Tag Archives: Courage

Friends…How many of us have them.

Friends…How many of us have them.

Friends, ones we can depend on…before we go any further, let’s be friends!! Do y’all know that song by Whodini? If not, Friends <<<Get you some!

I’ve spoken with so many MSers about how they lost family and friends after being diagnosed. Now some of the folks they lost needed to be lost and never again found. Then there were other situations where the MSer simply didn’t do their part. Look, Y’all know I get it. You don’t want to feel like a burden. Well guess what? It’s burdensome for your friends to wonder if you are getting out enough. If you might be depressed because you don’t hang with them anymore. Did they do something to offend or hurt you. It’s burdensome for your friends to wonder if you are just not interested in a friendship with them anymore. DO YOUR PART!! What does that mean? Welp. I’m here to tell you.

  1. When a friend asks you to join them for, let’s just say, tea. Now for us we aren’t just agreeing to the tea drinking. We are agreeing to all those things like showering, getting dressed, doing our hair and make-up and then recovering from the getting ready for this outing. We then have to assess will we have anything left to drive to said spot for this tea drinking, engage in witty banter whilst drinking this tea, and drive home and handle whatever is waiting for us there. All of this just  for…

    Tea anyone?

    See I get it. But here’s a solution. Impromptu is hard for us. So tell that friend you’d love to and ask if they can pick you up. And please save the guilt of “Oh that just seems like so much.” If it is, they’ll tell you and you all can schedule for a time when they can drive.. I assure you your friends don’t mind. Or maybe the rescheduled time will be a time when you can conquer all and proclaim “LET ME DRINK TEA BECAUSE MS AIN’T GOT SHIT ON ME!!”

  2. Next. Your friends have lives that don’t include you or your disease and that is just fine!! Get over yourself. No one’s life should include all of you all the time. So if you are looking from the outside in on all the great things your friend or friends are doing that don’t include you…get a life. Harsh huhn? I know. When you have a disease that is just set on taking your life’s activities from you, it’s hard to know how to get a life. Look. A life doesn’t mean you are out zip lining, skiing, bike riding, etc. or maybe it does. But if it doesn’t, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a life. Your life could be reading a great book, watching a movie, or sleeping. Sleeping is essential…oh and some days I look forward to it. Your life can be going to what seems like an endless amount of doctor’s appointments. This is going to sound so Iyanla Vanzant Belovedness, but find a way to even make those acceptable and possibly enjoyable. I actually had to learn this. I do things like take candy to the staff. (Which opens the door to some pretty funny conversation.) My point is, if you don’t have a life…don’t blame it on your friends or MS. Change your perspective. Because hating your life and everyone who isn’t helping you get a life…aintnobodygottimeforthat


3. Friends that don’t call as much as they used to. Call them!! And when you do, don’t have the expectation that the call will be a long one. Don’t get all caught in your feelings that your friend isn’t asking you about all the treatments and issues you are having or have had. No one (including you) wants to talk about MS and illness all the time. And if you need to talk about it, know who to call. Know your friends. I have friends that I know I can call and be a big arse baby if I want to be.(well one happens to be my little sister so jackpot for me.) Then I have friends that I can call and we will cut up about everything under the sun, but we don’t really talk about my MS much or their ailments either. But booooy do we talk about folks. I mean this political cycle alone has given us ammunition for decades to come. The GOP side looks like something from the Seven Dwarfs…dwarfs of menopause

Now where was I? Oh yeah. Just call, talk, and enjoy. If they don’t answer, leave a message. If they never call back…well Bye! Move on. Were y’all friends anyway? Or just acquaintances that were convenient for a time and now time’s up. Time expires on friendships too. Doesn’t mean they were bad friends or that you were, just means time’s up.

4. african-american-woman-clip-art-136153 <<<sometimes this is what I envision my friends and I look like when we are hanging out and sometimes this is exactly what it looks like. Then there are times when it looks like thisgirls-hanging-out-10467128  Just us hanging out at someone’s house eating cookies, talking, watching the kids run around and enjoying what is us. On these days, I have usually been driven to whatever the destination is. My friends understand that I may or may not be social. But in order for my friends to get accustomed to all that is me I have to be honest with them about what that is. I don’t pretend to be ok when I’m not. I ask for help when I need it. I tell them, don’t stop inviting me to <insert event> I’ll make one eventually. And they don’t stop inviting me. I am honest about why I didn’t attend an event. Lately I’ve had to say “I’m not going to make it because my legs ain’t loyal.” To this they’ll say ok next time or I’ll come get you. Either way, I did my part and they did theirs.


Friendships take work. Most of that work is honesty and communication. If you do your part…You’ll still have MS, you’ll have a life and you might just have a few friends.


Remember everyone has something. Don’t let your something rob you of everything. Now excuse me while I call around and see who wants to meet me for tacos…




In Honor Of My Mother


Lawd I have not been posting like I should. Y’all forgive me!! My lover has been on my arse. I’ve been figuring out just which weapon I was going to use to get him to at least stop being so aggressive. This shall do nicely.

Female African Warrior

I’ve also been walking, running, fighting along with three women dear to me who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. These women have all walked into battle with their Faith, Family, Friends, and Fear. I hear people say all the time ” have no fear.” Hmpf that’s some BS if you weren’t afraid then it took no courage to look whatever in the face, stand and fight in fatih!! Ask me how I know. Yep MS scared the shit outta me. What do you mean that my immune system decides my brain is a good thing to attack? From the beginning I have been very open with my diagnosis. WHY? Because folks don’t really know what MS means for me. MS doesn’t alter what I look like. Truth is when people found out there was not much response at all unless someone they knew personally had suffered from the disease. But I didn’t see fear or pity in their eyes. Just a glimpse of recognition when they said “Oh that’s the Montel Williams disease right?” Right the M is for Montel and the S is for sarcasm. But I’ll rant about that later. Right now along with lesions…Cancer is on my brain.

When someone finds out a person has cancer…well their thoughts immediately jump to death. They don’t say it, but they think it and that’s OK. For the women I have seen fight this disease, my mom included, their fight was more than to continue to live. It was to continue to feel alive. That’s hard when the drugs pumped into you to save you seem to also be killing you. It starts with taking your time. Uggggh the Chemos, radiations, tests, pharmacies, exhausts you and then the chemo, radiation…exhausts you. You get up look in the mirror and you see a woman whose hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are gone. And you begin to give into the fact that cancer will overtake everything that is you.  IT DOES NOT!!

This is my mother. Ain’t she cute.



That hair was her crowning glory and then cancer came and well waking up and lifting your head only to leave your hair on the pillow is scary. Fear creeps in. Then you decide to take control. One of my friends had her best friend brush her remaining hair from her head. Just picture that for a minute.

Think Clock

How it must have felt for these two women? I mean just really think about that!!!

With my mother I cut her locks off and then my husband shaved her head. (She couldn’t bare to go the salon) She sat and looked at herself and I saw the fear. I saw the sadness and as quickly as it came it left when I said “Mama Imma shave mine too.” She looked at me for a minute and said “Baby you don’t have the face or head for that.” Say what nah?

I understood what she meant. This wasn’t the way I was going to have to fight. (Little did I know I would have a whole different battle) We laughed and I kept my hair and found her a wig. She really was beautiful without it, but never felt quite comfortable in public bald. She didn’t want to look sick. She didn’t want to look like she had cancer.

This is the last picture I took of my mother.

Leah and Nana

I used to look at this picture and long for what I lost. A mother, friend, confidant, shopping buddy…safe place. There was no safer place than right where her granddaughter is in this picture. Now I look at it and I see what I was blessed with. Not many people have a mother as good as I had for as long as I did. This was the only person that had been with me since my conception. I wasn’t sure I could ever live life without her. Then as she lay in a hospital bed still fighting for me, my sister, her grandchildren, I had to pull from what she had always told and taught me. “Your faith will get you through. My job as your mother is to teach you to live in this world without me.” I grabbed her hand and said. “You can let go. If you’re tired of fighting, you can let go. We’ll be OK.” A few hours later we turned off the machines and watched my mother take her last breath. I cried and then prepared myself to be…A mother. I had to ready myself. There were little ones depending on me being the mother she showed me I should and could be. She showed me how fear, faith and courage all do an intimate dance with each other…and in the end your Faith will allow your Courage to cut in on your fear and your waltz turns into a Tango, Salsa, Nae Nae even…