January, 2011-December, 2013
One week later, my good friend came up to visit me in Galveston. He was my first friend from Victoria that actually made the 3 hour drive & he brought along his friend with him who I had only met a few times before….Scott Spahn.
That first weekend in January led to the start of daily text conversations, endless hours of nightly phone conversations & a relationship that was so wonderful I refused to believe it was even real. In fact, I didn’t. I fought it with every ounce I had in me, but Scott Spahn pursued as if nothing could possibly scare him away.
Scott & I officially began dating in February, 2011 & I was slowly being put back together. That man made me feel things & made me feel a way I never thought was possible. I didn’t know feelings or love like that existed & I knew deep down that if me & this man were going to end up with any type of future I had to tell him about my diagnosis of MS with the reality that my prognosis remained unknown.
I prayed, I cried, I feared so much what would happen after I told him. I had many nightmares that he would walk away from me. Anyone that knows anything about MS knows that the “norm” is not a very pretty future…..
After numerous planned, but failed attempts & many “perfect opportunities” I finally got up the nerve to tell him. I took him to my favorite spot on Galveston Beach & told him I had to tell him something. With trembling hands, pounding heart, crackling voice, & tears in my eyes; I told him everything. I told him that I had been diagnosed with MS 3 years ago & I didn’t know what my future held for me. He immediately started asking questions of concern & offering help to me. He was a perfect angel in accepting me for me even though we were very fresh into our dating relationship. This was the hardest conversation I ever had to have with another individual.
After I finally was able to tell Scott I left it there. I continued to not talk about it to anyone else. I felt he needed to know, but still kept my telling to an “as needed basis” which basically means no one else in Texas knew…
Well, that man continued to lift me up higher & higher & make me whole again as a person. In December, 2012 that same man got down on one knee & asked me to marry him. I eagerly accepted & have continued to be made stronger & confident as an individual.
In August, 2013 I made the decision to apply to be a MS Run the US Relay Runner & knew in the back of my mind this meant I may have to be a little bit more forthcoming with my situation. Finally, when I found out I was accepted as a relay runner in December, 2013 I made the official announcement & let the “cat out of the bag” that I had been hiding for nearly 6 years… I told EVERYONE I had multiple sclerosis.
I’ve been asked so many times, “Why now?” My answer to that is: It is time. It wasn’t before. I have always believed I was told I had MS for a reason. I had always believed I was told I had it for the purpose of inspiring others. Well, between then & now I wouldn’t have been able to do anything with myself to allow that to happen. I wouldn’t have been able to inspire anyone at any level, let alone had any motivation to do anything inspiring for myself. I was just trying to survive.
That is what has changed. I have now accepted my diagnosis. My prognosis continues to remain unclear & that still scares me as much as it did as on April 29, 2008 but that is not what was stopping me from telling people. What stopped me from telling people is I wasn’t ready to be an inspiration. I could barely keep myself motivated just to get up in the morning.
Now, I am ready! I am built back up & stronger than ever! I owe it all to the man that just recently gave me his last name.
I’ve already experienced a select few around me try to tear me back down. If that would have happened to me 3 years ago I would have failed. I may not be here today because I couldn’t have handled it, but I am strong enough now to stand on my own two feet and make a difference. I am doing what I believe in. I am doing what I believe God wants me to do. I am doing what I believe God has planned for me to do all along….the time is NOW!