MS & Mrs.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An updated on my sister - she's well and wed.

Since February, when Anna was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), we have continued to learn about the disease, its treatment and how Anna can live the fullest life possible as an MS patient. Shortly after I posted in February, the referral to The Shepherd Spine Center came through and we visited there in March where we met with Dr. Sherrill Loring, former director of the MS Clinic at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. In her opinion, Anna's treatment protocol as recommended by her primary neurologist was a good one. She also said, based on her assessment of the MRI, that Anna could have had MS for five or more years. Though we regret that she was not diagnosed earlier than this, we are grateful that her prognosis is positive. She's responding well to the suite of vitamin supplements, including Vitamin D, folic acid and B12. Bimonthly B12 shots are giving her, well, a shot of energy that keeps the chronic MS fatigue at bay.

Anna also began a regimen of Copaxone, a drug commonly prescribed that both increases the amount of time between relapses and reduces the severity of MS symptoms. But in Anna's case, the medicine was almost worse than the disease. The daily injections were painful, and the injection sites were red, swollen and sore before turning to giant bruises. At her most recent appointment, her neurologist recommended an alternate medication that we hope Anna will be able to take with greater comfort.

Since her diagnosis, she has not had a relapse of her initial symptoms. Which has been good, because she was busy planning a wedding. On July 21, we gathered at Barnwell Chapel on the Berry College campus for a small, sweet ceremony between Anna and Bill. The size of the crowd was no indication for the size of the love, though. It was a privilege to stand beside her as they pledged their love to one another, both radiant with joy. Their happiness outshone a stormy afternoon, and they even gamely dashed into the rain for some creative wedding day photos. From her knighted ring bearer, Sir Dillon the Braveheart, and her flower "thrower" Princess Reese, her whole entourage was honored to be part of the celebration. Not to mention, the red velvet wedding cake was delicious. And as you can see from this candid shot I snapped, she was the coolest bride around.

The Collins now reside happily in Canton where their combined furry family now includes three dogs and two cats. And where I am assured they are getting off to a wonderful start on their happily ever after.


Nikster said...

It took me a few times before I realized ms & mrs. could be MS or Ms. The most important thing is that she is feeling better and that those terrible shots are over. Also, it's pretty important that she is so darn cool. I love this picture of her.
<3 YOU!

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