I am a mid thirties mom to two teenagers. I have been living with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis since 2006. As with most people I was symptomatic for many years prior to this. My course of illness and method of diagnosis were rather unique. I was diagnosed with Tumefactive Multiple Sclerosis following a brain biopsy.
The brain surgery was felt to be warranted due to the sudden onset and severity of my symptoms. In addition, the initial brain scans (MRI, CT) showed tumor like enhancing lesions. It was felt that the only way to know exactly what was happening would be to biopsy the area. This would allow the doctor's to know the best way to intervene. The results of the biopsy, and other test results led my medical team to diagnose me with this very rare form of MS and to rule out other neurological illness and disease processes that have similar presentations.
Thankfully for me, this disease has taken a Relapsing Remitting course. This means that I have periods of active disease in which new symptoms develop reflective of damage to my Central Nervous System and periods of remission where there is no new disease activity. During exacerbation's or attacks new symptoms (lasting 24 hours or more) or worsening of old symptoms occur. During periods of remission I am not disease free, I simply am not getting worse.
Unfortunately at this time MS can not be cured it can only be managed. The goals of treatment are to provide as much space in time as possible between relapses. It is felt that during this time the body has a chance to repair and recover. MS is treated through disease management, and symptom management.
The following You Tube links provide more information about MS, MS Symptoms and Treatment options.
What is MS?
Symptoms: National MS Society
Stuart Schlossman, an MS Patient, discusses the reasons for self advocacy.
Current and Future Treatment options in Multiple Sclerosis