has achieved, accomplished and experienced while navigating his chronic illness. He has made his life about living, rather than being about living with this disease.
From accounts by his children of what it was like growing up with a dad that had MS to raw recollections of his struggles, to crazy ass stories about the shenanigans he and his friends got into as muscle-car loving teenagers he pours it all out and weaves a very entertaining and heartfelt tale of his life. He opens his heart to the reader and by the end, you will feel you know him.
I kept thinking “holy shit, I gotta meet this guy!”
Hopefully, I will someday!
On to the second book I am going to rave about….
Volume #4 is now available!!!!!
There are so many amazing MSers that have contributed to this collaboration – including myself. Some of the great pieces included in this newest volume:
“Dear Me; A Letter to Myself on a Bad Day”
“Bending the Glass Ceiling Despite MS”
“Bending The Spoon Theory”
“MS & Caregiving: What’s Luck Got to Do With It”
“What Does It Take to be Brave”
****ALL PROCEEDS from this book will go to Accelerated Cure Project to help fight Multiple Sclerosis****
Two great gift ideas for yourself, someone you know that has MS or maybe a caregiver or a loved one. The more opportunities that present themselves for us to share our stories and try and let other’s know what it is like to live with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis the more chances for understanding there will be.
**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals. Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **